Public records in Montana are available for you if you want to do a background check on someone you just met. Maybe you want to find out about an employee, or you want to know what records of yourself are available to the public, you can explore public records.
In Montana, every individual has the right to detect, obtain, explore and view all publicly available records; criminal records, court records, vital records, and many other additional records. To access public records in Montana, a person can submit a request via mail, email, or phone to the record-holding department. Interested persons can also physically visit a government agency to obtain records as different departments hold different information.
A criminal record is a document that lists an offender’s contacts and interactions with law enforcement and criminal courts. You can request criminal records at the Montana Department of Justice, Criminal Records and Identification Services Section (CRISS). The department holds all state criminal history records. A person may request criminal records at a processing fee between $10.00 and $30.00 per request, payable by credit cards or eCheck. You can request a name-based check for a person’s criminal record or a fingerprint check by mail or in person. You can also search public records for criminal history in Montana online. However, you have to be a registered user. Anyone can become a registered user by following the procedures outlined in the portal.
A person seeking criminal records can request a name-based search through mailing services as well. The mail will include a self-addressed stamp envelope and a $15.00 processing fee for each request. Interested individuals should send requests to the criminal records unit:
Montana Criminal Records
P.O. Box 201403
Helena, MT 59620-1403
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (406) 44-3625
Fax: (406) 444-0689
For fingerprint services, interested persons should call (406) 444-3625.
Alternatively, interested persons can visit the criminal records and records identification online scheduler to set up an appointment.
The Department of Justice- Criminal Records and identification services is open for in-person request at the following location:
Criminal Records and Identification Services
2225 11th Avenue
Helena, MT 59601
Office Hours: Monday – Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 am
The wait time to receive records by mail from the department ranges from seven to ten business days.
Through the Department of Corrections (DOC) in Montana, individuals can perform online searches for inmates. It is called the Correctional Offender Network Search. It is a free service, and to access this service, you need to possess the Correction Identification number, first and last name of the offender to begin a search. Contact the DOC at:
Montana Department of Corrections
5 S. Last Chance Gulch
P.O. Box 201301
Helena, MT 59620-1301
Email: [email protected]
In Montana, there is an organized service provided by the Department of Justice called Sexual or Violent Offender Registry (SVOR). It is a requirement for all sexual offenders and violent offenders in the state to register. This registry keeps detailed and up-to-date information on all sex offenders or violent offenders living within the state. The unit tries to update the information often to ensure its accuracy. It provides names, addresses, photos, and other information about sex offenders.
Interested persons can search for sex offenders online through a portal provided by the state department of justice.
These records are available to the public, making sex offender information accessible. However, records of certain offenders might not be available, especially when that offender is non-compliant. A non-compliant offender is an offender who does not keep their personal information updated. For instance, if a sex offender changes his address, the offender has five days to notify the authorities.
Any person may report recent or ongoing criminal activity by a registered offender or any other offender. To enquire about sex offenders in Montana or to report an issue, you can mail or visit the SVOR unit in person at:
Sexual or Violent Offender Registration Unit
Division of Criminal Investigation
P.O. Box 201417
Helena, MT 59620-1417
Sexual Offender Information Phone: (406) 444-7068
Violent Offender Information Phone: (406) 444-9877
Fax: (406) 444-2759
Email: [email protected]
Records containing information on critical events in a person’s life are vital records in Montana. These records, including birth information, death, marriage, divorce, are kept through specific government agencies. The Montana Division of Vital records keeps these records in Montana. They issue certified copies of birth and death certificates that occur within the state. Most vital records are open to the public in Montana. Accessibility is dependent on the type of record, the year in which the event occurred, and the authority of the party making the request.
There are processing fees attached to a record request. Montana Vital Records does not accept credit cards or online orders over the phone. However, you can order records online with your Credit card through VitalChek, and a toll-free line: 1(888) 877 – 1946 is available. Note that additional fees may apply.
Below is the contact information of the government agency responsible for keeping vital records, issuing certificates.
For Birth, death, marriage, and divorce records, interested individuals can visit the vital statistics office at:
Office of Vital Statistics
MT Dept. of Public Health and Human Services
111 N Sanders, Rm 6
P.O. BOX 4210
Helena, MT 59604
Note that the fees to get certified copies of vital records vary according to the request. Outlined below is the cost associated with requests:
Birth certificates cost $12. 00, and additional copies cost $5. 00 per request.
Death certificates cost $15. 00 and additional copies cost $8. 00 per request.
It costs $10. 00 to obtain marriage records for marriages conducted in Montana. Note that this fee is for search and verification, as certified copies of marriage certificates are not available in the State office.
Interested individuals would have to go to the county of marriage to obtain marriage certificates. It is also important to note that the cost of obtaining a marriage certificate could vary from one county to another.
Just like marriages, it costs $10 to search and verify that divorce exists. Certified copies of divorce papers are not available at the state level. Interested individuals can obtain divorce certificates at the county of the marriage dissolution.
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services provides various avenues for individuals to access vital information through its official website. Interested persons can apply for birth or death certificates in the state through the department’s website.
The office of the Montana Secretary of State is responsible for business records. Using an identification number, interested persons can view information on enterprises and corporations in the state. The Montana Secretary of State maintains a database of organizations, trademarks, and corporations in Montana. You can obtain information on businesses in Montana by running a business search.
For Research Requests, Interested Persons Can Contact the Montana Historical Society at:
225 North Roberts
P.O. Box 201201
Helena, MT 59620-1201,
Email: [email protected]
For Online Services Helpdesk:
Phone: 1-866-449-3468 (toll-free)
You Can Also Visit or Send a Mail to:
Montana Secretary of State Business Division
P.O. Box 202801
Helena, MT 59620
Telephone: (404) 444-3665
Fax: (406) 495-0464
Most public records in Montana are available to the public with little or no restrictions. Records search services are available online and by mail. You can find almost any information in record time.