Montana Court Records

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What are Montana Traffic Tickets?

In Montana, when an individual is written up by law enforcement for committing a traffic violation or infraction, the offender receives a traffic ticket. These tickets indicate details of the offense, payment or contest options, and the amount due in fines. Typically, tickets may be resolved by paying a prescribed amount to the traffic courts. Montana’s traffic courts include the courts of limited jurisdiction, the Municipal, Justice of the Peace, and City Courts. These courts have unique and restricted jurisdiction over various traffic matters. The District Courts hear appeal cases from the traffic courts, but the licensing body responsible for assigning points for traffic convictions is the Montana Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching more straightforward, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the document or person involved

Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What Does a Traffic Citation Mean?

Generally, there is very little difference between a traffic citation and a traffic ticket. Both of these terms may refer to the notices that motorists get from law enforcement for breaking traffic laws in the U.S. However, in Montana, a citation may also refer to a court summons. Traffic citations are used mostly for more serious offenses such as driving under intoxication, driving while suspended/revoked, no insurance, and careless driving (if the motorist is under age 25).

How Do I Pay a Traffic Ticket in Montana?

In Montana, ticketed motorists may pay for a traffic ticket by mail, online, dropbox, or in person at the applicable courthouse. Fines must be paid before the due date indicated on the ticket, or the offenders risk additional penalties and late fees. Payers must include their full names and birth date and submit them along with the citation’s yellow copy. For in-person payments, the offender must visit the court indicated on the ticket. However, tickets issued by a city police officer may be resolved at a Municipal Court.

In contrast, tickets issued by a highway patrol or sheriff’s deputy may be resolved at a Justice of the Peace Court. The mailing and physical addresses of all relevant courts may be found using the Court Locator provided by the Montana Judicial Branch. These addresses, including those of the drop boxes, are available on the courts’ official websites. Specific payment options and instructions are listed on these websites. Some courts may provide other means for paying parking tickets.

Can You Pay Montana Traffic Tickets Online?

Yes, Montana traffic tickets can be paid online. Information on the online service is available on the General Public page of the Montana Judicial Branch.

How do I Pay a Ticket online in Montana?

Motorists may use the third-party service provided by the courts to pay for traffic tickets online in Montana. This site may be accessed via the General Public page or through the applicable courts’ official websites. Interested parties must enter their citation number and date of birth to find and pay for their tickets. Payment can then be made using a VISA, Discover, or MasterCard. Most traffic tickets, except those requiring a court appearance, can be paid using this service.

What is the Montana Traffic Ticketing System

The Montana Traffic Ticketing System is used by the Montana Department of Motor Vehicles to maintain road safety and assign points on driving records for traffic violations. Covered under Rule 23.3.202 of the Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM), this system is officially known as the Driver Rehabilitation Point System. The DMV also uses this schedule to determine license suspensions and revocations, according to the offense committed. The most frequent number of points issued to offenders in the state are 2 and 3 points. These points are assigned to violations that involve speeding, careless driving, driving on the sidewalk, increasing speed when being overtaken, following too closely, and failure to yield right of way, among others. The highest point attainable on the point schedule table is 12 points for negligent homicide. Under the law, motorists who accumulate a certain number of points within a period obtain lengthier license suspensions. Parties who fail to comply with a court order, appear in court, or pay a fine, are also likely to incur license restrictions.

How Do I Know if I Have a Traffic Ticket in Montana?

Typically, ticketed individuals are notified by mail of existing tickets. However, individuals who want to find out if they have Montana traffic tickets may query the traffic courts in their respective counties. Parties may also order driver records to view conviction or accident histories, licensing information, personal history information, and driver license sanctions/restrictions. Driver records may be ordered through the online, in-person, or mail services provided by the DMV. If requesting through the mail or in-person services, the requester must complete a Release of Driving Records (Form 34–0100). This form may be submitted to the addresses below:

Mailing address

Motor Vehicle Division

P. O. Box 201430

Helena, MT 59620–1430

Physical address

Motor Vehicle Division Office

Scott Hart Building, Second Floor

302 North Roberts

Helena

The agency charges $4.12 per record. Parties may pay an additional $3.09 to receive the document by fax. Payment may be made with a check or money order.

How Can I Find a Lost Traffic Ticket in Montana?

A lost or misplaced ticket may be found by contacting the Montana court where the ticket was issued. Requesters may be required to provide information such as their full names, dates of birth, and Montana driver license numbers to find these tickets.

How Long Does a Traffic Ticket Stay on Your Record in Montana?

In Montana, a traffic conviction stays on a driver’s record permanently. However, conviction points remain on a driving record for three years from the date of conviction. Partaking in a defensive course does not remove these points. Montana drivers convicted out of the state will also have these convictions show up and remain on their records.

Is a Summons Worse Than a Ticket in Montana?

A summons, or citation to appear, is a court document instructing a traffic offender to appear before a Montana court on a specified date, time, or place. Parties who fail to appear likely have warrants issued for their arrests, and certain driving privileges are restricted until they comply. Meanwhile, an offender does not need to appear before the court for a ticket, as most tickets can be resolved by paying a fine. A court appearance is mandated where the offense is especially severe, or if the ticket was issued during an accident investigation. Such offenses include reckless driving, DUI, and leaving the scene of an accident, among others.

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