Montana Public Records

Montana has two public information laws, the Montana Open Meetings Law, Montana Code 2-3-201 et seq., and the Montana Public Records Act, Montana Code 2-6-101 et seq. Combined, the laws work like a standard sunshine law.

Under the Montana Open Meetings Law, public meetings are defined as a gathering of a quorum of the members of a public body. Those meetings must be held open to the public unless they fall into one of several exceptions: matters involving individual privacy and litigation between government entities and private parties. However, citizens are able to overturn decisions in illegal public meetings.

The Montana Public Records Act is not a single law, but a series of law that defines public records and determines who has access to them. Under the law, public records include not only written records, but also electronic and non-print media. The Montana Constitution also speaks to public records, and states that no person may be denied access to public records. You do not have to provide a statement of purpose to get the records, though you cannot use them on mailing lists. While Montana used to have a number of exemptions, they were recently removed. However, records can still be closed if the right to individual privacy exceeds the public rights to know. However, you may be able to successfully challenge those decisions.

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Public & Vital Records for Counties in Montana

More About Montana

Montana, which is located in the northwestern United States, is the 4th largest state in the United States, but with the 8th smallest population, making it the 3rd least populated state in the nation. Its agriculture is based on ranching and farming, mining, and lumber, though it is becoming a popular tourist destination. While Montana does not have a large itinerant worker population, as with any other location, if you are running a background check on someone from Montana, you may want to check in other states.


Public Records in MT

You can find a number of different types of public records for the state of Montana, including vital statistics, property records, and criminal records. However, the state does not maintain a single repository of public records.

Property Records

There are three different types of property records in Montana, just like you will find in almost every state in the United States: land records, deed records, and tax records. Each of these different records details a different aspect of land ownership. Land records refer to records that detail the transfer of land from a governmental entity to the first private property owner. Another type of record detailing land ownership is the deed record. Deed records refer to conveyances or encumbrances on land that is owned by private property owners and includes deeds, mortgages, and liens. Tax property records refer specifically to land records that detail the taxes due on land, a description of the property, and ownership records.

Land Records

Montana was a territory for a substantial period of time before it became a state. So, land grant records in the United States not only reflect grants from Montana to different individual property owners, but also from the United States Bureau of Land Management. You can find many Montana land grant records at the General Land Office Records website.

Property Tax Records

In Montana, you can find property information including property tax records at the Montana Official State website.

Deed Records

The Montana Property Assessment Division handles information like deed records, but they are also handled at the local county registrar offices.


MT Vital Records

Montana’s Public Health & Safety Division handles vital statistics for the state of Montana. However, it has a narrow interpretation of vital statistics, and only includes marriage and death records in vital statistics.

Birth Records

You can order a birth certificate in Montana in several different ways. You can order them through VitalChek online or on the phone, using your credit card. You can order them by mail by sending them to the Office of Vital Records, Department of Public Health and Human Services, 111 N Sanders Rm 6, PO Box 4210, Helena, MT 59604. You may also come in to order them in person.

Death Records

Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services also handles death certificate requests. You can order them in person, by mail to the Office of Vital Records, Department of Public Health and Human Services, 111 N Sanders Rm 6, PO Box 4210, Helena, MT 59604, by phone, or online.

Marriage Records

Montana does not maintain marriage records at the state level. You will have to go to the county where the marriage occurred in order to request marriage records.

Divorce Records

Montana does not keep divorce records as vital records. To locate divorce records, you need to go the county clerk of the court in the county where the divorce was granted.

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States


Learn about Montana criminal records, MT Property Records, or read about public records in another state from the list below: