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Montana Background Checks

Montana background check, including criminal records, incarceration records, and inmate records

State Office

Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation.
303 North Roberts
Helena, Montana 59620
(406) 444-3625

Background checks in Montana are handled by the Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation. Montana background checks can be obtained by anyone, as Montana is an open records state, although certain records are protected and only available to law enforcement or the individual on record. The Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation, acts as the central repository for criminal records and compiles the data from various law enforcement agencies and the courts, including felony and misdemeanor arrests, pending charges, dispositions and sentencing information.

Individuals who want to conduct a Montana criminal background check will receive any records associated with the name, date of birth and social security number searched, although these will be limited to arrest and prosecutor information related to felony and misdemeanor charges only. Any charges that were dismissed or deferred will not be included. Name-based searches are the easiest and most common method for conducting Montana background checks on individuals, although fingerprint searches are available and are more reliable. However, an individual isn’t required to submit to a fingerprint supported background check unless requested by law enforcement or required for employment.

Steps for Retriving a Montana Background Check

Step 1

Go online to the Criminal History Online Public Record Search through the Department of Justice website.

Step 2

Choose the public user option to begin.

Step 3

Enter the full name of the individual and date of birth. A social security number is optional, but encouraged, because it helps make name searches more accurate. Also, up to four aliases may be entered as well.

Step 4

Make payment by credit card to receive results, which are instantly displayed on your computer.

Step 5

Requests for name-based or fingerprint-based searches for Montana background checks can be mailed. Simply include the full name of the person plus date of birth, any aliases and social security number, or enclose a completed fingerprint card. A self-addressed stamped envelope and fee should also be included.

Montana Background Check Special Notes

Background checks in Montana that are conducted using fingerprints will tap into the Western Identification Network (WIN) database, which holds criminal record information for Idaho, Nevada, Alaska, Utah, Oregon and Wyoming. A Montana criminal background check using fingerprints will return any conviction and arrest information found within this network (including Montana). Information gathered by law enforcement throughout these states includes arrest notations, identifiable descriptions, complaints, indictments, correctional status and release information. A name-based search will only return Montana criminal records.

Record request form

A Montana background check does not require a special form. Mailed requests should list the necessary identifying information to perform a search, although these requests can be conducted online.