The laws of the state of Montana are quite restrictive when it comes to criminal background checks. Privacy laws limit how much information about felony charges or misdemeanor charges can be gathered through a standard background check. All deferred and dismissed criminal records are not available to the general public. Members of the law enforcement organizations in need of criminal records for criminal justice purposes can access all the information available to the Montana Department of Justice.
The Division of Criminal Investigation of the Montana Department of Justice provides an online criminal record search service. It’s open to public users and for users registered in the official Montana State website. In order to perform a successful search on the Division of Criminal Investigation’s website, users must input the first and last name and the complete date of birth of the subject of the investigation. Public users are charged $11.50 per request, payable by credit card or eCheck. In the case of registered users, the whole amount of requests is billed to the user at the end of the month. Being a registered user costs a yearly fee of $100 and gives access to all eGovernment Services on the Montana state sites. The Division of Criminal Investigation’s database can be accessed at https://app.mt.gov/choprs/. There is a different way of looking up the database of the Division of Criminal Investigation of the state of Montana. It’s possible to perform background checks via mail. This way of performing background checks enables the use of fingerprint cards, and it has a fee of $10.
The Montana Department of Corrections also has a comprehensive database accessible to any public user and completely free of charge. The search engine is powerful and easy to handle. It allows searches by name, year of birth, gender, race and / or “active offender type” -inmate, on parole, on federal custody, escaped, deported and so on-. The results offered by the Montana Department of Corrections’ search engine are extremely detailed, giving information on all the details relevant to the subject of the report, including body markings and tattoos and reason for the conviction. The database of the Montana Department of Corrections can be accessed at https://app.mt.gov/conweb/.
The Montana Department of Justice also provides a very well managed service called Sexual or Violent Offender Registry (SVOR). This registry provides meticulous information on all sex offenders or violent offenders living in the Montana area. The service is completely free, and every check up comes with a detailed map. The records of the sexual offenders are very complete, including known aliases and specific reasons why they are inscribed in the registry. In the case of the violent offenders, the information on the record is limited, unless they are non-compliant registrants. The database of the SVOR can be accessed at https://doj.mt.gov/svor/.
All in all, even though the privacy laws of the state of Montana seem quite restrictive regarding criminal background checks, both the Department of Corrections and the SVOR provide a wealth of information available freely to anyone interested in looking up criminal records in the state of Montana.