Montana Motorist Info

The following information is updated periodically. However, laws and regulations can change between updates. State statutes and local ordinances are the ultimate authorities for these issues.

Points of Interest

  • An acceptable definition of “nightime,” for purposes of determining speed limits, is that it’s nighttime if you need a light (dome light, flashlight, etc.) to read your watch.

Speed Limits

Rural Interstates: Cars 80, Trucks 65
Urban Interstates: Cars 65, Trucks 65
Other Limited Access Roads: Cars–day 70, night 65, Trucks–day 70 (Light Trucks), 60 (Heavy Trucks), night 65 (Light Trucks), 55 (Heavy Trucks)
(http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/speedlimit_laws.html)

These speed limits apply unless a different limit is posted.

Speed limits are absolute–exceeding the speed limit is illegal per se (regardless of whether it was safe under the specific conditions).

Speed Limits Enforcement Techniques
Enforced through use of:
Pacing: Yes
Radar: Yes
Vascar: No
Automated Speed Enforcement: No
Aircraft: Yes
Laser: No

Ticket Payment Methods
Consult your ticket or clerk of courts

Trial By Declaration Allowed
No

Discovery
Allowed with provisions

Jury Trial Allowed
Speeding: Yes
Parking: Yes
Equipment: Yes
DWI: Yes

Member of Nonresident Compact
No

Member of Driver License Compact
Yes

When and Where to File Accident Reports
Accidents involving death, personal injury, or apparent property damage exceeding $250 must be reported immediately to the local authorities or to the Montana Highway Patrol and within 10 days in writing to Montana Highway Patrol Headquarters.

Resident Insurance Requirements
Liability insurance is required (although some states allow posting a cash bond or such as an alternative)
Minimum Coverage Required:
Injury to one person: $25,000
All injuries: $50,000
Property Damage: $10,000

Phone/Texting Restrictions
Hand-Held Ban: No
All Cell Phone Ban: No
Texting Ban: No
Enforcement: Not applicable
http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/cellular-phone-use-and-texting-while-driving-laws.aspx

Other Regulations

  • Open intoxicants are permitted in the vehicle.
  • The BAC level is .08%. Under age 21 the BAC level is .02%.
  • Montana does not have an administrative license suspension law, but does have an implied consent law. The breathalyzer refusal penalty is a 6-month driver’s license suspension.
  • Loaded firearms may be carried in plain view in passenger compartment or secured in commercial gun cases.
  • Studded tires are permitted from October 1 to May 31.
  • Tire chains are required when posted.
  • Montana has a seat belt law with secondary enforcement for all occupants.
  • Montana has a mandatory child restraint law for passengers under 6 years of age or 60 pounds. All children must use approved car safety seats.
  • Montana has a mandatory motorcycle helmet law for persons under 18 years of age.
  • Registration and insurance card must be carried in the vehicle.

General Information
Telephone: 406/444-3780 or 406/444-7000 (State Highway Patrol) or https://doj.mt.gov/driving/driving-safety/ (Montana Dept. of Justice, Driver Services)
Emergency Cellular Phone Number: 800/525-5555