Montana Criminal Records: How to Check and Search Criminal Records in Montana
Sometimes background checks are essential to assess the credibility of an individual. Be it an employee, a neighbor, or a person you would like to date, performing a background check can give you insights into the person’s life, and enable you to make informed decisions. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.
How to Search for Criminal Records?
The Montana Department of Justice gives the public the right to access the state’s criminal record database. Citizens can also access records electronically. Access to criminal history reports is governed by Montana Code Annotated 44-5-301, which stipulates the law on Dissemination of Public Criminal Justice Information.
Types of Criminal Record Search
- Name-Based Search – This type of search requires the individual’s name, date of birth and social security number as inputs.
- Fingerprint Search – This search yields more accurate and comprehensive results.
Modes of Search
- Online Search for General Public– This is a name-based search that involves the following steps:
- Go to the Criminal History Online Public Record Search or CHOPRS website.
- Choose the “Public Services – Start Service” option.
- Input the individual’s complete name and date of birth.
Entering the individual’s Social Security Number is optional, but it is recommended that you do so for a thorough search. Up to four aliases can be searched without any extra fees.
Specifying your name is mandatory for online search to comply with the Montana Code Annotated Section 44-5-215 law.
- Online Search requires a fee of $20.00 for a single record search. Payment can be made using an eCheck or credit card.
- Online Search for Registered Users – This is a paid service. Monthly bills are sent to you. You can make payments using electronic payment or credit card.
- Go to CHOPRS website.
- Click Registered Users – Start Service option.
- Enter your User Name and Password to access records.
- If you are a new user, you can register by clicking the “Become a Registered User” option.
- Mail-In Name-Based Search – You can mail your search request by including:
- The complete name of the individual whose records you wish to check. Include nicknames, maiden names, and aliases.
- The individual’s complete date of birth.
- The individual’s Social Security Number.
- Enclose the following:
- A stamped envelope addressed to self.
- Money order or check for $15.00 toward processing fee for each search.
- Mail the request to:
Mail-In Fingerprint-Based Search – Include the following in the mail request:
- Applicant’s fingerprint card. These cards can be obtained from law enforcement offices in your locality, or from the Montana Criminal Records postbox address given above.
- Ensure that the following details are filled in the card:
- Signatures of the individual whose search record needs to be accessed, and the officer taking the fingerprints.
- Subject’s complete name in Last Name-First Name-Middle Name format.
- Date of Birth
- Social Security Number
- Any previously-used names, including aliases, nicknames, and maiden names
- All specified personal identification details, including:
- Place of Birth
- Hair Color
- Eye Color
- Name and address of the business or individual to which/ whom the search results need to be sent. Fill the details in the “Employer” and “Address” fields respectively.
- Fill the “Reason Fingerprinted” field with “State Only / WIN background check.
- Enclose the following in the mail:
- A self-addressed envelope with a stamp.
- Check or Money Order payment of $10.00 toward processing fee for every search.
- Avoid folding or stapling the fingerprint card.
- Mail the card to the Montana Criminal Records postbox address given above.
- In-Person Search – General public can visit the location given below in person between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm from Monday thru Friday, and request for a Name-Based or Fingerprint-Based record search:
Online Montana Criminal Records Search
Another way to search for Montana criminal records is to use an online public records search directory. Nowadays, there are several websites that provide access to public records, including Montana criminal records, so you can use them to find criminal data about people in the state. To perform the search, you need to provide the website you chose with some identifying detail about the person in question.
You can now use a name-based search engine, a phone number search, a reverse address search, and a reverse email search engine to find public records' information within minutes. Once the search engine has the detail it needs, it will begin to scan public records that are registered to the name of the person in question. Then, you will be provided with a report about the criminal history of the said person, so you will be able to find valuable information within minutes.