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Montana Public Records

Montana public records can usually be accessed by visiting a website or submitting a simple form.  There are plenty of types of records that are considered public and some of them include census records, biographies, public notices, vital records, obituaries, legal documents, estate documents and so forth. Certain types of records though are protected by State or Federal laws, pertaining to the general safety of the public, having to do with open investigations, the integrity of the Public Office or the protection of personal privacy.

Public records are any documentation that is maintained, kept or generated by any public agency; recorded or written documentation of communications, proceedings, operations or functions by, for or between public agencies which don’t otherwise benefit from disclosure protection.

Vital Records

People who want to find their birth certificates should be able to easily do so as long as they are not too old. That is because the state of Montana only has birth records since 1907. These records are not complete though and most of the ones from the early years are actually missing.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) is responsible for all vital records. Anyone who wants to obtain a copy of these documents will need to send in an application along with other required documentation. The application can be mailed to the address or handed over directly. The DPHHS will charge a fee for a copy of  birth, death, marriage or divorce certificates. An important aspect to keep in mind is that records are only available to people who present a government verified photo ID when receiving the copy of records.

State Law versus the Constitution

One confusing aspect of Montana public records involves the entities allowed to access them. While the Constitution states that anyone can access them upon request, Montana’s public law stipulates that only citizens have access to them. The fact is that the Constitution is more valuable than any individual law and given its importance, it voids Montana’s public law. Of course there are some restrictions to this policy.