Run a Free Montana Warrant Search on Any Resident

Free Montana Warrant Search
Find out if you or someone else has a warrant out for their arrest in Montana, free of charge.

Perform a free Montana warrant search to catch potential legal issues before they arise; this allows you to be proactive if you discover documents calling for your arrest. Warrant details are accessible from several agencies, often at no cost.

While some agencies may require fees for processing official records, this resource discusses how to find low- or no-cost options that can reveal whether a warrant has been issued in Montana for you or someone you know.

Are Warrant Records Available to the Public in Montana?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) holds governments accountable for maintaining and producing official records to the general public to inspect on request.1 This act exists in different forms from state to state.

Chapter 6 of the Montana Code Annotated (MCA) is dedicated to governing public records within the state, dictating which ones are available, what kinds of fees may be assessed and how access to these records must be given.2 It also discusses which records may be exempt from disclosure.

Most criminal records, including warrants, fall into the public record category in Montana.

There are numerous types of warrants, and many of them are available to search at any time. They appear in court records, where individuals may review them. Some warrants, however, may be kept from public record until after they’ve been executed because disclosing them in advance could interfere with law enforcement.

Looking Up Warrants in Montana: The Essentials

A Montana warrant lookup begins with knowing who is being investigated. These searches can be quite broad, especially at the state level. The more information you can enter into requests and queries, the more likely you are to find the correct information.

At minimum, individuals should have the first and last name of the person they wish to check on. It’s also helpful to know where the warrant was issued, as the jurisdiction in which it was issued may influence the best place to search. Other information that can help narrow down the search, especially when looking for someone with a common name, includes date of birth and city of residence.

Some information may be stored in several locations at the same time. Some agencies or third-party platforms may attempt to charge individuals for this information when it can be found at no cost in other locations.

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to begin searching broadly and slowly narrow the focus of the query until the correct records are found. This often means beginning at the state level and narrowing the search down to county or municipality. In some cases, it may be useful to begin federally, but these types of warrants aren’t common.

How To Perform a Free Montana Warrant Search Online

In Montana, there’s no unified tool to let you look up warrants at the state level. The closest approximation is the Montana Judicial Branch’s Public Access Portal, which offers two options for viewing warrants.

One option to complete a Montana warrant search is to use the Limited Jurisdiction Courts Public Access Portal, which offers access to city and municipal court records. The other is the District Courts Public Access Portal.3 Both databases work exactly the same way, though they draw from different levels of the court.

These databases explicitly state that certain criminal investigation records and juvenile records won’t be disclosed, nor will certain sealed cases or records that include sensitive information.

To begin a warrant search, select the tool for the courts you intend to search, then select which court you wish to search. Log in and select the “Searches” drop-down menu in the top-left corner.

Case searches can be made by party name, judgment order index or party search. Party search allows individuals to enter a name (or an approximation) and select from several advanced search functions, including sorting by civil or criminal cases.

Once an individual’s record has been pulled from the database, clicking on the case number brings up the person’s case history. On the left-hand sidebar, underneath the “Defendant” drop-down menu, select “Warrants” to view any active warrants currently in effect.

A screenshot from the Asbestos Claims District Court detailing a civil case's information, including case ID, involved parties, case type, and status, as well as litigant and attorney information, within a court's digital records.
Source: Asbestos Claims District Court4

It’s also possible to request official criminal history checks on individuals through the Montana Department of Justice, which may turn up details about warrants. However, this option comes with fees ranging between $10 and $30, depending on the extent of the background check.

The general public can use the Criminal History Online Public Record Search (CHOPRS) to request information.5 CHOPRS requires a complete name and date of birth, with a Social Security number recommended but not required. This option costs $20.

A screenshot from the Division of Criminal Investigation detailing a person's last name, first name, date of birth, and social security number, including additional space for aliases, designed to collect information for background checks.
Source: Division of Criminal Investigation6

Requests may be made in person at the Montana Department of Justice Criminal Records & Identification Services Section at the following address:

Criminal Records & Identification Services Section
Montana Department of Justice
2225 11th Avenue

Helena, MT 59601

Phone: (406) 444-3625
Fax: (406) 444-0689
Email: [email protected]

It’s also possible to mail in record requests to:

Montana Criminal Records
PO Box 201403
Helena, MT 59620-1403

To receive records via mail, the requester must also enclose an applicant fingerprint card, which may be obtained from local law enforcement. All information requested on the form should be completed.

Find Warrant Details at the County Level in Montana

Searching for warrants at the county level can often be done by requesting records from the county courts.

Yellowstone County: Information on outstanding warrants can be obtained from the Yellowstone County Montana Justice Court via email at [email protected] or found via the aforementioned District Courts Public Access Portal. Outstanding warrants may also be handled at:

Yellowstone County Justice Court
217 North 27th Street Room 603

Billings, MT 59101

Phone: (406) 256-2998

Gallatin County: The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office maintains a current list of arrest warrants, which may be viewed online at any time.7 This exists as a document listing all individuals with warrants rather than a database that can be searched. It provides names, charges, bond amount and the date a warrant was issued.

The office can be contacted at:

Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office
Law & Justice Center
615 South 16th Avenue Room 22
Bozeman, MT 59715

Phone: (406) 582-2100
Fax: (406) 582-2126

A screenshot from Gallatin County Sheriff's Office detailing a list of individuals with corresponding legal charges, bond amounts, and dates the documents were issued, as maintained by a county sheriff's office.
Source: Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office8

Missoula County: Missoula County provides public records via its district court’s clerk by the following methods:

Clerk of District Court
200 West Broadway
Missoula, MT 59802

Fax: (406) 258-4899
Email: [email protected]

When mailing a request, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. These records are subject to fees of $1 per page for the first 10 pages and $0.50 per page 11 and up for hard copies.9

Emailed copies are $0.25 per page. It costs $2 per document to certify records, and searches also come with a fee of $2 per name.

Locate Arrest Warrant Details via Montana Municipalities

Some cities and municipalities keep track of their own local arrest warrants and provide public access to them. Like county-level warrants, these can be reviewed in the Montana Judicial Branch Public Access Portal by selecting the Limited Jurisdiction Public Access Portal option and choosing the correct city court.

In Billings, contact the Billings Municipal Court or the Billings Police Department to identify an active warrant. The court and police department share an address:

Billings Municipal Court & Police Dept.
220 North 27th Street
P.O. Box 1178
Billings, MT 59101

Court Phone: (406) 657-8490
PD Phone: (406) 657-8460

Missoula warrant details, which are kept by the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, may be requested via phone, email, fax or mail, in person or through an online request.

Clerk of District Court
200 West Broadway
Missoula, MT 59802

Fax: (406) 258-4899
Email: [email protected]

The Great Falls Municipal Court accepts written criminal record requests. Use a Records Request Form and fill it out completely.10 The request requires a $10 fee and can be sent to:

Great Falls Municipal Court
Civic Center Room 2
2 Park Drive South
PO Box 5021
Great Falls, MT 59403

Phone: (406) 771-1380
Fax: (406) 727-8069

A screenshot from the City of Great Falls detailing sections for the applicant to fill in their information, the amount paid, and details about the specific public records they seek, including the defendant's name, docket number, and offense details.
Source: Great Falls Municipal Court10

Details about wanted individuals in Bozeman can be found on the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office’s Arrest Warrants webpage. However, there’s no way to sort these by city, so individuals will have to utilize “CTRL+F” or sift through the records in alphabetical order by last name to look for the individual they suspect has a warrant.

Records may also be requested from the Gallatin County 911 & Communications Support Services/Records division. Copies of records can be requested online. Visit this office in person at:

Law & Justice Center
615 South 16th Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715

Phone: (406) 582-2005

The Butte-Silver Bow City-County Court maintains a list of its active warrants on its website. However, the site only provides name and date of birth for each individual in alphabetical order by last name. The court also provides a list of the area’s most wanted.11

A screenshot from Butte City Court detailing three individuals with their names and alleged offenses, including assault and legal violations, each with a note of their last known location being the same city.
Source: Butte-Silver Bow City-County Court11

For more information regarding these warrants, individuals can contact the court directly at:

Butte-Silver Bow County
155 West Granite Street

Butte, MT 59701

Phone: (406) 497-6200
Fax: (406) 497-6328
Email: [email protected]

Court records may also be requested via its Butte-Silver Bow City-County Court Request for Public Records form for a $10 search fee per name and $1 per page for general copies of the results.

Retrieve Federal Warrant Information for Montana & All Other States

Federal warrants are relatively uncommon, though they do occur for severe crimes. The first step in searching for this information is to check the most wanted and fugitive lists from three major agencies that track federal warrant information: the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and U.S. Marshals.12

A screenshot of a list of ten individuals, each with a photograph and name, presented as being sought by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on their official webpage.
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation12

Another option for reviewing federal warrant information is to explore the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) tool. While this tool charges fees, it’s a comprehensive option that allows searches by case, specific court and national index of federal court records.

The Service Center is available to provide assistance by phone at 1-800-676-6856 or by email at [email protected].

Federal arrest and search warrants can be located with the PACER Case Locator by searching for an individual’s name, then clicking on their case number. By selecting the “Docket Sheet” or “History/Documents” query, federal warrants may appear.

If this still doesn’t turn up results, an attorney may be able to assist in completing a FOIA request to the U.S. Marshal Service.13

Various Types of Warrants in Montana & the Reason for Each

Warrants can be issued by courts for several reasons, with each serving a different function to allow law enforcement to act in ways that infringe upon a citizen’s rights. These orders usually don’t expire, so if a Montana warrant lookup reveals one of these active on your record, you should begin trying to resolve it immediately.

The following warrants are among the most common, though others exist as well.

  • Arrest Warrants: Arrest warrants are issued by judges who have been given enough evidence, typically by a peace officer or a district attorney, to believe that the named individual has committed a crime without a police officer present to witness it. These warrants remain active until the individual is apprehended.
  • Bench Warrants: Judges issue bench warrants when an individual violates court rules. A bench warrant is typically the result of someone failing to appear when summoned to court, such as if they’ve been subpoenaed. Once the warrant is written, a police officer can use it to arrest the individual in contempt of court and hold them until they can be brought in front of a judge.
  • Probation & Parole Warrants: These are issued when individuals fail to fulfill the terms of their supervision. Some reasons for a violation may be considered acceptable if they can be proven, but the individual has to plead their case in court with proof of a reasonable excuse.
  • Traffic Warrant: When someone receives a traffic citation and is ordered to pay a fine or attend court but fails to do so, they may have a traffic warrant issued in their name. While police don’t typically go out of their way to locate and enforce these warrants, individuals with a traffic warrant can be arrested on contact with law enforcement.
  • Child Support Warrant: According to Montana Code Annotated (MCA) 45-5-621, an individual who fails to provide court-ordered support to their child can be arrested on a warrant and may serve up to 6 months in jail.14
  • Capias & Capias Pro Fine Warrants: Capias warrants are issued by the courts when someone fails to follow through with fines or penalties given by a judge. Capias pro fine warrants are given when someone fails to pay a court-ordered fine.
  • Extradition Warrants: People who commit a crime in one jurisdiction and then flee to another are deemed fugitives and are subject to extradition warrants. These warrants allow states to return fugitives to the state in which they committed the crime.
  • Search Warrants: Search warrants grant access to private property for the purpose of investigating a crime. These warrants are typically not disclosed until they’re being enforced to ensure the individual subjected to the warrant doesn’t have time to hide evidence. Any evidence collected during the execution of the warrant can be taken by police officers and given to the prosecutor to use during a criminal case.

How To Address a Warrant That’s Issued for You or Someone Else Within Montana

When a warrant search pulls up information showing a law enforcement agency or court is seeking you or someone you know, it can be cause for alarm. While this is a serious matter, getting ahead of a warrant and being proactive can often help lessen the severity of the situation.

If your research reveals warrants for people you know, consider whether it’s safe to disclose this information to them. If you aren’t worried about your safety or theirs, or if the warrant is for something relatively minor such as unpaid fines, informing them allows them to handle the situation.

If there’s cause for concern with the warrant or with the individual’s behavior, you can inform your local law enforcement of the location of the individual. Your local police department or sheriff’s office will likely have a tip line you can contact with information, or you can call your local non-emergency line if a crime isn’t actively occurring.15

To handle a warrant in your name, start by seeking legal advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney. They should be familiar with your local court’s processes and what to expect. They should also be able to assist in resolving the warrant, whether by satisfying whatever requirements have gone unmet, scheduling and attending a court date in your defense or arguing for it to be quashed.

Those opting to go pro se by representing themselves when handling their warrants may be able to pay a fine or set a court date on their own with the court overseeing their warrant. Keep in mind that if you enter a courthouse or police department to attempt to resolve your warrant, you put yourself at risk for arrest.

Some choose to willingly turn themselves in after informing family of their plans. Before this, the process can be streamlined by retaining legal counsel who can go to court and help obtain your release from custody sooner. It can also help to communicate with a bail bondsman in advance, informing them of your intention to turn yourself in and working out a way to ensure any potential bail is already settled as soon as possible to prevent lengthy disruptions and get you out of custody.

If your Montana warrant search reveals records that need to be settled, take action immediately to get ahead of the situation.


1U.S. Department of Justice. (n.d.). About FOIA. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from <>

2Montana Legislature. (2023). Montana Code Annotated. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from <>

3Montana Courts. (2024). Log In to Public Access Portal. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from <>

4Montana Courts. (2024). Cases by Party Search. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from <>

5Montana Department of Justice. (n.d.). Criminal History Online Public Record Search. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from <>

6Montana Department of Justice. (2024). Search. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from <>

7Gallatin County, Montana. (2024). Current Arrest Warrants. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from <>

8Gallatin County, Montana. (2024, February 6). Warrants GCSO List [PDF]. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from <>

9Missoula County, Montana. (n.d.). Copies & Records Searches. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from <>

10City of Great Falls, Montana. (2002, November 6). Municipal Court Request for Public Records [PDF]. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from <>

11Silver Bow County, Montana. (n.d.). Butte-Silver Bow’s Most Wanted. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from <>

12Federal Bureau of Investigation. (n.d.). Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from <>

13U.S. Marshals Service. (n.d.). Freedom of Information Act. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from <>

14Montana Legislature. (2023). Montana Code Annotated. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from <>

15Montana Board of Crime Control. (2016, June). Montana Law Enforcement Employees [PDF]. Retrieved February 28, 2024, from <>