Elections and Government Services Administrative Rules of Montana Business Services Notary and Certification Records and Information Management

Local Government Disposal Management Forms

The Local Government Records Committee, with help from local records custodians, created the following records retention schedules, request for change and records disposal processes. Agencies must request permission to dispose of official public records. If you have questions or comments about the schedules or processes, please contact the:

Local Government Records Committee
Local Government Services Bureau
P.O. Box 200547
Helena MT 59620-0547

For local governments that undergo annual audits, retention schedules begin the month that the final fiscal year audit report is received by the entity.

Retention periods assigned to records are minimums. You are not required to destroy or otherwise dispose of records at the end of the minimum time frame outlined in the appropriate retention schedule. The Local entity bears responsibility to determine if records are confidential and are to be marked accordingly on each request for disposal. See the Montana Constitution, Article II, Section 9 and Section 10, Title II statutes at 2-6-1, MCA, consult legal counsel, or develop policy and procedure for addressing privacy and right to know.

Per Administrative Rule 44.14.202, document images, or any other type of electronic medium, is not an acceptable, long-term or permanent method of storing records. Records with a retention period of more than 10 years may be stored electronically as long as they are also maintained in paper or microfilm.

If an entity chooses to use archival-quality microfilm or microfiche, as the official storage medium, the agency must carefully review the microfilm’s readability before allowing for destruction of the paper source records.  If poor-quality paper documents are filmed, the quality on film may also be poor quality and the paper records may need to be retained to ensure readability.

Microfilm or microfiche may be considered as a long-term or permanent, low-cost, storage medium for public records, provided that the filming process, development, and storage of the film master meets certain national standards. To verify whether the agency’s film meets these standards, contact the Secretary of State Records and Information Management Division by email or by phone at (406) 444-9000.

Local Government Retention Schedules  Revision Date
  1 General (i.e. correspondence) November 2011
  7 School District May 2013
  8 Municipal May 2013
  2 Clerk and Recorder May 2014
  3 Elections May 2013
  4 Treasurer June 2012
  5 Accounting and Financial May 2014
  6 Motor-vehicle 1999
  9 Conservation District May 2012
  11 Appraisal and Assessment May 2012
  13 Coroner October 2005
  14 Sheriff November 2011
  14A Sheriff Local Detention Center/Jail 1999
  17 9-1-1 PSAP October 2007
  18 Weed Department October 2009
  19 County School Superintendents October 2008
  20 County Museums October 2009
  21 County Planning November 2013
  23 County Sanitation November 2013
  24 Human Resources November 2013
  10 Courts of Limited Jurisdiction November 2013
  12 Clerk of District Court April 2010
  16 County Attorney April 2007
Insurance Authority
  15 Insurance Authority May 2012
  15A Insurance Authority - Claims May 2013