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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Administrative Rules of Montana?

Administrative rules are agency regulations, standards, or statements of applicability that implement, interpret, or set law or policy.  An agency can also adopt administrative rules that describe the organization, procedures, or practice requirements of the agency.  Agencies are given rulemaking authority through the legislative process. 2-4-101, MCA, et seq., provides the statutory authority for administrative agency rule making and adjudication. It is based on the 1961 Revised Model State Administrative Procedures Act adopted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

How can I look at copies of ARM and the Register?

Both ARM and the Register are available online. They can also be found in every county in Montana, for use of county officials and the public, which may be maintained in a public library in the county seat or in the county offices. To find out more about who receives copies of the ARM and the Register by law, check out 2-4-313, MCA.

How often are updates issued?

Updates are issued quarterly.

How are the Montana Code Annotated (MCA) and the Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) related?

The MCA is the definitive version of legislation passed by the Legislature. The ARM are the rules that state agencies make to implement those laws. Applicable citations to the Montana Code Annotated are found in the history note at the end of each administrative rule.

What are the legal requirements for notices, hearings, and submission of views?

Timetable for the adoption of new rules by state agencies:  
The agency must allow at least 20 days from date of publication of the proposal notice until the public hearing.
20 days
From the day of the proposal notice publication in the Register the public has a minimum of 28 days to submit comments and/or request a public hearing.
An agency may adopt a proposed rule action a minimum of 30 days from date of publication of the proposal notice.
30 days
A state agency must adopt a proposed rule action no more than 6 months after the publication of the proposal notice.
A temporary emergency rule can be effective for a period of 20 days
Thereafter, the regular process of rulemaking must be followed.
120 days

For more detailed information, see 2-4-302, MCA.

How are the Administratives Rules of Montana organized?

The adoption of the new Montana Constitution in 1972 resulted in a call for a wholesale revision of the rules governing state agencies, some of which had been in effect since the Legislature of 1889. The first publication of the new Administrative Rules of Montana was issued in 1974. Since that time the ARM has been recodified into a greatly simplified 3-part rule numbering system and shorter rules. An extensive list of the requirements for new rules can be found at ARM 1.2.202.

Citations to the ARM are in a title-chapter-subchapter-section format.

For example, 38.3.3602 is read as:

  • Title 38
  • Chapter 3
  • Sub chapter 36
  • Rule 2

Rule 2.5.401 is read as:

  • Title 2
  • Chapter 5
  • Sub chapter 4
  • Rule 1

How can I find out what topics are covered in the Administrative Rules of Montana?

A comprehensive index of all titles is prepared quarterly by the office of the Montana Secretary of State. It's available in print for purchase.

What is the difference between Administratives Rules of Montana (ARM) and the Montana Administrative Register (Register)?

ARM are the administrative rules in their entirety and it is updated by the Register .

The Montana Administrative Register (Register) is a twice-monthly publication which contains all proposed new, transferred, amended, and repealed rules, adopted rule changes, notification of hearing dates and address for written comments, attorney general's opinions, and state declaratory rulings. Using the Register enables one to determine the current status of Montana's administrative rules. It contains an accumulative table in each register which lists all rulemaking actions since updating of the ARM. Appointees to and Vacancies on state government Boards and Councils are also published once a month. It is equivalent to the Federal Register.

What executive departments of Montana government are regulated by ARM?

See the complete list.

Who oversees the quality of changes in Administrative Rules of Montana?

In addition to the careful and diligent work of each state agency and the Administrative Rules Bureau of the Secretary of State's office, there is an Administrative Rule Review Committee.

How many volumes are there in the hard copy of the Administrative Rules of Montana?

There are 29 loose-leaf binders which house Montana's state agencies' effective rules.

How many web pages are there in the online version of the Administrative Rules of Montana?

In July of 2008 almost 18,000 web pages were converted to a database. As a result the site at http://www.mtrules.org makes it easier to search the ARM and the Register quickly and easily, and content becomes available at the same time as it goes into print.