Records Disposal

Welcome to the Disposal of Records Tool

Do you have records that have met their retention? If so, you will need to dispose of those records. If you do not have "delegated authority" to dispose of the record, you must send a disposal application to the state records committee (if you are a local government entity, you must use another form).


With the disposal of records forms you can:

  • Request to dispose of public records per statutory requirement and authority.
  • Utilize the adopted General Schedules OR agency-specific schedules to know "what can go".
  • Follow correct disposition methods.

Disposals - State or Local Government

City and County Agencies:

Local Disposal Request InstructionsInstructions
Local Disposal Request FormRecords Disposal Request

Rolling Disposal Request (RM7) for state agencies only: a disposal request form implemented with the intent to provide an agency with the State Records Committee's annual revolving approval to dispose of specific records series. Rolling disposal requests may only be used for duplicated (secondary or tertiary) records series, when within that requesting agency, the same records series exists in its primary of official format which services as the state's official public record.

Rolling Disposal Request InstructionsInstructions
Rolling Disposal Request FormRolling Disposal Request

Disposition of Records – Offer to State
Archives

The Montana Historical Society State Archives serves by statute (MCA Title 2-6-1112) (MCA Title 2 Part 2 Chapter 6) as the official repository of historically significant government records.  The State Archivist is charged with facilitating the transfer of such records from the agency to the State Archives.  Agencies have the responsibility of following retention periods for records according to their Agency Specific Schedules or the States General Schedules. 

Agencies that have records with an “offer to archives” designation for disposition need to contact the State Government Records Archivist directly at asparks@mt.gov  (April Sparks) or 406-444-7427 or the State Archivist at jofoley@mt.gov  (Jodie Foley) or 444-7482. If MHS wants your documents it is not necessary to complete an RM5 Records Disposal Form. Records can also be placed on an RM5 Records Disposal Request form for review by the State Records Disposal Subcommittee.

Continued on the next slide »

Disposition of Records – Offer to State
Archives Cont.

Records placed on the RM5 with “offer to archives” designation will have an exception hold placed on them by the State Archivist. See attached sample of the exception report. The disposal will then be filed with the Secretary of State Records and Information Management (RIM) program. Once the agency is notified that an exception is in place, that agency should contact the Government Records Archivist to make arrangements to pull and review the records for historic content. If historic records are found, the Government Records Archivist will request the records be transferred to the Archives. Once the records are received in the State Archives, a transfer receipt will be created and sent to the agency to document and complete the transfer. See attached sample of the Transfer Receipt. The Transfer Receipt should be kept for your agencies records.

Disposition of Records – Offer to State
Archives Cont.

If MHS wants your documents, and they are stored at SOS RIM, you will need to complete an RM11 form and request that the boxes are permanently removed from SOS RIM and that they are to be transferred to MHS. Listing each box number and location on the RM11 form, or attach a list with the box and location information. Send this form to sosrecords@mt.gov.

If MHS wants your documents, and they are not stored at SOS RIM, you will need to arrange to have your boxes delivered to MHS. SOS RIM can pick up and deliver your boxes to MHS. If you require this service, you will need to complete an RM11 form and request that we pick-up and deliver to MHS. Send this form to sosrecords@mt.gov.

Who Should I Contact to Dispose My Records?

If you have records that are stored at the State Records Warehouse, the Secretary of State’s Office can handle the disposal for you. Just mark the box ‘shred’ on the RM5 disposal form (located on the previous slide) for state agencies.

The Secretary of State’s Office has used Recall for shredding purposes, and we recommend the same for your agency.

If you are storing the records at your agency (state, city, county) or somewhere else offsite, and want to have your records shredded, we suggest you contact Recall at 1-866-732-2556.

If your agency has its own shredder, please be sure you are following best practices when destroying records to avoid those records from becoming recoverable.

Delegated Authority for State Agencies

Does your state agency have what it takes to dispose of your own records without having to get approval from the State Records Committee? If you answered "yes" to this question, then you will need to read the Agreement Guidelines and use forms A1-A8 as templates for what you need to obtain Delegated Authority. Email these to sosrecords@mt.gov. The State Records Committee will review the documents and get back to you within 10 business days.

Be sure you read the guidelines carefully, and do not hesitate to contact us at sosrecords@mt.gov or 406.444.9000 if you have any questions regarding Delegated Authority.

We hope the information in this toolkit was helpful!

If you have questions, please contact the RIM Division at SOSRecords@mt.gov or call (406) 444-9000.

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