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Montana Traffic Laws

There's more to driving than safe speeds and stopping at red lights. Montana's specific laws cover many scenarios you could encounter on the road.

When you have to make a split-second decision, you might not remember a rule from way back in your driver's class. Plus, laws and processes can change throughout your driving years.

In this article, learn about traffic laws and violations in the state of Montana. The Motor Vehicle Division of the Montana Department of Justice also offers more information about getting your driver's license and vehicle registration.

Key Laws Montana Drivers Should Know

Most driving laws appear in Title 61: Motor Vehicles of the Montana Code Annotated (MCA). Remember that cities may also pass local ordinances, which set additional rules for that town. Find links to a handful of state vehicle laws in the chart below.

Drinking & Driving Violations Driving under influence of alcohol or drugs (MCA Title 61, Ch. 8, Part 4)
Driving Without a License / With a Suspended License Drivers to be licensed (MCA section 61-5-102)
Driving Without Insurance / With Insufficient Insurance When proof of financial responsibility required (MCA section 61-6-131)
Driving Without Registration / With Expired Registration Registration required (MCA section 61-3-301)
Construction Zone Violations Traffic Violations In Work Zone (MCA section 61-8-314)
Illegal U-Turn Limitation on U-turns (MCA section 61-8-334)
Leaving the Scene of an Accident / Hit & Run

Accidents involving death or personal injuries (MCA section 61-7-103)

Duty to give information and render aid (MCA section 61-7-105)

Mechanical Violations and Unlawful Vehicle Modifications Vehicle Equipment(MCA Title 61, Ch. 9)
Reckless Driving Reckless driving (MCA section 61-8-301)
Running a Red Light / Stop Sign Obedience to traffic control devices (MCA section 61-8-201)
Seat Belt / Child Restraint Violations Seatbelt use required (MCA section 61-13-103)

Traffic Violation Penalties in Montana

Each state addresses traffic law violations differently. Montana is one of many states that uses a driver's license points system.

Below are a few examples of points for offenses under the Administrative Rules of Montana:

  • Two points for most right-of-way violations
  • Two points for overtaking vehicles stopped at crosswalks
  • Two points for careless driving
  • Two to three points for most speed limit violations
  • Four points for a hit-and-run accident without injuries or death
  • Five points for reckless driving
  • Eight points for a hit-and-run accident causing injuries or death
  • 10 points for driving under the influence (DUI)
  • 12 points for negligent vehicular homicide

If you pay a ticket or get a conviction for an offense, the point value will stay on your license for 36 months. Montana may suspend your license once you reach 15 points within three years. Getting six points within two years means you'll face a shorter license suspension or mandatory driver's education.

The fines and jail time for a traffic ticket or offense still apply. Your driving record can also affect how expensive your insurance rates may be. But successfully fighting a ticket prevents points and other consequences.

Get Legal Advice for Traffic Charges and Accidents

When law enforcement officers pull you over or question you after a crash, knowing your rights and responsibilities can be valuable. Consider which questions to answer and how to answer carefully.

Montana traffic law attorney can explain your options. Legal guidance isn't always necessary for minor traffic tickets, but it can be helpful for more serious charges, even if it's your first offense.

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