Montana law establishes certain conditions under which a driver’s license or driving privilege is withdrawn from someone who violates traffic laws or who is otherwise not entitled to use our highways. It is important that people understand and inform themselves of the responsibilities of having a license. Under Montana Code Annotated (MCA) 61-5-2, a driver’s license may be suspended, revoked, or cancelled.
When a driver’s license is suspended, the privilege to drive a motor vehicle upon public highways is withdrawn for a specified period.
|Basis for Suspension||Number of Convictions, Refusals or Violations||Period of Suspension|
|Driving under the influence (DUI) or operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or greater||first conviction||6-month suspension|
|second or subsequent conviction within 5 years||1-year suspension|
|Refusal to submit to alcohol testing (implied consent or preliminary alcohol screening test)||first refusal||6-month suspension|
|second or subsequent refusal||1-year suspension|
|Operation of a vehicle by a person under 21 years of age with a BAC of 0.02% or more||first conviction||90-day suspension|
|second conviction||6-month suspension|
|third conviction||1-year suspension|
|Commercial driver operating a commercial motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.04% or more||first violation||1-year suspension|
|first violation, if transporting hazardous materials requiring a placard||3-year suspension|
|second or subsequent violation||Suspension for life (reinstatement may be reconsidered after 10 years)|
|Non-payment of fines or non-appearance on a notice to appear||n/a||Indefinite suspension until all conditions of court sentence are met|
|Failure to pay child support||n/a||Indefinite suspension until child support obligations are met|
|Default on a student loan||n/a||Indefinite suspension until student loan association notifies Motor Vehicle Division of compliance|
|Unsatisfied judgment||n/a||6-year suspension|
|Driver medically unable to safely operate a motor vehicle||n/a||Indefinite unless the medical condition changes|
There are other penalties after conviction for alcohol-related driving offenses:
A driver who has been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or with an alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more may be restricted to operating a vehicle that is equipped with an ignition interlock device. The following companies are approved interlock vendors:
10520 Hickman Road, Suite F
Des Moines, IA 50325
DMB Interlock & Safety Services, Inc.
Billings, MT 59101
Smart Start, Inc.
4850 Plaza Drive
Irving, TX 75063-2317
#1 A LifeSafer of Montana – LifeSafer
1660 Jasper Street, Unit I
Aurora, CO 80011
Clean Start of Montana, LLC
P.O. Box 1332
Bozeman, MT 59771
Toll Free: 1-800-820-4637
For the following violations, Montana law and other established rules, regulations and standards mandate that a driver’s license is suspended for varied periods lasting from 30 days to one year (or in some cases, indefinitely). These violations include, but are not limited to:
Under MCA 45-5-624, MIP convictions are not recorded on an individual’s Montana driving record. However, a driver license suspension resulting from an MIP conviction is permanently recorded on the offender’s driving record.
Confiscation – A driver license confiscation is not the same as a suspension. Confiscation is between the violator and the court. If a person with a driver’s license is convicted of an MIP violation, the court must confiscate the license:
A violator who drives during a period of driver license confiscation may be charged with driving without a license. A violator may also be subject to additional sentencing provisions imposed by the court.
Suspension for failure to complete substance abuse course – Under Montana’s MIP law, violators who fail to complete a community-based substance abuse course may have their driver’s licenses suspended:
When a license is revoked, it is terminated for a specific reason and may not be renewed or restored. When the period of revocation expires and the individual meets all of the requirements to be licensed, that person must then apply for a new license, completing applications, paying all fees and taking all applicable knowledge and skills tests.
|Conviction||Period of Revocation|
|Negligent homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle||1 year|
|Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used (including 4th offense DUI/BAC violations)||1 year|
|Failure to stop and render aid as required in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another||1 year|
|Perjury or the making of false affidavit or statement under oath relating to the ownership or operation of motor vehicles||1 year|
|Negligent vehicular assault involving a motor vehicle||1 year|
|Habitual traffic offender accumulating 30 or more conviction points within a three-year period||3 years|
To reinstate registration after a second or subsequent conviction for no insurance:
If you have questions or need additional information, please call 406-444-3289.
When a license is cancelled, it is terminated because a person is no longer entitled to it. However, upon meeting certain requirements, a person whose license has been cancelled may reapply for another license. Examples of cancellation include: