Montana Department of Justice
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Trooper Recruitment: CLOSED. Please check back as updates will be posted as details are finalized for the next recruitment.

Why I Chose a Career with the Highway Patrol

Trooper Requirements
(for entry-level and lateral applicants)

The Montana Highway Patrol is looking for highly motivated individuals who can work with minimal supervision and are willing to go the extra mile to assist and protect the driving public. If you are interested in a rewarding career in law enforcement, join some of Montana’s finest men and women in the ranks of the Patrol.

The Patrol only accepts applications during an active “application” period. During this time, we will accept applications from entry-level applicants and lateral applicants.

An entry-level applicant in one who has not graduated the MLEA Basic Law Enforcement Officer Basic Course in Montana and/or does not have any law enforcement experience.

A lateral applicant is someone who meets one of the following requirements:  1. has graduated from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy (MLEA) Law Enforcement Officer Basic Course within the last five years OR 2. possesses a current Basic Law Enforcement POST Certificate (from Montana or another state) AND has been employed in a full-time sworn peace officer position within the last five years.

Minimum Requirements

To apply for a trooper position with the Patrol, you must:

  • have a valid driver’s license from any state and have at least three years’ driving experience at the time of application
  • be a citizen of the United States at the time of application
  • be a Montana resident at the time you are appointed as a sworn trooper
  • be at least 18 years of age at the time of application
  • possess binocular vision of 20/200 uncorrected, which is corrected using glasses or contact lenses to binocular vision of 20/30; 140 degrees peripheral; normal color vision (to sufficiently distinguish red, yellow and green); and normal depth perception
  • be of good moral character and in sound, active physical and mental condition. Applicants with felony convictions that could have resulted in imprisonment in a federal or state penitentiary are disqualified. Misdemeanor convictions for criminal offenses are reviewed on a case-by-case basis
  • be willing to accept an initial assignment in any part of Montana and to work varied shifts, including nights, weekends and holidays, as well as accept call-outs
  • lateral applicants must possess the above-listed requirements in addition to the following:   1. has graduated from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy (MLEA) Law Enforcement Officer Basic Course within the last five years OR 2. possesses a Basic POST Certificate (from Montana or another state) AND has been employed in a full-time sworn peace officer position within the last five years.


  • possess a high school diploma or a state-issued equivalency diploma at time of application.
  • preferred education and experience (but not required): post secondary education in criminal justice, military police/security experience

All applications will be reviewed for compliance with current Montana Public Safety Officer Standards and Training (POST) rules and regulations.

Selection Process

Applicants who successfully pass each of the following seven steps qualify for consideration for employment with the Patrol.

  1. Application Screening – Applications are reviewed for completeness, accuracy, education and experience, and minimum requirements. Any applicant who falsifies or withholds any pertinent information will be rejected or dismissed if already employed by the Patrol.
  2. Written Testing and Interview
    • National Police Officer Selection Test:
      • The test takes a total of 75 minutes and is made up of four separately timed sections. The mathematics, reading comprehension and grammar sections are multiple-choice and true or false questions. The incident report writing section requires answers written in complete sentences.
      • Although most of the questions relate to police duty, no prior knowledge of law or law enforcement is needed to answer.
      • Failure to meet the minimum passing score eliminates an applicant from the selection process.
      • A Study Guide for the National Police Officer Selection Test is available to assist applicants prepare for the written test.
    • One-on-one interview – This interview focuses on applicants’ qualifications and suitability for the position.
  3. Panel Interview and Presentation – Applicants must complete a structured interview involving questions related to a Highway Patrol trooper position as well as give a presentation.
  4. Job Suitability Testing – Applicants must complete two personality profiles related to their general cognitive abilities and job suitability, and a questionnaire.
  5. Physical Fitness Test:
    • The physical abilities test used is the Montana Physical Abilities Test (MPAT). The MPAT test measures the strength, flexibility and endurance law enforcement officers need to perform the essential functions of their positions.
    • Applicants must meet the Montana Law Enforcement Academy’s physical fitness requirements for acceptance into the Law Enforcement Officer Basic Course. Failure to meet this minimum level eliminates an applicant from physical fitness testing and from the selection process.
  6. Background Investigation– Selected applicants must pass an extensive background investigation conducted by the Montana Highway Patrol, including, at a minimum:
    • criminal history records check
    • driving records history check
    • previous employer reference checks
    • credit check
    • fingerprint check
    • verification of application materials and qualifications
    • verification of compliance with the Federal Military Selective Service Act
  7. Psychological Screening, Physical Exam and Physical Fitness Testing – After a conditional offer of employment, selected applicants must pass a psychological evaluation and an in-depth physical and eye examination. Applicants must meet the physical fitness requirements for acceptance into the Law Enforcement Officer Basic Course 90 days prior to the commencement of the course.

Education and Training

The curriculum set forth in the following courses is specifically designed to prepare individuals for careers with the Montana Highway Patrol. Selected applicants are required to attend:

  • Law Enforcement Officer Basic Course – 12 weeks of academic and physical training. Successful entry-level candidates attend this course. To graduate from the Law Enforcement Officer Basic Course, recruits must meet all academic and physical fitness requirements.
  • MHP Academy – an 11-week program that provides continued training in topics and laws specifically related to traffic enforcement. Successful entry-level and lateral candidates attend this course. Highly qualified instructors provide over 400 hours of education and training in the fundamentals of traffic enforcement, including auto theft, crash investigation and criminal interdiction. To successfully graduate from the Advanced Traffic Enforcement Course, recruits must pass all academic requirements and maintain the level of physical fitness required to graduate from the Basic Course. In addition, successful out-of-state laterals must also successfully complete the two-week Montana Law Enforcement Legal Equivalency course preferably prior to the MHP Advanced Academy (or at least within the first year of employment).

Field Training and Initial Assignment

Upon appointment, new troopers are placed in a 10-week field-training program with experienced field training officers (FTOs). After successfully completing this training, troopers receive their initial station assignments. Troopers must successfully complete a one-year probationary period to continue employment.

Further Information

For additional information or to be placed on the recruitment mailing list, please contact the Patrol Recruitment Office:

Phone: (877) 8-PATROL toll free, (406) 444-3259


Attorney General's Office & Legal Services Division

The Attorney General’s Office, headed by Attorney General Tim Fox, and the Legal Services Division function as the lawyers for the State of Montana. The attorneys in the Office have expertise in a wide range of legal topics and handle a broad range of legal cases involving the State of Montana and its people.


Children’s Justice Bureau

The Children’s Justice Bureau is an agency-wide initiative at the Montana Department of Justice dedicated to IMPROVING how we respond to child victims, DEVELOPING state-of-the-art approaches by keeping up with the newest research and, most importantly, HELPING child victims recover and move on with their lives.


Forensic Science Division & State Crime Lab

The mission of the Montana Forensic Science Division is to use operationally efficient and financially responsible practices as the laboratory provides accurate, objective, and timely forensic analyses to the criminal justice community in order to maximize value to the citizens of Montana.


Missing Persons Clearinghouse

The Missing Children Act of 1985 established a Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse within the Department of Justice. In March 2008, the department implemented a searchable online database that, for the first time, is updated in real time and includes any photos provided by law enforcement.


Office of Victim Services

The goal of the Office of Victim Services is to provide tools and information to help crime victims recover from their experience and provide them with a range of services available. The criminal justice system can be confusing and intimidating for victims. To assist them as they go through the justice system, the Office of Victim Service is available to answer any questions they may have.


Central Services Division

The Montana Department of Justice’s Central Services Division provides financial and human resources support for the department. We make sure that everything works for the people Working for Justice. If you’re interested in a rewarding career helping protect the rights and safety of all Montanans, we invite you to join our team of over 800 dedicated employees working across the state.


Justice Information Technology Services Division

Our Justice Information Technology Services Division (JITSD) provides vital Information Technology (IT) infrastructure upon which Montanans and local and state law enforcement agencies rely for timely, accurate information. JITSD manages the IT systems, services, and interfaces to support nearly 800 DOJ employees, 325 statewide county motor vehicle system users, and over 3,000 Criminal Justice Information Network (CJIN) users across the state.


Division of Criminal Investigation

The Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) at the Montana Department of Justice is involved in many aspects of Montana law enforcement and is integral to the Department of Justice’s mission of promoting public safety.


Montana Highway Patrol

Montana is rich in natural beauty and history. From Glacier Park in the west to Makoshika Park in the east, the men and women of the Montana Highway Patrol are working hard to make your travels safe and enjoyable. The Highway Patrol’s core values are “Service, Integrity and Respect.” These values are reflected in our commitment to public safety through diligent and fair enforcement of our traffic codes.


Montana Law Enforcement Academy

The Montana Law Enforcement Academy is the premier law enforcement and public safety educational and training institution for state, county, city and tribal officers throughout the state. The Academy offers entry-level programs referred to as Basic Programs and advanced training through an array of Professional Development Programs.


Public Safety Officer Standards & Training

The Council was formed in 2007 under 2-15-2029, MCA as an independent Quasi-judicial board. And as allowed by statute the Council adopted Administrative Rules in order to implement the provisions of Title 44, chapter 4, part 4, MCA. Per 44-4-403, MCA the Council is required to set employment and training standards for all Public Safety Officers as defined in 44-4-401, MCA and in addition the Council shall provide for the certification or recertification of public safety officers and for the suspension or revocation of certification of public safety officers.


Motor Vehicle Division

The mission of the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) is to identify and promote efficient, cost-effective programs that benefit the interests, safety, and well-being of Montana citizens through licensing, registering, and regulating the motoring activities of the public. The MVD continuously strives for excellence in customer service. Streamlining the way we do business has allowed us to improve our efficiency and make our services more convenient for our customers.


Natural Resource Damage Program

The Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) was created in 1990 to prepare the state’s lawsuit against the Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) for injuries to the natural resources in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin (UCFRB). Decades of mining and mineral processing operations in and around Butte and Anaconda released substantial quantities of hazardous substances into the Upper Clark Fork River Basin between Butte and Milltown. These hazardous substances extensively degraded the area’s natural resources.


Office of Consumer Protection

Enforce consumer laws designed to protect the consumer from unfair or deceptive business practices. Enforce statutes relating to telephone solicitation and telemarketing. Provide information to consumers about the Consumer Protection Act. Assist consumers by distributing consumer education materials including scam and consumer alerts. Investigate false, misleading, or deceptive trade practices.


Gambling Control Division

Through the Gambling Control Division, the Department of Justice regulates all forms of gambling in Montana, except for the Montana Lottery and horse racing. The legislature has charged the division with maintaining a uniform regulatory climate that is fair and free of corrupt influences. The division is also responsible for collecting gambling revenue for state and local governments.


Human Trafficking

The Montana Department of Justice has a continued commitment to victims of human trafficking. In partnership with federal authorities, our agency plays a key role in the investigation, enforcement, and prosecution of crimes related to human trafficking in Montana. This form of modern day slavery does happen here in Big Sky Country.


Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Program

Montana’s deadliest drugs aren’t made in secret labs and they don’t always come from dealers on the corner. They’re in our own medicine cabinets. Each year, prescription drug abuse contributes to the deaths of more than 300 Montanans — making prescription drug abuse 15 times more deadly than meth, heroin and cocaine combined. Our kids report the third-highest rate of prescription drug abuse in the country and more than half of them say prescription drugs are easier to get than street drugs.


Safe in Your Space

When it comes to embracing new technology, kids have rapidly outpaced their parents and teachers. By their early school years, many children are already more comfortable on the Internet than their parents. But just because children are smart enough to know how to navigate the Internet, doesn’t mean they have the experience to make good decisions about some of the possibilities they may face online.


Montana Sexual or Violent Offender Registry

Created by the Montana Department of Justice in 1989, the Sexual or Violent Offender Registry is a valuable resource for Montanans to protect their families against sexual or violent offenders.


Montana 24/7 Sobriety Program

Drinking and driving has been a chronic – and deadly — problem on Montana’s roadways for decades. In 2008, Montana was ranked as the deadliest state in the nation when it came to per capita DUI-related traffic fatalities.


Work for Justice

Everyday at The Montana Department of Justice, our employees are dedicated to ensuring the well-being and rights of the people of our great state. We’re passionate about what we do because it’s more than a job or a career. It’s about who we are as people. If this sounds like you, your unique experiences, knowledge, and values may be just what the Montana Department of Justice is looking for and needs. In return we can offer a culture that promotes fairness and growth opportunities.