The Hope Card allows someone who has been granted an Order of Protection in one jurisdiction to easily prove it in another jurisdiction. Hope Cards are wallet-sized and compact and are intended as a more convenient way for people who have permanent Orders of Protection to keep relevant information about their orders with them at all times.
The Hope Card lets law enforcement know that there is a valid, permanent Order of Protection in place. In case of a potential violation of an order, a law enforcement officer can refer to the Hope Card for more information.
- A Hope Card is not a substitute for an Order of Protection.
- The card includes relevant information related to a valid, permanent Order of Protection.
- It is small and durable, and can be easily carried in a wallet, pocket or purse.
- Hope Cards are not issued for temporary Orders of Protection.
In Montana, Hope Cards are issued by the Crow Tribal Court, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Court and the state of Montana. While the cards differ slightly, they must be recognized by law enforcement officers throughout the state.
The Hope Cards issued by the state of Montana contain information about the person restrained under the order (called the respondent), and any children or other individuals who are protected under the order:
- the respondent’s photo, name, birth date, sex, race, eye and hair color, height, weight and any distinguishing features like scars or tattoos
- the names and birth dates of any children or other individuals who are also protected under the order
The back of the card provides information about the person named in the order, and any children or other individuals who are also protected under the order:
- the protected person’s name, birth date, sex, race and height
- the case number listed on the permanent Order of Protection, the issuing court and county, the date it was issued and any expiration date
How to Request a Hope Card
Hope Cards are available to anyone with a valid, permanent Order of Protection. Cards are also available for any children or other individuals covered by the order. You may request more than one card per individual if, for example, you wish to provide one to a child’s school and another to the child’s after-school care program.
Hope Cards are not issued based on temporary Orders of Protection.
- Select the Hope Card Request form. You will need to refer to the Order of Protection as you fill out the request, so have a copy of the order with you before you begin. You can fill out the form on the computer and print the completed form or, if you prefer, print the blank form and fill it out by hand.
- Mail the completed form to the address below.
- Hope Cards are mailed within approximately 10 business days. If you do not receive your card within this period, use the contact information below to check on the status of your request.
- You will need to refer to the Order of Protection as you apply, so have a copy of the order with you before you begin the service.
- Go to the Montana Hope Card Service, review the instructions and select “Request a Hope Card.”
- You are then asked to fill in the details that will appear on the card and are needed to verify the Order of Protection and the respondent’s identity.
- Once you have supplied all the necessary information, you receive a Request ID Number. Print this page or write down the number so you can use it to check the status of your request.
- Hope Cards are mailed within approximately 10 business days. If you do not receive your card within this period, use the online service to check the status of your request. Or, for further information, use the contact information below.
Joan Eliel, Hope Card Administrator
Office of Victim Services
Department of Justice
P.O. Box 201410
Helena, MT 59620-1410
Phone: (406) 444-5803 or (800) 498-6455
Fax: (406) 442-2174