MDT Frequently Asked Questions and
TRAVELING IN MONTANA
Who do I call for road and weather conditions?
Call 511 or 1-800-226-7623
How often is road report information updated?
Our winter traveler information page and 511 system are updated every 30 minutes or as
major changes occur. The information shown on the maps and reports is based upon the last
**known** condition of the roads. Travelers should be alert to changing conditions.
Load limit restrictions and construction information is updated weekly.
What do the various reported conditions mean?
Where can I find road and weather conditions for the surrounding states?
Why are some rest areas closing during the winter?
The rest areas we close during the winter were designed and constructed as summer facilities and as such, it is not
cost-effective to operate them in the winter. We have made efforts to winterize more rest areas to allow us to keep them open
year around. MDT is also planning to construct additional facilities.
How can I request a Montana state highway map?
Please complete the MDT Comment/Request form
What bike routes and trails are available in Montana?
Identification/documentation required cross US/Canadian border
Montana Tourist Information
Information about Montana construction/maintenance projects
Montana Scenic Byways
When are tire chains required for tractor-trailers during the winter months?
Tire chains could be required at any time or anywhere in the state of Montana. They are primarily required for the mountain
passes when the chain up sign is posted.
Where do I find driver's license and vehicle registration information??
What are the speed limits in Montana? How do I get a speed limit changed?
What is Montana's load and speed limit policy?
When do studded tires need to be removed from personal vehicles?
Studded tires are are permitted in Montana from October 1 - May 31.
additional tire restriction information
What towing restrictions apply in Montana?
Safe Driving Tips
Where do I find information for Montana motor carriers (regulations, permits, etc.)?
MDT's Motor Carrier Services
site is a convenient one-stop location for permits, regulations and other information of interest to Montana's commercial motor carriers.
Why are MDT cameras only installed in certain locations?
The department's primary reason for the cameras at various locations throughout the state is to aid our
winter maintenance crews. These cameras are generally located in areas that are far removed from highway
maintenance facilities. This saves our crews a great deal of time and expense by allowing them to observe
road conditions at these remote locations without actually requiring them to drive there. Although this is the
primary intended use of these cameras, we have also placed these images on the web for the benefit of the traveling public.
We aim to add more cameras to mountain passes and other areas that experience extreme weather conditions as funding and
resources become available.
I get a Netcharts license error when I try to view RWIS history
This is typically caused by a java caching error. Please try the following:
- Clear your web browsers cache - Tools -> Internet options -> Under the Temporary Internet files click the delete files button.
- Close web browser and try again.
If that does not work clear your java cache:
- Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Java -> Under Temporary Internet Files click settings, click delete button.
- Close and try again.
Depending on your browser, the steps above may vary.
What is an open alcoholic beverage container?
A bottle, can, jar, or other receptacle that contains any amount of an alcoholic beverage that is open or has a broken seal or the contents of which are partially removed or are immediately capable of being consumed.
What is the major purpose of the law?
The law prohibits unlawful possession of an open alcoholic beverage container by a person in a motor vehicle on a highway. Montana had the highest rate of alcohol related fatalities per vehicle mile traveled in the nation in 2002 and 2003 as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The open container law helps provide the message that it is not okay to drink and drive in Montana.
Who gets the ticket?
The person in possession of the open container.
A friend of mine stated that there was an exception to this law if the open container was in the locked glove compartment. Is this true?
Yes, an open container can be stored in a locked glove compartment.
Does this law allow a person to have an open alcoholic beverage container on a bus or taxi?
Yes, as long as the operator is a hired driver and has met the legal requirements of other public laws such as licensing requirements and local open container ordinances.
What about motor homes? Are open containers allowed?
Yes, in the living quarters of a camper, travel trailer, or motor home, the law allows a person to have an open alcoholic container.
What about open alcoholic beverage containers at a tailgate party?
This is permissible as long as it is not on a public highway and meets all other legal requirements such as local open container ordinances.
Does this new law have a fine for violating it as well?
Yes, a person convicted of the offense of unlawful possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle shall be fined an amount not to exceed $100.
WORKING FOR AND WITH MDT
MAINTENANCE AND CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
How do I learn more about winter maintenance activities?
How do I get more information about deicing chemicals used on the roads?
Does Montana use the metric system or English units of measure?
Montana currently uses English units of measure.
Construction and maintenance activities defined
How do I give feedback about a project that's under construction?
Contact the project manager listed for the specific project.
Use the Ask MDT online form to submit a comment.
Sometimes I see work zone signs on the highway and no one is working. Did the department forget to pick them up?
Work zone signs will remain in place while construction is in progress. Even if no one is working, it is still a work zone; all regulations remain in place until work is complete on the project.