Congress passed the Highway Beautification Act to control and limit signs along the interstate and primary highways which allows the traveling public to enjoy the nation's scenic beauty.

The Montana Legislature also enacted laws consistent with the federal act. Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is responsible for enforcing these laws, and failure to do so could jeopardize millions of dollars in highway construction funds.


Program Features

The State of Montana agreed to provide "effective control" of outdoor advertising by establishing a sign permit system; maintenance of an inventory of all permitted signs, and periodic surveillance of the controlled routes to discover unlawful signs and monitor other signs as required by state law.


Sign Permits

In order to inventory and control signs along the highway, permits are issued to the sign owner and a permit plate must be attached to the sign. The law requires MDT to charge both an application fee for the initial application and to assess a fee after the permit is issued. The initial application fee is non-refundable even if the permit can't be issued.


Outdoor Advertising Control Permit Transfer Request Process

Requests for permit transfers can be initiated by the buyer, the seller or the landowner. MDT requires all parties involved to complete and sign the transfer form.

When requesting a transfer, follow these steps.

  1. Access the Transfer form, complete the section that relates to you. Are you Part 1 - the Seller, Part 2 – the Landowner, or Part 3 - the Buyer?
  2. Print the transfer document as a PDF and save the document.
  3. Compose an email to MDT Outdoor Advertising Control mdtoacctrl@mt.gov and include the PDF transfer document.
  4. The email should outline a request to transfer an existing permitted sign. Include in the email if you are the Seller, Landowner or Buyer and the contact information for all other interested parties involved. Name & Email for the Seller, Landowner and Buyer.
  5. MDT will receive the email and verify the information to our database records.
  6. MDT will send out a DocuSign envelope with all parties involved to complete the transfer document.
  7. MDT receives the completed signed transfer and initiates the transfer in the database.
  8. MDT will email all parties involved when the transfer is successfully completed.

If you have questions, regarding transfers please contact the Outdoor Advertising at 406-444-7232