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Regulations


Untouchables Hardy Bridge, Cascade, MT - Untouchables Set

There are specific regulations and guidelines that need to be put into practice while filming in Montana. Please give our office a call if you have any questions about the following regulations.

State Drone Laws in Montana

HB 644
This law prohibits using UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) to interfere with wildfire suppression efforts. Anyone who violates this prohibition is monetarily liable for damages their interference causes. This law also prohibits local governments from enacting an ordinance addressing the use of UAS in relation to a wildfire.

SB 196
This law limits when information gained from the use of UAS may be admitted as evidence in any prosecution or proceeding within the state as only information that was obtained with a search warrant or through a judicially recognized exception to search warrants.


Federal Drone Laws

These are drone laws that apply to every state in the U.S., including Montana, and were created by the federal government.

To fly a drone as a commercial pilot in the state of Montana (i.e. for work / business purposes) you are required to follow the requirements of the FAA’s Part 107 Small UAS Rule (Part 107), which includes passing the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate.

To fly a drone as a hobbyist in the state of Montana (i.e. for fun / pleasure) you are required to follow the FAA’s recreational model aircraft rules. If your drone weighs more than 0.55 lbs. (250g), you’ll need to register it with the FAA here. There are additional rules when it comes to airspace and altitude, keeping your drone within line-of-sight while you’re flying, and more.

To fly a drone as a government employee in the state of Montana (i.e., for a police or fire department) you may either operate under the FAA’s Part 107 rule or obtain a federal Certificate of Authorization (COA).

The standard insurance requirement for shooting in Montana is $1 million comprehensive general liability insurance in the form of an original certificate, covering the entire period of the shoot, naming the state of Montana and its employees as additional insured. Additional coverage maybe required for hazardous work such as highway stunts.


Unemployment Insurance

Employers liable under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act are also liable for Montana Unemployment Tax when hiring Montana employees. Out-of-state employers bringing workers to Montana for a temporary job are subject to the reporting requirements of their base state.

For more information contact:

Montana Department of Labor & Industry
Unemployment Insurance
PO Box 8020
Helena, MT 59604
406.444.3783


Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is required in Montana. All employers, with limited exception, are required to cover all their employees, including full-time, part-time, seasonal or occasional employees.

For more information contact:

Montana Department of Labor & Industry
Workers’ Compensation Regulation Bureau
PO Box 8011
Helena, MT 59604-8011
406.444-6543
— or —
Montana State Fund
PO Box 4759
Helena, MT 59604
406.495.5000

Child Labor Laws

Montana does not have specific child labor laws covering children employed as actors, actresses, or performers in motion pictures, theatrical, radio, or television productions. The state does, however, restrict certain types of hazardous employment for children. Employers must comply with federal child labor laws. Refer to Montana’s Child Labor Law Reference Guide. You can read more about child labor laws and filming in Montana here.

For more information please contact:
Montana Department of Labor & Industry
Compliance & Investigations Section
PO Box 201503
Helena MT 59620
406.444.6543


Wage and Hour Laws

For more information please contact:
Montana Department of Labor & Industry
Compliance and Investigations Bureau
PO Box 201503
Helena MT 59620
406.444.6543

Sales Tax

Montana does not have a state sales tax. However, some communities may have levied a resort and/or local options tax not to exceed 3%. Currently, Montana’s resort tax and local option tax communities/areas are: Big Sky, Red Lodge, Seeley Lake, St. Regis, Virginia City, West Yellowstone, and Whitefish.


Lodging Facility Use Tax

Bona fide production companies staying longer than 30 days at the same hotel/motel are exempt from the 8% Lodging Facility Sales and Use Tax. Tourism and film promotion are funded through 4% of the Lodging Facility Use Tax, commonly known as the “Bed Tax.”


Income Tax Withholding

Every resident and nonresident employer doing business in Montana is required to withhold Montana income tax from wages paid to an employee for services rendered in this state. This tax is withheld as the wages are paid. Download Withholding Tax Guide.

For more information please contact:

Montana Department of Revenue
406.444.6900
dorcustomerassistance@mt.gov

— or —

Montana Department of Revenue
Business and Income Tax Division
Lee Baerlocher, Division Administrator
406.444.3717
lbaerlocher@mt.gov

Fuel Permits

All diesel-powered vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds GVW have two licensing options for operating in Montana. Both are readily available and are either inexpensive or free.

Short Term – Temporary Fuel Permit: Driver must purchase permit at first open weigh station after crossing border. Good for 72 hours.

IFTA – International Fuel Tax Assessment Permit: Driver must display valid IFTA permit from home state at open weigh stations after crossing border. This will allow free passage into Montana and no other fuel permit is required.

Fuel Used Off the Road: Producers may receive a refund of taxes paid on fuel used in generators and in unlicensed vehicles such as tractors and other equipment not designed for use on public roads. Documentation must be presented when claiming fuel tax refunds, and claims must be made within 36 months of purchase.
Claims are available by contacting:

Montana Department of Transportation
Tracy Halubka, Motor Fuels Supervisor
2701 Prospect Avenue
Helena, MT 59620
406.444.0806

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