Montana Department of Livestock

Here to serve the people of Montana and its livestock industry.

Brand Inspection Requirements


  • Before crossing a county line or leaving the state,
  • Before a change of ownership (this is the seller's responsibility),
  • Before being sold at a livestock auction,
  • Before slaughter at a licensed establishment.

All Brand Inspections must be made in the daylight.

The inspection shall include an examination of the livestock and all marks and brands to identify ownership of the livestock.

A bill of sale or the most recent brand inspection is required to prove ownership. A bill of sale must be signed by the seller and adequately describe the livestock sold.



  • Cattle Inspection: $1 per head
  • Annual Horse Inspection: $10 per head
  • Lifetime Horse Inspection: $30 per head
  • Market, Shipping, Sheep, and Bison Permits: $1 per permit

Adjoining County Grazing permit fees:

# Animals Fee
1-100 $30
101-200 $40
201-300 $50
301-400 $60
401-500 $70
501-600 $80
601-700 $90
701-800 $100
801-900 $110
901-1000 $120





Market Consignment permits are available for livestock consigned and delivered directly to a livestock auction or licensed livestock slaughter facility located in another county of the state or directly to a authorized shipping point in an adjoining county, where a livestock inspector is available for inspection.

Separate Market Consignment permits must be issued to each owner when the owner or their authorized agents sign the permit certifying the brands, descriptions and destination of the livestock. The cost is $1.00 per permit. Not to be confused with a brand inspection, the livestock are not inspected at the time when the market consignment permit is issued.

Market permits are available online at


Grazing Permits are also available when the following conditions are met:

  1. Livestock must be branded with the Montana recorded brand.
  2. The grazing permit allows the owner or his agent to move his livestock into an adjoining county and return for grazing purposes, when they are being moved to and from land owned or controlled by the owner or his agent.
  3. The grazing permit is valid for 8 months within the 12 month period from date of issuance.
  4. Any livestock moved during the interim period shall be inspected.
  5. A State Stock Inspector may enter the premise where livestock have been transported to and inspect any livestock moved under the grazing permit or any livestock commingled therewith.
  6. Any person transporting strays or livestock not lawfully under his control is guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable as provided in 81-3-231.
  7. Separate permits must be made for each owner.
  8. Grazing permits to be issued by State Stock Inspectors.
  9. Payment on all applicable fees.
  10. Violations of these conditions may result in the Department of Livestock refusal to issue a grazing permit the following year.


Bison transportation permits are required when removing or transporting bison from a county or the state. This is a transportation permit only and the bison are not required to be inspected. Bison transportation permit pricing and ordering can be found here.


Sheep transportation permits are required when removing or transporting sheep from a county or the state. This is a transportation permit only and the sheep are not required to be inspected. Sheep transportation permit pricing and ordering can be found here.


There are no brand or transportation requirements.


Montana Law, 81-2-703 MCA, requires that all animals being brought into Montana be accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI). Import permits are only required for hand written paper CVIs. This also applies to Montana livestock returning from out of state shows, etc. Import permits should be obtained by the Veterinarian issuing the CVI by calling 1-406-444-2976. There is no charge for the import permit.

Many additional import requirements including testing, vaccination, and identification may also apply. Visit the Animal Health Division for more details.

All brand inspections, health certificates, and transportation permits must be in possession of the person transporting the livestock. For the protection of the livestock industry, certificates shall be exhibited to any Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff, Highway Patrol Officer, State Stock Inspector or Deputy Stock Inspector upon request. If any animals are not in compliance when they arrive in Montana, the Montana Department of Livestock can refuse to let them unload.

In addition, failure to have the proper documents is a violation of Montana law and can result in a citation and fine.

Remember these are the basic brand inspection and health requirements and do not address every situation.

If you have any questions feel free to contact the Department of Livestock Brands Enforcement Division, Helena, Montana, (406)-444-2045 or Animal Health at (406)-444-2043.

Violations should be reported to Montana Livestock Crimestoppers at 1-800-503-6084.





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