Retention Schedules

A records retention schedule is the cornerstone of an effective Records Management program. It is a policy document that defines an agency’s legal and compliance recordkeeping requirements. An agency implements a records retention schedule in order to ensure that its records are kept as long as legally and operationally required, and that obsolete records are disposed of in a systematic and controlled manner. The records retention schedule is intended to ensure that employees adhere to approved recordkeeping requirements, and that they do so consistently.

Retention provides a minimum period of time that a specific type of record must be retained and preserved and the appropriate disposal method (toss, shred, etc).

View the current State Agency Records Retention Schedules.

View the current Local Government (City, County) Records Retention Schedules and Information.

State law (MCA 2-6-1012) requires executive branch agencies to identify, protect and preserve public records according to official records retention schedules. Sound records and information management practices are fundamental to the efficient and economical operations of any government agency. The Records and Information Management (RIM) plays a vital role in guiding agencies towards audit, legal, operational and historic retention standards and best practices. Some records are also recognized as “essential” supporting continuity of agency’s critical functions.

  • Compare records series’ to the state’s General Schedules (GS).
  • Records that don’t associate to the GSs need to be described on a Records Series Profile (RM1) form (agency-specific) and then recapped on an agency-specific Records Retention Schedule (RM3). Aligned with the Profile the SRC authorizes retention periods.
  • Or the record can be added onto the General Schedule using (RM84) Request to add a new Record Series to the General Schedule.

To add a retention schedule to a record series:

Use Form RM84 to request a new record series to be added onto the General Schedule. Email completed form to [email protected].

RM 84

To change the retention schedule of a record series:

Use Form RM85 to request a change to a record series on the General Schedule.
Email completed form to [email protected]

RM 85

To add a retention schedule to a record series:

Template and Instructions – PDF
Template and Instructions – Word Doc

To change the retention schedule of a record series:

Request for Change in Records Schedule

Please mail or email a signed original form to:
Local Government Services Bureau
P.O. Box 200547
Helena MT 59620-0547

[email protected]

We hope that this tool was helpful. If you need further assistance, please email us at [email protected] or call 444-9009.

Back to the Records Management Tool Kit

Records Management Home Page


Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.