Motor Vehicle Recycling and Disposal Program

Mercury in Your Environment


Junk Vehicles

Montana was one of the leading states to enact junk vehicle legislation. Its primary purpose is to control junk vehicles from being scattered throughout the countryside, thereby helping to preserve the beauty of our state. This program also provides for the recycling of the junk vehicles collected so that this valuable resource may be utilized again. This program is paid for from the small fee you are assessed when you license your vehicle. The benefits of this program are available to all Montanans and you are encouraged to use them.

Click here (pending) for a presentation of hazardous waste and used oil management requirements in Montana.

junk vehicles

NEW:  The Montana Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) is proposing to amend ARM 17.50.213 and 17.50.216 pertaining to motor vehicle recycling and disposal.

  • One formal public hearing will be held on September 26, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 111 of the Metcalf Building, 1520 East Sixth Avenue, Helena, Montana.
  • The formal public comment period will end October 4, 2019.
  • Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments, either orally or in writing, at the hearing.
  • Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to Sandy Scherer, Legal Secretary, Department of Environmental Quality, 1520 E. Sixth Avenue, P.O. Box 200901, Helena, Montana 59620-0901; faxed to (406) 444-4386; or e-mailed to, no later than 5:00 p.m., October 4, 2019. To be guaranteed consideration, mailed comments must be postmarked on or before that date.

To see the proposed rule notice, go to DEQ's Rule Notice webpage at: or contact DEQ's Solid Waste Program at (406) 444-5300.


  • DEQ is proposing a $15 increase in the reimbursement of charges by tow truck operators for removing abandoned vehicles at the request of law enforcement. 

The reimbursement rate was set at $70 in 1999, raised to $85 in 2006, and raised again to $100 in 2011.  Due to inflation and increased fuel and maintenance expenses incurred by tow truck operators who are hired to remove these abandoned vehicles, the Capital City Tow Association has requested an increase in the reimbursement payment.  Based on that request and the rising costs incurred by tow truck operators, DEQ is proposing to increase in the reimbursement payment from $100 to $115 per vehicle removed. 

DEQ estimates the total proposed increase in reimbursement payments will be around $6,420 per year.  Sufficient funds are available in the junk vehicle fund authorized under 15-1-122(2), MCA, to pay for the proposed increase in reimbursement payments.

  • DEQ is proposing to set a December 31 deadline for county vehicle programs to submit to DEQ their itemized accounting of junk vehicle grant money received from DEQ. 

DEQ uses the itemized accounting submitted by each county to develop the county’s junk vehicle budget for the following year.  Under current rule, a county may submit its itemized accounting at any point during the following fiscal year, which at times has caused delays and prevented DEQ from sending out the next year’s grant money to some counties by fiscal year end.  A December 31 deadline will allow DEQ adequate time to determine each county’s fiscal year budget while also giving counties sufficient time to create an accurate expenditure report for the preceding fiscal year.

  • DEQ is proposing new rule language in ARM 17.50.216 to implement changes to 75-10-521, MCA, enacted by the 2017 Montana Legislature at Chapter 88, Laws of 2017 (House Bill 152).  House Bill 152 modified 75-10-521, MCA, to allow counties to establish motor vehicle recycling and disposal capital improvement funds and to designate up to 10% of their junk vehicle budgets to this fund, up to $200,000.