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(1) Brand fees are set by the Board of Livestock and all Montana brands must be issued through the brand recording office.

(a) Except for seasonal market, feedlot, or location brands which will be issued by department district or state inspectors only.

(2) New brands:

(a) livestock and ornamental:

(i) application forms are available on the department web site, at the brand office in Helena, and at brand offices located in livestock auction yards.

(ii) The application and appropriate fee must be submitted to the brand recorder for processing.

(b) The brand recorder shall process livestock and ornamental applications in the following manner:

(i) deposit the fee;

(ii) check for conflicts;

(iii) issue an available brand, or if none of the applicant's submissions are available, check a similar brand for conflicts and offer it as an alternative option.

(iv) The applicant must accept or decline the alternative option in writing within ten working days of the date on the option letter.

(v) If the applicant's reply is received after the offer deadline it will be considered a new application, must be rechecked for conflicts, and will require an additional new brand fee.

(vi) The refund policy applies to livestock, ornamental, and seasonal brands for going to grass:

(A) fifty percent of the fee to record or transfer a brand is nonrefundable;

(B) if the applicant fails to respond to the brand recording office for a period of more than six months, the entire brand recording fee becomes nonrefundable.

(3) Seasonal brands for going to grass:

(a) applications are available only at the Helena brand office; and

(b) will be processed by the brand recorder in the same manner as new mark or brand applications.

(4) Seasonal brand for a feedlot, market, or location (allowing other state brand to be applied in Montana):

(a) will be issued only by a district or state inspector and only if the following conditions are met:

(i) the owner of the out-of-state brand shall provide proof of current brand ownership;

(ii) the application will be completed and, if a seasonal brand is issued, it will be valid for 36 hours;

(iii) the livestock that are on the application will be worked off the Montana brand/Montana inspections and be destined only to the state listed on the seasonal brand application;

(iv) the seasonal brand will be noted on the movement inspection only and will have no ownership value; and

(v) the owner will be totally responsible to ensure the livestock leave the state of Montana within the 36 hours;

(b) should any livestock be found within the state of Montana without proper paperwork from the brand state it will be considered a violation of this provision, and

(i) will result in a penalty equal to the cost to investigate the matter, and

(ii) may result in no other seasonal feedlot brand applications being issued to the offender.

(5) Brand transfer requests must be submitted with the required fee and:

(a) the completed request for transfer (located on the reverse side of the official brand certificate) which must include the notarized signatures of all original owners as listed on the front of the official brand certificate;

(b) if the original owner of the transferring brand is deceased:

(i) a copy of the death certificate; and

(ii) appropriate documentation (i.e., personal representative or executor paperwork) must be provided to complete the transfer;

(c) removal of a deceased person's name from a brand held in joint ownership with right of survivorship shall require:

(i) a copy of the death certificate; and

(ii) the required fee from the surviving owner(s).

(d) to ensure that fees are commensurate with cost, owners may be charged additional fees as a result of their errors in transfer paperwork.

(6) Fees for new brands or transfers shall not be prorated.

(7) Changes to image, species, or position require submission of a new brand application and the required fee.

(8) A brand will not be held or checked for conflicts by phone.

History: 81-1-102, 81-3-103, MCA; IMP, 81-1-102, 81-3-107, MCA; NEW, 2012 MAR p. 1257, Eff. 6/22/12; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 966, Eff. 6/7/13; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 1342, Eff. 7/26/13; AMD, 2014 MAR p. 324, Eff. 2/14/14; AMD, 2014 MAR p. 2472, Eff. 10/10/14.

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