Montana Administrative Register Notice 18-179 No. 2   01/31/2020    
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In the matter of the adoption of NEW RULES I through VIII pertaining to Aeronautics Division Aircraft Registration







TO: All Concerned Persons


1. On December 6, 2019, the Department of Transportation published MAR Notice No. 18-179 pertaining to the proposed adoption of the above-stated rules at page 2184 of the 2019 Montana Administrative Register, Issue Number 23.


2. The department has adopted the following rules as proposed: New Rule I (18.12.305), New Rule II (18.12.306), New Rule III (18.12.307), New Rule IV (18.12.308), New Rule VI (18.12.315), New Rule VII (18.12.316), and New Rule VIII (18.12.317).


3. The department has adopted the following rule as proposed, but with the following changes from the original proposal, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:


NEW RULE V (18.12.314)  FEES  (1)  The appropriate fee in lieu of tax imposed on aircraft is based on the age and type of aircraft. The 67-3-206, MCA (rounded) fee schedule is:





0-5           6-10     11-20     21-30   31-40

Type 1 – Single Engine,

Fixed Gear, 200 HP & under

$450        $263     $150     $75       $38$37.50


Type 2 – Single Engine,

Fixed Gear, Over 200 HP

$750        $375     $225     $113     $75


Type 3 – Single Engine,

Retractable Gear, 200 HP & under

$900        $450     $263     $150     $113$112.50


Type 4 – Single Engine,

Retractable Gear, Over 200 HP

$1,050     $600     $300     $188    $150


Type 5 – Multi-Engine,


$1,200     $750     $375     $263    $225


Type 6 – Helicopter,


$1,050     $675     $338     $225    $188$187.50


Type 7 – Single Engine,


Prop Jet

$2,250     $1,050   $675     $450   $263$262.50


Type 8 – Multi-Engine,


Prop Jet

$3,000     $1,500   $900     $600   $300


Type 9 – Jet Engine,

No Propeller (Fan)

$4,500     $2,250   $1,200   $750 $375



            (b) remains as proposed.


AUTH:  67-3-101, MCA

IMP:  67-3-206, MCA


4. The department has thoroughly considered the comments and testimony received. A summary of the comments received, and the department's responses are as follows:



Six comments were received generally opposing a fee increase for aircraft registration due to: financial hardship on private pilots who do not fly for hire; or lack of justification or need for increase due to expenses incurred by the State.



MDT first notes this proposed rule notice did not impose new fees or increase existing aircraft registration fees. Instead, the 2019 Montana Legislature, through HB 661, made statutory changes—effective July 1, 2019--which increased aircraft registration fees in lieu of taxes found in 67-3-206 MCA. It was therefore necessary for MDT to propose administrative rules which implemented the statutory changes. MDT notes the fee increases were passed by the Montana Legislature, through its public hearing process during the 2019 Legislative Session, and not by MDT through this proposed administrative rulemaking process. Proposed New Rule V (18.12.314) simply duplicates the existing fee table found in statute at 67-3-206, MCA, to allow the public to find the correct fees imposed by the 2019 Montana Legislature in statute as well as administrative rule.



One comment was received in support of the increase in registration fees, as the comment stated the money will be staying with MDT's Aeronautics Division.



MDT acknowledges the comment in support of the Legislature's statutory fee increase.



One comment was received from MDT staff stating Proposed New Rule V (18.12.314) contains a discrepancy between the statutory fees imposed using partial dollar amounts (e.g., $262.50) and the rounded dollars amounts (e.g., $263). Staff recommends the exact statutory partial dollar amounts be used in proposed New Rule V (18.12.314).



MDT agrees with the comment and will amend proposed New Rule V (18.12.314) as shown above.



One comment was received stating New Rule V (18.12.314) should not use the term "Prop Jet," but instead should "harmonize" the rule's definitions with the FAA.



Please see response to Comment #1 above. Proposed New Rule V (18.12.314) is an exact replica of 67-3-206, MCA, which was passed by the 2019 Montana Legislature, and includes the category "Single Engine Jet/Helicopter, prop jet." MDT has repeated the statutory language so the public may more easily find information on aircraft fee categories in both statute and administrative rules but cannot change the statutory language through this rulemaking process.



Two comments were received stating opposition to exclusive online registration, as the aircraft owner may not have a computer or internet services.



Proposed New Rule III(2)(e) (18.12.307) on initial aircraft registration states the aircraft owner may either obtain an access code to pay online or elect to have an invoice mailed to the owner to remit payment by check. Similarly, proposed New Rule IV(2) and (4) (18.12.308) on renewals states MDT will send an annual renewal notice via surface mail to the address listed in MDT's records, and payment must be received with a postmark or online time stamp prior to March 1. Both proposed new rules therefore allow notification and payment of fees by either surface mail or online transactions.



One comment was received asking how a new resident would know that he must pay a "tax," especially if the aircraft was purchased or owned in another state where there is no "aircraft tax."



MDT first notes there is no "aircraft tax" in Montana, but the Legislature has passed 67-3-206, MCA which imposes a fee in lieu of tax. Existing FAA regulations and proposed New Rule II on aircraft initial registration require civil aircraft brought to Montana to be customarily kept in Montana to register with the FAA showing the owner's Montana address. Proposed New Rule III (18.12.307) states the owner must either: contact MDT to provide necessary information; or MDT will review the FAA registration list monthly for any aircraft newly registered with the FAA with a Montana address to calculate the prorated aircraft registration fee.



One comment was received stating many aircraft owners would prefer not to place another sticker on the aircraft. The comment stated a database should be available to MDT to determine registration and ownership information simply by viewing the aircraft's tail number.



Proposed New Rule III(3) (18.12.307) which states that upon fee payment, MDT will mail a decal to the aircraft owner is describing a process which already exists for aircraft registration in Montana and is found in statute at 67-3-204, MCA. The proposed new rule does not create an additional sticker or decal for required posting by the aircraft owner, as this decal system has already been used in Montana for many years.



/s/ Carol Grell Morris________                  /s/ Michael T. Tooley__________

Carol Grell Morris                                        Michael T. Tooley

Rule Reviewer                                             Director

                                                                    Department of Transportation


Certified to the Secretary of State January 21, 2020.

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