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Red-dye diesel spot checks conducted in Montana


The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) recently announced that officers will be conducting spot checks for the misuse of dyed diesel fuel.

“As part of MDT’s efforts to curb fuel tax evasion & raise awareness, MCS officers will be conducting spot checks at locations in Western Montana throughout the coming week,” officials said on March 10.

According to MDT, the penalties for misuse of dyed diesel fuel are as follows:

  • 1st Offense Up to $1,000.00 – Civil Penalty
  • 2nd Offense Up to $5,000.00 – Civil Penalty
  • 3rd and Subsequent Offense – Criminal Penalty – minimum fine $535.00 – maximum $1,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than 30 days or more than 6 months, or both.

“When you fill your vehicle with undyed fuel at the pump, state and federal taxes are included in the cost. These taxes are used to help fund construction and maintenance of Montana’s public roads. Dyed diesel fuel is fuel that has not been taxed and is intended for off-road use only. Using untaxed fuel (dyed diesel) in a licensed vehicle violates Montana’s law and reduces the money available to build and maintain Montana state highways,” MDT says.

Montana law requires the use of dyed diesel decals on retail pumps containing dyed diesel fuel, and this law is enforced.

Anyone with questions about dyed fuel in the state of Montana can contact MDT at 406-444-0806. You can also click here for additional information.

This month, diesel prices have increased dramatically due in part to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


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