Exempt Survey Submittal Requirements

Exemptions for Certain Divisions of Land

When a certificate of survey, exempt amended plat, or instrument of conveyance is submitted to the Planning Department, the Planning Department shall cause the documents to be examined by the designated agents of the governing body: (the City or County Public Works Department, City or County Attorney, Sanitarian, Treasurer, and Clerk and Recorder). The agents shall examine the proposed land division to determine whether it complies with the requirements. A $200 fee is required with the exception of parcel retracements. Generally, reviews involve a period of 60 working days for the initial check print review, and 30 days for the final mylar review,

Apply online 


Citizen Access Online allows vendors with a current business license the convenience of viewing and applying for Exempt Surveys and paying fees with a credit card. Preferred Browsers:  Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer.
  All applications will be assigned a project number for tracking purposes. (PZ-YR-***** ). 
The Property Owner Signature Page  is required for all exempt survey applications. Use this step by step guide to submit for an exempt survey review:  Online Exempt Survey Guide
Exempt Plat Submittal Checklist
Qualifying Exemptions
Realty Transfer Certificate
Yellowstone County Clerk & Recorder's Filing Fees
 APPLICATION INTAKE COMPLETENESS REVIEW: Incomplete Applications will be placed on HOLD or REJECTED.  All online application submittals must be deemed complete before any processing will take place by the Planning Division.  A complete application includes:
  • Contact information for the property owner and agent and completed project attributes
  • Uploaded pdf documents of items or exhibits pertaining to the corresponding project consistent with the State of Montana Subdivision and Platting Act, and the City of Billings and Yellowstone County Subdivision Regulations.
  • Fee. The fee is non-refundable and does not guarantee the project will be granted. 
  • A tax receipt from the Yellowstone County Treasurer’s office for payment the 1st and 2nd halves of current the tax year is required for all exempt surveys.

Exemption As A Gift Or Sale To A Member Of The Immediate Family

The intention of this exemption is to allow a landowner to convey one parcel to each member of the immediate family without local subdivision review. A single parcel may be conveyed to each member of the immediate family under this exemption in each county where the landowner owns property. "Immediate family" is defined as the spouse, children by blood or adoption, or parents of the grantor. Family Transfer Details


Exemption To Provide Security For A Construction Mortgage, Lien Or Trust Indenture

Under policies of many lending institutions and federal home loan guaranty programs, a landowner who is buying a tract with financing or through a contract for deed is required to hold title to the specific site on which the residence will be built. The intended purpose of this exemption is to allow a landowner who is buying a tract using financing or a contract for deed to segregate a smaller parcel from the tract for security for financing construction of a home on the property. Mortgage Exemption Details

Exemption For Agricultural Purposes

The intention of this exemption is to allow a landowner to create a parcel without local review where the parcel will be used only for production of livestock or agricultural crops and where no residential, commercial, or industrial buildings will be built. "Agricultural purpose," means the use of land for raising crops or livestock, or for the preservation of open space, and specifically excludes residential structures and facilities for commercially processing agricultural products. Agricultural lands are exempt from review by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), provided the applicable exemption is properly invoked by the property owner. Agricultural Exemption Details

Relocation Of Common Boundary

The intended purpose of this exemption is to allow a change in the location of a boundary line between two parcels and to allow a one-time transfer of a tract to effect that change in location without subdivision review. Boundary Relocation Details

Aggregation Lots

The intended purpose of this exemption is to allow two or more lots of contiguous ownership to be aggregated (joined together) to become one parcel.