MISSOULA, Mont. -

New upgrades for Montana Highway Patrol cars mean troopers will soon be able to collect ticket payments with cash or credit card.

"We've reduced a lot of waste, and streamlined things so we can be more productive on an individual trooper level," said Trooper Philip Smart.

New credit card scanners are the latest upgrades in a major overhaul on the agency's fleet that is designed to turn the MHP squad car into a mobile office, complete with a computer, printer, and scanner.

Smart said all the equipment is connected to servers in Helena and the information is synced with justice courts in most counties.

"A lot of those guys are far from any office,? said Smart. ?They can be in their cars, they can access any information they need, and they can even get drivers license photos for identification purposes. They can type up their reports, and they can print out whatever they need and hand it to whoever needs it right there."

Smart says the system costs an estimated $30,000 per squad car.

"You get a lot more per-dollar for your trooper on the street,? said Smart. ?He doesn't have to go to the office to print our reports, he doesn't have to go to the office to burn copies of video he needs. We can do everything we need to in our cars."

MHP cars in Missoula County are expected to have card scanners installed by the end of the year.