Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions - Drivers License

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•   If I already have a ND Real ID do I need to bring any documentation upon my next visit?

You will not need to present your Real ID documents upon your next visit. The exception to this is you will need to present documentation if you've had a name change, change of address, or gender change.

•   Can my automobile insurance company see my driving record?

Yes, if your insurance company does a record check, it will see violations within the last three years for violations with a point total of three or more.

•   Can you get a work permit for a youth under the age of 18 who has lost their license due to too many points?

No. Youths under the age of 18 are not eligible to get a work permit.

•   Does North Dakota have a motorcycle helmet law?

Yes, North Dakota requires anyone under the age of 18 to wear an approved motorcycle helmet when operating or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle. Also, if the operator is under the age of 18, then any passenger regardless of age must also wear a helmet.

•   How do I obtain a driver license?

If you are at least 15 years old, you can apply for a Class D restricted driver license. You must have held the Instruction Class D permit for at least 12 months if you are under the age of 16, or at least 6 months if you are under the age of 18. You must have completed driver education and 50 hours of practice driving in variable conditions if you are under the age of 16 prior to being allowed to take the road test. You must pass the road test to be issued the license. If you are under the age of 16, you must be accompanied by your parent or legal guardian at the time of your road test. If you are under the age of 16, your driver license will be restricted to no electronic communication devices, family member vehicles only, the manufacturer’s vehicle passenger capacity, and no unsupervised driving between the later of sunset or 9:00 PM and 5:00 AM. If you are under the age of 18, your driver license will be restricted to no electronic communication devices.

•   How do I obtain a driving permit?

If you are at least 14 years old, you can apply for an Instruction Class D permit. You will be required to present legal proof of current name, legal presence, and date of birth such as a state certified birth certificate. See the entire list of acceptable identification documents. If your name has ever changed, certified documentation of the name change will also be required. You must pass a vision and written test. If you are under the age of 18, your parent or legal guardian will need to sign for you to be issued the permit. Until age 16, you will be restricted to operating parent’s, legal guardian’s, grandparent’s, sibling’s, aunt’s, or uncle’s vehicles only. Regardless of your age, there are no electronic communication devices allowed while operating on an Instruction permit.

•   How do I obtain a license to operate a motorcycle?

If you are 14 or 15 years old and enrolled in a motorcycle safety course, you can take the written and vision tests to obtain a motorcycle permit. You must present proof that you are enrolled in the course such as the online receipt or the completion card from the ND Motorcycle Safety Program. You must hold the motorcycle permit at least 2 months and complete the motorcycle safety course prior to being issued the motorcycle license. If you are at least 16 years old, you can take the written and vision tests to obtain a motorcycle permit. You must pass the motorcycle skill test to be issued the motorcycle license. The motorcycle skill test MAY be waived if the motorcycle safety course was completed within one year.

•   How early can I come in to renew my North Dakota driver license?

You can renew your North Dakota driver license up to 10 months prior to its expiration date. You will not lose any time that was remaining on the old license.

•   How much time do I have to renew my North Dakota driver license before I have to take the written and road tests over again?

The North Dakota driver license can be renewed without retesting up to one year past the expiration date. However, the driver license expires at midnight on your birthday or at midnight on the expiration date printed on your license. You are not authorized to be driving during the time it is expired.

•   How old do I have to be to drive in North Dakota if I have a driver license from another state?

You must be at least 16 years old to drive in North Dakota if you have a license from another state. Only 14 and 15 year old North Dakota residents in possession of a North Dakota permit or a North Dakota license can legally drive in North Dakota.

•   I am currently licensed in another state. I am moving to North Dakota. What do I need to do to obtain a North Dakota driver license?

First, you have up to 150 days before you are required to obtain the North Dakota driver license. You have up to 120 days before you are required to obtain the North Dakota CDL (if you are a commercial driver).
Second, you will need to visit a driver license site. See the schedule on this website for locations and times. You will need to present your out-of-state driver license and legal proof of your current name and date of birth, such as a state-certified birth certificate, U.S. Passport, and government issued marriage certificate for name change. You will also need to bring in documentation of your North Dakota resident address. See the entire list of acceptable identification documents. The out-of-state license is not acceptable for proof of name and date of birth.
Third, you will be required to pass a vision test. You may be required to pass the written and road tests pending presentation of the actual out-of-state license, a driving record check, and medical criteria. The driver license examiners will determine license eligibility when you apply for the North Dakota license.

•   What are “points”?

North Dakota utilizes a point system to improve safety on the roads. Many traffic violations are assigned a certain number of points based on the seriousness of the offense. When a driver accumulates 12 or more points on their record, the driving privilege will be suspended. If the driver is under the age of 18, and accumulates 6 or more points, the driving privilege is cancelled (minor’s cancellation). The goal is NOT to get any points on your record!

•   What are reinstatement requirements?

Reinstatement requirements are items that must be completed or received in the Drivers License Division prior to having valid driving privileges restored.

•   What is a temporary restricted license?

A temporary restricted license may be issued to individuals 18 years and older whose driving privileges are suspended. It allows limited driving to specific days and times. Certain requirements must be met in order to qualify for temporary restricted driving privileges.

•   What is an Order of Suspension?

This is the director’s official notification that action is being taking against your driving privileges. It explains how long your driving privileges will be suspended for and why (a DUI conviction, having too many points, no insurance, etc.). It will also tell you what reinstatement requirements must be met before your driving privileges can be reinstated.

•   What is an SR-22 insurance filing?

Certain criminal convictions such as a DUI require the filing of an SR-22 insurance form. This is a type of high risk automobile insurance. Contact your car insurance agent to submit the form to the Drivers License Division.

•   What is the difference between a limited driving record and a complete driving record?

A limited driving record will NOT include your current point total, violations or convictions that are more than three years old, violations that have less than three points, or crash information. A limited record can be obtained online at www.dot.nd.gov/public/licensing.htm. A complete record will contain your total points and violations and convictions that are more than three years old. The complete record can only be obtained by a written request and $3 fee to the Drivers License Division.

•   What is the difference between a suspension and a revocation?

If your privileges are suspended, you will get driving privileges back after the period of suspension time has been completed and all reinstatement requirements have been met. If your driving privileges are revoked, you must complete the revocation period, meet all the reinstatement requirements, and take the written and road tests again before having valid driving privileges restored.

•   What is the minor’s cancellation?

If you are under the age of 18 and accumulate six or more points on your driving record or commit an alcohol-related or drug-related offense while operating a motor vehicle, your permit or license will be cancelled. You will then be required to start all over again as if you have never had a permit or license before. This includes the written test, vision test, parent’s permission, obtain an Instruction permit, hold the permit at least 12 months if you are under the age of 16 or at least 6 months if you are under the age of 18, and complete drivers education prior to being allowed to road test for the license.

•   Can I get an adult license prior to my 21st birthday?

No. Our system will not allow us to issue an adult license until the individual has reached their 21st birthday even if your 21st birthday falls on a weekend or holiday.

•   Common Commercial Road Test Question Answers

• Air Brakes – you must road test in an air brake vehicle or be restricted to non-airbrake vehicles only.
• For Class A and B road tests, you will be restricted to automatic transmission only if you do not bring in a manual unless you already have a Class A or B CDL without the restriction.
• For Class A road tests, if you do not test in a tractor trailer with a 5th wheel plate, you will be restricted as ‘No Tractor Trailer CMV’.
• For Passenger/School Bus road tests, is the bus is under 26,001 pounds, the license will be deemed a Class C.
• Placarded vehicles – Cannot use placarded vehicle for the test.
• No loaded vehicles.
• No double/triple trailers.

•   Do I need a license to drive a small Motorcycle, Moped or Motorized Scooter?

If the small motorcycle, moped or motorized scooter is 49.98 cc and below, you are required to have a valid permit or license to operate it. If the motorcycle is 49.99 cc’s and above (able to go 30mph or more) you are required to have a valid motorcycle permit or motorcycle license to operate it.

•   How do I cancel the Drivers License of a deceased relative?

In order to have a relative's North Dakota driving record marked as deceased, a copy of the death certificate must be provided. You can mail a copy to Drivers License Division, 608 East Boulevard Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58505-0700 OR fax it to 701-328-2435.

•   How do I change my name on the Drivers License?

Name changes must be done in person. You are required to bring in your current Drivers License and the document used to change your name (i.e. marriage certificate, divorce decree, court ordered name change). The fee is $3.

•   How do I get a duplicate Drivers License if I am currently Out of State? (My DL was lost or stolen)

Please send us a letter (or fax) for a duplicate of your North Dakota Driver License which includes the following information:

1. Name (as it appears on the license)
2. Date of Birth
3. North Dakota Driver License Number or Social Security Number
4. Mailing address
5. Phone Number or Email (to notify you of any discrepancy or incomplete paperwork)
6. Brief Explanation of what happened to the license (lost or stolen)
7. Signature
8. Fee of $8.00 (payable to Drivers License Division)

You may mail your letter to Driver License Division; 608 East Boulevard Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58505-0700 OR you may fax the request to (701) 328-0308 or email dl@nd.gov If you fax the request, you will have to call with credit card information after it has been faxed to pay for the Drivers License. If you are not suspended, revoked or cancelled in this or any other state, we will process and mail you the Drivers License.

•   How do I renew my Drivers License if I am currently Out of State?

Applicants generally call when requesting a renewal while Out of State. We will need to get the following information so we may send the applicant the renewal packet.

1. North Dakota Driver License Number or Social Security Number
2. Name/Date of Birth
3. Reason for the Request
4. Out of State mailing address

All forms must be completed and returned; instructions will be included in the packet. You may mail the renewal packet to Driver License Division, 608 East Boulevard Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58505-0700 OR you may fax the request to (701) 328-0308 or dl@nd.gov. If you fax the request, you will have to call with credit card information after it has been faxed to pay the $15. If you are not suspended, revoked or cancelled in this or any other state, we will process and mail you the Drivers License.

•   How long can I drive in North Dakota before I have to transfer my Out of State License?

Once you have lived in ND for 90 consecutive days you are deemed a resident.
Non-commercial drivers have 60 days after becoming a resident to transfer their Drivers License. Commercial drivers only have 30 days after becoming a resident to transfer their Drivers License.

•   I am active duty military and stationed Out of State. My Drivers License is expiring / expired. How can I renew it without returning to North Dakota?

If stationed in another state, the Active Duty Military Member and their spouse may be eligible to renew their Drivers License by mail.

Refer to the question ‘Out of State Renewal’ on how to proceed with the renewal process.
If the Active Duty Military Member has a Drivers License which has been expired over a year, they will need to submit proof of active military status (e.g., photo copy of the military identification card, duty station papers, or leave and earnings statement).

Also according to NDCC 39-06-19.1 there is an ‘Extended term of license held by members of the armed forces.’ A valid operator's license issued under the provisions of this chapter to a resident of North Dakota who enters or is in the United States armed forces and serving upon active duty with such forces continues in full force and effect so long as the active service continues and the licensee remains absent from this state, and for not to exceed thirty days following the date on which the holder of such license is honorably separated from such service or returns to this state, unless the license is sooner suspended, canceled, or revoked for cause as provided by law. The license is valid only when in the immediate possession of the licensee while driving and the licensee has the licensee's discharge or separation papers, if the licensee has been discharged or separated from the service, or has documentation authorizing the licensee to be absent from the licensee's duty station in the licensee's immediate possession.

•   I have a Class D Drivers License. How do I get a CDL?

You must take the written and road tests. All applicants must take the General Knowledge test. Depending on what Class of CDL required, you may need additional tests such as the Combination Test for Class A, Passenger and/or School Bus, Airbrake, or other endorsement tests as apply. Once you have passed the written test(s), a permit is issued. The permit allows for practice driving a CDL with someone who is 18 years or older and has 3 or more years driving experience for the same or higher class of Drivers License as the permit. Once you have held the permit at least 14 days and are ready, you may call to schedule an appointment for the road test. After successful completion of the road test a CDL will be issued.

•   I have moved. Do I need to update my address? How do I update my address? Do I need to purchase a new license?

You are required by law to notify the department within ten days of changing addresses. Noncommercial drivers may notify the department by phone, e-mail, or mail, and while they are not legally required to have it on the card, we do encourage the purchase of a new license due to voting, check writing and traveling. Commercial drivers are required to visit their closest ND DL site and purchase a new license with the updated address. The fee for an address change is $3.

•   I have not received my renewal notice yet. Are notices still mailed?

Yes, notices get mailed automatically. If you have changed addresses and did not notify the department, you might not receive the notice as they are third class mail and not forwarded. We are not required by law to send any notices; it is a courtesy reminder. You are not required to bring it with you to renew.

•   I need to get a HAZMAT endorsement on my ND CDL, how do I do that?

You must first pass a federal fingerprint-based security threat assessment. To initiate the threat assessment, you must fill out a national hazardous material application. To access the application and obtain information on fees and TSA fingerprint collection locations, visit the federal website at https://universalenroll.dhs.gov or call the federal Help Desk at 1-855-837-8371.

When your threat assessment has been approved, TSA will mail you a letter and will also notify the Drivers License Division. You will then be allowed to take the HAZMAT knowledge test and add the H endorsement to your current ND CDL.

•   I was Out of State last time I renewed, can I renew by mail again?

No. Unless you are an active military member or the spouse of an active military member.

•   Is my child’s Out of State Permit valid to drive in North Dakota?

No. A nonresident who is at least 16 years old who has in their immediate possession a valid operator’s license may operate a motor vehicle in this state. An instruction permit would not qualify.

•   My wallet was stolen/lost how can I get a replacement Drivers License?

You are required to visit the closest Drivers License Site with ONE other form of Identification such as:

• Certified Birth Certificate
• Valid Passport
• Social Security Card
• Vehicle Title or Registration
• Military ID Card
• Employee Photo ID Card
• High School ID Card
• Tribal ID Card
• Medicare or Medicaid Card
• Concealed Weapons Permit

•   What are the Classifications of Commercial Vehicles?

Class A – Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, provided the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.

Class B – Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more and any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds.

Class C – Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 pounds or less, any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a gross weight rating not in excess of 10,000 pounds comprising: Vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver OR Vehicles used in the transportation of hazardous materials requiring placards

•   What are your fees?

• A Non-Commercial Instruction Permit, License or Renewal is $15.
• An Original Non-Commercial Permit is $15.
• A duplicate Instruction Permit or Drivers License is $8.
• A non-driver Identification Card is $8.
• A Commercial Permit, Commercial License or Commercial Renewal is $15 plus $3 per endorsement.
• Non-Resident Commercial Permit, Commercial License or Commercial Renewal is $20 plus $3 per endorsement.
• A written test is $5.
• A road test is $5.

•   What do I need to bring for my Class D road test?

If under 16 years old on road test day you will need to bring the permit, the behind-the-wheel completion certificate, a parent, a vehicle and $5.

If at least 16 years old on road test day you will need to bring the permit, a vehicle and $5. If you are a minor whose driving privileges had been cancelled, you will also need a behind the wheel completion certificate dated after the cancellation.

•   What do I need to bring for my Class M road test?

If you are under 16 years old, you must bring the Class D permit/license, the Motorcycle permit, Helmet, 510CC or less motorcycle and $5 exactly.

If you are 16 or 17 years old, you must bring the Class D permit/license, the Motorcycle permit, Helmet, motorcycle and $5 exactly.

If you are at least 18 years old, you must bring the Class D permit/license, the Motorcycle permit and $5 exactly.

•   What documents do I need to get a State Issued Identification Card?

In order to get a State Issued ID card you will need to present a Certified Birth Certificate or a Valid Passport. In addition to one of these documents, you will also need to know your social security number and if there has been a name change, you are required to provide certified documents proving the legal name change (i.e. marriage certificate, divorce decree, court ordered name change).

•   What forms of payment do you accept at your Driver’s License Sites?

Cash or Check. Dickinson, Minot, Bismarck, Williston, Devils Lake, Jamestown, Grand Forks and Fargo also accept credit cards.

•   When an Instruction Class D Permit expires is another test required to get a new one?

If you have had a permit for four or more years, you may need to retest, but we will need to check the record to be certain.

•   Where are you located and what are your hours?

If you would like to take a test, you must be in line no later than an hour before lunch (in those locations that close for lunch) or an hour before closing. Refer to the Drivers License site schedule at Drivers License Sites.