Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in North Dakota
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No matter if you're new to the state or are a teenager anxious to drive for the first time, you must possess a valid driver’s license to legally operate a motor vehicle within North Dakota. The state offers the following types of licenses:
- Class A: Commercial
- Class B: Commercial
- Class C: Commercial
- Class D: Standard
- Class M: Motorcycle
Most drivers simply require the Class D license. The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) offers complete details on each license class.
Younger than 17―Those who fall into this category must complete a driver's education class before applying for a license.
17 and Older―If you're in this group, you don't have to take a driver education class. But, doing so is a good idea, as these classes offer valuable information that drivers of all ages can benefit from.
To obtain a permit, you'll need to pass a written test about driving rules and safe driving practices. The best way to prepare is by studying the state's Rules of the Road manual. Be sure to take a test run by filling out a few practice tests.
When the day of the test arrives, be ready to:
- Furnish proper identification to prove your name and date of birth.
- Provide your Social Security number.
- Take an eye exam.
- Take the written test.
- Complete the permit application. If you're younger than 18, a guardian or parent must sign your permit application.
- Pay the $5 written test fee.
If you pass the tests and fulfill the other obligations, you'll be granted a permit, which is valid for one year. This means you may drive a vehicle if a person who is at least 18 and has a minimum of three years of driving experience is sitting beside you.
NDDOT requires all test-takers to supply a vehicle that's safe to operate in order to take the road exam. If you're looking for a safe, used vehicle, it's a good idea to purchase a vehicle history report. Vehicle history reports can identify odometer or title irregularities, and in some cases, show you the record of car accidents filed on that vehicle.
All drivers are required to be covered by an auto liability insurance policy in North Dakota. See our insurance center to learn more about car insurance and to request a rate quote.
If you have a valid, out-of-state license but have just become a resident, you'll just need to switch that license for a North Dakota license―no need to take a road test.
All others will need to pass the driving test in order to be issued a North Dakota license. You'll need to make an appointment to schedule your test. When the day comes, remember to bring your driver education completion certificate and your parent or guardian if you are younger than 16 years old.
The road test fee is $5.
Once You Pass
If you pass your test, you'll pay $10 to have your license issued right there at the driver license office.
If You Fail
If you're unsuccessful, what happens next depends on your circumstance. Talk to your examiner for specifics on your situation. In some cases, you can take the test at the next available time slot.
When you are visiting North Dakota from another country, your foreign license is valid for up to 90 days. It's a good plan to get an International Driver's Permit before you travel. This permit does not take the place of your foreign license; however, it does translate it into a more readable form for U.S. officials.
After 90 days, you have effectively established residency in the state. As of that time you have 60 additional days to apply for and receive your North Dakota license.
If you're a non-citizen, you will need to furnish proof of name and date of birth with these acceptable documents.
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