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  • Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in North Dakota

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    ND Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+)
    Page Overview

    Verified As Of: 05/07/2015

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    Our goal is to give you the most up-to-date, accurate information about your state DMV's processes. The date you see here reflects the most recent time we've verified this information with your state DMV. When they change something, we do, too!

    SUMMARY: How to Apply for your North Dakota Driver's License

    You must apply for an ND driver's license in person at a North Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) office. You will need to pass the written, driving, and vision exams. There are some required documents you'll need to submit and you're required to pay any fees mentioned below.

    Continue reading this page to learn how to apply for your driver's license in North Dakota.

    NOTE: If you're younger than 18 years old, please follow the instructions on our Applying for a Teen License page. If you need a commercial driver's license, visit our Applying for a New CDL page.

    New to North Dakota?

    You can use your out-of-state driver's license for up to 60 days after moving to North Dakota.

    You are considered a resident once you've lived in the state for 90 days (consecutively), unless you are a:

    • Tourist.
    • Student studying in ND, but a resident of another state.
    • Military member from another state but stationed in North Dakota.

    To apply for your ND driver's license, visit a ND DOT office and:

    • Present your out-of-state driver's license.
    • Provide proof of your identity, such as your:
      • U.S. birth certificate.
      • U.S. passport.
      • Foreign passport and I-94 printout.
    • Pass a vision test.
    • Pass the written and driving exams, if required.
      • These may be waived after the ND DOT check your driving record and medical information.
    • Pay the required fees.

    Types of Driver's Licenses in ND

    The North Dakota DOT offers various types of driver's licenses depending on your age and type of vehicle you want to drive:

    Apply for a Driver's License

    Before obtaining your full driver's license, you must first obtain an instruction permit so you can practice driving. Visit your local North Dakota DOT office and:

    • Provide proof of your identity (original or certified copy only), such as your:
      • U.S. passport (valid).
      • Foreign passport and I-94 printout.
      • U.S. birth certificate.
    • Provide your Social Security number (SSN).
    • Pass a vision test.
    • Pass a written knowledge exam.
    • Pay the required fees.

    Your instruction permit will allow you to practice driving while supervised by someone who:

    • Is at least 18 years old.
    • Has had their driver's license for at least 3 years.

    When you're ready to take your driving exam, make an appointment with the ND DOT. Remember to bring your instruction permit and payment for the fee to your exam.

    Your North Dakota driver's license will be issued when you pass the test.

    Fees for a ND Driver's License

    When applying for your driver's license, you will need to pay the following ND Department of Transportation (DOT) fees:

    • Instruction permit/driver's license: $15.
    • Written test: $5.
    • Driving test: $5.

    DMV Written and Driving Tests

    Before you can obtain a driver's license in North Dakota, you must pass both a written knowledge and driving test.

    NOTE: If you have a valid out-of-state driver's license, these tests may be waived.

    Written Knowledge Exam

    To take your written exam at a ND DOT office, make sure you arrive:

    • By 11 a.m., if the office closes for lunch.
    • At least 1 hour before closing time.

    You will be tested on your knowledge of:

    • Road signs, signals, and road markings.
    • Rules of the road.
    • Safe driving techniques.
    • The effects of drugs and alcohol on driving.
    Need Help Passing The Written Test?

    If you want to pass the written test the DOT suggests studying the North Dakota Driver Manual, but that's a lot of reading you'll need to do. Our suggestion is to prepare for the exam with an online practice test offered by our certified partner.

    Driving Exam

    You must make an appointment with the ND DOT to take your driving exam. You will need to provide a registered vehicle, which must pass an equipment inspection before taking the test.

    During your driving exam, the instructor will ask you to perform various maneuvers, such as:

    • Changing lanes.
    • Using a roundabout.
    • Passing a vehicle.

    If you pass your exam, you will be issued your full ND driver's license.

    For information about grading and what happens if you fail your test, contact the North Dakota DOT.

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