License Plates & Placards in North Dakota

SUMMARY: North Dakota License Plates

Apply for license plates in North Dakota by registering your car, and renew your tags by renewing your registration. If you sell or trade your car, you can transfer your plates to your next car to keep your license plate number. You'll have to replace your plates if they're lost or stolen.

Keep reading this page to learn more about license plates from the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT).

NOTE: Looking for information about disabled parking plates? Get application information from our Disabled Plates and Placards page.

Types of License Plates

Most vehicles in North Dakota are required to display license plates, including:

  • Cars.
  • Trucks and vans.
  • Motorcycles.
  • Recreation vehicles (RVs).

Tags must be displayed on both the front and rear of most vehicles. Motorcycles only need a rear license plate.

You are required to place an expiration decal in the top right corner of the license plate. This sticker cannot cover any part of the plate number.

Other Designs

If you're looking for more than the standard license plate, you can apply for special plates from the ND DMV. They offer a wide range of specialty license plates, including personalized plates and organizational plates.

The DMV also issues disability parking plates to those with qualifying disabilities. Learn more on our Disability Plates and Placards page.

Temporary Tags

You can operate a newly purchased vehicle in North Dakota for 5 days only without registering it. You must carry proof of ownership in case you are stopped by law enforcement.

NDDOT also offers a free temporary registration permit that is valid for up to 30 days from the sale date. You can get a temporary permit in person from:

Applying for ND License Plates

To get a North Dakota license plate, you must register your vehicle in person at an NDDOT office.

Initial registration fees are based on your car's weight; you may also have to pay an additional excise tax.

See our Vehicle Registration page for a complete list of registration requirements.

Renew Your North Dakota Tags

Before the sticker on your license plate expires, you'll need to renew your vehicle registration to get a new sticker.

The ND DMV sends renewal notices, and you can also sign up to receive an email reminder.

Renewal is offered online, in person, or by mail.

For complete details, see our Registration Renewal page.

Replace Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Plates

If your license plates or expiration decal are lost, stolen, or damaged, you should replace them right away.

You are NOT required to file a police report for lost or stolen tags, but reporting the loss or theft may help prevent fraudulent activities.

To request replacements, you will need:

Submit the application in person at your local North Dakota motor vehicle office. If you cannot go in person, contact NDDOT at (701) 328-2725 for other application options.

NOTE: You can request the same plate number UNLESS your plates have been stolen.

Transfer & Surrender Vehicle Tags

In North Dakota, you can transfer your license plates:

  • From your old car to a new car.
  • To a car owned by your spouse or domestic partner.

You CANNOT transfer plates to the person who buys your car.

You may pay a fee to transfer the plates to another vehicle IF there is still a credit on the previous vehicles registration. You may also have to pay any applicable title fees, taxes, and service fees.

You may need to surrender your North Dakota license plates if you:

  • Cancel your insurance.
  • Move to another state.
  • Apply for a different type of license plate.

Contact the NDDOT at (701) 328-2725 to learn more about plate surrender requirements.

Fees for License Plates in ND

The fees below do not include taxes, service fees, or other fees that you may be accountable for.

  • New standard vehicle plates: Fee varies by vehicle weight.
  • Motorcycle plates: Fee varies depending on registration month.
  • Plate renewal: Fee varies by vehicle type, weight, and age.
  • Replacement license plates:
    • License plates: $5.
    • Decals: $3.

Use the NDDOT fee calculation website to find out your exact payment amount.

Specialty License Plates

In North Dakota, there are various types of special plate designs you can apply for, such as personalized plates, historic/antique plates, and special organization plates.

Special Letter (Vanity) Plates

You are free to choose any combination as long as it is within reason. The state reserves the right to reject any request that it deems offensive. To order, you must complete a Personalized Plate Request (Form SFN 53612), and include a check or money order for $25.

Antique Plates

Antique (Pioneer) plates are available to vehicles that are at least 40 years old, and are used solely for antique exhibitions, parades, and related activities. Vehicles used for everyday transportation are ineligible. You must attest to the vehicle's exhibition status by filling out a Affidavit of Use For a Collector Motor Vehicle (Form SFN 16783).

Model-year plates may be displayed instead of antique plates, as long as they remain legible and intact with a license number greater than 10,000. Registering your antique vehicle costs $10, and if you opt for a special-letter plate, you must pay a one-time $100 fee. To order a personalized plate you must complete a Personalized Plate Request (Form SFN 53612).

National Guard Plates

To qualify for these plates you must either be a National Guard member or be retired from the Guard after 20 years of service or longer. The plates are highlighted by your unit's insignia and the letters "NG" before the regular plate number. To order complete a Application for Certificate of Title and Registration of a Motor Vehicle (Form SFN 2872) and provide service proof from your adjutant general, and include a check or money order for the fees.

Commemorative Lewis and Clark Plates

To order these special plates complete a Application for Certificate of Title and Registration of a Motor Vehicle (Form SFN 2872), and include a check or money order.

Collector Plates

Any driver with a vehicle at least 25 years old is eligible. Complete a Application for Certificate of Title and Registration of a Motor Vehicle (Form SFN 2872) submit it with an Affidavit of Use for a Collector Motor Vehicle (Form SFN 16783) and pay the appropriate fees.

Firefighter's Association Plates

To order submit an Application for a North Dakota Firefighter's Plate (Form SFN 52908), and a check or money order for the fee.

Veteran's Number Plates

To order you must submit an Application for a North Dakota Veteran's Number Plate (Form SFN 51628) along with the fee paid by a check and money order.

Special Organization Plate

Public or nonprofit organizations that are recognized as such by the Internal Revenue Service can apply for a special organization plate by submitting an Organization Plate Program Application (Form SFN 54340) along with an insignia. NDDOT will then study the application before deciding whether or not to approve the group's request.

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