Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19. It's a sobering statistic, yet the majority of people killed in teen-responsible accidents aren't teens themselves. Rather, those dying are innocent pedestrians and other vehicle drivers.
Despite what teenagers may posture and think, they do not know best when it comes to driving. The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) recognizes this by implementing a strict set of steps for teenagers to follow for obtaining licenses.
Applying for a Permit
To begin your licensing pursuit, you must first apply for an instruction permit. To do this, you must:
- Be at least 14 years old.
- Visit any Driver License site location to take the written exam (no appointment is necessary).
- Have a parent or legal guardian sign a sponsorship on your application if you are younger than 18 years old. If you are accompanied by a legal guardian he or she must provide guardianship proof.
- Provide your Social Security number.
- Bring proper identification (see below).
- Pass an eye exam.
- Pay a $5 test fee.
The written test consists of multiple choice questions based on driving rules and regulations contained in NDDOT's Rules of the Road manual. There are no trick questions. All the information that you will be tested on springs directly from this manual. So, study it before testing.
If You Pass
If you pass, you'll be immediately issued a permit. With your permit, you can drive when accompanied by a licensed driver at least 18 years old who has a minimum of 3 years of driving experience. The permit fee is $15.
Applying for a License
- Before taking the road test, your last hurdle to licensehood, you must have a permit for at least 6 months (for 12 months if you are 14 or 15 years old, or until you turn 16 years old). If you are younger than 16 years old, you must also provide proof that you successfully completed a driver education class.
- Make a test appointment with any Driver License site location.
- Bring your permit. If you're younger than 16 years old; also bring your driver's education completion certificate.
- If you're under 16 years old, you must be accompanied to the test by a parent or guardian. You will only be allowed to test in either a car owned by your parent or guardian, or in a dual-controlled driver education car.
- Your vehicle must pass a pre-test examination.
- Arrive early.
- Pay a $5 test fee.
The exam will test your driving skills in real road conditions. The examiner will pay close attention to your ability to obey road signs and handle intersections. There's also a strong chance you'll be asked to parallel park, a main source of road test failure, so practice, practice and practice.
If You Pass
If you pass the road exam, you will be issued a license. The fee is $15. If you are 15 years old, you will be issued a restricted license. Under this license you will only be allowed to operate a vehicle owned by your parents or legal guardian. Plus, you will not be permitted to drive a car with more passengers than the vehicle's manufacturer recommends.
Bear in mind that given the high percentage of teen driving accidents, you will be closely scrutinized. If you accumulate 6 or more points on your driving record before you turn 18 years old, your license will be suspended. You will also be considered to have never owned a license, which means once your suspension ends you will have to repeat the entire permit and test process all over again.