Green Vehicle Laws and Regulations in North Dakota

North Dakota upholds a handful of green vehicle laws aimed at protecting the environment. These include inspection and auto insurance requirements for fuel-efficient vehicles such as electric cars and hybrids, and vehicle registration requirements and road regulations for low-speed vehicles. Read on for specifics regarding eco-friendly regulations.

North Dakota Emissions Tests and Inspections for Green Vehicles

At this time, North Dakota does not test vehicle emissions as a requirement of vehicle registration. However all vehicles—including alternative fuel vehicles, hybrids, and electric cars—must undergo an inspection.

In most cases, a qualified business will use the Certificate of Vehicle Inspection (SFN 2486) in verifying compliance with North Dakota laws before the ND will issue your vehicle registration or title. However, if you drive a low-speed vehicle, inspectors use the Certificate of Vehicle Inspection for Off-Highway/Low-Speed Vehicles (SFN 58953).

Each form lists the equipment requirements your vehicle must have to pass the inspection. Consult our car registration guide for more details.

Low-Speed Vehicle Regulations and Road Restrictions

North Dakota defines low-speed vehicles as those that are:

  • Four-wheeled,
  • Able to attain maximum speeds between 20 and 25 miles per hour (mph) on a paved, level surface,
  • And do not exceed a weight of 3,000 pounds when fully loaded with cargo or passengers.

A few low-speed vehicle regulations apply when it comes to driving it on North Dakota's highways and maintaining valid vehicle registration. Read the following subsections for details.

Low-Speed Vehicle Driving Restrictions

You may not drive a low-speed vehicle on ND highways with a speed limit of more than 35 mph, unless directly crossing another highway with a higher speed limit, while still able to continue traveling on the highway that has a speed limit less than 35 mph.

Also, North Dakota city governments can enlist their own laws prohibiting low-speed vehicles from operating in areas under their jurisdiction that are within their city limits.

Low-Speed Vehicle Registration

As an ND resident, you must keep your low-speed vehicle registered through the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT). For each two-year registration cycle, NDDOT charges a $20 registration fee, unless your vehicle qualifies as one of the following low-speed vehicles exempt from registration fees:

  • Owned and used by the U.S. (or another state) or its political subdivisions.
  • Registered in a foreign country, but temporarily being used in North Dakota.
  • Validly licensed in another state, but not in ND for more than 30 consecutive days.
  • Exclusively used for work on agricultural land or on private land that serves as an industrial job site.

Fuel Definitions for Use Taxes

For the purposes of use tax, North Dakota specifically defines biodiesel and green diesel fuels, requiring them to also meet the standards laid out by ASTM International (formerly American Society for Testing and Materials). You can also refer to a full list of definitions via the North Dakota Century Code 57-43.2.

Biodiesel Fuel

North Dakota defines biodiesel, designated B100, as fuel made up of mono-akyll esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oil or animal fats. It must also meet ASTM International’s active D6751 standard.

Green Diesel

North Dakota considers green diesel fuel that is produced from nonfossil renewable resources. This includes agricultural or silvicultural plants, animal fats, residue, and waste made from the production, processing, and marketing of agricultural products, silvicultural products, and other renewable resources.

Experimental Vehicles Defined

If you buy, build, or convert a vehicle to run primarily on a source other than a combustion engine, muscle, or animal power, you might have to register it as an experimental vehicle. Additional qualifications may include:

  • Having an unladen weight of 6,000 pounds or fewer.
  • Equipped with any configuration of axles and wheels.

For the full definition, operating regulations, and registration requirements, refer to North Dakota Century Code 39-10.3-01.

ND Auto Insurance Requirements for Fuel-Efficient Cars

Fuel-efficient cars such as alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), hybrids, and electric vehicles (EVs) must maintain adequate auto insurance in line the ND's minimum requirements for financial responsibility. However, many car insurance companies offer insurance rate discounts for either driving a planet-friendly car or having eco-friendly driving habits. Check out our page on green driver incentives for more on how to save money by going green.

Keep Up with Current North Dakota Green Vehicle Laws

Read on for specifics, keeping in mind that these laws and related green driver incentives are subject to change. In addition to referencing this page, periodically check in with your local NDDOT branch and the Alternative Fuels Data Center for the latest.

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