License Plates & Placards in North Dakota
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).
Interested in specialty license plates? Get all the details from our Specialty ND License Plates page.
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:
- Trucks and vans.
- 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.
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.
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:
- Motor vehicle offices.
- Your vehicle dealership.
- Law enforcement offices.
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:
- A completed Application for Certificate of Title & Registration of a Vehicle (Form SFN 2872).
- Payment for the replacement fee:
- License plate, decal, and registration card: $5.
- Decal and registration card: $3.
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.
- SFN 2872