Car Inspection in North Dakota

The Department of Transportation (DOT) doesn't require smog or emissions tests.

New to North Dakota?

If you're new to the state, you have 90 days from the date you establish residency OR once you've established residency (whichever comes first) to have your vehicle registered in North Dakota.

Exceptions include:

  • Non-resident students.
  • Tourists.
  • Members of the armed forces.

Learn more about registration requirements at our section on North Dakota Car Registration.

Which Vehicles Require Inspections

If you are applying for a salvaged title, a rebuilt or modified vehicle, an antique vehicle, or you require a VIN verification. In these cases your vehicle must be inspected. These inspections are handled by authorized private businesses.

What Happens During a Vehicle Inspection

Depending on your vehicle, the inspector will use either a Certificate of Vehicle Inspection (Form SFN 2486) or Certificate of Vehicle Inspection Off Highway/Low Speed Vehicles (Form SNF 58593) during the inspection. You can download and print these forms to bring to your inspection, or you can contact your nearest inspection center and find out if they have them on hand. Find your local inspection center using our Local Smog Check Stations widget below.

These forms thoroughly explain what you can expect during a vehicle inspection; however, we've outlined some of the highlights for you below:

  • Vehicle Inspection Numbers (VIN): The inspector will check that your VIN is present and properly secured in its appropriate location.
  • Vehicle Types: The inspector will note whether the vehicle is an antique, rebuilt or salvaged, modified, homemade, or has lawful window tint.
  • Vehicle Parts: The inspector will check an extensive list of vehicle parts to make sure they're in working order. Among these parts include the headlights, taillights, signal lights, brake lights, and turn signals.

After the Vehicle Inspection

After the vehicle inspection, you'll pay the inspection fee (this fee can vary by location; call ahead to confirm) and the inspector will sign the applicable form. The form must then be mailed to:

  • Motor Vehicle Division
  • 608 E. Boulevard Ave
  • Bismarck, ND 58505

Once the Department of Transportation (DOT) receives your form, you can move forward with titling and registering the vehicle.

North Dakota Incentives for Eco-Friendly Driving

Although North Dakota doesn't require smog and emissions tests at this time, you still can take advantage of certain perks for driving green vehicles (such as hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles), as well as practicing eco-friendly driving habits. Such perks might include auto insurance discounts, federal tax incentives, and even registration fee discounts (depending on your vehicle).

Learn more over at our section on green driver incentives.

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SFN 2486
Certificate of Vehicle Inspection
To be filled out by a certified ND vehicle inspector. Also used to certify repairs to a salvaged or junked vehicle.
SNF 58593
Certificate of Vehicle Inspection Off Highway/Low Speed Vehicles
A certified vehicle inspector should fill out this form after inspecting your OHV.
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