North Dakota DMV Handbook and Regulations FAQ

If you’re getting ready to apply for your North Dakota driver’s privileges, then you should definitely pick up a copy of the North Dakota Driver’s Handbook at your earliest convenience and begin studying immediately. All of the information covered by your written DMV test will be contained within the handbook. However, you may also find that the following FAQ helps you anticipate what you can expect from the experience of dealing with the DMV on the whole.
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How old do I need to be before I can apply for my North Dakota driver’s license?
The minimum eligible age for driving privilege eligibility varies from state to state. However, in North Dakota you need to be at least 15 years old before you can apply for your license and qualify for your learner’s permit.
What kind of documentation do I need to take with me when I apply for my license?
When you arrive at the DMV to apply for your driving privileges, you will need to show state-recognized, DMV-compliant proof of your legal name, your legal presence in the United States, and your date of birth. You will also need to provide the DMV with your social security number. If you are unsure as to whether or not a given document you want to present will be considered acceptable, you may wish to phone ahead and ask a DMV rep first.
Do my parents need to bring me to my appointment if I’m an underage driver?
Yes. If you are under the age of 18, you need to have a parent or legal guardian bring you to your appointment. They will need to be present so that they can sign your application and show consent.
What else can I expect to happen when I apply for my license?
In addition to showing the aforementioned documentation and turning in an application (signed by your parent or legal guardian if you are under 18), you will also be taking your written knowledge exam at that time, as well as your vision test. Make sure you’ve studied hard and that you arrive wearing any prescription eyewear you may need. Last but not least, you will be expected to pay for the $15 learner’s permit fee at the time of application.
Will I need to take a physical before I can have my learner’s permit or license?
No. North Dakota does not require driver’s license applicants to pass a physical in order to be able to drive. All you need to worry about is your mandatory vision test.
Once I have my learner’s permit, what’s next?
It really depends on how old you are. All drivers should begin practicing their driving under supervision in accordance with North Dakota state law. However, different aged people will have different waiting periods attached to their permits. If you are 15 years old, you will need to hold your permit for a minimum of six months before you can take your road test. Young drivers aged 16-17 will need to hold their learner’s permit for a minimum of 6 months before they can take their road test. Also, any driver under 16 years of age must complete a minimum of 50 hours supervised driving, as well as complete a driver’s education course. If you don’t take driver’s ed through your school, make sure that the school or instructor you use is DMV-certified.
What do I need to know about the differences between a provisional driver’s license and a full unrestricted license?
When you first pass your road test and get your very first driver’s license, it will be what is known as a provisional license if you are under 16 years of age. If you only have your provisional license, you have some restrictions on when you can drive unsupervised. The hours between 9PM and 5AM are strictly off limits unless you need to drive outside of those hours for school, work, or church purposes. If this is the case for you, you can work in tandem with an authority figure from your school, job, or church and the DMV to get you proper documentation to carry with you while you drive.
How do I exchange my provisional license for an unrestricted license?
Once you turn 16, your provisional license automatically becomes an unrestricted license without your having to do anything special. After age 16, you are free to drive on an unsupervised basis at any time of the day or night that you wish.
I’m new to North Dakota. What’s the protocol for having my out of state license transferred?
Once you’ve made the move to North Dakota, you have 60 days to have your out-of-state license transferred over properly. You are considered an official resident of the state once you’ve lived in North Dakota for 90 days unless you are a tourist, a student that lives elsewhere but studies in North Dakota, or a member of the military that lives elsewhere but is stationed in North Dakota. When you are ready to have your license transferred, visit the nearest North Dakota field office with your out of state license (as you’ll be expected to surrender it). You should also bring legal proof of your identity, date of birth, legal presence in the United States, and legal residency in North Dakota. You will also be require to take and pass a vision test, as well as pay any applicable licensing fees. Most people that are simply transferring out of state licenses will not have to take a written knowledge exam or a driving exam, however the DMV has it within their power to ask you to anyway. That said, it’s a good idea to show up prepared to take both just in case.
When am I allowed to arrive for my written test?
Be aware that the North Dakota DMV closes for lunch. That said, if you are arriving in the morning, you need to get there by 11AM. If it’s going to be later in the day, be sure you arrive at least one hour before closing time.
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