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Frequently Asked Questions - Drivers License / Permits

North Dakota Century Code 39-06-02 provides an exemption for nonresidents who are at least 16 years of age who have a valid operator's license from their home state or country to drive a motor vehicle in North Dakota.

No.  A nonresident who is at least sixteen years of age who has in that person's immediate possession a valid operator's license issued to that person in that person's home state or country may operate a motor vehicle in this state.  An instruction permit would not qualify.

Many traffic violations are assigned a certain number of points based on the seriousness of the offense. When an operator accumulates 12 or more points on their driving record, their driving privilege will be suspended. If the operator is under 18 and accumulates 6 or more points, their driving privilege is cancelled.

If the number of points assigned to a violation are two or less, the violation is entered on an operator’s driving record in a separate area that is not available to the public.

Nonresidents age 16 and over are not required to obtain a license until 60 days after residence has been established in North Dakota.  A person is deemed a resident of North Dakota when they have lived here for 90 days, unless they are a nonresident student, a tourist, or a member of the armed forces.

Visit your local Driver's License Branch Office.

A North Dakota driver's license expires at midnight on the date of birth of the applicant. Commercial licenses are valid for four years from the holder’s date of birth. Noncommercial licenses are valid for four or six years from the holder’s date of birth.

Non-commercial driver's license:

  • Class D for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 lbs or less and trailers 10,000 lbs or less.
  • Class M for motorcycles.

Commercial driver's license (CDL): 

  • Class A for vehicle combinations with a GVWR over 26,001 lbs. towing a trailer over 10,000 lbs.
  • Class B for a single vehicle with a GVWR over 26,001 lbs., and any such vehicle towing a trailer 10,000 lbs. or less.
  • Class C for a vehicle under 26,001 lbs. transporting hazardous materials or carrying 16 or more passengers, including the driver.
  • If an operator accumulates 12 or more points, their driving privilege will be suspended for 7 days for every point over 11.  Once the points have been reduced to 11, one point will be reduced for every three-month period during which no points are recorded against the operator’s driving record.
  • Operators may elect to attend an approved defensive driving course which will reduce three points from their driving record.  This three-point reduction can only be used once every 12-month period.  Proof of course completion must be mailed to the NDDOT’s Drivers License Division.
  • Operators issued a citation with a penalty of five points or less may elect to attend an approved defensive driving course in lieu of entry of points on the operator’s driving record.  The operator must notify the court at the time they post their bond and provide proof of course completion to DOT within 30 days.

Visit the ND Department of Transportation's website and select "Drivers License" as your topic.