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Frequently Asked Questions - Vehicle

Yes, oversize/overweight movement permits can be purchased online by visiting E-Permits.  The following permits are also available online:

  • Trip permit
  • Fuel permit
  • 10 percent weight exemption permit (harvest and winter)
  • Custom combine permit (resident and nonresident)
  • Seasonal permit
  • Interstate permit
  • Self-issue single trip interstate permit
  • Longer combination vehicle permit

Yes, temporary registrations strictly for motor vehicles are available online, and an E-Permits account is not required to complete a purchase.  But, an E-Permits account IS required for noresident custom combine crews that want to purchase temporary registrations for motor vehicles and trailers.

The North Dakota Travel Information Map is maintained by DOT, and it shows the current road conditions.  You can also dial 511 from any phone to receive updated road information.

Load restriction information is available on DOT's website where you can sign up for load restriction updates delivered by e-mail, or you can call the NDHP Permits Section at 701-328-2621 for information.

Yes, farm vehicles are exempt from daily vehicle inspection records, but an annual inspection is required.

There is no requirement to be licensed to do truck inspections, but you must be certified.  Requirements can be found in 49 CFR Part 396.19.  Basically, you must complete a training program and have experience as a mechanic or a federal or state inspector or similar experience.  Forms for conducting the inspections can be obtained through motor carrier associations, truck stops, etc.

Applications can be obtained online from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (preferred method) or by contacting FMCSA's Bismarck office at (701) 250-4346. There is no charge for a US DOT number.

No, if you strictly travel within the state of North Dakota, a US DOT number is not required.

An exception in 49 CFR Part 390.3(f)(3) of the federal regulations states a person may make an occasional trip to transport personal property neither for compensation nor in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise.  Farming is a commercial enterprise and trips in and out of state to purchase equipment, sell grain or buy fertilizer would require US DOT registration. Likewise, travel out of state to purchase antique tractors for restoration and resale would require US DOT registration as would being hired by an acquaintance to travel out of state to pick up a purchase.

An FMCSA interpretation of 49 CFR Part 390.3 of the safety regulations states the following:

Does the exemption in §390.3(f)(3) for the ‘‘occasional transportation of personal property by individuals not for compensation nor in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise’’ apply to persons who occasionally use CMVs to transport cars, boats, horses, etc., to races, tournaments, shows or similar events, even if prize money is offered at these events?

Guidance: The exemption would apply to this kind of transportation, provided: (1) The underlying activities are not undertaken for profit, i.e., (a) prize money is declared as ordinary income for tax purposes, and (b) the cost of the underlying activities is not deducted as a business expense for tax purposes; and, where relevant; (2) corporate sponsorship is not involved. Drivers must confer with their State of licensure to determine the licensing provisions to which they are subject.

A US DOT number identifies carriers operating in interstate commerce while an MC number identifies a carrier who transports regulated commodities in interstate commerce. Generally, items that have been changed from their natural state are regulated commodities requiring an MC number. Determining whether an MC number versus a US DOT number is required is made by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, not the ND Highway Patrol.

49 CFR Part 387.7 states that "Form MCS 90" is an "Endorsement for Motor Carrier Policies of Insurance for Public Liability Under Sections 29 and 30 of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980."  While it may appear to be an insurance certificate, in reality it is more.  It is an endorsement that shows proof of required financial responsibility, and all vehicles operated by for-hire carriers must have an MCS 90.  In the US, motor carriers domiciled in contiguous foreign countries (Canadian carriers) must have a legible copy, in English, on board the vehicle while US carriers must have the form at their principle place of business.  Be aware though, some Canadian carriers are leased onto and operating under the authority of a US carrier when operating in this country and thus would not need the form in the vehicle.

The ND Department of Transportation has entered into reciprocity agreements which allow the NDHP to waive the 72-hour trip permits and other registration requirements as follows:

  • Manitoba (MB) - Farm registered vehicles within 20 miles of the MB border hauling the owner's own goods, property, and supplies are exempt to include gainful employment and intrastate operation.
  • Saskatchewan (SK) - All SK registered vehicles operating interstate within 20 miles of the SK border are exempt, but farm registered vehicles hauling their own goods are not restricted to the 20-mile free zone provided the movement is an interstate operation only.
  • Minnesota (MN) - All MN registered vehicles within 20 miles of the MN border are exempt.  Farm registered vehicles have an expanded free zone (for interstate and intrastate operations) when hauling their own products, supplies, or farm equipment.  The expanded free zone is east of a line extending from state highway 256 to US highway 83 to state highway 1804. Full reciprocity for gainful employment is extended within the free zone but any vehicle remaining in the state more than 24 hours is subject to ND registration requirements.
  • Montana (MT) - Farm registered vehicles operating interstate and hauling their own farm products, farm supplies, or farm equipment are exempt.
  • South Dakota (SD) - All SD registered vehicles operating interstate within 20 miles of the SD border on the most reasonably direct route are exempt.  Farm registered vehicles hauling their own farm products, farm supplies, or farm equipment in an intrastate operation are not limited to the most direct route. Full reciprocity for gainful employment is extended within the free zone but any vehicle remaining in the state more than 24 hours is subject to ND registration requirements.

There is no restriction on how far you can travel on farm plates; however, if traveling over 100 air miles (or 150 miles for CDL or 150 air miles for intrastate operations), you would have to comply with Federal Motor Carrier regulations. Additionally, if traveling out of state you may have to pay temporary registration fees with other states.

The 26,000 pound exemption applies to a single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 lbs or less, not to a combined weight rating.

Yes. If the piece of equipment has a plate with the weight or weight rating it can be used with the weight rating of the towing unit.  One could also weigh the combination and use that weight to determine whether the combination exceeds 10,000 pounds. An interpretation from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is below:

A company has a truck with a GVWR under 10,001 pounds towing a trailer with a GVWR under 10,001 pounds. However, the GVWR of the truck added to the GVWR of the trailer is greater than 10,001 pounds. Would the company operating this vehicle in interstate commerce have to comply with the FMCSRs?

Guidance: §390.5 of the FMCSRs includes in the definition of CMV a vehicle with a GVWR or GCWR of 10,001 or more pounds. The section further defines GCWR as the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a combination (articulated) vehicle. Therefore, if the GVWR of the truck added to the GVWR of the trailer exceeds 10,001 pounds, the driver and vehicle are subject to the FMCSRs.

Yes, the vehicle manufacturer plate shows the GVWR as manufactured.  It is possible the axles on the vehicle were upgraded at some point after manufacture or some other change affecting the vehicle's GVWR occurred after manufacture.

No, you must have an interstate permit and all weights must be legal by axle and bridge.

Hay is secured in the same manner as any other commodity outlined in 49 CFR Part 393.100.  Generally, in the absence of a "headache rack" the first bale on the trailer requires two straps and each succeeding bale requires one strap.

No, front end structures (sometimes called headache racks) are not required by the federal requlations; however, if you have a front end structure and wish to use it as part of your cargo securement system it must meet the standards in 49 CFR Part 393.112.

Yes, since you are operating a vehicle that does not require you to have a CDL you do qualify for the non-CDL exemptions.  However, the agricultural exemptions listed in 49 CFR Part 395 give you more flexibility and you would be better off using those exemptions if you qualify.

As with all of the annual permits (seasonal, approved equipment, ID supplement, etc.), the Approved Equipment Certificate has to be purchased every year.  The vehicle does not have to be inspected/measured each year unless there are changes such as different tire sizes.