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39-04-18. Motor vehicles exempt from registration fees - Reciprocal use of state highways by foreign licensed motor vehicles

1.    Except as provided in this section, every motor vehicle as defined in section 39-01-01, trailer or semitrailer designed to be towed by a truck or truck tractor, and farm trailer operated or intended to be operated upon any highway, road, or street in this state must be registered annually with the department. Any vehicle being operated on highways, roads, or streets of this state must display license plates as furnished by the department upon payment of the fees prescribed in this chapter.
Upon satisfactory proof to the department that a motor vehicle owned by a resident of this state was not used upon any of the highways of this state in any one or more years, the motor vehicle may be registered upon payment of the registration fee for the current year.
Any resident of the state of North Dakota, serving in the armed forces of the United States for a period of time greater than one year, may relicense any motor vehicle owned by the veteran without paying any fee or penalties for the intervening years when the vehicle was not licensed, providing the veteran shows by suitable affidavit that the vehicle was not in use during any year in which it was not licensed. The vehicle must be licensed for the license fee applicable to the month of the year in which application for license is made.
2.    The following motor vehicles may be operated upon the highways, roads, and streets of this state without being registered, under such limitations as are herein specified; provided, however, that whenever the department   determines that it is to the best interest of the state of North Dakota and determines by reciprocal agreement or otherwise that as great or greater privileges are not granted North Dakota residents while traveling in other states or territories, the department may cancel or limit the application of any exception to residents or motor vehicles from such other state or territory:
 
a. Farm tractors as defined in section 39-01-01, special mobile equipment and road rollers and other road construction or maintenance machinery that cannot be operated on the highways and streets of this state in a normal operating manner.
 
b. Motor vehicles owned by or in possession of Indian mission schools, by this state or any of its agencies, departments, or political subdivisions, including school districts possessing a motor vehicle or vehicles used for driver education instruction, or by any entity located upon the international boundary line between the United States of America and Canada used and maintained as a memorial to commemorate the long-existing relationship of peace and good will between the people and the governments of the United States of America and Canada and to further international peace among the nations of the world; provided, however, that the vehicles must display license plates provided by the department at actual cost. Upon request, qualifying law enforcement motor vehicles must be issued a license plate under section 39-04-10.9.
Each motor vehicle loaned or furnished by a licensed North Dakota motor vehicle dealer to a school district in North Dakota to be used exclusively for instructing pupils in the driver education and training program conducted by the school district will be assigned an official license plate. The license plates must be used only on the motor vehicles furnished by dealers and used in the driver education program, and for no other purpose except for garaging and safekeeping of the motor vehicle.
A person may not use a driver education motor vehicle bearing official license plates for any purpose other than driver education course instruction. A person is not in violation of this subdivision if the person is required by the dealer or a school administrator to house or otherwise protect the vehicle at the person's home or other facility.
 
c. Motor vehicles registered in any other state or territory when coming into this state a distance not exceeding twenty miles [32.19 kilometers]; provided, however, that such motor vehicles have displayed thereon the current license plates issued by the state or territory in which they are registered and provided further that the owners or operators thereof are not residents of this state. Nor may such vehicles be required to pay any other tax, and no registration fee or tax may be required when such vehicles do not leave the incorporated limits of any city while in the state of North Dakota within a zone circumscribed by a line running parallel to the corporate limits of any city or contiguous cities and twenty miles [32.19 kilometers] distant therefrom. This section does not prevent trucks from coming into the state such distance as shall be necessary to reach the nearest railway shipping station. For purposes of this subdivision, an individual is a resident of this state if the individual is gainfully employed or engages in any trade, profession, or occupation within this state and owns, leases, or rents a place of residence or otherwise lives within this state for the purposes of employment, or regardless of domicile or any other circumstance, remains in this state for a period of at least ninety consecutive days. For purposes of this subdivision, a resident does not include a student at a university, college, or technical school in this state or a daily commuter from another jurisdiction if that jurisdiction exempts the vehicle of a daily commuter from this state from registration in that jurisdiction under a reciprocity agreement.
 
d. Motor vehicles owned and operated by the United States government, or any foreign government, or any of their agencies or departments; provided, however, that such motor vehicles must display identification plates.
 
e. Passenger motor vehicles registered in any other state or territory; provided, however, that such motor vehicles have displayed thereon the current license plates issued by the state or territory in which they are registered and provided further that the owners or operators thereof are not residents of this state. For purposes of this subdivision, an individual is a resident of this state if the individual is gainfully employed or engages in any trade, profession, or occupation within this state and owns, leases, or rents a place of residence or otherwise lives within this state for the purposes of employment, or regardless of domicile or any other circumstance, remains in this state for a period of at least ninety consecutive days. For purposes of this subdivision, a resident does not include a student at a university, college, or technical school in this state or a daily commuter from another jurisdiction if that jurisdiction exempts the vehicle of a daily commuter from this state from registration in that jurisdiction under a reciprocity agreement.
 
f. Motor vehicles owned and operated by a manufacturer of motor vehicles when such motor vehicles are operated or moved such distance as may be authorized by the director from the factory where manufactured or assembled, to a depot or place of shipment or other point of delivery; provided, however, that such vehicles have displayed in plain sight the name and address of the manufacturer and a written permit from local police authorities.
 
g. Motor vehicles owned and operated by a licensed North Dakota motor vehicle dealer from a railway depot, warehouse, salesroom, or place of shipment; provided, however, that such vehicles have displayed in plain sight the name and address of the dealer and a written permit from the local police authorities. h. Motor vehicles owned and operated by nonresidents engaged in harvest of agricultural products from June first through December thirty-first of any one year; provided, however, that such motor vehicles have displayed thereon a decal or other means of identification issued by the director upon payment of a fee of fifty dollars.
 
i. Vehicles owned by nonresident military personnel stationed in this state and operated by such military personnel or their dependents, provided such vehicle is registered in the state or territory whereof such military person is a resident, and provided further that current license plates from such state or territory are displayed on such vehicle.
 
j. Motor vehicles not exceeding twenty-six thousand pounds [11793.40 kilograms] registered gross weight owned and operated by a disabled veteran under the provisions of Public Law 79-663 [38 U.S.C. 3901], a disabled veteran who has a one hundred percent service-connected disability as determined by the department of veterans' affairs, or a disabled veteran who has an extra-schedular rating to include individual unemployability that brings the veteran's total disability rating to one hundred percent as determined by the department of veterans' affairs is entitled to display either a distinctive license plate or a standard plate that does not identify the veteran as a veteran or disabled veteran which is issued by the department. This exemption applies to no more than two such motor vehicles owned by a disabled veteran at any one time. A surviving spouse of a disabled veteran who has not remarried and who is receiving department of veterans' affairs dependency and indemnity compensation retains the exemption of the deceased veteran who qualified under this subdivision for one vehicle.
 
k. Motor vehicles having not over two axles and not being used in combination owned and operated by nonresidents and any motor vehicle or combination of three axles or more operated in this state pursuant to a proportional licensing or other agreement or arrangement with any jurisdiction having motor vehicle registration authority.
 
l. Motor vehicles owned and operated by a resident building mover or by a resident well driller; provided, however, that such vehicles are used only for moving buildings or building-moving equipment, or are used only for drilling water wells or moving water well-drilling equipment; provided, further, that such vehicles display a license plate issued by the director upon the payment of a fee of twenty-five dollars for two axle trucks, fifty dollars for tandem axle trucks and single axle truck-tractor units, and seventy-five dollars for each tandem axle truck-tractor unit. Any vehicle which has been issued this special motor vehicle license may be registered under the regular motor vehicle registration law, by payment of the difference between the amount paid for the special motor vehicle license and the regular registration fee for such vehicle. Any vehicle which has been issued this special motor vehicle license and is found being operated upon the highways of this state without being equipped with special house-moving or well-drilling equipment shall forfeit the fee paid and, in addition, must be required to register under the regular motor vehicle registration law of this state. None of the above limitations may be construed as restricting the operation of the special licensed vehicle when such operation would not require a greater fee than that paid for this operation.
 
m. Any trailer, semitrailer, or farm trailer when the gross weight, not including the weight of the towing vehicle, does not exceed one thousand five hundred pounds [680.39 kilograms] and it is not for hire or commercial use, or when used to transport recreational vehicles or boats and it is not for hire or commercial use. n. Any vehicle which is driven or moved upon a highway only for the purpose of crossing the highway from one property to another. The crossing must be made at an angle of approximately ninety degrees to the direction of the highway.
 
o. Passenger motor vehicles, house cars, or pickup trucks not exceeding twenty thousand pounds [9071.84 kilograms] registered gross weight owned and operated by a resident who, while serving in the United States armed forces, was a prisoner of war and has received an honorable discharge from the United States armed forces is entitled to display a distinctive license plate issued by the department. This exemption also applies to any passenger motor vehicle, house car, or pickup truck not exceeding twenty thousand pounds [9071.84 kilograms] registered gross weight subsequently purchased or acquired by such a former prisoner of war. This exemption applies to no more than two motor vehicles owned by a former prisoner of war at any one time. A surviving spouse of a former prisoner of war who has not remarried retains the exemption of the deceased veteran who qualified under this subdivision for one vehicle.
 
p. Motor vehicles not exceeding twenty-six thousand pounds [11793.40 kilograms] registered gross weight owned and operated by a veteran who was awarded the purple heart is entitled to a distinctive license plate issued by the department. This exemption applies to one motor vehicle owned by a veteran who was awarded the purple heart.