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Frequently Asked Questions - Motor Vehicles / Trailers

Yes, the camper must be attached by a fifth-wheel hitch. It is illegal for passengers to ride in a camper connected with a bumper hitch.

North Dakota Century code section 39-04-11 requires two plates to be on each motor vehicle. The plates must at all times be kept free and clear of mud, ice, or snow, to be clearly visible and all number plates, markers, or evidence of registration or licensing except for the current year must be removed from the vehicle. A fee of $10 dollars will be assessed if this section is violated.

A motor vehicle may draw two trailers. This would allow the towing of a boat trailer behind a gooseneck or bumper hitch camping trailer.

  • If the first trailer is a gooseneck or 5th wheel connection, the first trailer must be equipped with brakes, and the second trailer must be equipped with safety chains.
  • If the first trailer is a bumper hitch connection, the first trailer must be equipped with brakes and safety chains, and the second trailer must be equipped with safety chains at a minimum.  If the gross weight of the second trailer exceeds 3,000 pounds, brakes are also required.

The length of any vehicle combination, measured from the extreme front to the extreme rear of the entire combination, cannot exceed 75 feet.

Every trailer is required to have two taillamps, two reflectors (one on each side), and one stoplight.

  • A stoplight is not required if the towing vehicle’s stoplight is visible.

Clearance lamps, one on each side of the trailer, front and rear, are required if the trailer is over 80 inches (6' 8") in width.

Vehicles must be registered in North Dakota at the time residency is established or when employment is accepted in state, whichever occurs first.  A person is deemed a resident of North Dakota when the person has lived here for 90 days, unless they are a nonresident student, a tourist, or a member of the armed forces.  Full-time students and military personnel are exempt from registration as long as they display current license plates from their home state on their vehicle.

Application for registration must be made to the Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division in Bismarck or to any of the branch offices around the state.

Drivers must carry a registration card in their vehicle including registration cards for any towed units that are required to be registered.  Registration cards are subject to inspection by any peace officer.  Any person violating this section (NDCC 39-04-55) will be assessed a fee of $20 dollars. However, a person cited for violation of this section may not be found to have committed the violation if the person, within 48 hours after being cited, displays the registration card to any peace officer.

Drivers must be able to provide proof of insurance in written or electronic format. Drivers who are unable to show proof of insurance will be issued a citation, and proof of insurance must be provided to the applicable office of the court in order to get the citation dismissed.

Every trailer must be equipped with safety chains or brakes when operated upon a highway at a speed in excess of 25 mph.

Yes.  Either a taillamp or a separate lamp must illuminate the rear registration plate with a white light and render it clearly legible from a distance of fifty feet to the rear.

There is an excise tax of 5 percent on new and used vehicles purchased from dealers and private owners. The tax is based on the full purchase price of the vehicle with credit for your trade-in, if applicable.