Frequently Asked Questions
You are required to obtain a USDOT number if you have a vehicle that:
- Is used to transport the types and quantities of hazardous materials requiring a safety permit in intrastate commerce (see 49 CFR 385.403).
- Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 10,001 pounds or more; or
- Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or
- Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation;
AND is involved in Interstate commerce:
Trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States—
- Between a place in a State and a place outside of such State (including a place outside of the United States);
- Between two places in a State through another State or a place outside of the United States; or
- Between two places in a State as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the State or the United States.
All annual permits (seasonal, and approved equipment, etc.), to include the Approved Equipment Certificate, have to be purchased every year.
Farm vehicles weighing over 26,000 lbs do quality for the non-CDL exemption since the operation of that vehicle does not require a CDL. However, the "covered farm vehicle" exemptions provide more flexibility; use those exemptions if you qualify.
A headache rack is a steel, or sometimes aluminum, rack that is mounted on the bed rails just behind the cab of a pickup or truck. Headache racks are not required.
Front end structures are also not required by the federal requlations; however, if a front end structure is in place and is used as part of the cargo securement system, it must meet the standards in 49 CFR Part 393.112.
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.
(1) Means a straight truck or articulated vehicle— (i) Registered in a State with a license plate or other designation issued by the State of registration that allows law enforcement officials to identify it as a farm vehicle; (ii) Operated by the owner or operator of a farm or ranch, or an employee or family member of a an owner or operator of a farm or ranch; (iii) Used to transport agricultural commodities, livestock, machinery or supplies to or from a farm or ranch; and (iv) Not used in for-hire motor carrier operations; however, for-hire motor carrier operations do not include the operation of a vehicle meeting the requirements of paragraphs (1)(i) through (iii) of this definition by a tenant pursuant to a crop share farm lease agreement to transport the landlord’s portion of the crops under that agreement. (2) Meeting the requirements of paragraphs (1)(i) through (iv) of this definition: (i) With a gross vehicle weight or gross vehicle weight rating, whichever is greater, of 26,001 pounds or less may utilize the exemptions in § 390.39 anywhere in the United States; or (ii) With a gross vehicle weight or gross vehicle weight rating, whichever is greater, of more than 26,001 pounds may utilize the exemptions in § 390.39 anywhere in the State of registration or across State lines within 150 air miles of the farm or ranch with respect to which the vehicle is being operated.
No, you must have an interstate permit and all weights must be legal by axle and bridge.
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.
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. The greater of the GCWR or the actual combined weight would be the value that would be used to determine applicability of the regulations.
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.
The 26,000 pound exemption applies to either a single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 lbs or less or to a combined weight rating of 26,000 lbs or less.
There is no restriction on how far you can travel on farm plates; however, if traveling over 150 air miles in interstate commerce, 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 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.
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.
A US DOT number identifies carriers operating in interstate commerce while an MC number identifies a carrier who transports regulated commodities for hire 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.
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.
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.
No, if you strictly travel within the state of North Dakota, a US DOT number is not required.
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 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, have experience as a mechanic, or a federal or state inspector or similar experience. The inspector must also be familiar with Parts 393, 396, and Appendix G of the Federal Regulations. Forms for conducting the inspections can be obtained through motor carrier associations, truck stops, etc.
No, as long as it meets the definition of a “covered farm vehicle."
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, 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 non-resident custom combine crews that want to purchase temporary registrations for motor vehicles and trailers through the NDHP Permit site.
Yes, oversize/overweight movement permits, as well as all permits in North Dakota, can be purchased online by visiting E-Permits.
Every individual while carrying a concealed firearm or dangerous weapon, for which a license to carry concealed is required, shall have on one's person the license issued by this or another state and shall give it to any active law enforcement officer for an inspection upon demand by the officer as stated in ND Century Code 62.1-04-04.
Every individual carrying a concealed firearm under the authority granted in subsection 2 of section 62.1-04-02 shall inform a law enforcement officer of the individual's possession of a concealed weapon upon the initiation of a traffic stop or any other in-person contact initiated by a law enforcement officer as stated in ND Century Code 62.1-04-04.
Every individual carrying a concealed firearm under the authority granted in subsection 2 of section 62.1-04-02 must have on one's person a valid driver's license or non-driver identification card issued by the department of transportation or a digital image of one's valid driver's license or non-driver identification card on a mobile device and shall provide the license or card to any law enforcement officer for inspection upon demand by the officer as stated in ND Century Code 62.1-04-04.
There is no federal regulation prohibiting the possession of a firearm in a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV). CMV drivers need to abide by all state laws when carrying a weapon in a vehicle.
Convicted felons or disqualified individuals are disallowed from possessing any firearm.
According to ND Century Code 62.1-04-03.1 North Dakota honors valid concealed carry licenses/permits (resident and non-resident) issued by states that recognize North Dakota’s licenses.
|Arkansas||Iowa||North Carolina||West Virginia|
Reminder: Weapons must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state where you are located. It is the license holder’s responsibility to know and comply with applicable laws. For information, contact the appropriate authority of the state you intend to visit.
Constitutional Concealed Carry (effective 8/1/2017) ND constitutional concealed carry applies only to North Dakota residents and only within North Dakota's borders.
A concealed weapon is defined as a firearm or dangerous weapon that is concealed if it is carried in such a manner as to not be discernible by the ordinary observation of a passerby. See ND Century Code 62.1-04-01 for more information.
Effective August 1, 2017, individuals may be issued a license by the ND Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) to carry a concealed firearm. Applicants must meet age requirements, provide proof of residency, complete a testing procedure, pass a criminal background investigation and not be disqualified based on convictions noted in ND Century Code 62.1-04-03-C.
Effective August 1, 2017, Constitutional Carry only allows concealed carry of a firearm by a North Dakota resident within the boundaries of North Dakota. A concealed weapon license to carry concealed outside ND is required when out of state. Reciprocity with other states applies only if you possess a valid concealed weapon license.
- Transport the firearm in a locked and closed trunk or luggage compartment.
- A handgun, carried by a person permitted by law to possess it, may be carried unloaded and in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase to the permitted person's home or place of business; or to a place of repair, or back from those locations.
- Rifles, shotguns, or a weapon that will expel a projectile by action of a spring, compressed air or compressed gas (i.e. BB gun, air rifle or C02 gun) should be unloaded while carried in a motor vehicle and be in plain view.
For an official copy of a crash report, fill out a Request for Crash Report Information form and mail it to the ND Department of Transportation's Drivers License Division. The mailing address is included on the form. There is a $2 fee for the officer's report, a $5 fee for the officer's opinion, and a $7 fee for both. For more information, contact:
North Dakota Department of Transportation
Drivers License Division
All drivers are encouraged to drive defensively and in a non-aggressive, courteous manner. In following these guidelines, drivers can avoid most conflicts associated with road rage. If you are a victim of road rage, call 911 immediately to report the incident.
There is no specific law prohibiting road rage. However, "road rage" or other similar behavior exhibited by a driver could fall under a number of categories ranging from a traffic violation to a criminal offense. Applicable charges will depend upon the circumstances.
There are many factors to consider before deciding what to do. Generally, there are a few critical responses.
First, make sure you protect yourself from other traffic or traffic hazards in the area that may have led to the crash. Do not obstruct traffic more than necessary.
Next, if the scene is safe, obtain as much information as possible and call 911. Be sure to provide the location of the crash and the number of vehicles and occupants involved.
Then, if it is safe to do so, render any kind of aid to the injured.
Finally, remain on the scene until help arrives. Remember that you can be a great asset to an investigating officer to inform the officer of any information you have about the crash.
If a motorist strikes an unattended vehicle, the motorist must immediately stop and provide the owner with the motorist's name, address, and insurance policy carrier. If the owner of the unattended vehicle cannot be located, then the driver must leave in a conspicuous place on the vehicle the information listed above and the circumstances of the crash. ND Century Code 39-08-07
Any unpaid volunteer, who in good faith, renders emergency care or services at or near the scene of a crash, disaster, or other emergency, or via enroute to a treatment facility, is not liable to the recipient of the emergency care or services for any damages resulting from the rendering of that care or service.
This does not apply to willful misconduct or gross negligence on the part of any intoxicated person or other person rendering aid. ND Century Code 39-08-04.1
According to ND Century Code 39-08-09, if a crash results in property damage of $1,000 (combined or otherwise), notice must be given to the local police department, county sheriff, or ND Highway Patrol. This amount will increase to $4,000 effective Aug 1, 2019.
If a driver of any vehicle is involved in a crash that has damaged highway fixtures or other property, the driver shall take reasonable steps to locate and notify the owner or person in charge of the damaged property.
Drivers must provide name, address and the registration number of the vehicle involved. Please see applicable ND Century Code.
When an emergency vehicle displaying emergency lights is approaching, all drivers of every other vehicle shall yield the right of way by moving to the right-hand edge or curb that is not in an intersection and stop. Drivers must remain stopped until the emergency vehicle passes.
If an emergency vehicle is parked or stopped at the scene of an emergency and is displaying emergency red, white, or blue lights; all drivers must move to the right and stop. After completely stopping, drivers may proceed with caution unless otherwise directed.
If you encounter an emergency, traffic hazard, violation, or breakdown, dial 911 for assistance.
If the crash occurs in a municipality, contact the local police department. If outside a municipality, contact the sheriff's office or NDHP.
If a motorist hits a deer or other undomesticated animal, the motorist does not need to report the crash to law enforcement, if the crash results in property damage only, regardless of the amount of damage to the vehicle.
If someone is injured as a result of the crash, law enforcement must be contacted. If your vehicle is disabled, law enforcement can provide assistance.
The ND Move Over Law states that if an authorized emergency vehicle is parked or stopped on the interstate system or on a multi-lane highway outside the limits of a city, and the authorized emergency vehicle is displaying a flashing, revolving, or rotating amber, blue, white, or red light; the driver of an approaching vehicle shall proceed with caution and yield the right of way by moving to a lane that is not adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle if the move may be made with due regard to safety and traffic conditions or if not, the driver shall proceed with due caution, reduce the speed of the vehicle, and maintain a safe speed for the road conditions.
This law also applies to DOT maintenance vehicles.
This is an example of a MCV following the Move Over Law:
All front seat occupants must wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt (secondary enforcement).
All occupants younger than 18 must be properly restrained regardless of the occupant's location in the vehicle (primary enforcement).
- Children under 8 years of age must be properly secured in a child restraint (car seat or booster seat). A seat belt may be substituted for children younger than 8 years of age who are at least 57 inches tall (4' 9").
- Children ages 8 through 17 must be properly secured in a seat belt or child restraint.
- Child restraints and seat belts must be used correctly following all manufacturer instructions.
- The penalty for violation of the law is a $25 fine and one point against the license of the driver.
There are a few exceptions for the seat belt requirement:
- in vehicles not originally manufactured with seat belts (prior to January 1, 1965)
- drivers of implements of husbandry or farm vehicles
- rural mail carriers, while on duty
- occupants with a medical or physical disability who possess a signed statement from a qualified physician
- when all front seat restraints are in use by other occupants
A citation for a seat belt violation cannot be issued unless the driver is lawfully stopped or detained for another violation. A driver can be stopped and cited if anyone in the vehicle (including the driver) is under 18 years of age and is not properly restrained.
A vehicle's speed can be made by measuring the time it takes to travel one mile. The best way to conduct the test is to set cruise at one speed and measure the time it takes to travel between two green mile markers on interstate or other US/state highways.
Using the seconds on the left on the chart below, the corresponding mph is listed in the right column.
|Seconds||Miles Per Hour|
North Dakota Century Code 39-21-01 states headlights are required from sunset to sunrise and on farm vehicles operating on a highway from one half hour after sunset to one half hour before sunrise.
Headlights are also required when it is raining, snowing, sleeting, is foggy or is hailing or during other adverse driving or weather conditions when the conditions prevent a person from clearly making a vehicle discernible at a distance of 1,000 feet.
Maximum bumper height = 27” (68.58 cm)
Bumper height is measured from a level ground surface to the highest point on the bottom of the bumper. A horizontal drop bumper may be used and must be at least three inches (7.62 cm) in vertical width; extend the entire horizontal body width; and be horizontal and load bearing.
Maximum body height = 42” (106.68 cm)
Body height measurement is made from a level ground surface to the floor of the cargo area.
Reference: NDCC 39-21-45.1.
North Dakota Century Code 39-21-45.1 requires all motor vehicles registered in North Dakota to have front and rear bumpers.
Studded tires are legal in North Dakota and are permitted between October 15 and April 15 each year.
According to ND Century Code: “No vehicle may be driven or moved on any highway unless it is so constructed or loaded as to prevent its contents from dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping therefrom…”
Contact law enforcement to report damage, include information such as the vehicle's description and license plate number.
NOTE: Damage caused from a vehicle's tire kicking up a rock is not reportable.
To obtain a criminal background check, contact the ND Bureau of Criminal Investigation via the BCI website or by calling 701-328-5500.
According to the Office of the ND State Tax Commissioner, the use of dyed diesel fuel is not allowed for on-road use in licensed vehicles in North Dakota. Under ND law, the injection of red dye into diesel fuel indicates the fuel has not been subject to an excise tax. Instead, dyed diesel fuel is subject to the special fuel excise tax of $.04 per gallon.
Dyed diesel fuel is used for off-road, non-licensed equipment for farming or construction and is exempt from the per gallon fuel tax. Dyed fuel continues to be taxed at a different rate and is intended for off-road non-licensed vehicle use only.
A complaints may be filed in person, via telephone, in writing, or by email. A person filing a complaint should be willing to identify themselves and give specific information relating to the complaint. Anonymous complaints will be handled in the same manner unless there is no supporting information, evidence, or witnesses for corroborative purposes.
All employees will courteously and promptly accept and record in writing any complaint. Employees may attempt to resolve the complaint, but will not attempt to dissuade a person from lodging a complaint. Employees will immediately document all required information and notify a supervisor of the complaint.
Request a safety talk through this website or the NDHP Mobile App by completing the online form and submitting it electronically. You will be contacted to confirm the request and determine arrangements.
A motorist can access information on current road conditions, construction reports, and seasonal load restrictions by dialing 511. 511 is a free service that provides travelers the information needed for safe traveling.
Additional information can be found on NDDOT's Travel Information Map.
While Canadian driving rules are very similar to the U.S. DOT's, there are some minor differences. Canadian drivers do not carry a medical card since their CDL includes a medical certification. Additionally, even though they don’t have the same ‘waiver’ program as the U.S., they do have a program in place. Their CDL includes restrictions such as ‘automatic transmission only’ if a medical condition such as a missing leg exists. However, the restrictions are not a hard and fast rule for every condition and should not be used in deciding whether to put a driver out of service. The best rule of thumb if you feel a Canadian driver with a valid CDL has a condition that prevents him/her from legally operating in the U.S. is to contact the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for guidance.
- If an operator accumulates 12 or more points, driving privilege will be suspended for seven 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.
North Dakota is a member of the Non-Resident Violator Compact and therefore does share citation information with other states. If you are a driver from from one of the 45 states participating states and receive a citation, North Dakota will notify your home state of the traffic citation.
The speed limit is 55 mph on gravel, loose dirt, or on loose surface highways and on paved two-lane county and township highways, if there is no speed limit posted.
The speed limit is 65 mph on two-lane highways, if posted for that speed.
The speed limit is 70 mph on paved four-lane divided highways.
The speed limit is 75 mph on interstate highways (I-29 and I-94).
The North Dakota Highway Patrol can measure speed with multiple equipment options, to include:
- Radar - doppler radar with moving and stationary capabilities mounted inside a patrol vehicle
- LIDAR - a handheld laser speed measuring device used from a stationary position
- Aircraft - speed is calculated using a time and distance formula
- Pacing - certified, calibrated speedometers placed in a patrol vehicle that is used to match the speed of a vehicle
Speed enforcement provides for the safety of the motoring public as well as pedestrians that may be along the roadway. Enforcing speed reduces the number of crashes as well as the severity of crashes.
According to NDDOT, in 2017, 24.1% of fatal crashes in North Dakota were speed-related.
NDHP Troopers concentrate on all types of offenses, including 'serious' crime. Through enforcement efforts such as traffic offenses, serious crimes such as the transportation of illegal drugs, trafficking, and other crimes may be discovered.
The purpose of traffic enforcement is to provide for the safety of the motoring public and to prevent crashes that result in injuries or fatalities.
Although fees and points are associated with specific offenses, the primary goal of traffic enforcement is to encourage safe driving practices.
If the number of points assigned to a violation is two or less, the violation is entered on an operator’s driving record in a separate area that is not available to the public. Please see ND Century Code: 39-06.1-10. (page 5)
Certain traffic violations are assigned a specified number of points based on the seriousness of the offense. When a driver accumulates 12 or more points on their driving record, driving privilege is suspended. If the driver is younger then 18 and accumulates 6 or more points, the driver's privilege is cancelled.
A written warning is given a driver to make the person aware that a violation has occurred. The officer may provide instruction to you regarding the warning. For example, if the warning is for an equipment violation such as a headlight being out, you should get the light changed in the specified amount of time. A warning does not require the offender to send anything back, unless specifically instructed to do so.
NDHP enforces the posted speed limit in normal driving conditions. In inclement weather, NDHP may enforce lower speeds than the posted limit to assure safety for travelers.
If you receive a citation, you can pay for the citation via mail in the envelope provided or online through the N.D. State Court's website.
To pay online using a credit card, click here to complete the transaction.
If you want to pay via mail, return the payment (bond) in the envelope provided within 14 days and send it to the address indicated on the envelope. The address will be the Clerk of District Court for the county in which you were stopped.
Do not sign the citation if you DO NOT want to contest the citation.
If you want to contest the citation, you must still pay bond, sign the citation, and send it in. The court where your case will be heard, will send a notice of the date and time of the hearing to the address listed on the citation. If the court determines you are not guilty, you will be reimbursed for the bond amount paid.
To find additional information about driver's licensing, visit the NDDOT website and in the drop down topic area, select Drivers License".
- If an operator accumulates 12 or more points, the operator's driving privilege will be suspended for 7 days for every point over 11. When the accumulated point total is brought down to 11, one point will be taken away every three months as long as no additional points are recorded against the operator’s driving record.
- An operator may elect to attend an approved defensive driving course which will reduce three points from the operator's 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.
- If an operator is issued a citation with a penalty of five points or less, the operator 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 bond is posted and provide proof of course completion to NDDOT within 30 days.
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 placardable quantities of hazardous materials or carrying 16 or more passengers, including the driver.
A North Dakota driver's license expires at midnight on the date of birth of the applicant on the year listed on the license. Commercial licenses are valid for four years from the holder’s date of birth and the year listed on the license. Noncommercial licenses are valid for four or six years from the holder’s date of birth and the year listed on the license.
To get a driver's license, visit a local NDDOT Driver's License Branch Office.
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 considered a resident of North Dakota when the person has lived in the state for 90 days, unless that person is a nonresident student, a tourist, or a member of the armed forces.
If two or less points are assigned to a violation, the violation is entered on an operator’s driving record in a separate file that is not available to the public.
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, the operator's driving privilege will be suspended. If the operator is under 18 yeas of age and accumulates 6 or more points, their driving privilege is cancelled.
A nonresident, who is at least sixteen years of age and possesses a valid operator's license issued to that person in that person's home state or country, may operate a motor vehicle in North Dakota. An instruction permit does not meet this qualification.
Motorcycle inspection items include the following:
- Tires, wheels, rims
- Steering and suspension
- Frame and chasis
- Fuel system
- Mirror (at least one)
- Fenders (each wheel)
- Chain guard
- Vehicle stand
- Speedometer and odometer
- One headlamp (with high beam indicator)
- One taillamp
- One stop lamp
- Passenger seat, footrest, and highway bars, if applicable
A person who is at least fourteen years of age may obtain a motorized bicycle operator's permit. To obtain this permit, the applicant must pay a fee of $10 and take a written examination. If the applicant passes the written examination and the examiner is satisfied that the applicant has adequate eyesight, the applicant may be issued a motorized bicycle operator's permit, even if the applicant does not have an operator's license.
A person who has an operator's license, a temporary permit, an instruction permit, or a motorcycle permit is not required to obtain a motorized bicycle operator's permit and may operate a motorized bicycle.
The minimum age to operate a motorcycle in North Dakota is 14. Applicants who are 14 or 15 years of age may be issued a motorcycle learner's permit by successfully completing an approved motorcycle safety course. After two months with a learner's permit, operators under 16 may apply for a motorcycle license. Any person under 16 years of age, who holds a permit or license, is restricted to the operation of a motorcycle powered with an engine of 250 CCs or less.
In North Dakota, a person under 18 years of age who operates or rides a motorcycle, must wear a helmet which complies with standards established by the U.S. DOT. If the operator of the motorcycle is required to wear a helmet, any passenger must also wear a helmet, regardless of the age of the passenger. Please see ND Century Code 39.10.2-06.
ND Century Code 39-27-10 states that each wheel on a motorcycle must have a fender or be covered by the body configuration. A fender must be securely mounted and of sufficient size and strength to minimize water or other road surface substances from coming in contact with the vehicle riders, or throwing the road substances unreasonably to the rear of the vehicle. The fender design must be effective in reducing side spray.
- Front windshield – at least 70% light transmittance (no more than 30% tint)
- Other windows – at least 50% light transmittance (no more than 50% tint)
- When calculating total tint, the factory tinting on windows must be included. For example, a 50% tint added to a window with a 30% factory tint would exceed the allowed limit.
- Windows behind the operator may be tinted with zero light transmittance as long as the motor vehicle is equipped with outside mirrors on both sides.
Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV)
An individual may operate a registered Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) on a gravel, dirt, or loose surface roadway and on a paved highway designated and posted at a speed not exceeding 55 miles per hour.
A licensed driver over 16 years of age may operate a registered class III OHV on a paved highway designated and posted at a speed not exceeding 65 miles per hour, if the vehicle is equipped with a mirror, horn, speedometer, odometer, brake light, lighted headlamp, and 350 cc motor or greater. Review for ND Century Code 39-29-09.1
Class III Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) must be equipped with one head lamp, one tail light, and brakes.
A Class III OHV weighs less than 8,000 pounds, travels on four or more tires, has a seat and a wheel for steering control, and is designated for, or capable of, cross-country on or over land, water, sand, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, or other natural terrain.
The NDDOT website has additional information and includes a FAQ section.
There is an excise tax of 5 percent on new and used vehicles purchased from auto dealers and private owners. The tax is based on the full purchase price of the vehicle with credit for a trade-in, if applicable.
A license plate light is required on the rear of a vehicle. A tail lamp 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.
Every trailer must be equipped with safety chains or brakes when operated upon a highway at a speed in excess of 25 mph.
A driver must be able to provide proof of insurance in written or digital format. A drivers who is 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 dismiss the citation.
A driver must carry the vehicle's registration card in the vehicle. In addition, registrations cards for any towed unit must also be carried, if the unit requires registration. Registration cards are subject to inspection by any law enforcement officer. A person violating ND Century Code 39-04-55 will be assessed a fee of 20 dollars. If a person cited for violation of this section displays the registration card to any law enforcement officer within 48 hours, the violation is considered to not have occurred.
Vehicles must be registered in North Dakota when residency is established or when employment is accepted, whichever occurs first.
A person is considered a resident of North Dakota when the person has lived in the state for 90 days, unless the person is a nonresident student, a tourist, or a member of the armed forces. Full-time students and military personnel are exempt from registration, but current license plates from their home state must be displayed their vehicle.
A trailer is required to have two tail lamps, two reflectors (one on each side), and one stoplight.
- A stoplight is not required if the towing vehicle’s stoplight is visible.
A clearance lamp, one on each side of the trailer (front and rear), is required if the trailer is over 80 inches (6' 8") in width.
The length of any vehicle combination, measured from the extreme front to the extreme rear of the entire combination, cannot exceed 75 feet.
A motor vehicle may pull 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.
ND Century Code 39-04-11 requires each motor vehicle have 2 plates. Both plates must be kept clear of mud, ice, or snow, and be clearly visible. All number plates, markers, or evidence of registration or licensing, with the exception of the current year, must be removed from the vehicle. There is a $10 fee if this section is violated.
It is legal to ride in a camping trailer if the camper is attached by a fifth-wheel hitch. It is illegal for passengers to ride in a camper connected with a bumper hitch.
A DOT 306 cargo tank can be used to transport PG 2 or PG 3 crude oil. In ND, much of the crude oil is classified as PG 1 material and would require a DOT 307/407 cargo tank.
Generally, any tank over 119 gallons is a bulk tank requiring compliance with the federal hazardous materials rules to include placarding, licensing, shipping, etc. There are however, many exceptions to the regulations.
Basically, 49 CFR 173.5(a) and North Dakota state law state that a farm vehicle traveling on local roads between fields of the same farm and not carrying class 2 material is exempt from all HAZMAT requirements. So, a farm vehicle traveling township/county/state roads between farm fields does not have to meet HAZMAT requirements. However, if traveling on interstate highways, to town, or to a neighboring farm, the farm vehicle must comply with HAZMAT requirements because the movement does not meet the local roads/fields of the same farm exception.
The second part of the question pertains to an anhydrous ammonia nurse tank which is a class 2 material. 49 CFR 173.5 and North Dakota state law states that a farmer carrying class 2 materials is only exempt from subpart G and H (which includes training requirements and emergency response information requirements). So, a farm vehicle carrying anhydrous ammonia traveling on township/county/state roads is exempt from (1) training and emergency response information requirements in accordance with 49 CFR 173.5, (2) shipping paper requirements in accordance with 173.315(m), and (3) CDL HAZMAT endorsement requirements in accordance with 383.3(d). The vehicle does, however, have to be placarded/marked in accordance with 173.315(m).
Generally the answer is yes, but your load must meet the definition of a hazardous material in 49 CFR Part 390.5. If you still have HAZMAT in the mixture which meets the rules in the HAZMAT regulations then you will still have to comply. If the state of the material is altered, the material may no longer pose a hazard and may not require compliance, but that decision must be made in accordance with federal regulations and cannot be decided solely because you diluted it.
The tank would not be considered a bulk tank and would have less than 1000 lbs of hazardous materials so it would not require placards. If the tank contains diesel fuel, it would be exempt from the hazardous materials regulations. Gasoline would not be allowed to be transported in the tank in commerce because the tank would not meet DOT specifications.
If the tank has not been cleaned and purged, it is considered a bulk tank in transportation and you would need placards, shipping paper, etc. If the tank has been cleaned and purged, then you do not have to worry about HAZMAT requirements.
Yes, the farm exemption in 49 CFR Part 383 does not apply to commercial transportation. You would need a CDL with the proper endorsements (tanker, HM) if the vehicle is over 26,000 lbs GCVWR or requires placarding.
Farm vehicle operators driving for a farm operation are not required to have a CDL; therefore, no HM endorsement is required, even if the driver has a CDL. However, anyone operating as a commercial carrier is required to have a HM endorsement on their CDL when hauling nurse tanks.
No, North Dakota does not require special permits to haul hazardous material within the state. However, federal rules (which apply in ND) require commercial operators and anyone who hauls hazardous materials to have current Certificates of Registration as outlined in 49 CFR Part 107.608. Federal regulations also require a safety permit for interstate or intrastate transportation of certain radioactive, explosive, or poisonous materials which can be found in 49 CFR Part 385 Subpart E.
No, the 25 mph restriction for anhydrous will still be in place because the tank does not meet the required specifications and the farm trailer isn't designed for highway speeds.
For the purposes of a New Entrant Safety Audit and/or a MCSAP Safety Investigation here is a listing of the time periods. Keep in mind that these time frames are for records retained under the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations. Time frames for the International Registration Plan (IRP), International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are different. Please contact the NDDOT Motor Carrier Services for specific questions on IRP and IFTA. Contact the Internal Revenue Service or the ND Tax Department for questions on income tax related record retention.
Federal Motor Carrier Regulation retention period for New Entrant Audits and MCSAP Safety Investigations:
Accidents - must maintain an accident register for 3 years and all copies of crash reports/investigations for 3 years.
DQ file- entire time the driver is employed and for 3 additional years. The annual DMV check, annual list of violations, annual review, and medical certification info must be maintained for 3 years from the date it was done.
Logs and supporting documents - 6 months
Vehicle Maintenance files - 1 year's info and retain for 6 months after vehicle leaves carrier's control
Annual periodic inspections - 14 months
Driver/Vehicle inspection report - 90 days, only required if defect is found by driver or somebody else that day.
Drug and Alcohol Testing- this is testing done by the company
Positive alcohol or drug tests, refusals, Driver evaluations and referrals, Calibration documentation, records related to the administering of tests, copy of annual summary- 5 years
Records related to drug and alcohol collection process- 2 years
Records of negative or cancelled tests-1 year
Records of education and training (includes drivers, managers, everyone). Maintained entire time that person is involved with that activity and for 2 years after ceasing that duty.- Indefinite
IRP-3 year retention period
IFTA-4 year retention period
No. A CDL is only required in North Dakota when operating (1) vehicles over 26,001 pounds, (2) vehicles that require placards, (3) vehicle designed to carry 16 or more occupants including the driver, or (4) vehicle combinations that have a combined gross weight (or gross weight rating) over 26,001 provided that the gross weight (or weight rating) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,001 lbs.
In this case the combination is over 26,001 but the vehicle being towed does not exceed 10,001 lbs. Likewise, a 9,000lb GVW vehicle pulling a 13,000lb GVW trailer would not require a CDL since the combination weight of the two vehicles does not exceed 26,001lbs.
Yes, you do have to comply with the 60/70 hour rule. On the days you are in the shop, you should have a time record that the company keeps on file for six months, and you should start a log page for the days that you are required to log driving.
If your company does not keep time records, you must have a record on your on-duty time for the last seven days at the carrier and start a log sheet for the day you are driving.
Fuel qualifies as a farm supply if (1) it is “for agricultural purposes,” e.g. used in tractors or other equipment that cultivate agricultural commodities or trucks that haul them, but not in automobiles, station wagons, SUVs or other vehicles designed primarily to carry passengers, or for residential heating or cooking; (2) it is transported within the planting and harvesting season and within a 100 air–mile radius of the distribution point for fuel; (3) the motor carrier is operating in interstate commerce; and (4) the entire fuel load on the vehicle is to be delivered to one or more farms. A carrier may not use the exemption if any portion of the fuel load is to be delivered to a non-farm customer.
Once you enter the United States, you must meet the U.S. DOT's federal regulations. Although you may be legal to drive in Canada, once you get to the border you must be in compliance with the U.S. regulations prior to leaving the border.
Normally you are required to carry the previous seven consecutive days, and your record of duty status must be current to the time shown for the last change of duty status. But, you are not required to have log pages in your possession for days where you meet a qualification for exemption such as 100 air miles or agriculture (reference Part 395.8).
The ND Department of Transportation's Drivers License Division may have a requirement that you take a test in a vehicle with a shoulder belt, but you can operate a semi with just a lap belt if that is how the vehicle was originally manufactured.
Yes, if you are traveling in intrastate commerce. If you are traveling in interstate commerce, you should have self certified yourself as Category 1 (non-excepted interstate) and provided a copy of your medical card to your states driver’s license division. Your medical status would then be available on your CDLIS (Commercial Drivers License Information System) record.
Medical certificates must be obtained from a medical examiner who is listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
A person meeting the definition of farm vehicle driver who operates a straight truck does not require a medical card. A person meeting the definition of a “covered farm vehicle” in intrastate commerce or within a 150 air mile radius in interstate commerce does not need a medical card. If the articulated farm vehicle does not meet the definition of a “covered farm vehicle” or is outside of the 150 air mile radius in interstate commerce, then a medical card would be required.
Note: Custom harvest operations do not meet the farm vehicle driver definitions, but custom harvest vehicle drivers are exempt from the medical card requirements when transporting machinery, supplies, crops, etc. For additional information on medical cards, visit the USDOT website.
If you are employed by a farmer you can operate under the farm exemption. However, if you are employed by a custom combiner you have to have a CDL. There is a restricted CDL that you can obtain based on custom combine work. While there are no knowledge or skills test for a restricted CDL, there are many other limitations. 49 CFR 383.3(f) outlines the limitations.
The federal regulations show two different exemptions in Part 395: (1) an agriculture exemption, and (2) a 100 air mile (short haul) exemption. The main difference is that with the 100 air mile exemption the carrier must maintain time records and the property carrying driver can only work 12 hours with 10 hours separating each 12 hour shift; it doesn't matter what type property they are carrying. With the agriculture exemption, there are no time record keeping requirements when they are loaded, but they must keep time records when empty and be carrying agricultural products.
Yes, drivers must have a CDL with endorsements to haul doubles/triple trailers in North Dakota. The federal regulations which allow a farmer to operate within 150 miles of their farm without having a CDL do not restrict the pulling of doubles/triple trailers; however, the regulations do require that you operate in your state unless your state has a reciprocity agreement.
North Dakota and South Dakota have a reciprocity agreement which states that ND will recognize a SD farm vehicle operator; however, the SD operator has to abide by the same laws as ND farmers. Therefore, a SD farm vehicle operator can haul doubles/triple trailers in SD, but they can’t do it in ND unless they are properly licensed.
The exemptions apply specifically to the farm where you are operating from.
This exemption applies to farmers from adjoining states if there is a reciprocity agreement or the vehicle meets the definition of a "covered farm vehicle." North Dakota has reciprocity agreements for farm commercial driver's licenses (CDL) exemptions with South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, and Wyoming when within 150 miles of the farm.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Part 390.5 defines a farmer as "any person who operates a farm or is directly involved in the cultivation of land, crops, or livestock which are owned by that person or are under the direct control of that person."
No, state law does not provide for a split sleeper berth option other than the federally adopted 10 hour split sleeper berth option.
- DOT registration and United Carrier Registration (UCR).
- Name and DOT number displayed on both sides of the truck.
- Drug and alcohol testing when driving a semi tractor trailer, straight trucks or straight trucks pulling a pup.
- Within 150 miles of the origin (farm) a log book is not required for a loaded truck hauling farm products. An empty truck on return would be required to have a log book.
- Annual inspection of the vehicle.
Saskatchewan or Manitoba farmers hauling their own farm product on farm registered license plates in an interstate operation are exempt from trip permits, but a fuel permit is required. A fuel permit is $15 and valid for 72 hours or when the vehicle leaves the state, whichever occurs first. Fuel permits may be purchased online.
Manitoba farmers hauling or gainfully employed intrastate within 20 miles of the border are exempt from registration but would need a fuel permit.
Effective January 3, 2012, certain commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are restricted from holding a mobile telephone to conduct voice communication and dialing a mobile telephone by pressing more than a single button. Hands-free use is allowed by either an earpiece or speakerphone.
The new rule applies to drivers of all CMVs in interstate commerce (operating across state lines), drivers of CMVs over 26,000 pounds in intrastate commerce (operating within ND), and all drivers of CMVs transporting a quantity of hazardous material that requires placarding.
In September 2010, FMCSA issued a regulation banning text messaging while operating a commercial truck or bus and PHMSA released a companion regulation in February 2011 banning texting by intrastate hazardous materials drivers. Texting is also prohibited for all drivers in North Dakota.
Research commissioned by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shows that the odds of being involved in a safety-critical event such as a crash, near-crash, or unintentional lane deviation is six times greater for CMV drivers who engage in dialing a mobile telephone while driving.
View FMCSA's final rule or the mobile telephone FAQ in reference to CMV cell phone regulations for more information.
- Vehicles less than 26,000 lbs GVWR that are not carrying placarded amounts of HAZMAT nor designed to carry 15 or more passengers (including the driver) are exempt from all federal requirements.
- Following 10 hours off duty, a driver may drive 12 hours and be on duty for 16 hours.A driver may be on duty a total of 70 hours in seven days.
- A driver is exempt from maintaining a log book if the operation is within 150 air miles of the normal work reporting location, returns to the same working reporting location each day, has at least 10 hours off duty separate each 12 hours on duty, and the motor carrier maintains time records for a period of six months.
- A driver, at least 18 years of age, with a valid, proper class license may operate a commercial vehicle in intrastate commerce.
Farm vehicle drivers operating, operating a “covered farm vehicle” are exempt from CDL requirements when operating intrastate within ND and within a 150 air mile radius of their farm when crossing state lines. Farm vehicle drivers not meeting the definition of a “covered farm vehicle” are exempt within 150 air mile radius of their farm when traveling intrastate. The drivers are exempt from CDL requirements, medical certificates, log books, and vehicle inspection records. NOTE: The CDL exemption does not allow the operation of double or triple trailers or the operation of truck/tractors by drivers under the age of 18.
The transportation of hazardous materials, other than class 2, that are ag products transported by a farmer over local roads between fields of the same farm, not to town, are exempted from HAZMAT regulations. A farmer is exempt from training and emergency response information when transporting agricultural class 2 hazardous materials anywhere or any other hazardous materials when going to town within 150 miles of the farm as long as the quantity is less than 16,094 pounds for ammonium nitrate fertilizer, 502 gallons for liquids, or 5,070 pounds for all other hazardous materials.
Interstate: Operations originating in one state and ending in another including the return trip.This would also include drivers who either start or finish a delivery that begins or ends in another state.
Intrastate: Operations that originate and end in the same state state with no part of the movement extending into another state or country.
In order to drive a truck, you must have a CDL. A CDL is a specialized driver’s license proving you’re knowledgeable of the vehicle.
There are three types of CDLs available: CDL Class A, B, and C.
CDL Class A: This license allows you to operate most types of trucks, single or combined with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more with a towing weight of 10,000 pounds or more. It includes all license classes.
CDL Class B: You able to operate single or combined vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001, but what you’re towing must be under 10,000 pounds. You can also operate class C vehicles.
CDL Class C: You are able to drive a vehicle carrying a total of 16 passengers, including you, only if it is under 26,001 GVWR. You may also carry hazardous material if it’s under the 26,001 threshold. Class A and B are not allowed.
No. If you refuse to submit to a chemical test, you are not eligible for a work permit.
A first or second offense for driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs in a seven-year period is a class B misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 30 days imprisonment and/or $1,500 fine. A third offense in a seven-year period is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year imprisonment and/or $3,000 fine. A fourth or subsequent offense regardless of the time since the previous offense is a class C felony with a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and/or $10,000 fine
Yes - If someone refuses to submit to an on-site screening test or a chemical test, their driving privileges may be revoked for up to four years. Under North Dakota's implied consent law, anyone who operates a motor vehicle is deemed to have given consent to a chemical test. (Reference NDCC Chapter 39-20.)
Troopers use several different tests on suspected impaired drivers. They consist of two parts: (1) roadside tests and (2) tests done after the arrest. Roadside tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test, and the one leg stand test. A preliminary breath test is also used to screen suspected impaired drivers prior to arrest. After an arrest is made, an impaired driver will be asked to submit to a chemical test which will be used to determine his or her blood alcohol content (BAC). For a chemical test, troopers collect breath, blood, and/or urine samples.
The "per se" alcohol concentration in North Dakota is 0.08 percent. For drivers operating a commercial vehicle, the alcohol concentration is 0.04 percent, and for operators under 21 years of age, the alcohol concentration is 0.02 percent. Even if someone is operating a vehicle with lower alcohol concentrations than those listed, that person may be charged with DUI if they are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to a degree which renders them incapable of safely driving. (Reference NDCC 39-08-01.)
The consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages in a house car is allowed if the consumption or possession occurs in the area of the house car used as sleeping or living quarters and that area is separated from the driving compartment by a solid partition, door, curtain, or some similar means of separation; however, consumption is not authorized while the house car is in motion.
Actual physical control is being in immediate control or having the ability to operate the motor vehicle while being under the influence or having a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 percent or more.