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  • Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in North Dakota

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    1) Choose Your License

    No matter if you're new to the state or are a teenager anxious to drive for the first time, you must possess a valid driver’s license to legally operate a motor vehicle within North Dakota. The state offers the following types of licenses:

    Most drivers simply require the Class D license.

    2) Take a Driver's Education Course

    Adults don't have to take a driver education class. But, doing so is a good idea, as these classes offer valuable information that drivers of all ages can benefit from.

    3) Prepare for the Test

    To obtain a permit, you'll need to pass a written test about driving rules and safe driving practices. The best way to prepare is by studying the state's Rules of the Road manual. Be sure to take a test run by filling out a few practice tests.

    4) Locate a NDDOT Office

    You'll take your test at driver's license site. Road tests are given by appointment only; for written tests, you must arrive at least one hour before noon or at least one hour before closing.

    5) Make Test-Day Preparations

    When the day of the test arrives, be ready to:

    • Furnish proper identification to prove your name and date of birth.
    • Provide your Social Security number.
    • Take an eye exam.
    • Take the written test.
    • Complete the permit application.
    • Pay the $5 written test fee.

    6) Take the Written Test

    Be sure to thoroughly study the Rules of the Road manual and take some practice tests before trying to pass the written test. And, don't forget to have all the required paperwork with you, too.

    7) Get a Car

    NDDOT requires all test-takers to supply a vehicle that's safe to operate in order to take the road exam. If you're looking for a safe, used vehicle, it's a good idea to purchase a vehicle history report. Vehicle history reports can identify odometer or title irregularities, and in some cases, show you the record of car accidents filed on that vehicle.

    8) Get Car Insurance

    All drivers are required to be covered by an auto liability insurance policy in North Dakota. See our insurance center to learn more about car insurance and to request a rate quote.

    9) Take the Driving Test

    If you have a valid, out-of-state license but have just become a resident, you'll just need to switch that license for a North Dakota license―no need to take a road test.

    All others will need to pass the driving test in order to be issued a North Dakota license. You'll need to make an appointment to schedule your test. When the day comes, remember to bring your driver education completion certificate.

    The road test fee is $5.

    Once You Pass

    If you pass your test, you'll pay $15 to have your license issued right there at the driver license office.

    If You Fail

    If you're unsuccessful, what happens next depends on your circumstance. Talk to your examiner for specifics on your situation. In some cases, you can take the test at the next available time slot.



    When you are visiting North Dakota from another country, your foreign license is valid for a short period of time. It's a good plan to get an International Driver's Permit before you travel. This permit does not take the place of your foreign license; however, it does translate it into a more readable form for U.S. officials. For more information on driving in ND you can contact the Motor Vehicle Division at (701) 328-2600


    After 90 days, you have effectively established residency in the state. If you have a license from another state you have 60 days, after becoming a resident, to apply for and receive your North Dakota license.

    If you're a non-citizen, you will need to furnish proof of name and date of birth with these acceptable documents.