North Dakota Permit and Driver's License FAQ

  • Applying for Your ND License
  • Preparing for the ND Permit Test
  • Taking the ND Permit Test?
  • Preparing for the ND Driving Test
  • Taking the ND Driving Test
  • Renewing Your ND License
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Applying for Your ND License: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the age requirements for getting started?

North Dakota’s Minor Driver Licensing Law requires teens to earn their full driver’s license in stages. Here are the age requirements of each stage:

  • 14 years old – Learner’s Permit
  • 15 years old – Minor’s Restricted Driver’s License
  • 16 years old – Unrestricted Driver’s License

What documents am I required to bring with me when applying for a license in North Dakota?

You should bring:

  • Proof of name, legal presence and birth date – here are acceptable documents
  • Social Security Number
  • Application form signed by parent or legal guardian
  • $15 for Learner’s Permit Fee and $5 for written test fee

Where do I file my ND driver’s license application?

You should file your application at a local office of the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT).

How can I contact my local office?

Call 701-328-2600 or visit https://www.dot.nd.gov/public/contacts.htm for office locations and contact information.

Do I have to take a Driver’s Ed Course?

Teens in North Dakota are required to complete a driver’s education course, as well as supervised driving practice, before receiving their Restricted Driver’s License.

What if I am new to North Dakota?

Teens who move to North Dakota must transfer their out-of-state license within 60 days. To transfer your license, visit an NDDOT office and bring identification and $15 for the license fee.

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Preparing for the ND Permit Test: Frequently Asked Questions

What subjects are commonly covered on the written test?

In North Dakota, the written test includes questions on traffic laws, road signs and safe driving procedures. The questions are taken from the state Driver’s Manual. Here are two examples of content from the manual that could be tested for on the written exam:

  • Slow-moving vehicle signs are shaped like a triangle. They are orange with a red, reflective border
  • Never back up on an interstate entrance ramp. If you exit at the wrong interchange, you must follow it out. Return to the highway by the “on” ramp.

How is the test formatted?

The North Dakota written test is a multiple choice test.

Are there a lot of “trick” questions on the written test?

No, there are no trick questions. The questions all cover content from the state Driver’s Manual and are meant solely to assess your knowledge of traffic laws and safe driving tactics not to “trick” you into giving a wrong answer.

How many questions are on the test and how many do I need to answer correctly to pass?

There are 25 questions on the test and you must answer at least 20 of them correctly to pass.

What are the best ways to prepare for the written test?

You should study the North Dakota Driver’s Manual thoroughly. You can also take practice tests online to identify your strengths and weaknesses so that you can devote more of your study time to the areas where you need it most.

Where can I get a free North Dakota Driver’s Manual to study?

We offer free North Dakota Driver’s Manuals.

How can I improve my odds for passing the first time I take the test?

Read the Driver’s Manual several times and try to memorize numerical data such as measurements, distances and lengths. Also, pay attention to speed limits and driving under the influence of alcohol information as these areas also appear frequently on the test. To better familiarize yourself with what is on the test, take a practice test.

What should I do the night before the test?

Read over the driver’s manual one more time and take a practice test to ensure you are ready to pass. Then be sure to “hit the hay” early so that you are refreshed and ready to take the test the following day.

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Taking the ND Permit Test?: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make an appointment to take the written test?

Appointments are not required for the written test, however making one could save you time and frustration. Contact your local NDDOT office to see if appointments are accepted.

Where do I take the written test?

You will take the test at a local NDDOT office.

What do I need to bring when I sit for the written test?

  • Proof of name, legal presence and birth date – here are acceptable documents
  • Social Security Number
  • Application form signed by parent or legal guardian
  • $15 for Learner’s Permit Fee and $5 for written test fee

Who should accompany me to the written test?

You should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Do I need to pay a fee to take the written test?

Yes, you will need to pay a $15 fee permit fee and a $5 written test fee.

What should I expect when I sit for the written test?

The test will contain 25 questions covering traffic laws, road signs and safe driving tactics. You will need to answer at least 20 of them correctly to pass. You cannot refer to the Driver’s Manual or any notes when taking the test. Also please note, to take the test you need to arrive in the morning at least one hour prior to noon at an office that closes for lunch or in the afternoon at least one hour prior to closing. To familiarize yourself with the test, take a practice test.

What happens after I pass the written test?

You will receive your Learner’s Permit and will now need to complete a driver’s education course and, if you are under 16, you will need to log 50 hours of supervised driving practice.

What happens if I fail the written test?

You can retake the test.

How soon can I retake the written test?

You can retake the test as soon as the next business day; however, you may want to take some time to further study the Drivers’ Manual before retaking the test.

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Preparing for the ND Driving Test: Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve passed the written permit test, what are the next steps?

You can now enroll in driver’s education, which will consist of 30 hours of classroom instruction and six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. If you are under 16, you will also need to complete 50 hours of supervised driving practice.

How long after getting my Learner’s Permit can I apply for a license?

You can apply for a restricted license: when you are 15, when you have completed driver’s ed; when you have completed 50 hours of supervised driving practice; and when you have held your Learner’s Permit for one year if you are 14-15 years old or until you turn 16 (must be at least six months that you had your Learner’s Permit).

Can I drive anywhere in North Dakota with my Learner’s Permit?

Yes, you can drive on any North Dakota public road or street; however, you must be accompanied by a licensed supervising driver.

Should I practice driving solely during the day?

Experts recommend that you also practice driving at night to get used to the different conditions.

Does anyone have to be in the car with me when I’m driving with my Learner’s Permit?

You must be accompanied by a licensed driver.

What should I do if I have a lost North Dakota Learner’s Permit?

To replace a lost or stolen permit, visit your local NDDOT office with proper identification.

How can I be sure I’m prepared to ace the driving test?

The best ways to prepare for the driving test is to get lots of actual behind-the-wheel practice and to study the content of the state Driver’s Manual. To ace the test, you will need to know how to perform common maneuvers such as turning, parking and stopping as well as how to drive safely in traffic using good defensive driving skills like checking mirrors and following at a safe distance.

Are there particular driving maneuvers I should practice?

To prepare for the driving test, you should practice turns, including three-point turns; quick stops; parking; accelerating; driving straight and smoothly; safe driving techniques and more.

How can I simulate the driving test?

Practice maneuvers that you will be required to perform on the test, such as parking, completing a three-point turn, making a quick stop and accelerating. You should also practice driving in traffic, where you need to be able to check your mirrors, obey traffic signs and be observant of both surrounding traffic and pedestrians.

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Taking the ND Driving Test: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule my driving test?

Driving tests must be scheduled. Contact your local NDDOT office for information.

Where do I take the driving test?

You will take the test a local NDDOT office. Please note, the road test may be waived by presenting a North Dakota Driving School Certificate of Course Completion certifying you have completed a minimum of 30 hours of classroom driver training and a minimum of six hours of actual behind the wheel driver training that has been approved for waiver purposes by the director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

What should I bring to the driving test?

  • Learner’s Permit
  • Driver’s ed completion certificate
  • Proof of 50 hours of supervised driving practice
  • A well-maintained vehicle
  • Vehicle registration
  • Proof of insurance

Who should bring me to the driving test?

A licensed parent or legal guardian should bring you.

What will I be asked to do on the driving test?

You will be asked to complete a series of vehicle maneuvers, such as parking, stopping, changing lanes, backing up and more. You will also be asked to drive in traffic where you will need to display good defensive driving skills.

What are the most common reasons new drivers fail the driving test?

Common reasons for failure include lack of practice, nerves and distracted driving. You may also fail due to making too many minor mistakes that add up or by getting involved in an accident.

What are five mistakes I should be sure to avoid when taking the driving test?

  • Driving with poor posture and hand position
  • Not making a three-point turn within the designated area
  • Going over the speed limit
  • Failing to obey a road sign
  • Driving recklessly

What happens if I fail the driving test?

You will be allowed to retake the test.

How soon can I retake the test if I failed?

You cannot take the test the same day but you can take it at the next available appointment time. The examiner will explain why you failed and give you some tips for what to do to ensure you pass the next time.

I’ve passed the road test, now what?

You will receive your Restricted Driver’s License.

What restrictions come with a North Dakota license?

Your restricted license allows you to drive unsupervised at any time except from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Exceptions to this rule are made for work, school or religious purposes.

What are the insurance requirements for drivers in ND?

ND insurance law requires drivers carry auto insurance and that each driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying for the damages of the insured.

Minimum coverage requirements in North Dakota are: bodily injury liability – $25,000/$50,000; property damage liability – $25,000; uninsured/underinsured bodily injury – $25,000/$50,000; and personal injury protection – $30,000.

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Renewing Your ND License: Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need to renew my license or replace a lost/stolen license?

You may renew your Class D or standard driver’s license up to 10 months before it expires, which is typically on your birthday. You will receive a renewal notice in the mail prior to the expiration date.

To replace a lost or stolen license, visit your local NDDOT office with proper identification. You will also need to pay an $8 fee.

Where can I renew my North Dakota driver’s license?

You must renew your North Carolina license in person at an NDDOT office.

Will I be required to take a vision test when renewing my license?

Yes, when renewing in person you will need to take a vision test.

The purpose of the vision test in North Dakota is to ensure drivers are able to safely operate a motor vehicle. North Dakota’s vision standard is 20/40 without any corrective lenses to obtain an unrestricted license. If the combined vision is 20/50 or less, you may be referred to a licensed vision specialist.


The North Dakota DMV Test — What You Need to Know

Being granted a North Dakota learners permit is a deeply gratifying experience. It represents a new level of freedom and independence.  But, only those folks that properly prepare for the state required permit test will get to experience this for themselves.

North Dakota’s Department of Transportation (DOT) requires you to pass a multiple-choice written test before the state can issue you a learners permit. More commonly known as the NC permit test, this test is designed to determine if you possess the knowledge of the rules of road, safe driving techniques, state motor vehicle laws, and road signs.

Practice at Your Own Pace With ND DMV Practice Permit Tests

No one imagines themselves failing the written test.  Yet most people mistakenly assume they know enough to pass without any study or practice. The end result is that most people fail the test.  In fact, state statistics back this up and reveal that roughly 70% fail the test every year.  Put the odds in your favor by preparing with the right study tools.

Take Advantage of Our Study Tools

We’re here to help you pass your permit test with our proven and effective study tools.  You’ll discover how fun practicing can be when you use our sample interactive North Dakota practice permit test.  Our practice tests were designed to help you get a better idea of the official test format so you don’t’ face any surprises on test day. You’ll also find the official North Dakota Drivers Handbook. And, if you want your motorcycle permit, we have study tools to help you reach that goal too.