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Frequently Asked Questions - North Dakota Teen Driver

The North Dakota Department of Transportation recommends that you and your parents read “The North Dakota Parent Guide to Teen Driving”, which is available on-line at the following address:

The guide has information regarding the parent’s role in teen driving and how to set family rules and guidelines for the teen driver.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) has the following requirements for obtaining an Instruction Permit:

North Dakota School Learner’s Permit (LPE)
• You must be at least 14 years old.
• You must be able to pass a vision-screening test.
• You must have a parent or legal guardian sign the application if you are under 18.
• You must pay the permit fee of $15.

The LPE is only valid for three months, but may be renewed.

North Dakota School Permit (SCP)
• You must have held your LPE for at least two months with a clean driving record.
• You must be able to pass a written exam and road test administered by the driver’s education course instructor.
• You must complete 50 hours of supervised practice driving with 10 hours completed at night. Your parent or legal guardian must sign the certification form.
• You must complete a state-approved driver’s education course.
• You must pay the permit fee of $15.

North Dakota Learner’s Permit (LPD)
• You must be at least 15 years old.
• You can skip the written test if you already have an SCP.
• You must pay the permit fee of $15.

The LPD is valid for one year but may be renewed.

The State of North Dakota requires drivers to pass the following tests:

Written Exam
• The written exam consists of multiple-choice questions based upon the rules and regulations contained in the NDDOT Rules of the Road manual. You must correctly 20 out of 25 questions in order to pass the test.

Vision Test
• You must be able to pass the vision test with an acuity of 20/40 in both eyes without using corrective lenses. The minimum visual field requirement is 105 degrees. If your vision is 20/50 or worse in both eyes without glasses, you will be referred to a vision specialist.

Road Test
• During the road test, the examiner will be grading on your ability to obey road signs and the traffic laws. You will be asked to perform some of the following maneuvers:

1. Perform safe left and right hand turns
2. Make a three-point turn
3. Properly signaling for lane changes
4. Yielding the right-of-way
5. Approaching an intersection
6. Backing up the vehicle
7. Making quick stops
8. Parallel parking

Your vehicle must have current registration and you will need to show proof of insurance. Pets and passengers are not allowed in the vehicle during the road test.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation requires applicants to provide proof of current name, and date of birth by submitting the following documents:

Proof of Identity (Must be original document or certified copy)
• United States birth certificate state certified and government issued including by a U.S. territory
• Valid United States passport
• U.S. government-issued Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Certificate or FS-240 Seal required)
• Valid foreign passport with an I-94 card or an I-551 stamp
• U.S. active duty, retiree, or reservist military identification card
• U.S. court order containing the legal name and date of birth (Court seal required). Divorce decree and marriage certificate are not acceptable for proof of date of birth.
• North Dakota state-issued permit, license or identification card
• The following immigration documents (must be unexpired):

1. I-551 Resident Alien or Permanent Resident Card
2. I-688 Temporary Resident Identification Card
3. I-688B, I-766 Employment Authorization Card
4. N-560 Certificate of Citizenship
5. N-550 Certificate of Naturalization
6. I-94 card stamped Refugee, Asylee or Parolee

A court order or government issued marriage certificate is required for a name change.

As of August 1, 2011, all drivers in North Dakota are prohibited from reading, writing or sending a text message on a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle. This applies to email messages, text messages, instant messages and accessing the Internet. The only exceptions include the following:

• To get emergency assistance
• To report a traffic accident
• To report a medical emergency
• To report a serious traffic hazard
• To prevent a crime that is about to be committed
• Reasonable belief that another person’s life or safety is in immediate danger
• In an authorized emergency vehicle when performing official duties

All drivers under 18 are prohibited from using any type of wireless communication device when operating a motor vehicle. This includes using a cell phone or text messaging.

The State of North Dakota has the following permit and license restrictions:

Instruction Permit Restrictions
• You can only drive when accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and they must sit next to you in the front passenger seat at all times.

Restricted License Restrictions
• For the first six months, you can only carry one passenger under 19 unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and sits next to you in the front passenger seat.

• You may not drive between 12 midnight and 6 am unless you are:

1. Traveling to or from your place of employment
2. Traveling to or from a school-sponsored activity
3. Driving due to an emergency

• You are prohibited from using a cell phone, laptop computer or any type audio/video device that can send and receive messages while operating a motor vehicle.

Before applying for a learner’s permit, you should study the North Dakota Driver’s Manual, which covers some of the following topics:

• All-Terrain Vehicles
• Child Restraints
• Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
• Emergency Highway Assistance
• Following Distance
• Implied Consent
• Interstate Driving
• Night Driving
• Open Container Law
• Parking
• Passing
• Pavement Markings
• Point System
• Railroad Crossings
• Reporting Impaired Driving
• Right of Way Rules
• Speed Limits
• Traffic Signals
• Winter Driving

The manual can be found online at the North Dakota Department of Transportation website or at any local driver license office.

When applying for an instruction permit or driver’s license, you will need to do the following:

• Fill out the application for a permit or license and make sure to provide your Social Security number.
• Submit the 50-hour certification form, which must be signed by your parent or legal guardian.
• If you are under 18, you must have a sponsor’s signature.

You will be required to take the road test when applying for a license. At that time you must submit proof of liability insurance and the minimum requirements include:

• $25,000 bodily injury per person
• $50,000 bodily injury per accident
• $25,000 property damage per accident
• $25,000 uninsured and underinsured individual injury coverage
• $50,000 uninsured and underinsured injury per accident coverage
• $25,000 uninsured and underinsured property damage coverage per accident

The State of North Dakota recommends carrying more than the minimum because teen drivers have a higher risk of accidents.

You must successfully complete a driver’s education course through the Department of Public Instruction or through a commercial driver training school approved by the North Dakota Highway Patrol that includes the following:

• 30 hours of classroom instruction
• 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training

Most of the high schools and colleges offer driver’s education courses where you will learn about the traffic laws, road signs and safe driving practices. After successfully completing the course, you will be given a Certificate of Completion.

To obtain a restricted license or unrestricted license in North Dakota, applicants must meet the following requirements:

Restricted License
• You must be between 14 and 16 years old.
• You must have held a Learner’s Permit for at least six months.
• You must complete at least 30 hours of behind-the-wheel practice driving.
• You must complete a driver’s education class if you are under 16 before taking the road test.
• You must be able to pass the road test.

Unrestricted License
• You must be at least 18 years old.
• You must have held an instruction permit or restricted license for at least six months.
• You must not have been convicted of any traffic violations in the North Dakota Vehicle Code.
• You must not have been in a motor vehicle accident at which you were at fault.
• You must have completed a state-approved driver’s training course.