Drivers need a North Dakota car title to establish their legal ownership of a vehicle. In most cases, car title and vehicle registration certificates are obtained simultaneously by filling out one DMV form.

Car buyers must get car title documents immediately after taking ownership of a new or used vehicle, regardless of whether it was bought from a dealer or an individual seller. Keep reading to learn more about how to get car title documents in person or by mail, and find out how a certificate of title differs from a state car registration.

Where to Apply for a Car Title in North Dakota

North Dakota offers vehicle title services at just six of its 20 motor vehicle branch offices. The six offices that issue car titles are located in Bismarck, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Rugby and Wahpeton. If you need to get a title for car ownership and you do not live near one of these cities, you may submit your title application through the mail to the address listed below.

The North Dakota Auto Title Application

The ND auto title application covers both titling and obtaining car registration. Form SFN 2872, Application for Certificate of Title and Registration of a Motor Vehicle must be completed in full and signed by the owner. It includes sections for information about the auto title applicant and co-applicant, if there is more than one owner. Vehicle title information includes the vehicle identification number (VIN), the year, make and model of the vehicle and its license plate number.

Vehicles 10 years old and newer must complete the odometer reading section. When getting the car title, applicants will need to enter the purchase price and follow the steps to calculate the total car title fee payment due. If there is a lien on the vehicle, information about the lienholder must be provided. There is also a section for evaluating possible tax exemption status, which is generally used for gifted or inherited vehicles.

Documents You Must Provide When Applying for a New Car Title in North Dakota

In addition to the ND car title application mentioned above, you must provide a Damage Statement (Form SFN 18609) at the time of title transfer on any vehicle less than nine years old. In general, DMV car title applicants should bring the following documents to their ND DMV appointment:

  • Valid ND driver license or ND non-driver photo ID card.
  • For a new car title, the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO), completed and signed.
  • For a used car title, the current certificate of title from ND or another state.
  • Bill of sale or purchase order.
  • A valid automobile insurance card showing your name, policy number and expiration date.
  • Check, money order or credit/debit card for payment.

Processing times on your North Dakota pink slip could increase if you submit incorrect paperwork or neglect to provide all of the documents needed to process your transaction. If you are getting car title documentation through the mail, make clear photocopies of your driver license and insurance card, but be sure to send original copies or certified copies of the other documents. The ND DMV auto title agent will return these when they mail your new title.

What is a North Dakota car registration?

North Dakota motor vehicle registration is the process by which the DMV determines a vehicle’s worthiness to operate safely on the state’s roadways. In essence, when you get car registration, it provides proof that your vehicle meets all safety regulations outlined by the state.

A car registration also provides you with the two license plates that must be displayed on the front and back of your car at all times. Every current ND car registration holder is responsible for maintaining adequate liability coverage and must not let it lapse. Registered vehicle owners must renew DMV car registration annually and pay the associated fees.

What is the difference between a car title and a vehicle registration in North Dakota?

Although North Dakota vehicle registration and car titles are issued with the same single form, you will receive two separate documents because each is needed for unique reasons. A new car registration document shows that you can legally operate your vehicle on roadways, as described above. A vehicle title provides proof of ownership and shows the chain of ownership through the life of the car.

A vehicle registration must be renewed on an annual basis, while a car title is issued when you take possession of the vehicle or it is signed over to you by the previous owner. That document is valid until you sell the car or move out of state. Another way your car registration is different from your title is that an auto registration must be carried inside your vehicle for verification purposes when needed. A car title should be safely stored with other important legal documents, preferably in a safe deposit box.

Furthermore, if you need to mail in your car title and car registration forms, use the following address:

North Dakota Department of Transportation
608 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58505-0700

Car Title Costs in North Dakota

The cost of a vehicle title in North Dakota is $5.00. There is also a vehicle license fee that is charged based on the model year and weight of your vehicle.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.