North Dakota law requires that motor vehicle owners must register their vehicle with the North Dakota Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) before taking it on the road. Both new and second-hand vehicles must be registered, regardless of whether they are purchased from a dealer or an individual. In addition, new North Dakota residents who have registered their vehicle in another state must register their vehicle in North Dakota. The initial vehicle registration must be done in person, but registration renewals can be done in person, on-line or by mail.
You must register and title your vehicle within five days of purchasing it. If you are unable to visit a MVD office in this time, you can take out a temporary registration permit, which is valid for thirty days, obtainable from any law enforcement agency, dealer or branch office.
If you are registering a motor vehicle in North Dakota for the first time, you must complete the following steps:
- North Dakota requires you to show proof of insurance when you register your vehicle.
- Collect the necessary paperwork. If you bought your vehicle from a dealer, then the dealer will have sent the necessary paperwork to the North Dakota Motor Vehicles Division. In all other circumstances you will need to collect the following additional papers:
- The vehicle title. Make sure that this shows the seller's signature, your name and address, the date of purchase and, if the vehicle is less than ten years old, the odometer reading at the time of purchase. If you have lost your vehicle title, you must obtain a duplicate.
- If the vehicle is less than nine years old, you will need a completed Damage Disclosure Statement.
- An Application for Certificate of Title and Registration of Vehicle form.
- A Bill of Sale.
- Visit your local MVD Office with your completed forms. Be prepared to pay sales tax, title transfer and registration fees.
- You may be able to claim a tax deduction for that portion of your registration fees that are based on the vehicle's value. Contact a tax attorney or your accountant to check.
Registration fees in North Dakota are based on the weight of the vehicle, the year it was first registered and whether you require specialized license tags. Remember that the initial registration fee will be higher than renewal, as you will need to pay sales tax and title transfer fees the first time you register a vehicle.
RENEWING YOUR VEHICLE REGISTRATION
Owners of motor vehicles in North Dakota are required to renew their vehicle registration annually, and can do so in person, online or by mail. See our Registration Renewal section for complete details.
- The process for registering a motorcycle is generally the same as a car registration.
- There are different procedures for boat registration and custom car registration.
- Auto Insurance is needed to legally operate all vehicles in North Dakota.
- See also Renewing Your Vehicle Registration.
- See also Title Transfers and Car Insurance.