North Dakota Motorist Info

The following information is updated periodically. However, laws and regulations can change between updates. State statutes and local ordinances are the ultimate authorities for these issues.

Points of Interest

  • In late September and into October those softball sized lumps on the roads are not rocks. They are sugar beets that have fallen from trucks on their way to the refinery. However, they may feel like rocks if you hit them.
  • Winter travel in North Dakota (snowfall in October is not unusual) can instantly turn treacherous if strong winds build into “white out” conditions, which is not uncommon.

Speed Limits

Rural Interstates: Cars 75 (<75 on some rural Interstates), Trucks 75 (<75 on some rural Interstates)
Urban Interstates: Cars 75 (<75 on some urban Interstates), Trucks 75 (<75 on some urban Interstates)
Other Limited Access Roads: Cars–4-lane: 70; other: 65,  Trucks–4-lane: 70; other: 65
(http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/speedlimit_laws.html)

These speed limits apply unless a different limit is posted.

Speed limits are absolute–exceeding the speed limit is illegal per se (regardless of whether it was safe under the specific conditions).

Speed Limits Enforcement Techniques
Enforced through use of:
Pacing: Yes
Radar: Yes
Vascar: No
Automated Speed Enforcement: Yes
Aircraft: Yes
Laser: Yes

Ticket Payment Methods
Consult your ticket or clerk of courts

Trial By Declaration Allowed
No

Discovery
Possibly allowed

Jury Trial Allowed
Speeding: No
Parking: No
Equipment: No
DWI: Yes

Member of Nonresident Compact
Yes

Member of Driver License Compact
Yes

When and Where to File Accident Reports
Accidents involving death, personal injury, or property damage exceeding $1,000 must be reported immediately to the local authorities.

Resident Insurance Requirements
Liability insurance is required (although some states allow posting a cash bond or such as an alternative)
Minimum Coverage Required:
Injury to one person: $25,000
All injuries: $50,000
Property Damage: $25,000
North Dakota is a “no-fault” state

Phone/Texting Restrictions
Hand-Held Ban: Drivers younger than 18
All Cell Phone Ban: Drivers younger than 18
Texting Ban: All drivers
Enforcement: Primary: for all offenses
http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/cellular-phone-use-and-texting-while-driving-laws.aspx

Other Regulations

  • Open intoxicants are prohibited in the vehicle.
  • The BAC level is .08%.
  • North Dakota has an administrative license suspension law and an implied consent law. The breathalyzer refusal penalty is a 1 to 3-year driver’s license revocation.
  • Rifles and shotguns carried in a vehicle must be unloaded; handguns must be unloaded and may be carried openly in a belt holster during daytime hours or hidden from view if locked securely in the trunk or commercial gun case.
  • Studded tires are permitted from October 1 to April 1.
  • Tire chains are not required.
  • North Dakota has a seat belt law with secondary enforcement for all front seat occupants.
  • North Dakota has a mandatory child restraint law for passengers under 12 years of age. Children under age 3 must use approved car safety seats.
  • North Dakota has a mandatory motorcycle helmet law for persons under 18 years of age.
  • Registration and insurance card must be carried in the vehicle.

General Information
Telephone: 701/328-2455 (Highway Patrol) or http://www.ndcourts.com/publicsearch/default.html (North Dakota State Court)
Emergency Cellular Phone Number: 911