How to Get a North Dakota Driver's Permit

The graduated driver’s license program in the state of North Dakota requires all new drivers under 18 years old to begin driving under supervision, in order to practice safe driving before getting their full driver’s license. In order to receive the initial instruction permit, you must follow certain steps. Here is a simple guide to getting a North Dakota driver’s instruction permit:

Instruction permit

North Dakota has a very simple graduated license program that begins with a instruction permit. This permit is for teens that are between the ages of 14 and 18 years old.

The instruction permit allows drivers to operate a vehicle only when accompanied by a licensed adult who is 18 years old or older. This person must hold a driver’s license for at least three years. If the driver is going to be under 16 years old when they are ready to move on to their driver’s license, they must complete a driver’s education course during their time as a driver with an instruction permit. No person with an instruction permit may drive between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless going to or from work, school, or religious activity or event.

While driving during the instructional period, parents or legal guardians must log a required 50 hours of driving practice needed to apply for their full driver’s license. The guardian must provide a written verification that these hours took place in order for the teen to move on to get their license.

If a driver with an instructional permit is 14 or 15 years old, they must hold an instructional permit for a minimum of six months, and for a total of one year or until they turn 16, whichever comes first, in order to apply for a driver’s license. If the driver is between 16 and 18 years old, they must hold the permit for a minimum of six months or until they turn 18, whichever comes first.

How to apply

In order to apply for a North Dakota instruction permit, a driver must pass a written exam, a vision screening, pay a $15 fee, a $5 fee, and provide the following documents to the DOT office:

  • A complete application form with a parent’s signature

  • Documents that prove name, date of birth, and legal U.S. and North Dakota residency

No appointment has to be made in order to take the exam, but potential drivers must arrive at the office at least one hour before closing hours in order to ensure enough time.

Passing the exam

The written exam that a driver must pass covers state-specific traffic laws, safe driving rules, and road signs. The North Dakota Noncommercial Drivers License Manual has all the information necessary to pass the exam. In order to get extra practice and build confidence before taking the exam, there are several types of online practice exams available that can be taken as many times as necessary to learn the information.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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