Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in North Dakota | YourMechanic Advice

Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in North Dakota

The state of North Dakota offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the past, or are current active military members.

North Dakota military residents returning from deployment

If you stored your vehicle(s) while away on overseas deployment, you will need to go to your local North Dakota DMV office and submit your completed Application for Certificate of Title & Registration of a Vehicle (SFN 2872) Proof of legal name, such as a:

  • Valid driver's license
  • Non-driver ID card
  • Document that validates your true legal identity

A note stating:

  • Where you were deployed
  • The beginning and ending dates of the deployment
  • The date you returned to North Dakota

There are no specific fee exemptions for North Dakota residents who are returning from active duty military or who are able to claim Veteran status. However, if you are active duty and not currently living within North Dakota, you can receive an exemption from annual registration fees by completing the Military Claim for Tax Exemption. It’s important to note that this document must be notarized before it will be accepted.

Driver’s license veteran designation

North Dakota veterans may request to have an indicator added to their North Dakota driver license to show that they are a Veteran of the United States Military. Veterans should bring a copy of their DD-214 discharge papers to a Veteran Service Officer. Who will verify that the status is accurate and will complete a form SFN 59980 “Verification of Veteran Status for Veteran Indicator on Drivers License” form. Veteran designation in the state of North Dakota consists of a ‘V’ in the upper left-hand corner of the license next to the state flag.

Military honor plates

North Dakota offers various distinguished military honor license plates commemorating the different military branches and service medals. Eligibility for each of these plates requires certain criteria be met, including proof of current or past military service (honorable discharge) or U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs documentation of the award received.

Available military plate designs:

  • Yellow Ribbon
  • Disabled American Veteran
  • Prisoner of War
  • Gold Star
  • Purple Heart
  • National Guard
  • Veterans
  • Veteran Air Force
  • Veteran Army
  • Veteran Coast Guard
  • Veteran Marine
  • Veteran Navy
  • Veteran Non-Branch
  • Veteran Purple Heart
  • Support Our Veterans

There is an additional $25 charge for each of these specialized military plates, which is due annually along with your vehicle registration renewal. Plates cannot be reserved online, although you can do an online search to see if your preferred personalized plate is available.

Military skills test waiver

As of 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration instituted the Commercial Learner’s Permit rule. This rule contains a provision authorizing SDLAs (State Driver Licensing Agencies) to allow U.S. Military drivers to leverage their service-related truck driving experience in lieu of the skills test to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver License). In order to be eligible to skip this portion of the testing process the driver must apply within a year of leaving a military position which required them to operate a commercial vehicle. The driver must have had two years such experience in order to qualify for the waiver program.

Applicants must certify to an SDLA:

  • His or her experience as a safe driver

  • That he or she hasn’t held more than one license (excepting a U.S. Military driver license) in the previous two years

  • That he or she has not had their driver license (issued by their base state) suspended, revoked, or cancelled

  • That he or she has not been convicted of a motor vehicle violation that would disqualify them from obtaining a CDL

There is a range of offenses that can disqualify military personnel from participating in the skills waiver program; these include things like DUI, hit-and-run accidents, or using a CMV to commit a felony.

The Military Skills Test Waiver program in North Dakota and almost every other state is the result of collaboration between the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators in order to make the process of getting a CDL easier for veterans. Military personnel with applicable experience can download and print the waiver here. Applicants must still complete the written CDL test.

Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012

This legislation provides authority for states to issue a CDL to active military members, including the Reserves, National Guard, Coast Guard, or Coast Guard Auxiliary, even if they are not North Dakota residents, as long as their temporary or permanent base is in North Dakota.

Active or veteran military personnel who wish to find out more about veteran and military driver laws and benefits in North Dakota can consult the state’s motor vehicle division website here.


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