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North Dakota License Plate Search

Here you’ll find information about registering your vehicle, applying for license plates, and renewing your stickers in North Dakota.

Sample North Dakota License Plate

Sample North Dakota License Plate

Applying for North Dakota License Plates

Whether you own a car, truck, van, or ATV, you are expected to register your vehicle in North Dakota. License plates are issued by the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT), and you have to apply in person.

You are required to apply for a license plate if:

  1. You purchase a new vehicle
  2. You are a new resident in North Dakota

You cannot keep your out-of-state license plates if you become a resident of North Dakota. Some states may require you to surrender your old plates before you can obtain new ones.

If you purchase a new vehicle, you are permitted to drive it for up to 5 days before registering it. In case you are pulled over, be sure to carry proof of ownership to avoid any fees or penalties.

If you need a temporary permit for your vehicle, you can obtain them from:

  • Law enforcement offices
  • Local dealerships
  • Motor vehicle offices

These temporary permits must be obtained in person and are valid for 30 days.

Types of License Plates in North Dakota

If you don’t require any kind of special license plate or personalization, you can register your plates and receive a randomly generated plate number. Your license plates will be issued using the standard plates for the state of North Dakota.

Alternatively, you can purchase specialty plates for:

  • Military Awards
  • Clubs & Organizations
  • Charities & Causes
  • University Alumni

These specialty license plates have added fees on top of the standard fees for registering your vehicle.

If you want to make your plates even more personalized, you can choose your own plate number. You are permitted to use only numbers and letters for these personalized plates.

To check if your personalized license plate number is available, look it up online.

Placement of License Plates in North Dakota

When you have finally received your license plates for North Dakota, you must place both plates, one on the front and one at the rear of your vehicle. If you have a motorcycle, you will only have one license plate to apply to the rear.

You must also place the decal stickers on the top right corner of your license plate. These stickers must be clearly visible, as they indicate when your license plates expire.

Renewing License Plates in North Dakota

You must renew your validation stickers before your license plate expires. Renewals are simple and straightforward. You can choose to renew your license plates online, by mail, or in person.

If you’re forgetful, you can receive notifications from the NDDOT reminding you that your license plate will expire soon and that it's time to send money for renewal.

Replacing License Plates in North Dakota

License plates that are lost or stolen should be replaced immediately. Although you are not obliged to report stolen plates to the police, you should do so anyway. This prevents other people from using them illegally.

To obtain new plates, you must go to the NDDOT and do the following:

  • Complete Form SFN 2872: Application for Certificate of Title & Registration
  • Provide proof of insurance
  • Show a valid ID (driver’s license or passport)
  • Make the payment:
    • License plate, registration card, & decal fee: $5
    • Registration card & decal: $3

You cannot request the same plates if they have been stolen. For damaged plates, bring them in, fill out the necessary forms to replace them, and you can receive new plates with your old plate number.

Transfer Plates in North Dakota

If you no longer require your license plates, you can transfer them to someone else (with conditions). Here are the conditions for transferring your plates:

  1. You can transfer license plates from an old car to a new car
  2. You can transfer license plates to a spouse
  3. You cannot transfer your plates to someone who buys your car

Additional fees may apply to transfer your plates. These could include taxes, services fees, and title fees.

Surrender Plates in North Dakota

You may have to surrender your license plates in North Dakota if you:

  1. Move to new state or country
  2. Apply for a new type of license plate (i.e., a specialty plate)
  3. Cancel your vehicle’s insurance

You must contact the NDDOT immediately if you are to surrender your license plates in North Dakota.

Fees for License Plates in North Dakota

There is a standard registration fee that applies to your vehicle’s registration with the NDDOT. These fees are based on your vehicle’s weight, year, and a few other variables. You’ll also have to pay the following:

  • Applicable taxes
  • Title fees
  • Service fees
  • New Plate Fees: determined by vehicle weight

Additional fees may be required such as when you are applying for personalized, disability, or specialty license plates. Remember, whenever you have to renew your vehicle, you must pay fees for these specialty plates in addition to the standard renewal rates.

Looking Up License Plates in North Dakota

One of the best ways to see if a plate number is available is by looking up license plates online. As long as you stay within the character limit for North Dakota’s personalized plates, you can find the perfect combination of letters and numbers to express yourself on the road.