How to Register a Car in North Dakota

Vehicle registration in North Dakota must be done in person at the Department of Transportation office. Renewal can be done online or over the phone.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
Reviewed by Hillary Kobayashi
In North Dakota it is required that residents register and title their cars in North Dakota unless they have a residence out of state. Registration must be done in person. Renewal, however, can be done online or over the phone.
Whether you’re new to the state or just purchased a new vehicle, you’ll have to register your car in North Dakota. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be too difficult—at least not if you follow
car insurance
broker app
’s handy guide! We’ll even discuss how you can lower your
North Dakota car insurance costs.

How to register a car in North Dakota

To register your vehicle in North Dakota, you’ll need to visit the Department of Transportation (DOT) in person. Residents need to bring their title, driver’s license, and payment for the registration fee. New residents follow the same process.

If you just moved to North Dakota 

Are you brand new to the Flickertail State? ND requires that you register your out-of-state vehicle within 90 days of establishing residency.
When you’re ready, head to your local ND DOT office to submit the following:
  • Completed Application for Certificate of Title & Registration of a Vehicle (
    Form SFN 2872
  • Proof of legal name (such as a driver’s license, a non-driver ID card, or another document that confirms your true legal identity) 
  • A signed vehicle title and money to pay the 5% excise tax (or the name and address of the lienholder, loan account number, out-of-state vehicle registration, and proof of the payment or remittance of the 5% excise tax)
  • Proof of insurance 
  • Payment for license plate and registration fees 
Residents will have to pay an excise tax that is based on the current value of the vehicle if the vehicle is titled in Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, or Canada.
Keep in mind that full-time, non-resident students and military personnel are exempt from registration in North Dakota but must have current plates from their home states.

If you just bought a car

If you just purchased your vehicle, you’ll need all of the documents and information listed above plus:
  • A certificate of origin from the dealer
  • An odometer disclosure statement signed by the dealer and the buyer
MORE: Title transfer in North Dakota
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How much insurance coverage do you need in North Dakota? 

Keep in mind that, in order to register your vehicle at the ND DOT, you’ll need to provide proof of auto insurance. Here’s what your policy must legally include per
North Dakota’s coverage laws
Purchasing additional liability insurance as well as some optional types of coverage, like
collision insurance
comprehensive coverage
, could be a great idea. 

How to renew your North Dakota vehicle registration 

Your vehicle registration is valid for one year in ND—then you’ll need to renew. Vehicle registrations may be renewed
once a Renewal Invoice has been generated.
Renewal Invoices are generated approximately two months prior to your registration’s expiration date.
You must also use a web browser supporting Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, such as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator. It is recommended that you use a browser utilizing at least 128-bit encryption. However, browsers using lower levels of encryption may be accepted.
All you’ll need to renew is your Renewal Invoice or current registration card plus a credit or debit card to pay your renewal fee.
You cannot renew your registration online should any changes need to be made. However, you may use the online system even if your current registration has already expired.
Once renewed, you can expect to receive your new registration sticker in the mail within five to seven days. 

How to replace a lost registration sticker or license plate

If you require a replacement plate, registration sticker, or registration card, you’ll have to complete
Form SFN 2872
and submit it in person to the ND DOT. The fee for new plates is $5, the fee for a new sticker is $3, and the fee for a new card is $2. 

How to save on auto insurance in North Dakota

Securing an adequate car insurance policy is a necessary step in getting your car legally registered with the ND DOT. But did you know that you can save big on
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