Published: April 6, 2022Updated: August 16, 2022

Guide to Auto Insurance in North Dakota

Everything you need to know about auto insurance in North Dakota

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North Dakota requires car insurance for all 556,064 of its licensed drivers. Drivers spend an average of $703.73 annually on auto insurance, which is 52 percent lower than the national average. Because North Dakota is a no-fault state, you only have to pay for the other party’s property damages; each driver is responsible for covering the cost of their bodily injuries through their own insurance providers. In this article, we’ll go over the rules for driving in North Dakota, including distracted driving laws, teen driver laws, and defensive driving courses.

Car Insurance Minimum Requirements

North Dakota has minimum requirements for auto insurance, unlike New Hampshire and Virginia, two states with no auto insurance requirements. Here is the car insurance required in North Dakota:

  • Bodily injury liability: You’ll need a minimum of $25,000 worth of coverage for bodily injury liability for one person and $50,000 worth of coverage per accident. Bodily injury liability covers the other party for bodily injuries in accidents you caused.
  • Property damage liability: You need a minimum of $25,000 worth of property damage liability. This covers property damages you or another driver who borrowed your car caused to someone else’s property.
  • Personal injury protection: Since North Dakota is a no-fault state, you’ll need a minimum of $30,000 worth of coverage of personal injury protection per person.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: You need a minimum of $25,000 of coverage per person and $50,000 per accident. This covers your property damage and bodily injuries if you get into an accident with a driver that is uninsured or underinsured.

How Much Coverage Do I Need in North Dakota?

Along with the required liability insurance, consider adding collision and comprehensive coverage to your policy or increasing the limits on existing required coverage.

Comprehensive

With comprehensive coverage, you’re reimbursed for car repairs if the damage wasn’t related to a collision. Comprehensive insurance covers vandalism, theft, and environmental damage to your car due to a hail storm or flood, for instance. Since comprehensive coverage is optional, the limit is equivalent to your car’s cash value.

Collision

Collision coverage pays for damages to your vehicle regardless of whether you or the other party is at fault during a car accident. You might not need collision insurance if your car is already paid off, but we’d still recommend it for new cars. The limit for collision coverage is equivalent to your car’s actual cash value.

For other coverage types in North Dakota, we recommend setting higher limits.

  • Bodily injury liability: $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability: $100,000
  • Personal injury protection: $30,000 or higher
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident

Cost of Car Insurance in North Dakota

In 2019, the last time the National Association of Insurance Commissioners released national data, the average annual cost of car insurance in North Dakota was $703.73, which is 52 percent lower than the national average. However, we’ve seen auto insurance estimates range from $252 per year to $950 per year.

You can find the cheapest North Dakota car insurance by getting a car insurance quote from every auto insurance company you can find. Make sure to input the same coverage limits to get comparable quotes.

Car Insurance Companies in North Dakota

If you’re shopping for car insurance in North Dakota, consider the following companies:

  • Allstate
  • American Family
  • Auto-Owners
  • Farmers
  • GEICO
  • Nationwide
  • Nodak
  • Progressive
  • Safeco
  • Farm Bureau
  • State Auto
  • State Farm
  • Travelers
  • USAA

How to Lower Premiums in North Dakota

To lower your auto insurance premiums in North Dakota, follow these tips:

  1. Pay your premiums on time.
  2. Take a defensive driving or safety class.
  3. Maintain good driving habits.
  4. See if you qualify for discounts, such as if you’re a military member.
  5. Bundle your auto and home policies or insure more than one car.
  6. Raise your deductibles.
  7. Lower your policy limits.
  8. Drop excess coverage.

For more tips on how to save on auto insurance, check out our guide to auto insurance discounts.

Proof of Car Insurance in North Dakota

You must show proof of auto insurance in paper or digital form when you’re driving a vehicle in North Dakota. If you don’t have proof of car insurance in North Dakota, you may face penalties, and your license will get suspended for not having insurance.

On the first offense, you’ll face a fine of $150 to $1,000, and on the second offense, you’ll receive a fine of $300 to $5,000, 30 days of imprisonment, or both.

Driving Laws in North Dakota

Getting auto insurance also means reading the fine print of the law and understanding the rules of the road. We’ll go over North Dakota’s state laws and no-fault system below.

Fault System

North Dakota is a no-fault state, which means that you’ll file with your own insurance to cover your medical expenses. If you cause an accident, you’ll cover the cost of other driver’s damage and will need to file a third-party claim to cover property damage.

North Dakota uses the modified comparative fault rule law for personal injury cases. If you’re less than 50 percent at fault for an accident, then you can recover certain losses. If you’re over 50 percent at fault, then you can’t recover losses.1

Uninsured Motorists

Thirteen percent of drivers in North Dakota drive uninsured, based on 2019 data.2 The penalties for uninsured motorists in North Dakota include a $300 fine and license plate suspension.

DUI Laws

In North Dakota, a DUI could stay on your record for seven years. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) reaches 0.18 percent, your license will be suspended for 91 days on the first offense, with a minimum $500 fine.

For the first offense, you wouldn’t need to use an ignition interlock device. If your BAC is over the 0.18 limit, your license will be suspended for 180 days with a minimum increased fine of  $750 and at least two days of imprisonment. If you have a second offense, the state will suspend your license for two years, and you will need to use an ignition interlock device.

Seat Belt Laws

In North Dakota, only 8 out of 10 people wear seat belts, and 46 percent of vehicle fatalities included those who didn’t wear seat belts.3

North Dakota’s seat belt law requires the following:

  • All occupants younger than 18 must wear seat belts, regardless of where they are seated.
  • All front seat occupants over 18 must wear properly adjusted and fastened seat belts.4

North Dakota follows secondary enforcement of seat belt laws, meaning that a police officer can pull you over for not wearing your seat belt only if you also violate a primary law. The penalty for not wearing a seat belt ranges from $20 to $25.5

Distracted Driving Laws

Distracted driving includes texting and driving, changing the radio, grooming, or eating while driving. In North Dakota, texting while driving is illegal for all drivers. When you’re behind the wheel, avoid using any electronic communications device, including cell phones.

Fees for distracted driving in North Dakota vary depending on the offense. In general, fees range from $20 for minors using phones or any electronic devices to $100 for text messaging.

Teen Driver Laws

Here are the requirements for drivers under the age of 18 in North Dakota:

Type of permit/license Driver’s license Restricted license Learner’s permit Unrestricted license
Minimum driving age 16 15 14 16
Hours of training required Not specified Must complete driver’s education (if under age 16); 30 hours of classroom training and 6 hours of supervision training At least 50 hours of supervised driving in a variety of conditions (e.g., nighttime, rural) Not specified
Restrictions Must have parental consent

License canceled if teen driver gets 6 points for alcohol or drug offenses6

Can only drive a parent, legal guardian, grandparent, or other family member’s car

Can’t have more passengers than car’s capacity

Drivers under age 16 can’t drive  between sunset or 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Can only operate a vehicle that a family member or guardian owns No specific restrictions
Prohibited from using cell phones while driving Yes Yes Yes Yes7

Statute of Limitations for Claims

In North Dakota, you have six years to file both property damage and personal injury claims following a car accident. If you wait more than six years to file a claim, then you won’t receive compensation for injury or property damage.

Cancellation and Non-Renewal Notification Laws

In North Dakota, your insurance provider has 20 days to notify you of a midterm cancellation before the effective date, or 10 days to notify you of a midterm cancellation for nonpayment of premiums.

If the company decides not to renew your policy, it must give you 30 days’ notice prior to the policy’s expiration date.

Self-Insurance

North Dakota lets you self-insure one or more vehicles. However, you need a minimum of $205,000 in collateral or proof of a bond.8

Car Inspection Requirements

To get your car inspected in North Dakota, follow these steps:

  1. Fill out a Certificate of Vehicle Inspection — https://www.dot.nd.gov/forms/sfn02486.pdf.
  2. To find a list of licensed and registered qualified businesses, search the North Dakota Secretary of State’s site by business name or system ID — https://firststop.sos.nd.gov/search/business.
  3. Get your car inspected at a qualified business.
  4. Get the signature of the agent of the qualified business. There is no fee for the form.
  5. Send the form to this address:
    • North Dakota Department of Transportation
    • Motor Vehicle Division
    • 608 E. Boulevard Ave.
    • Bismarck, ND 58505-0780

SR-22s

An SR-22 certificate proves you have minimum liability insurance for your vehicle and thus financial responsibility for accidents. In North Dakota, if you have had a DUI, you need to carry an SR-22 for one year after getting your license reinstated.

Defensive Driving

Defensive driving involves using safe and effective strategies to avoid hazards on the road. You can take defensive driving courses if you’re under the age of 18 with six points on your license, or over the age of 18 with 12 points.

Enroll in defensive driving classes online or in person to deduct three points on your record once every 12 months, or to get auto insurance discounts. Courses take an average of four to eight hours to complete, with an estimated cost of $50 to $95 per class.

Serious Injury and Monetary Thresholds

In North Dakota, you have a “reduced right to sue” in a civil suit following a car accident. The monetary threshold of damages and injuries in North Dakota is $2,000, with the following criteria for injuries:

  • Permanent and serious disability
  • Disfigurement of at least 60 days9

Accident Reporting Requirements

If you’re in an accident, first get a police report to file an insurance claim. In North Dakota, you’re responsible for reporting the accident to the police immediately when there’s property damage, death, or injury worth more than $1,000.

Price Discrimination

North Dakota’s auto insurance providers can review your credit score or use your gender to determine your car insurance rates. For example, if you’re a man with bad credit, you might pay higher premiums than a woman with good credit.10

When Is a Car Declared a Total Loss?

A car is declared a total loss in North Dakota if repairs cost more than 75 percent of its actual market value. Additionally, a car is a total loss if it can’t be repaired safely.

FYI

If your vehicle is worth $6,000 with damages worth $4,500 (75 percent of its value), it would be declared a total loss.

Contact Information

Now that you’re up to speed on North Dakota driving laws, make sure you have the contact information for the DMV and insurance department.

State Car Registration Information

Follow these steps to register your car in North Dakota, either in person or online:

  1. Register your car in person at the North Dakota Department of Transportation or a local motor vehicle title issuing branch. Bring your driver’s license, car title, and $5 registration fee. You can view a list of NDDOT local offices below.


    Main office:
    North Dakota Department of Transportation
    608 E. Boulevard Ave.
    Bismarck, ND 58505-0700
    Phone: 701-328-2500


    Local motor vehicle title issuing branches:
    Devils Lake
    Chamber Office
    208 W. Highway 2
    Devils Lake, ND 58301
    Phone: 701-662-4903


    Dickinson
    T-Rex Plaza
    1173 Third Ave. W., Suite 37B
    Dickinson, ND 58601
    Phone: 701-227-6540


    Fargo
    745 45th St. S., Suite H
    Fargo, ND 58103
    Phone: 701-282-5070


    Grafton
    Chamber Office
    432 Hill Ave.
    Grafton, ND 58237
    Phone: 701-352-0781


    Grand Forks
    Grand Cities Mall
    1726 S. Washington St., Suite 55
    Grand Forks, ND 58201
    Phone: 701-772-1390


    Jamestown
    Chamber Office
    120 Second St. SE
    Jamestown, ND 58401
    Phone: 701-952-0852


    Minot
    Arrowhead Shopping Center
    1600 Second Ave. SW, Suite 5
    Minot, ND 58701
    Phone: 701-857-8221


    Wahpeton
    Chamber Office
    1505 11th St. N.
    Wahpeton, ND 58075
    Phone: 701-642-2652


    Watford City
    McKenzie County Treasurer Courthouse
    201 Fifth St. NW, Suite 510
    Watford City, ND 58854
    Phone: 701-444-3616


    Williston
    206 E. Broadway
    Williston, ND 58801

    or

    P.O. Box 2047
    Williston, ND 58801-2047
    Phone: 701-713-3410


  2. Alternatively, you can download and fill out your information at https://www.dot.nd.gov/forms/sfn02872.pdf.
  3. Mark “Vehicle Registration” at the top of the form and follow the instructions.
  4. Enclose the payment for vehicle registration. The title fee is $5. If you’re applying for plate credit, you can mark a $5 plate transfer fee. Other duplicate fees for titles, plates, tabs, and registration cards range from $2 to $5.
  5. Send the application to this address:
    • North Dakota Department of Transportation
    • 608 E. Boulevard Ave.
    • Bismarck, ND 58505-0780

How to Get a Copy of Your Car Title in North Dakota

Follow these steps if you need a copy of your car title to prove ownership:

  1. Go to https://www.dot.nd.gov/forms/sfn02872.pdf.
  2. Download the form and print it.
  3. Under “This Application Is For,” check “Title Process” and follow the instructions.
  4. Enclose a $5 payment in an envelope along with the form.
  5. Send the form and fee to this address:
    • North Dakota Department of Transportation
    • Motor Vehicle Division
    • 608 E. Boulevard Ave.
    • Bismarck, ND 58505

How to Contact the North Dakota Insurance Department

  • URL: https://www.insurance.nd.gov/contact-us
  • Mailing address:
    • North Dakota Insurance Department
    • 600 E. Boulevard Ave.
    • Bismarck, ND 58505-0320
  • Phone number: 701-328-2440

Cost of Car Repairs in North Dakota

The average cost of car repairs in North Dakota is $357.05, which is 7 percent less than the national average. In case you were in an accident and need car repairs, here’s the cost breakdown:

  • Parts and labor: $357.05
  • Labor: $149.73
  • Parts: $207.32

Crime and Traffic Fatalities in North Dakota

While North Dakota has more motor vehicle theft than the national average rates, it has fewer traffic fatalities.

Motor Vehicle Theft

In 2020, there were 271 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 people in North Dakota, 9 percent higher than the national average of 246. We’ve gathered data from the National Crime Insurance Bureau about the number of vehicle thefts in three North Dakota cities.

City in North Dakota Rate of vehicle theft per 100,000 inhabitants in 2020
Fargo 267
Bismarck 211
Grand Forks 110

Traffic Fatalities

In North Dakota, there were 100 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2019. This is much lower than the national average of 708 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

Conclusion

To learn more about driving laws, DUIs, and accidents, read our guide to the state of driving in the U.S.

Frequently Asked Questions

You have up to 30 days to add a new car to your insurance policy in North Dakota.

  1. Contact your auto insurance provider and ask about your policy.
  2. Contact the North Dakota Insurance Department instead if you prefer.
    • Phone number: 701-328-2440
    • URL: https://www.insurance.nd.gov/contact-us
    • Mailing address:
      • North Dakota Insurance Department
      • 600 E. Boulevard Ave.
      • Bismarck, ND 58505

Nodak Mutual is one of the cheapest car insurance providers in North Dakota, offering full coverage for under $500 per year.

The average price for driving school in North Dakota is $360 for six hours of behind-the-wheel training and $100 for 30 hours of classroom instruction.

Citations

  1. North Dakota Car Accident Compensation Laws. FindLaw. (2018, Dec 11).
    https://www.findlaw.com/state/north-dakota-law/north-dakota-car-accident-compensation-laws.html

  2. One in Eight Drivers Uninsured. Insurance Research Council. (2021, Mar 22).
    https://www.insurance-research.org/sites/default/files/downloads/UM%20NR%20032221.pdf

  3. Seat Belts. Vision Zero North Dakota. (2022).
    https://visionzero.nd.gov/strategies/OccupantProtection/#:~:text=An%20annual%20survey%20of%20observed,people%20wear%20a%20seat%20belt

  4. What is North Dakota’s seat belt law? North Dakota Highway Patrol. (2019).
    https://www.nd.gov/ndhp/node/275#:~:text=All%20front%20seat%

  5. Everything You Need To Know About the North Dakota Seatbelt Law. DoNotPay. (2022).
    https://donotpay.com/learn/north-dakota-seat-belt-law/

  6. North Dakota’s Teen Driver’s License and Insurance Requirements. Driving Laws. (2022).
    https://www.drivinglaws.org/resources/north-dakota-teen-driving.html

  7. North Dakota Teen Licensing. AAA. (2022).
    https://www.ndhealth.gov/injury/publications/nd_teen_licensing.pdf

  8. ARTICLE 45-05 PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE. North Dakota Administrative Code. (2022).
    https://www.ndlegis.gov/information/acdata/pdf/45-05-01.pdf

  9. What Is the Difference between No-Fault and At-Fault Insurance States? HG.org. (2022).
    https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/what-is-the-difference-between-no-fault-and-at-fault-insurance-states-35152

  10. What determines the price of an auto insurance policy? Insurance Information Institute. (2022).
    https://www.iii.org/article/what-determines-price-my-auto-insurance-policy