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 $692 annually on auto insurance, which is 34 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.
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:
Along with the required liability insurance, consider adding collision and comprehensive coverage to your policy or increasing the limits on existing required coverage.
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 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.
In 2020, the last time the National Association of Insurance Commissioners released national data, the average annual cost of car insurance in North Dakota was $692, which is 34 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.
If you’re shopping for car insurance in North Dakota, consider the following companies:
To lower your auto insurance premiums in North Dakota, follow these tips:
For more tips on how to save on auto insurance, check out our guide to auto insurance discounts.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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 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.
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|
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.
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.
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
To get your car inspected in North Dakota, follow these steps:
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 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.
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:
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.
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
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.
If your vehicle is worth $6,000 with damages worth $4,500 (75 percent of its value), it would be declared a total loss.
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.
Follow these steps to register your car in North Dakota, either in person or online:
P.O. Box 2047
Williston, ND 58801-2047
Follow these steps if you need a copy of your car title to prove ownership:
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:
While North Dakota has more motor vehicle theft than the national average rates, it has fewer traffic fatalities.
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|
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.
To learn more about driving laws, DUIs, and accidents, read our guide to the state of driving in the U.S.
You have up to 30 days to add a new car to your insurance policy in North Dakota.
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.
North Dakota Car Accident Compensation Laws. FindLaw. (2018, Dec 11).
One in Eight Drivers Uninsured. Insurance Research Council. (2021, Mar 22).
Seat Belts. Vision Zero North Dakota. (2022).
What is North Dakota’s seat belt law? North Dakota Highway Patrol. (2019).
Everything You Need To Know About the North Dakota Seatbelt Law. DoNotPay. (2022).
North Dakota’s Teen Driver’s License and Insurance Requirements. Driving Laws. (2022).
North Dakota Teen Licensing. AAA. (2022).
ARTICLE 45-05 PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE. North Dakota Administrative Code. (2022).
What Is the Difference between No-Fault and At-Fault Insurance States? HG.org. (2022).
What determines the price of an auto insurance policy? Insurance Information Institute. (2022).