North Dakota CDL Requirements

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North Dakota CDL Requirements

Drivers in North Dakota who plan to apply for a CDL must first test and qualify for a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and have it for at least 14 days. During the time you have your CLP, you are able to practice driving on the road with a driver in the front seat who holds the same type of license for which you are applying. Before applying for your CLP, ensure that you know if the type of vehicle you will be driving or material you will be transporting requires any special endorsements. Your tests and fees will be determined based on these details. To obtain a CLP, you must pass the required knowledge tests and have your driving record checked for the last 10 years and in all 50 states and the District of Colombia.

At the time of applying for your CDL, you will be required to certify that you do not currently have a driver’s license from more than one state or country and must surrender your current driver’s license. You will also be asked to provide proof of your Social Security number, certify that your driver’s license is not suspended, revoked, canceled or disqualified, and provide valid insurance documentation for every motor vehicle you have registered in North Dakota.

All applicants must bring with them at the time of application proof of residence in North Dakota, proof of identification, and proof of citizenship, lawful permanent residence or legal presence (temporary status). These documents must be original or certified copied. Photocopies will not be accepted.

Acceptable forms of identification include:

  • U.S. birth certificate
  • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport or valid, unexpired U.S. passport card
  • Report of Birth Abroad issued by the U.S. Department of State
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card
  • Valid, unexpired Employment Authorization Card (Temporary Status)
  • Valid, unexpired Foreign Passport with I-94 (Temporary Status)
  • I-94 Card stamped Refugee or Asylee (Temporary Status)

Acceptable proof of North Dakota residence documents include one from list A and one from List B or two from List A.

List A:

  • Government-issued property tax form
  • Mortgage/lease/rental document
  • Homeowner’s renter’s insurance policy
  • Utility bill (gas, electric, water, sewer, cable)
  • Phone bill from landline phone
  • Parent’s proof of address for a minor

List B:

  • North Dakota driver’s license, ID card or permit
  • Valid North Dakota vehicle registration or vehicle title
  • Transcript or report card from accredited school
  • Statement from a financial institution
  • Credit, debit, or charge card statement
  • Pay stub or statement from employer

To be accepted, all documents must show your name and physical residence address. P.O. boxes are not acceptable as a residence address.

Once you have met the requirements for application, passed the CLP knowledge tests and held your CLP for at least 14 days, you will be eligible to apply for your CDL. This includes a written test and road skills test, which must be taken in the same type of vehicle you are applying to drive. No appointment is required for written tests, but road tests are by appointment only. Appointments may be scheduled by phone at 1-855-633-6835 or online at

North Dakota requires all drivers to pass a vehicle inspection test prior to the basic control skills and road test. Detailed information on what the inspection test includes can be found in the commercial driver’s license manual available at

Commercial Driving Laws in North Dakota

In North Dakota, commercial drivers face heavier fines and penalties for any violation, regardless if it is considered a minor or major offense. In addition to violations specific to driving and safety, there are general rules that affect commercial drivers in every state and can result in significant fines and, in some cases, possible jail time. These include:

  • No driver may have more than one license. Drivers who are found in violation of this rule could face fines up to $5,000 and the possibility of jail time.
  • Drivers must notify employers if they’ve been convicted of any traffic violation (except parking) within 30 days.
  • Drivers who are convicted outside of their jurisdiction of a traffic violation (except parking) must notify their motor vehicle licensing agency within 30 days.
  • Employers must also be notified if your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, or if you are disqualified from driving for any reason.
  • Drivers applying for a job must provide their potential employer with background on all driving jobs held in the past 10 years.
  • Any driver caught driving a commercial vehicle without a CDL may be fined up to $5,000 and/or face jail time.
  • Drivers with hazardous materials endorsements who are convicted or indicted in any jurisdiction musty notify their issuing state and surrender their CDL within 24 hours.

Commercial drivers in North Dakota who are convicted of serious traffic violations will have points added to their driving record and be subject to fees, which vary depending on the offense and the specifics of your individual case. If you commit two serious traffic violations in your commercial vehicle within three years, you will automatically have your license suspended for at least 60 days. Three serious traffic violations within three years will result in a suspension of at least 120 days. The following traffic violations are considered serious in the North Dakota:

  • Reckless driving
  • Improper lane changes
  • Following too closely
  • Driving a CMV with improper endorsements or license classification
  • Driving a CMV without a valid license in your possession
  • Traffic offenses that result in a fatality

Drivers who violate out-of-service orders will lose their license for at least 180 days for the first offense, at least two years for the second offense within ten years, and for at least three years for a third offense within ten years.

Railroad crossing violations will result in a suspension of at least 60 days for the first offense, at least 120 days for the second offense within three years, and at least one year for your third violation within three years.

Drivers convicted of major offenses in North Dakota will lose their license for at least one year for the first offense, and for life if a second offense is committed. Offenses considered major in North Dakota are:

  • Driving with a blood alcohol level of .04% or higher
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Refusing to take a blood alcohol test
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Driving a commercial vehicle with a suspended CDL
  • Causing a fatality through negligent operation of a commercial vehicle

If any major offense is committed while operating a CMV that is transporting hazardous materials, your CDL will be suspended for at least three years. Any driver who operates a CMV with any detectable amount of alcohol under .04% will be put out of service for 24 hours. A lifetime suspension will be applied in any case in which a commercial vehicle is used to commit a felony involving controlled substances. Additionally, any driver who provides false information related to the issuance of a commercial permit or commercial license will lose their CDL for at least 60 days and for one year if convicted of fraud related to the issuance of a commercial permit or commercial license.

If you receive a ticket in North Dakota, it’s important to know that you should not just pay the fine without speaking to a legal representative first. By paying the fine, you are basically pleading guilty to a charge that could affect your driving record and, ultimately, your ability to keep driving.