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North Dakota Learners Permit

North Dakota Learners Permit

North Dakota learners permit is your first step towards a regular drivers license. Having a drivers permit allows you to receive driving lessons and gain some experience before you hit the driving skills exam.


Although absolutely all license applicants, regardless of age, have to go through the learners permit stage, the permit and its restrictions were primarily designed for teenagers as part of the graduated drivers license program. The GDL system is a combination of laws and restrictions that apply to teenage license applicants and it breaks the licensing procedure into a number of smaller stages. The drivers permit is one of the first and most important steps, when the soon-to-be driver is coupled with a seasoned automobilist. During this stage, the learner permit holder gain the essential driving experience while being supervised by a more knowledgeable peer.

Applying for Drivers Permit

The minimum permit age in North Dakota is 14. Once you are of the legal age, you can visit the Department of Transportation and submit the application for the learners permit. You must know that at the time of your application, you will be required to pass the permit exam, the test that will assess your acquaintance with the state driving law. Sadly, more than a half of all first-time permit applicants fail the test the first time. If you want to pass the test the first time you take it, make sure you study beforehand. A great source to start your study is the North Dakota drivers manual. The handbook is provided by the DOT free of charge and can be downloaded from the DOT website. Permit practice exams can also be taken online free of charge and are an invaluable study help.

When you visit the testing station, be prepared to do the following:

  • Provide proof of ID
  • Provide proof of birth date
  • Provide proof of name and legal presence
  • Present your Social Security card
  • Complete the drivers permit application form
  • Pay the permit fee
  • Take a vision exam
  • Take the knowledge test

If you are under 18 years of age, make sure you have one of your parents present at the office, they will need to sign your application form. The form is considered invalid without parental approval.

If you fulfill the above requirements and pass the tests, you will be awarded with the North Dakota learners permit.

Learners Permit Restrictions

The drivers permit allows you to start your driving lessons, however it does not allow you to start driving alone. The permit comes with certain restrictions, designed to keep you safe. Remember that you always have to have another licensed driver seated next to you while practicing driving.

Upgrading to Drivers License

Applicants younger than 17 must hold the learner's permit for at least 6 months and fulfill the graduated drivers license requirements prior to applying for the license. If you are under 16 years old, you must also complete one of the North Dakota drivers education programs and present the certificate of completion at the drivers license testing facility.

When you are ready, schedule the road skills exam with the Department of Transportation. The DOT does not provide vehicles for testing, so you will need to borrow or rent a car. The car must pass a basic safety inspection, be properly insured and titled.

Once you pass the road skills exam, you are issued with the North Dakota drivers license on the spot.