North Dakota Driving Laws for Seniors and Older Drivers

Learn about driving provisions and special programs focused on keeping both North Dakota's older drivers and roadways safe.

Updated by , Attorney · University of Arkansas School of Law

While the myriad rules and regulations enforced by the North Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) apply to drivers of all ages and stages, the state imposes some special requirements and restrictions on older drivers.

North Dakota state rules are explained in more detail below, but at least one focuses on identifying and handling older drivers who may have become unsafe behind the wheel. Specifically, North Dakota requires drivers age 78 and older to renew their licenses every four years.

License Renewal Rules for Older Drivers in North Dakota

All drivers can check the status of their licenses online. But special rules apply to drivers who are 78 and older who seek to renew their licenses.

Time limits: Drivers age 78 and older must renew in person every four years; those age 77 and under must renew every six years.

Vision test: Required at renewal. DOT personnel will conduct a test free, or drivers can have an exam performed by an outside licensed physician or optometrist, who must provide and complete a Certificate of Vision and perform the exam within six months of the renewal request.

Written test: Not generally required at renewal.

Road test: Not generally required at renewal.

Possible License Restrictions

The DOT can place restrictions or conditions on a person's driver's license after administering a driving test and discussing possible restrictions with him or her.

The most common restriction for older drivers is to require glasses or corrective contact lenses.

In North Dakota, other common requirements the DOT may impose on older drivers include limiting driving to:

  • vehicles with adaptive equipment
  • within a specific geographic area, and
  • meet specific purposes—for example, driving to and from work.

How to Request an Unsafe Driver Investigation in North Dakota

Unlike most states, North Dakota has no established forms or procedures for reporting drivers who have potentially become unsafe behind the wheel. Contact the local DOT office with specific concerns about an individual driver.

How to Get a License Reinstated

Procedures for getting back a license that has been suspended or revoked in North Dakota differ according to the situation. For specifics in an individual situation, contact one of the DOT offices located throughout the state.

How to Get Parking Placards or License Plates for a Disabled Driver

Disabled person parking placards and license plates can be issued to drivers with impaired mobility if a licensed medical practitioner certifies the condition.

The placards and plates are available for those who:

  • are severely restricted by lung disease
  • use portable oxygen
  • have a severe cardiac condition, or
  • are severely limited in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition.

To obtain a temporary or permanent parking permit:

For more information, see "Mobility Impaired Parking Placards."

To obtain a license plate for a permanent disability, a driver must first have obtained a Mobility-Impaired Parking Permit, as outlined above—and must then complete an Application for Certification of Title & Registration of a Vehicle. The fee to replace a regular plate with a mobility-impaired plate is $5.

Learn More About North Dakota Driving Rules for Seniors

The DOT website has a wealth of information for North Dakota drivers, including licensing and vehicle registration requirements.

Of special interest is the "Noncommercial Driver's License Manual," which includes full descriptions of local rules of the road and tips for safe driving.

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