North Dakota License Plate Search Online

North Dakota License Plate

License plates in North Dakota are metal plates attached to vehicles to help identify them and their owners. Typically, they come with alphanumeric characters that serve as their identification numbers, otherwise known as plate numbers. Besides providing identification for a motor vehicle, a license plate is especially helpful for law enforcement in the state. In North Dakota, it is illegal for anyone to operate a vehicle without a license plate. Per Section 39-04-11 of the state's Century Code, unless otherwise provided by law, no person may drive a vehicle on a public highway unless it has a number plate attached. Most classes of vehicles, including motorcycles, cars, vans, trucks, and recreation vehicles (RVs), need license plates in North Dakota.

North Dakota is a two-license plate state (one on the front and the other on the rear of a registered vehicle), but certain exceptions exist. License plates issued for trailers and motorcycles must be attached to the rear and can be displayed vertically. Typically, state law requires displaying license plates conspicuously in a horizontal and upright position. North Dakota license plates issued for motor trailers (RVs) must be affixed on the rear in a horizontal position. Generally, where only one license plate is issued for a vehicle type registered under the International Registration Plan (IRP), the plate must be attached to the front of that vehicle. Vehicles in this class include semi-trailers and truck tractors.

The Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) of the North Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) registers all vehicles in the state and can issue the following types of license plates:

  • Standard License Plates - These are the default plate types issued for most vehicles in the state
  • Special Interest License Plates - These plates have designs that seek to represent or honor interests and affiliations, including military, collegiate, and other special interest groups. The antique/collector license plates are also categorized under North Dakota special interest registration plates
  • Personalized License Plates - Personalized plates allow vehicle owners to choose preferred plate numbers and arrangement, which could be any name, phrase, or term, subject to the MVD approval
  • Mobility-impaired License Plates - These plates are strictly for persons with disabilities

According to state law, license plates attached to motor vehicles in North Dakota must be clearly visible and kept out of ice, mud, or snow. All license plates issued by the state are considered the DOT's property throughout their validity period.

North Dakota License Plate Design and Formats

A standard license plate in North Dakota has a blue sky and gold-colored background with pictures of mountains and sunrise. It also contains the number of the year, a distinctive number for assignment to each vehicle, and the slogan "Peace Garden State". Most special interest and personalized license plates in the state also feature this design. North Dakota license plates have the state's name written in upper letters (NORTH DAKOTA). The plate numbers may be in figures or a combination of letters and figures, typically between five and seven characters, depending on the plate type. The blue sky color and other features on the North Dakota license plate mirror the state's distinctive cultural identity, often held in high regard by the citizens of North Dakota.

Standard License Plate

Special Interest and Personalized License Plates

North Dakota Vanity License Plate

Vanity or personalized license plates in North Dakota permit interested persons to have custom words or characters as license plate numbers. Typically, most vanity plates in the state use the designs of standard license plates. North Dakota personalized license plates can have up to seven characters, including numbers, letters, and ampersands. The combination of characters forming the plate numbers must not be offensive. The state's MVD can reject vanity license plate names it considers unreasonable and obscene.

Before applying for a vanity license plate in North Dakota, it is important to check the availability of your preferred license plate number. The state's Motor Vehicle Plate Review Committee must review and approve the request before issuing a license plate. You may contact the MVD at (701) 328-2725 for assistance on the availability of your preferred plate number for a vanity license plate.

Complete the Personalized/Special Plate Request Form (SFN 53612) if your preferred vanity plate number and license plate are available. Make sure to select "Personalized Plate" and provide all required information while filling out the form. Once you are done, mail the completed SFN 53612 and the applicable fees to the MVD at:

Motor Vehicle Division
North Dakota Department of Transportation
608 E Boulevard Avenue
Bismark, ND 58505-0780

Generally, owners of vans, motorcycles, cars, and pickups registered in North Dakota can request the state's personalized license plates. These plates cost $25 in addition to the registration fee. The MVV will mail your vanity license plate between 8 and 10 weeks once it is processed and approved.

Most Popular North Dakota Special Plate Numbers

The most popular special license plates in North Dakota include the following:

  • Prisoner of War license plate
  • Veteran Navy license plate
  • Gold State Family license plate
  • Veteran Army license plate
  • Choose Life license plate
  • University of North Dakota license plate
  • Support our Veterans license plate
  • Firefighters license plate
  • National Guard license plate
  • Veteran Purple Heart license plate
  • Pheasants Forever license plate
  • Bald Eagle license plate

North Dakota License Plate Lookup

North Dakota license plate lookup or plate number search involves searching the license plate of any vehicle registered in the state for additional information on that vehicle. Looking up vehicles through license plates in the state is important for several reasons, especially when purchasing used vehicles. For example, certain risks are associated with buying a used vehicle in North Dakota, even when the car seems perfect on the surface. Performing a license plate lookup on such a vehicle can reveal concealed damage that the owner will not mention or legal issues that could prevent you from changing the vehicle title to your name. It is best to consult law enforcement for license plate lookups in the state, as they are legally authorized to find comprehensive details on vehicles.

Generally, a license plate lookup on any North Dakota-registered vehicle can reveal one or more of the following information about the vehicle:

  • Vehicle details, including registration information, sales history, lien records, engine capacity mileage, make, model, year of manufacture, vehicle identification number (VIV), and title history
  • Accident history/records
  • Odometer discrepancies
  • Flood damage
  • Repossession history
  • Recall history
  • Traffic violations

The North Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) provides the public with a means to look up vehicle information by purchasing vehicle history reports through an approved data provider. Also, Recordsfinder offers license plate lookup services for vehicles registered in North Dakota. You can obtain reliable and accurate reports with license plate numbers and state's name as search parameters.

North Dakota Reverse License Plate Number Search

Doing a reverse license plate number search can help reveal important information about a vehicle, including its make, model, and year. However, only authorized individuals or entities with legitimate reasons to look up license plates can access private information, including personal details of persons registered to license plates. A reverse license plate lookup can help law enforcement and licensed investigators retrieve valuable information to help with their investigations. Authorized persons and entities can conduct reverse license plate number searches on vehicles registered in North Dakota using Recordsfinder, a legitimate and reliable license plate lookup website.

What Do I Need to Get a License Plate in North Dakota?

You need to register your vehicle in North Dakota to get a license plate from the state's Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). The following are required to apply for vehicle registration in the state and, by extension, get a license plate:

The North Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) provides a Motor Vehicle Registration Manual for specific information on registration requirements for all vehicles, motorcycles, trailers, and out-of-state registrations. You need to schedule an appointment with the DOT by calling 1 (855) 633-6835 if you intend to apply in person. You may also contact the state's MVD local branches. To apply for a North Dakota vehicle registration, hence license plate, submit all the required documentation in person or by mail at/to any of the MVD local branches or the MVD office at:

Motor Vehicle Division
North Dakota Department of Transportation
608 E Boulevard Avenue
Bismark, ND 58505-0780

Vehicle registration fees in North Dakota vary based on vehicle type, weight, and age. The MVD accepts online payments using debit or credit cards. Acceptable cards are Discover, American Express, MasterCard, and VISA cards. You can use the MVD Online Fee and Credit Calculator to estimate how much to pay for your vehicle registration and license plate in North Dakota. The MVD will send your registration documents, a decal, and license plates once it approves your application.

Differences Between a Passenger License Plate and Commercial License Plate in North Dakota

While passenger license plates are generally attached to private vehicles, commercial license plates are mainly issued for vehicles operated primarily for business or commercial purposes. The table below shows the main difference between a commercial license plate and a passenger license plate in North Dakota:

Feature Personal License Plate Commercial License Plate
Vehicle type Issued for vehicles designed primarily for transporting people, and include vehicles with truck chassis but have a seating capacity of four or more passengers

Issued for vehicles used for transporting passengers and property and satisfies at least one of the following criteria:

  • If the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight or gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 lbs, whichever is higher
  • If the gross combination weight or the gross combination weight rating is at least 26,001 lbs, whichever is greater, as long as the towed unit has a gross vehicle weight or gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 lbs, whichever is higher
  • If the vehicle transports hazardous materials
  • If the vehicle is designed to transport at least 16 passengers, including the driver

The process for obtaining a commercial license plate is the same as securing a passenger license plate in North Dakota. To begin with, you must register the vehicle with the MVD. However, registration requirements may differ, depending on the vehicle type, as provided in the MVD's Motor Vehicle Registration Manual. This manual outlines the specific requirements for each vehicle type.

How To Renew License Plate in North Dakota

Vehicle registrations in North Dakota last for one year and must be renewed yearly to keep them active. As a vehicle owner in the state, you must apply to the North Dakota Motor Vehicle Division for vehicle registration renewal to renew your license plate. This can be done online, in person, by mail, or at the kiosk locations provided by the MVD.

To renew your license plate online, use the North Dakota Motor Vehicle Registration Renewal Portal. You need your vehicle registration card or renewal notice/invoice number (for reference) and a debit or credit card for payment. In addition, your vehicle's license plate number and title numbers are required. Provide every other needed information and submit the renewal application.

For an in-person North Dakota license plate renewal application, visit any of the MVD local branches with your signed renewal invoice. The MVD typically mails renewal invoices/notices to vehicle owners before their registration expires. The invoice is required for license plate renewal, and if you have yet to receive one or have lost it, contact the MVD at (701) 328-2725 as soon as possible to get a replacement. An employee at the MVD branch will assist you in getting the renewal done. Prepare to pay your renewal fees and provide any information as may be required while at it.

Vehicle owners in North Dakota can also renew their license plates by mailing signed renewal invoices and payments to any MVD local branch or the headquarters at Bismark. The MVD also encourages vehicle owners to take advantage of its kiosk services and renew their license plates at any of the Kiosk Locations near them. It takes between 5 and 10 days for the North Dakota MVD to process a vehicle registration renewal and deliver registration cards and decals. The renewal fee is usually specified on the renewal invoice.

How To Transfer a License Plate in North Dakota

If you sell or trade your vehicle in North Dakota, you can transfer the license plates to another vehicle belonging to you. Doing this requires visiting the nearest MVD branch. You cannot transfer a North Dakota license plate to a vehicle owned by someone else unless that person is your spouse or domestic partner. If you sell your vehicle and are not planning to transfer the license plates to another vehicle, make sure to return the license plates to the state's DOT through the Motor Vehicle Division.

North Dakota License Plate Lookup Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I Find the Owner of a License Plate in North Dakota?

The North Dakota Century Code, Section 39-33-02, is consistent with the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) and protects drivers' privacy. Under this state law, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is prohibited from disclosing personal information about anybody obtained from the DOT in connection with a vehicle record. Hence, unless authorized and with legitimate reasons, it is illegal for anyone to try to find the owner of a vehicle in North Dakota by looking up their license plate. As permitted by law, persons or entities authorized to find the owner of a license plate in the state include the following:

  • Law enforcement and government agencies
  • Private toll companies
  • Licensed private investigators
  • DOT employees (with consent)
  • Towing companies
  • Insurance companies

If you have a valid reason to find the owner of a North Dakota-registered vehicle through their license plate, the best bet is to engage the services of a law enforcement agency. They are authorized to search plate numbers and find personally identifying information of individuals registered to vehicles in the state. Alternatively, you can look up any North Dakota license plate on Recordsfinder for basic information about the vehicle registered to it. The general public can obtain records of over 269 million registered vehicles in the United States. Typically, vehicles' plate numbers and VINs are linked in the public vehicle record in the country.

Can I Get a Replacement for My Lost License Plate in North Dakota?

You can get a replacement plate for a lost vehicle license plate in North Dakota. All you need to do is submit a completed Application for Duplicate Credentials Form (SFN 61982) at any state's MVD branch location. While filling out the form, indicate why you request a replacement license plate by selecting the "lost box" under the "Reason for duplicate request" field. The cost of getting a replacement North Dakota license plate is $5. Staff at the MVD branch will guide you in making this request while submitting your application.

What Do Police See When They Run Your License Plates in North Dakota?

Authorized North Dakota law enforcement agencies can find the following information when they run a license plate:

  • Vehicle registration status
  • Vehicle information, such as the make, model, year, engine capacity, color, and mileage
  • Owner's criminal history/record
  • Information about the registered owner
  • Active warrants or unpaid fines
  • Insurance status and verification
  • Stolen vehicle alerts
  • Probation history

Can I Search License Plates for free in North Dakota?

North Dakota license plates can be searched for free on public records search portals. Certain details about more than 269 million registered vehicles in the United States are available in public motor vehicle records. However, conducting a free North Dakota license plate lookup will only retrieve basic information about the vehicle. You must use a paid license plate lookup service and be authorized to search license plates to uncover comprehensive details about a vehicle. Looking up a North Dakota license plate number on Recordsfinder will return certain information about the vehicle registered to that license plate.

In North Dakota, residents may need to look up license plates for free for many reasons, one of which is to retrieve information about vehicles, particularly when buying used cars. In many instances, someone selling a used car will not divulge some details about the vehicle that a potential buyer should know. However, with a free license plate lookup, anyone purchasing a used car in North Dakota can find basic information, like the year of manufacture, make, model, engine size, market price, body style, and whether its VIN is cloned.

What is the Penalty for Driving with An Expired License Plate in North Dakota?

Generally, vehicle registrations and, by extension, license plates issued in North Dakota are valid for only one year and must be renewed annually. The state has no grace period for late vehicle registration renewal and prohibits operating a motor vehicle with an expired license plate or registration. Vehicle owners in the state can renew their vehicle registrations up to 90 days before expiration. You commit an infraction or an administrative offense if you get pulled over by police in North Dakota for driving with expired license plates. While it is not considered a criminal offense and does not carry jail time, you will be required to pay a fine.

Do I Need to Return License Plates in North Dakota?

No. You are not mandated to return your North Dakota license plates when moving permanently to another state. If you sell the vehicle registered to the plates while still resident in North Dakota, you can transfer the plates to another vehicle owned by you by completing some paperwork at the nearest state's MVD office. Typically, if you keep your license plates after relocating to another state, they will become invalid once you establish residency in the new state and register your vehicle there. However, if you wish to return the plates, you can mail them to MVD headquarters at:

Motor Vehicle Division
North Dakota Department of Transportation
608 E Boulevard Avenue
Bismark, ND 58505-0780

Can I Keep my North Dakota License Plate if I Move to Another State?

Yes, you can keep your North Dakota license plates after relocating permanently to another state. No state law requires surrendering or returning vehicle plates to the Motor Vehicle Division when moving out of state unless a vehicle owner chooses to return them. You will not be penalized if you decide to keep your plates. However, the plates will become invalid once you register your vehicle in the new state and obtain another set of license plates.

What Size are License Plates in North Dakota?

Typical license plates in North Dakota are 12" x 6" or 300mm x 150mm in dimensions.

How Long Can You Drive with Temporary License Plates in North Dakota?

The validity of a North Dakota temporary license plate depends on the type of temporary license plate/registration obtained. The state issues two kinds of temporary vehicle registrations, namely:

You can legally operate a motor vehicle for a period of 30 days if you have the resident 30-day temporary registration/license plate. You are considered a resident if you have stayed in North Dakota for at least 90 days and have established residency unless you are a tourist, non-resident student, or armed forces member. The non-resident temporary registration/license plate is valid for at least 6 months. It is issued for non-residents with gainful employment in North Dakota who drive vehicles registered in other states.

What Are the Steps to Renew License Plates in North Dakota?

The North Dakota Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) provides multiple options for license plate renewals. The steps required to file renewal applications for each method are outlined below:

  • Online Renewal Application
    • Launch the North Dakota Motor Vehicle Registration Renewal Portal
    • Enter your license plate number, renewal invoice number, and vehicle title number
    • Pay with a debit or credit card
    • Submit the application
  • In-person Renewal Application
    • Visit any MVD branch and submit the renewal invoice/notice received from the MVD
    • An employee at the MVD branch will assist further
    • Pay the required vehicle registration renewal fee
  • Kiosk Service Renewal Application
    • Visit any of the MVD kiosk locations
    • Follow the prompts and provide all the required information
    • Pay the necessary fee
  • Mail Renewal Application
    • Mail your signed renewal notice and payment to any MVD branch or the headquarters at:
Motor Vehicle Division
North Dakota Department of Transportation
608 E Boulevard Avenue
Bismark, ND 58505-0780

What Do I Do if My License Plate is Lost or Stolen in North Dakota?

  • Report the loss or theft to the police and obtain a police report
  • Request replacement license plates at the North Dakota MVD by doing the following:
    • Complete the Application for Duplicate Credentials Form (SFN 61982)
    • Submit the completed form and the police report at any MVD branch and pay a $5 license plate replacement fee
    • The MVD will issue replacement license plate

How to Pay Parking Tickets in Alabama

Fargo City, North Dakota
State: North Dakota
County: Cass
Pay by Mail: Link

Please make your check or money order payable to the City of Fargo. Write the ticket number and license plate number on the check or money order. Enclose the parking ticket and payment in the envelope provided. Write your name and address above and add a stamp. Payments must be received before the due date to avoid additional penalties. Do not mail cash.

Pay in Person: Link

Make a payment in person at the Fargo City Hall Collections Department between 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Pay in Person Address:
The Fargo City Hall Collections Department, 200 3rd Street North.
Pay Online: Link If you receive a parking ticket in Fargo, you can pay for it at the Auditor's Office collections window on the second floor of City Hall at 200 3rd Street North. These tickets may also be paid for at our online payment center through the links on this page. For your convenience, after hours payments may be deposited in the drop box outside City Hall at the southeast corner of the building. These payments will be processed the next business day.

Parking fees must be received and processed in the Auditor’s Office within 15 days or a $5 penalty will be added to the amount due and the vehicle may be subject to impound. Fees may be paid by cash, check, money order or credit card. Parking ticket appeal forms may be obtained at the Fargo Police Department.

Unpaid parking tickets will be sent to a collection agency for further processing.

As the City of Fargo's parking operator, Interstate Parking has been granted the authority to issue citations and collect citation fines on behalf of the City of Fargo