Motorcycle Rides

Motorcycle Laws & Licensing for North Dakota, United States

Motorcycle Laws & Licensing for North Dakota, United States

Table of Contents

1. Introduction


Riding a motorcycle is a much different experience than driving a four-wheeler. It is gratifying to weave around larger automobiles and feel the wind rushing against you. However, the responsibility of operating a motorcycle requires concentration, balance, and a complete understanding of how the vehicle works. Not to mention the credentials you need to earn to prove you can handle a motorcycle and the rules of the road laying out what you are permitted to do with your ride.

Motorcycles are a universal form of transportation in the United States. And each region of the United States has its interpretation of how to qualify for a motorcycle license and what restrictions are placed on riders when traveling the highways.

This article is intended for new motorcyclists, out-of-state tourists, or experienced motorcyclists who need to review the motorcycle laws and licensing process in North Dakota, United States.

2. North Dakota Motorcycle Insurance

North Dakota Motorcycle Insurance

Accidents involving motorcycles are almost guaranteed to result in extensive damage to vehicles and serious harm to the well-being of the drivers. Because paying for accident-related fees can be a financial strain, it is a legal obligation for motorcyclists to own North Dakota motorcycle insurance. So that you are prepared shortly after an accident, you must have a record of your motorcycle insurance that can be shown.

Motorcycle insurance that is acknowledged in North Dakota only needs to include coverage for bodily injuries and property damages. As such, your insurance plan must be able to deal with these basic amounts:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury to a person per accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injuries to multiple people per accident
  • $25,000 for property damages sustained per accident
  • $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for both underinsured and uninsured coverage

The required liability insurance coverage helps to reimburse other parties that may have been hurt or lost property during an accident. Other kinds of non-mandatory insurance help provide additional compensation that is relevant to a recent crash:

  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Towing coverage
  • Equipment coverage
  • Medical expenses

3. North Dakota Motorcycle Helmet Laws

South Dakota Motorcycle Helmet Laws1South Dakota Motorcycle Helmet Laws2

It is illegal for riders and passengers under 18 to work with a motorcycle in North Dakota without a proper motorcycle helmet.

To give you an idea of how integral motorcycle helmets are in saving lives, check out these recent statistics regarding motorcycle accidents in North Dakota:

  • In 2019, about 64% of motorcycle fatalities were the result of not wearing motorcycle helmets
  • In 2019, about 85% of motorcycle accidents result in the severe injury or death of the riders
  • In 2019, a motorcycle crash occur every two days
  • In 2019, a rider was killed in a motorcycle accident

You need a model that satisfies the safety requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation and is designed by the Snell Memorial Foundation. The protective headgear that covers these criteria is the three-quarter helmet and the full-face helmet.

Listed below are the features that your motorcycle helmet must have if you wish to ride your vehicle through North Dakota:

North Dakota Motorcycle Helmet Laws

4. North Dakota Motorcycle License Laws

4.1 North Dakota Motorcycle Learner’s Permit

You can attempt to receive a North Dakota motorcycle learner’s permit if you are at least 14 or older.

You will have to provide $8 to complete the process of getting a North Dakota motorcycle learner’s permit. However, if this is the first permit you are getting, the price will go up to $15.

Listed below are the requirements you need to fulfill before you are ready for a North Dakota motorcycle learner’s permit. They also list the parameters regarding what you are allowed to do while in possession of a North Dakota motorcycle learner’s permit:

North Dakota Motorcycle Learner’s Permit

4.2 North Dakota Motorcycle Endorsement

You can attempt to receive a North Dakota motorcycle endorsement if you are at least 14 or older. However, you will need to acquire and hold a North Dakota motorcycle learner’s permit for a required training period.

You will have to pay $8 plus an additional $3 to get a motorcycle endorsement for your North Dakota driver’s license.

Listed below are the requirements you will need to fulfill to obtain a North Dakota motorcycle license:

North Dakota Motorcycle Endorsement

*If you are over 18, you are not required to have held a North Dakota motorcycle learner’s permit before applying for the motorcycle endorsement.

*Any applicants who are 16 or older are not required to enroll and finish a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course. But should they successfully pass and present a Motorcycle Safety Completion Certificate, they have the option of having the road test waived.

4.3 North Dakota Motorcycle License Test

Both the written and riding portions of the North Dakota motorcycle license test require paying a fee of $5 each.

North Dakota Motorcycle License Test

Written Portion:

  • Complete 25 multiple-choice questions
  • Questions will be based on content from North Dakota Motorcycle Operators Manual
  • Requires a passing grade of 80% or higher

Riding Portion:

  • Will either be conducted in an actual traffic environment or a controlled, off-street environment
  • Examiner will confirm identity, insurance, and registration
  • Examiner will give the motorcycle an equipment inspection
  • Follow instructions and perform turns, stops, and acceleration
  • If you fail the test, you will not be allowed to retake on the same day

5. North Dakota Motorcycle Passenger Laws

There is no cutoff for the age of motorcycle passengers in North Dakota. But while it is up to your best judgment to determine who is allowed to ride with you, it is recommended that you do not take on young children or elderly folk. You are held responsible for your passenger’s safety so make sure he/she can remain safely seated, understand your directions, and listens to your instructions.

Your motorcycle must be installed with equipment intended to accommodate another person. These include a passenger seat, footrests, and solid handholds. You also cannot carry more than one passenger at a time.

Make sure to place the passenger seat in one of the following permanent positions and tell your passenger to follow the rules stated below:

  • The passenger is seated in a driver’s saddle big enough to fit two people
  • Or the passenger is seated in a separate saddle near the rear
  • Or the passenger is seated in a sidecar
  • There are adjustable footholds the passenger can reach
  • The passenger is facing forward with a leg hanging on each side
  • The passenger cannot hold packages that could obstruct the driver
  • The passenger can understand and follow your directions

6. North Dakota Motorcycle Lane Splitting Laws

North Dakota Motorcycle Lane Splitting Laws

Motorcyclists cannot engage in lane splitting while traversing North Dakota’s roads and highways. You will be found at fault and be denied compensation if an accident occurs because you attempted lane splitting. Listed below is the type of behavior that would get penalized for lane splitting:

  • You cannot ride on top of the dividing lines between lanes
  • You cannot ride in between adjacent rows of vehicles that are stopped
  • You cannot overtake another vehicle sharing the same lane

Because motorcycles have better mobility than cars and trucks, riders have a wider range of movement when it comes to how they can operate throughout North Dakota:

  • You are entitled to full use of the space within your current lane
  • You can only share a lane with another motorcycle if:
    • Both parties stay apart at least two abreast
    • Both parties consent beforehand

7. North Dakota Motorcycle Safety Features

North Dakota Motorcycle Safety Features

As your motorcycle can only function at full capacity if all of its primary components are working properly, it is recommended you conduct periodic inspections of the vehicle before every ride. Providing constant maintenance to your motorcycle will ensure that the lifespan of its machinery will last longer.

  • Horn
  • Wheels
  • Tires
  • Handlebars
  • Front and rear brakes
  • Controls
  • Headlight
  • Taillight
  • Brake light
  • Reflector
  • Exhaust system
  • Muffler
  • Rearview mirrors
  • Turn signals

8. Sources

North Dakota Motorcycle Operators Manual

North Dakota Insurance Department - Boats and Recreational

What is North Dakota’s motorcycle helmet law?

North Dakota Vision Zero - Motorcycle

North Dakota Department of Transportation - Motorcycle License

North Dakota Department of Transportation - Licensing Fees

Reading next

Best Motorcycle Roads and Destinations in South Dakota, United States
Motorcycle Laws & Licensing for South Dakota, United States

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.