Buying a Car in North Dakota

North Dakota has some of the easiest vehicle purchasing regulations in the nation. We’ve gathered the information you need here to help you have the most enjoyable vehicle purchase possible in the state.

1. Title Information

North Dakota requires all vehicles to have titles. If you are purchasing your vehicle from a dealer, they should take care of the paperwork, although you should be careful to make sure they do so.

If you are purchasing a previously owned vehicle from a private owner, you need to make certain that the owner fills out the title transfer to you completely, including both names, your address and an odometer reading if the car is less than 10 years old. You will also need an Application for Certificate of Title and a Damage Disclosure form if the vehicle is less than nine years old.

You will take all this information and mail it (or personally bring it) to the Department of Transportation office. In North Dakota, vehicle owners always receive the title, even if there is a “lien” (a loan) on their vehicle. When the lien is paid off, you can send a form to the lienholder and get the title changed.

2. Insurance Information

North Dakota requires mandatory insurance on any vehicle that is going to be registered, so you will have to get insurance on the vehicle immediately after purchasing it. The state minimums on insurance are as follows:

  • $25,000 liability per person bodily injury ($50,000 per accident)
  • $25,000 liability property damage
  • $25,000 uninsured motorist per person ($50,000 per accident)
  • $25,000 underinsured motorist per person ($50,000 per accident)
  • $30,000 personal injury prevention (per accident)

North Dakota is a no-fault state, meaning that vehicle owners can make a claim on their own insurance, regardless of who was at fault in an accident. Failing to maintain this insurance can lead to a $150 fine each time you are caught and, should you be in any accident, an immediate suspension of your license and 14 point puts on your record. So be sure to get the required insurance and protect yourself.

3. Emission Information

North Dakota has no safety inspection or emission testing requirements for vehicles.

4. Lemon Law Information

North Dakota’s Lemon Law covers new and leased vehicles purchased in the state and lasts for a period of one year or the manufacturer’s warranty period, whichever is shorter.

In order for the law to apply to a particular vehicle, the vehicle either must have a defect that is not fixed after three attempts to repair it or must have been out of service due to being repaired for at least 30 cumulative business days.

Should one of these conditions exist, the vehicle owner must then send the manufacturer a certified letter to begin the lemon law process. The owner must go through arbitration, either under the process of the manufacturer or through a state-run arbitration board. If the owner does not like the outcome of the arbitration, they may sue the manufacturer for a replacement or refund. Keep in mind that in North Dakota, such a lawsuit must begin no later than 18 months after vehicle delivery.

5. Special Information

North Dakota has no additional special regulations that prospective car buyers must be aware of.