Online Renewal FAQs

Quick Links to Motor Vehicle Online Renewal Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Requirements to Renew Online

What do I need in order to use the online registration renewal system?

You must have either your renewal card or your old registration card and a valid credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover).  Debit cards are also accepted. In addition, you must also use a web browser supporting Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology such as Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator.  It is recommended that you use a browser utilizing at least 128-bit encryption.  However, browsers using lower levels of encryption may be accepted.

Why can't I just enter a license plate number when searching for vehicles to renew?

Any person can potentially know your license plate number simply by passing your vehicle in traffic. It is difficult to establish whether the person is authorized to renew the vehicle if just a plate number is used as verification.

Why can't I just enter my social security number to search for a vehicle?

The system doesn't store personal information of that nature.

What if my browser is experiencing problems using the online registration renewal system?

You may need to adjust your browser’s settings or upgrade to a newer version.The North Dakota Department of Transportation assumes no responsibility for late registration renewals due to technical problems involving online transactions.

Do I need to send the Motor Vehicle Division anything if I use the online registration system?


Are there restrictions related to what types of vehicles can be renewed online?

Yes. Fleet vehicles and apportioned vehicles cannot be renewed online. Also, large trucks weighing 55,000 lbs. or more cannot be renewed online because IRS Form 2290 must be submitted prior to renewal.

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Payment Information

How secure is my credit card information that I submit?

Your data is encrypted while being electronically transmitted to and from our system. Your credit card information is not stored in our system.

Is there an additional charge or discount to use the online registration renewal system?


Why do I have to enter my address into the system on the payment screen if the system already has my address?

The address of the registered vehicle(s) may not be the same address as the one that your credit / debit card is billed to.

Can I use the renewal system and have a bill mailed to me instead of using a credit / debit card to pay online?


Why did the system erase my credit card information when I moved from the payment page to the vehicle selection page and then later returned to the payment page?

This is one of the methods the system utilizes to protect the privacy of your personal information and to help prevent unauthorized access of that information.

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What time of the day can I use the system?

The system is normally available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A notification will be posted if the system is unavailable due to maintenance.

How soon can a vehicle registration be renewed?

Vehicle registrations may be renewed up to 3 months prior to the expiration date.

Can the online registration system be used for new registrations or title transfers?

No, only renewals are accepted.

What do I do if my registration has already expired?

You may still use the online registration system. You may decide to renew your registration in person at one of our Motor Vehicle Division offices to obtain your decals immediately. Otherwise, expect to receive your decals within 5-7 days after renewing using the online renewal system.

Can I renew more than one vehicle at a time?


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Processing Time

How soon after registering online will I receive my new registration card and decals?

Expect to receive them within 5 to 7 days.

If one week has passed since I renewed online and I haven’t received anything yet, what should I do?

If you supplied an email address when you placed your online renewal simply reply to the email confirmation you received after you completed your order. Otherwise, contact the Motor Vehicle Division at (701) 328-2725 for assistance.

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Completing / Canceling a Transaction

Will I receive an order or confirmation number when the transaction is complete?

Yes. You will receive a confirmation number after your transaction is completed. The confirmation number will also be emailed to you if an email address was supplied when you placed your order.

How will I know if my transaction was successful?

After you reach the confirmation page you will know that the transaction was processed successfully and your credit/debit card was accepted. Make sure you wait for a response because the transaction may take a few moments to process. If it was not successful you will receive an error message. Do not resubmit a renewal if it was processed successfully.

Will I get a receipt or confirmation via email?

Yes, if you supplied an email address. However, an email confirmation doesn’t constitute legal proof that you have a valid registration. Your registration card and decals that you will receive in the mail are legal proof of registration.

Should I keep my receipt that I printed in my vehicle?

The receipt doesn’t constitute legal proof that you have a valid registration. Your registration card and decals that you will receive in the mail are legal proof of registration.

What should I do with my renewal card once my transaction is completed?

The renewal card can be thrown away after you receive your registration card and decals in the mail.

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Address Changes

What if I need to change my address?

Use the online address change system or contact the Motor Vehicle Division at (701) 328-2725 for assistance.

Can anyone use the online address change system?

No, lease companies are not allowed to use the system. Lease companies should contact the Motor Vehicle Division at (701) 328-2725 for assistance.

Will I receive confirmation of the address change in the mail?


Can I request a special mailing address without actually changing my permanent address?

Yes, you can have a temporary mailing address for a dedicated period of time. Please contact the Motor Vehicle Division at (701) 328-2725 for assistance.

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Ordering / Reserving License Plates

Can the plates be ordered online?

No. Complete the Personalized/Special plate form (SFN 53612) and mail it or bring it to the nearest Motor Vehicle Division office / branch.

Can I reserve a plate using the online search?

No, plates cannot be reserved either online or by phone. Availability may change from time you perform your online search to when your order is received by the Motor Vehicle Division.

How soon after ordering my plates will I receive them?

Please allow at least 4 weeks for processing after the Motor Vehicle Division receives the order.

Is there an extra fee for personalized plates?

Yes, there is a $25 yearly fee for a standard special letter plate. Additional fees may apply depending on the specific type of plate.  These fees are in addition to the standard registration fee. For more information on the applicable fees, please refer to the Personalized/Special plate form (SFN 53612) or contact the Motor Vehicle Division at (701) 328-2725 for assistance. 

Can anyone order any type of specialized plate?

No, some types of plates have eligibility requirements, as noted below and on the Personalized/Special plate form (SFN 53612). The additional documentation must be submitted along with the plate order to verify that the specific eligibility requirements are met for that particular plate.

How do I renew my vehicle registration if I no longer want a specialty plate?

Contact the Motor Vehicle Division at (701) 328-2725 for assistance.

How old must my vehicle be if I want to have an Antique plate on it?

The model year must be at least 40 years old.

What additional documentation do I need to order a North Dakota Firefighter's plate?

Firefighter's Plate Application(SFN 52908) must be submitted when ordering this type of plate.

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Searching Available License Plates

Should I include spaces in my search?

Yes, use spaces to determine how the desired plate will look.

Can I use special characters or symbols in the plate search?

No special characters are allowed on North Dakota special letter plates. No obscene, etc. names will be accepted when you order your plate. If unallowable characters or names are included the plate request will be rejected.

Can I get the same personalized plate on two different types of vehicles, such as a passenger car and a motorcycle?

No, special letter plates are unique and cannot be issued for multiple license types at the same time. However, one type can be transferred to another type. Contact the Motor Vehicle Division at (701) 328-2725 for assistance.