Fundamental North Dakota Trailer Laws & Regulations

Trailer laws in North Dakota are important to know if you plan on driving a trailer in the state. There are specific requirements and regulations that must be followed, and violating them can result in fines or other penalties. In this article, we will outline the most important trailer laws in North Dakota so that you can stay safe and informed while driving.

Should I Have A Title?

All trailers, semi-trailers, and farm trailers need to have a title and license, except for the ones that are listed below:

  • Trailers that weigh 1,500 pounds or less and are not for hire or commercial use.
  • Trailers that haul non-registered vehicles such as motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, boats, and personal watercraft don't need to be registered. However trailers used in competitive events for these recreational vehicles ARE required to be titled and licensed regardless of the weight.
  • Car dollies with two wheels on a single axle.
  • Pup trailers
  • A trailer behind your motorcycle as long as the trailer doesn't have any sleeping quarters.
  • Combine trailers that are over the legal width.

What do you need to register? Submit the manufacturer's certificate of origin or out-of-state title along with a completed SFN 2872 Application for Certificate of Title and Registration of a Motor Vehicle, as well as any applicable fees. After this, you will be able to get your title and license plate.

North Dakota Trailer Laws & Regulations


State law exempts any trailer, semitrailer, or farm trailer weighing less than 1,500 pounds from registration if it is not used for commercial purposes. However, all other trailers must be registered with the Department of Transportation every year.

The total length of the vehicle, bumper to bumper, is 75 feet. The trailer itself is 53 feet long--unless it was registered in the state prior to July 1st, 1987; then the overall width is 8 and a half feet (to be exact), with an appurtenance that can extend no more than 6 inches beyond the body of the car. Finally, the height limit imposed by law is 14 feet.


Any trailer traveling faster than 25 mph must have sufficient safety chains or brakes to control and stop the vehicle. The driver should be able to apply these brakes from inside the cab, and they should be designed so that in case of an accidental breakaway, the brakes will automatically activate.

Hitch and Signals

It is important to have safety chains connecting the vehicles when one vehicle is towing the other. The drawbar, coupling device, and safety chains must be designed and built strong enough so that they cannot become detached without intention.


Drivers are required to have a rear-view mirror that reflects the highway for at least 200 feet behind their vehicle, whether they are operating it alone or while towing another vehicle.


All vehicles must have working taillights, brake lights, license plate lights, turn signals, and reflectors.

Speed Limits

The speed limit for rural interstates is 75 mph, for non-interstate multilane highways is 70mph, and for 2-lane highways are 65 mph if posted. If the speed limit is not posted, then the default speed limit becomes 55 mph.

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