DOT will propose an increase in driver's license, vehicle registration fees

Jun 7, 2018

DOT Chief Financial Officer Shannon Sauer testifies before the Legislature's interim Government Finance Committee (6/7/18).
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s Department of Transportation will be proposing increases in driver’s license fees and motor vehicle registration fees in the 2019 Legislature.

DOT representatives presented that to the Legislature’s interim Government Finance Committee.

Right now, the fee for a “Class D” driver’s license – the one most people have – is $15 for six years. DOT says driver’s license fees haven’t been raised since the 1980s, and don’t cover the costs.

"The fees collected through our driver's license operations are projected to generated about $4.7 million per year during the coming biennium," DOT Chief Financial Officer Shannon Sauer told the Committee. "The total cost of our driver's license operation is estimated at $7.15 million."

Sauer told the Committee the fee would have to go to $41 – to break even during the upcoming 2019-2021 biennium.

In an interview, DOT Deputy Director Mark Nelson said the increase is still being worked out.

"We don't know," Nelson said. "Those are the discussions that still need to happen. Do we go to that level, and then negotiate, or do we try to do incremental?"

Nelson and Sauer said the increase will free up money for spending on roads and bridges.