North Dakota


From the ND Foster Parent Handbook 

The Department is not able to authorize a minor to secure a driver’s license. Even though it is desirable and the Department would like to provide this experience for young people, it is prohibited by the absence of insurance protection. The foster care liability insurance carried by the Department specifically excludes anything related to motor vehicles. Inclusion of motor vehicular related activities in coverage would make the foster care liability insurance unaffordable and would jeopardize our continuation of it.

NDCC Section 39-06-08 sets out the conditions under which an application for an operator’s license on behalf of a minor can be made. It provides as follows:

“The application of any minor for an instruction permit or operator’s license must be signed and verified before a person authorized to administer oaths or the director’s agent, by the father,  mother,  or legal guardian, or, in the event there is no parent or legal guardian, then by another responsible adult who is willing to assume the obligation imposed under this chapter upon a person signing the application of a minor.”

Thus, in the event there is no parent or guardian having legal custody of the child and willing to assume responsibility on behalf of the child, another responsible adult, e.g., a foster parent, could sign the application and, in so doing, assume the obligation imposed under Chapter 39-06, NDCC.

With respect to the obligations assumed by a person signing an application on behalf of a minor, NDCC Section 39-06-09 provides as follows:

“Any negligence of a minor when driving a motor vehicle upon a highway must be imputed to the person who has signed the application of such minor for a permit or license, which person must be jointly and severally liable with such minor for any damages caused by such negligence, except as otherwise provided in Section 39-06.10.”

Under NDCC Section 39-06-10, the signing of a minor’s application for an operator’s license by a responsible adult willing to assume responsibility for the child’s operation of the motor vehicle can be obviated by the child furnishing proof of financial responsibility in respect to the operation of the motor vehicle financial responsibility laws of the state. If such proof is filed and accepted by the Commissioner, the Commissioner may accept the application of the minor without a signing by a responsible adult. It is suggested that before a child committed to the care, custody, and control of a county social service board or Department of Human Services be allowed to operate a motor vehicle, the following conditions be met:

  1.  That the child have a valid instruction permit or operator’s license; and
  2. That the child deposit, or have deposited on his behalf, proof of financial responsibility; or, in lieu thereof, furnish proof that the parent, guardian, or foster parent signing the minor’s application for permit or license has proof of financial responsibility which ensures against the negligent operation of the motor vehicle by the minor in an amount required under the financial responsibility in the amount of $50,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more persons in any one accident, and $25,000 for injury to or destruction of property in any one accident.)

Liability Insurance for Foster Parents

N.D. Cent. Code §50-11-03.3

1. The department shall provide liability coverage for acts or omissions of foster children placed in the care of foster families. The department may provide this liability coverage through self-insurance.

2. The liability coverage under this section:

a. Must provide coverage for damage to property which is caused by the act of a foster child. This coverage must be for the lesser of the reasonable cost to repair or to replace the damaged property.

b. Is secondary to any other coverage.

c. May not exceed five thousand dollars per claim, with an annual maximum of ten thousand dollars per year per claimant. The coverage under this subsection must include a deductible not to exceed one hundred dollars per claim.

3. The department may provide for exclusions from liability coverage provided under this section.