North Dakota Real Estate Practices

Attorney Involvement

Please describe any requirements under applicable state law for attorney, abstractor or other special professional involvement, for example, in the search, examination, opinion of title, signing, closing, disbursement, recording, preparation of documents, and/or policy-issuance.

North Dakota Century Code (NDCC) 26.1-20-05: Commitment must be based on title evidence of a licensed abstractor and such evidence must be examined by a North Dakota licensed attorney.

Cancellation/Commitment Fee

Does your state permit or require a cancellation fee or commitment fee upon cancellation?

It is permitted.

Certificate of Release (of Mortgage)

If anyone other than the lender (such as a title agent, settlement agent, underwriter or attorney) has the authority to release the security instrument, please describe.

NDCC 35-03-19: Authorizes title company to release mortgages of $500,000 or less.


Please describe the kinds of deeds that are customary for commercial and residential transactions.  Please describe the kinds of deeds that are generally not insurable.

(A) Warranty, Limited Warranty and Quit-Claim are customary.
(B) Any deed can be insured if Underwriter is satisfied that it is conveying something.

Good Funds Requirements

Is there a good funds requirement in your state?

No (9-4-19)

Joinder of Spouses

If a non-title holding spouse is required to join in the execution of a deed or a security instrument, please describe.  Any analogous rights, such as those in a civil union or equivalent, should also be addressed. 

Both must sign if homestead property.  Non-homestead can be conveyed by owner only.
(NDCC 47-19-11, 47-18-05, 14-07-04)

Mortgage Tax

Is there a mortgage tax in your state?  If yes, is it uniform across the state or does it vary?  If it is uniform, please describe.  


Payment Customs

Who customarily pays for:

(a) Owner’s Policy?
(b) Transfer Tax & Recording Fee?
(c) Survey Charges?
(d) Closing/Settlement Fees?

Seller pays for Owner’s Policy and for satisfaction. 
Buyer pays for all other.
Buyer generally pays for survey.
Buyer pays closing/settlement fees.

Policy Countersignatures

Please describe any statutory or regulatory requirements for countersignatures in order to issue the policy (for example, residency requirements).


Real Estate Taxes

Please describe the general tax year, due dates, and delinquency dates, including lien dates and payment cycle.

Taxes paid in arrears. For example: 2012 taxes come out in December 2012 and are due 1/1/2013.

Search and Examination Fees

Is it permissible and/or customary to charge a separate search and/or examination fee, and under what circumstances?  If your jurisdiction is all-inclusive, please state that.

There is a separate search and exam charge.

Search Requirements

Is there a minimum period of time for a title search required: (a) by state law, (b) pursuant to marketable record title acts, or (c) by any other applicable title examination standards (e.g., state bar association)?  Please respond to each category.  If a minimum search period exists for any category, please state it.

(A) There is no statutorily mandated period of time to search. 
(B) NDCC 47-19.1-01: 20 year- marketable title. This statute is relied upon to clear old interests.
(C) As a practical matter, abstracts are generally updated so the entire chain is usually available and examined. Title companies will come forward from prior files.

Security Instruments (Deed of Trust vs. Mortgage)

Please describe the customary and permissible form(s) of security instruments used in your state. 

Who can be listed as the trustee on the Deed of Trust (e.g., residency and/or natural person requirements, etc.)? Can an underwriter or title agent be designated as the trustee, and, if so, is it customary?

(A) Mortgage.
(B) Deeds of trust are not used.

Standard Exceptions and Requirements

Please identify the standard exceptions and requirements that are customarily used in your state.

Standard exceptions are:

  1. Defects, liens, encumbrances, adverse claims or other matters, if any; created, first appearing in the Public Records, or attaching subsequent to the effective date hereof but prior to the date the proposed insured acquires for value of record the estate or interest or mortgage thereon covered by this Commitment.
  2. Rights or claims of parties in possession not shown by the Public Records.
  3. Easements, or claims of easements, which are not shown by the Public Records.
  4. Any encroachment, encumbrance, violation, variation or adverse circumstance affecting the Title that would be disclosed by an accurate and complete land survey of the Land and not shown in the Public Records.
  5. Any lien or right to a lien for series, labor or material heretofore or hereafter furnished, imposed by law and not shown in the Public Records.
  6. a. Unpatented mining claims; b.  reservations or exceptions in patents or in Acts authorizing the issuance thereof; c.  water rights, claims or title to water, whether or not the matters excepted under (a), (b) or (c) are shown by the Public Records.
  7. Taxes and special assessments which are not shown as existing liens by the Public Records.

State-specific Policy Variations

If there are state-specific changes to the provisions in the ALTA policies (e.g., Arbitration, Minerals), please describe.




Title Insurance Form and Filing Regulations

Please describe the form and/or rate filing requirements, if any, related to policies and endorsements.  Please describe any applicable rating bureau. 

NDCC 26.1-25-04: Rates must be filed.
NDCC 26.1-30-10: Policies must be filed.

Transfer Taxes

Is there a transfer tax in your state? If yes, is it uniform across the state or does it vary?  If it is uniform, please describe.



Is usury coverage available?

Yes. NDCC 47-14-09 exempts entity borrowers from the usury statute as well as any loan in excess of $35K.

Withholding Taxes

What are your state’s requirements, if any, with regard to withholding proceeds from a sale, similar to but not including FIRPTA?


Witness Requirements

Are witnesses required on a deed or security instrument?  If so, please describe.

No. NDCC 47-19-03