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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What must I do to obtain a peace officer license in North Dakota?

Answer:

  • In order to be eligible to obtain a peace officer license, any individual MUST meet all of the following license steps:
    • The person must be a citizen of the United States or in resident alien status as defined by the Imigration and Naturalization Service laws and regulations.
    • The person must possess a high school diploma or general education equivalency certificate (GED).
    • The person must not have pled guilty to or have been convicted in any state or federal court for any felony, crime of moral turpitude, crime of domestic violence or any other offense that has a direct bearing on the applicant's ability to serve as a peace officer.
    • The person must not be prohibited from using or possessing a firearm under state or federal law. The person must have a valid driver's license.
    • The person must undergo a complete background investigation conducted by the hiring agency including the submission of two employment fingerprint cards for both State and Federal record checks.
    • The person must have passed both a medical examination and psychological evaluation approved by the Board.

    For further information concerning these requirements, please contact the Board at 701-328-5500.

  • Once the above steps are completed, the administrator of the hiring agency must forward a completed Peace Officer Application for License form (PFN 1), the New Employment of Peace Officer form (PFN 2), the License Eligibility Report (PFN 3), the Code of Conduct (PFN14), and a copy of the letter from the background check to the Board. A fee of $45 must also be included. All checks should be made payable to the POST Board.These forms must be received by the Board prior to the officer’s first day of employment.
  • The officer must have met the sidearm qualification requirements including both the written examination and shooting performance. The weapons instructor conducting this certification must forward the proper forms to the Board. If the officer is not going to be required to carry a firearm in the performance of duty and will not carry a weapon, the agency administrator must forward a letter to the Board explaining the situation and request a waiver of sidearm qualification requirements.
  • Once ALL of the above requirements have been completed to the satisfaction of the Board, the person may then be issued a limited peace officer license which will allow the officer to began performing peace officer duties. Any individual who performs peace officer duties prior to obtaining the peace officer license is subject to criminal penalty which is classified as a class B misdemeanor.
    • Note: No limited license will be sent to the officer but a record will be created by the Board.
  • Once the limited license is issued, the officer must attend the first available basic training session at the Law Enforcement Training Academy in Bismarck. For information on class scheduling and registration, please contact the Academy at 701-328-9967.
  • Once accepted to Basic Training, the officer must attend the entire session and successfully complete all examinations and obtain a passing overall grade. At the conclusion of the Basic Training, the officer will be given the North Dakota Peace Officer Licensing Examination. The officer must successfully complete this examination by obtaining a minimum of 70% or higher. The fee for this examination is $25.00 and must be paid prior to taking the examination.
  • Once all of the above requirements have been met and the licensing examination passed, the officer will receive by mail a frameable license certificate and license card.
Q2. Will my past criminal history prevent me from obtaining a limited or general peace officer license?

Answer:

  • Once a background check has been completed, your agency will receive a letter indicating whether or not prior arrest informaiton was revealed. If your criminal history falls within the guidelines set by the POST Board and listed below, you will need to appear before the Board for review to determine whether or not you will be granted a license.

Criminal History Guidelines for Licensing

Q3. Is it possible to obtain a waiver or reciprocity for experience in another state?

It may be possible for certain officers to request and receive a partial waiver of Basic Training based on their work and training experience from another state.  In order to qualify for a partial waiver, the following steps must be completed:

Answer:

  • In order to be eligible for the waiver, the officer must be license eligible, currently licensed or certified as a full time peace officer in another state.
  • Any officer wishing to obtain a partial waiver of Basic Training MUST be hired by an agency and have been issued a limited license by the Board.
  • The administrator of the hiring agency must submit a letter to the Board requesting a partial waiver of Basic Training.  Along with the letter, the administrator must include supporting documentation to the officer's license status, education and work history.
  • The Board will then review the Basic Training the officer received.  This training must be equal to the curriculum for the North Dakota Basic Training.  If the Board determines that the officer meets the requirements, he or she will be eligible for the partial waiver.
  • If eligible, the officer must then attend two weeks of training during the next regular Basic Training session at the Law Enforcement Training Academy in Bismarck.  These two weeks will include North Dakota traffic and criminal law as well as certain other areas of training.  The officer must attend the entire two weeks and pass the related examinations administered by the Academy.  The Academy should be contacted at 701-328-9967 for scheduling and registration information.
  • If a passing grade is obtained on the Academy tests, the officer will then be given the North Dakota Peace Officer Licensing Examination.  The officer must obtain a score of at least 70% on this examination.  The officer will be given only one opportunity to pass the licensing examination.  The fee for the licensing examination is $25.00 and must be paid prior to taking the test.
  • If a passing grade is obtained on the licensing examination, the partial waiver of training will be granted and the officer will receive by mail a frameable license certificate and license card.
  • If the officer fails the Academy tests or should fail the license examination, the waiver will be denied.  The officer will then be required to attend the entire Basic Training session the next time it is scheduled.  After the completion of this session, the officer will be required to again take the licensing examination and a successful score obtained in order to receive the peace officer license.
Q4. Once I have obtained my peace officer license, what must I do to keep it current?

Answer:

Once a Peace Officer License is obtained by an officer, the following requirements MUST be met in order to maintain and renew the license:

  • The officer must comply with all related laws and rules for licensing.
  • The officer must meet the sidearm qualification requirements annually by shooting a qualifying score on a sidearm course and proof of compliance being received by the Board prior to December 31, of each year.  If the officer does not carry a weapon in the performance of duty, the administrator must send a letter to the Board stating the situation and requesting a waiver.  This letter must be received by the Board prior to December 31, of each year.
  • During the life of the license which is three years, the officer must obtain a minimum of 60 hours of approved continuing education.  Proof of this training must be received by the Board prior to the expiration of the license and before the license may be renewed.
  • Applications for renewing the licenses are out under the website under the forms section. In order to renew an officer's license, the POST Board will need both the PFN1 and PFN14 forms.  These applications must be completed and sent along with the $45.00 renewal fee to be received by the Board prior to the expiration of the current license.  If all the requirements have been met the license will be renewed and a new license card sent to the officer's agency.
  • If all of the requirements are not met or the renewal is not made prior to the expiration date, the license expires and the person may no longer perform peace officer duties.  There is no grace period.
  • A late renewal is possible for a period of 31 days after the expiration of a license.  All requirements must be met and the fee for a late renewal is $100.00.
  • If the license is not renewed within the 31 days after expiration a renewal is not allowed.  The individual must apply to the Board to have the license reinstated.  The Board will hear the request at their next regular meeting and may impose any and all of the steps needed for original licensing.  The fee for the reinstatement of a license is $250.00.
Q5. What happens to my license if I no longer am employed as a peace officer?

Answer:

Once having been issued a peace officer license, if the officer is no longer employed by a law enforcement agency, the license may be maintained on an inactive status.

If the officer wishes to keep the license on an inactive status, all of the requirements for maintaining and renewing the license must be met. To maintain inactive status, the officer must contact the POST Board and request the license be placed on inactive status. If an inactive license is not renewed as required, the person must obtain employment with a ND law enforcement agency before a new license will be issued.

Note 1: It will be the licensee's sole responsibility to provide the Board with proof of continuing education, sidearm qualification, and to request the renewal application when needed.

Note 2: The possession of the peace officer license in no way authorizes the holder to perform any peace officer duties nor to carry a weapon either concealed or otherwise. To do so may result in criminal and civil penalties. 

Q6. What must I do if I let my license expire and I am no longer employed as a peace officer?

Answer:

Once a Peace Officer License is obtained by an officer, the following requirements MUST be met in order to maintain and renew the license:

  • The officer must comply with all related laws and rules for licensing.
  • The officer must meet the sidearm qualification requirements annually by shooting a qualifying score on a sidearm course and proof of compliance being received by the Board prior to December 31, of each year. If the officer does not carry a weapon in the performance of duty, the administrator must send a letter to the Board stating the situation and requesting a waiver. This letter must be received by the Board prior to December 31, of each year.
  • During the life of the license which is three years, the officer must obtain a minimum of 60 hours of approved continuing education. Proof of this training must be received by the Board prior to the expiration of the license and before the license may be renewed.
  • Applications for renewing the licenses will be sent to the employing agency each year in advance of the expiration date for those officers who will need to renew their licenses. These applications must be completed and sent along with the $45.00 renewal fee to be received by the Board prior to the expiration of the current license. If all the requirements have been met the license will be renewed and a new license card sent to the officer's agency.
  • If all of the requirements are not met or the renewal is not made prior to the expiration date, the license expires and the person may no longer perform peace officer duties. There is no grace period.
  • A late renewal is possible for a period of 31 days after the expiration of a license. All requirements must be met and the fee for a late renewal is $100.00.
Q7. May certified instructors obtain continuing education hours for classes they teach?

Answer:

  • No
    • Continuing education hours may only be obtained from approved classes where the officer is a student.

 

Q8. May certified instructors obtain continuing education hours for portions of classes they tag team teach with other instructors?

Answer:

  • No
    • If you instruct any portion of a specific course, you cannot claim any continuing education credit.

 

Q9. May certified weapons instructors qualify themselves?

Answer:

  • Yes
    • Certified weapons instructors may qualify themselves if another licensed peace officer witnesses the shooting and verifies the score by either signing or initialing the qualification form.

 

Q10. When is the peace officer licensing examination given?

Answer:

  • The licensing examination is given at the conclusion of the required basic training.  The officer must pay the $25.00 examination fee prior to the day of the examination.  The examinations will only be given by representatives of the POST Board.
  • For any re-testing, the officer must make an appointment with the POST Board and after payment of the examination fee, a date, time and location will be set for the re-testing.
Q11. Is a part-time peace officer license available in North Dakota?

Answer:

    • Yes.   The following is the process to follow to obtain a part-time license:
      • The agency that will be using a person on a part-time basis is responsible for the completion of each of the following steps.
      • Each individual must pass a background check that includes both the fingerprint criminal record check and driver's license abstract(s), successfully complete a POST-approved psychological evaluation and a medical examination.
      • Once the background, psychological and medical steps are completed form PFN13 must be submitted to the POST Board by the agency administrator.
      • Once PFN 13 is received by the Board, the individual will have two years to complete the remainder of the process.
      • According to law, no limited license will be issued and the person may not perform any peace officer duties until the entire process is completed.
      • The person will be required to complete mandatory core training included in the part-time officer basic training curriculum.  This training may be completed at the law enforcement training academy.  A copy of the curriculum will be provided to the agency administrator after the PFN 13 is received.  The training academy should be contacted to make arrangements for attendance.
      • Once the person will be employed, if the job description requires performance of duties other than those covered in the core curriculum, that required training must also be completed within the two-year time period.
    • .

 

Q12. What training will count towards continuing education credit?

Answer:

    • Only training programs that have obtained prior approval by the POST Board will be counted for continuing education credit.  Officers should check with the provider or host of the training to ensure that this has been done.

 

Q13. Will computer based, internet or video training count towards continuing education credit?

Answer:

    • Only those training programs that have received prior approval of the Board may be counted towards the continuing education requirement.
    • Certified training in online, web-based, or video format cannot constitute more than twenty (20) hours of the sixty (60) hour requirement for continuing education requirements.
    • For any training other than the traditional classroom setting (instructor and students in the same room) a Board certified instructor or department administrator must monitor the training.  That instructor or administrator will be able to address any issues relating to departmental policies or state law and will also submit the record of the training to the Board.

 

Q14. Is a Peace Officer in violation of the ND Peace Officer Code of Conduct, specifically N.D.A.C. 109-02-05-01 (4)(h) if the officer is performing off duy tobacco compliance checks for the FDA?

Answer:

    • The P.O.S.T. Board ordinarily will not provide advisory opinions as the facts are different for every case and require a case-by-case approach and that must be kept in mind here.
    • It is a requirement under N.D.C.C. 44-04-06 for a Peace Officer to report information of a tobacco or alcohol violation to the State's Attorney of the County in which the violation occurs and to assist the State's Attorney in the prosecution of the violations of the tobacco laws.
    • N.D.C.C. 12.1-31-03(2) provides in part "A state agency, city, county, Board of Health, tobacco retailer, or association of tobacco retailers may also conduct compliance surveys after coordination with the appropriate local law enforcement authority."
    • Because state law authorizes tobacco compliance checks when they are coordinated with local law enforcement, a tobacco compliance check should not be in violation of N.D.A.C. 109-02-05-01(4)(h) if there has been coordination with the appropriate local law enforcement agency.