North Dakota Identity Theft Laws

The state of North Dakota offers fair laws regarding the unauthorized use of personal information and the crimes committed while under another person’s identity. Misdemeanor charges are given to those who have only used the information to seek employment or open an account. Once money is obtained while under a false name, the crime excels to a felony offense.

north dakota identity theft laws

North Dakota Laws

Unauthorized Use of Personal Information - §12.1-23-11

Making an attempt to use the personal information of another human being is unauthorized and unlawful in the state of North Dakota. This includes both the information of anyone living and anyone who is already deceased. Details of a surname, email address, physical address, social security number, operator’s license, or place of employment should not be used or shared.

Using this information is not only unlawful if monetary gain is involved. Attempting to gain employment using someone else’s resume and information is also prohibited. Committing a crime while using this information will result in a higher charge. The crime is typically a misdemeanor, resulting in one year in a county jail. Obtaining money or goods under someone else’s name is a felony, equating to a five year prison sentence. It becomes a Class B felony, punishable by a $10,000 fine and ten years in a prison facility, if more than $1,000 worth of goods, credit, cash, or a combination of them, are obtained.

Statute of Limitations - §12.1-23-11 Continued

When a criminal partakes in identity theft, the crime needs to be prosecuted and charged as soon as possible. There is a statute of limitations on identity theft crimes, which only gives six years for prosecutors to find the perpetrator guilty. If no crime is reported, or it is not reported in a timely fashion, then the offender will not be tried for the crime they committed. This is why it is so important for people to regularly check their reports and account information and report a suspect situation.

Use of Theft Detection Shields - §12.1-23-13

Certain shield devices have been created that hinder the detection of identity and credit card theft. These shields work to hide any skimming devices or scanners that can be utilized to steal encoded information off the strips of cards so it can be used for another card in the future. Possessing a device of this nature is prohibited in the state of North Dakota.

Removing a theft detection device is also against this law. This includes the devices attached to electronics and other goods located at store facilities. Selling unauthorized devices for others to use is also punishable under this law. A Class A misdemeanor is given in many instances, while a Class C felony is awarded to criminals who have performed this action in several instances, or who use the devices they have purchased or obtained.

Phishing - §51-27-10

Using misleading communications, such as including a business logo on an email that is not actually associated with the company, is prohibited under the phishing law. Criminals sometimes use email or websites as a way to obtain personal information that can be used in different schemes and fraud situations. This is counted as a Class C felony in North Dakota, which earns the perpetrator a five year maximum prison sentence.

Directing someone to provide information, money, or property by sending communications online are all punishable under this law. Operating a web page that pretends to be an actual sales site, or a site belonging to a charity or other organization, is also prohibited.

Unlawful Skimming of Payment Cards - §12.1-23-17

Skimming devices that are intended to steal the information off payment cards are unlawful to use in the state of North Dakota. This includes stealing the information from credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, and even things like hotel keys. Reencoders also used with these devices allow criminals to not only steal the card information, but put encode it onto another card in order to use it for themselves. This unlawful practice results in a felony charge. It could earn the offender either a Class B or Class A charge, depending on the circumstances. The maximum sentence for this crime is $100,000 worth of fines, along with 20 years in prison.

Mandatory Police Report: §51-31

Any time someone suspects their personal information may have been compromised, it is important for them to report the incident immediately to the authorities. Local law enforcement must make a copy of the report and provide it to the complainant for their records. If the crime was not committed in the person’s place of residence, and instead happened elsewhere, the case will need to be forwarded to the agency with proper jurisdiction over the matter. That agency can then use their discretion to determine if the case should be investigated, and what the next steps will be.


The state of North Dakota supplies an abundance of resources for victims of identity theft, and those looking to prevent the crime from happening to them. The North Dakota Attorney General discusses how each consumer has a right to place a security freeze on their credit report. Details regarding the freeze are listed on their website. Further information discussing identity theft and instructions for victims are also included. The North Dakota State Government offers a special section for tax information. It includes information tax fraud and identity theft, discussing when to file, preventative measures to take, and reporting a crime as soon as it occurs. The North Dakota Banker’s Assocation provides a section on identity theft. A resource document is included that discusses how to deter the crime, detect it quicker, and defend data from being stolen. Additional resources are also disclosed on the document. The Better Business Bureau allows users to search by section, with one included for Minnesota and North Dakota. A Consumer Help section is included on the website, with information and advice regarding the crime of identity theft. Tips for avoiding scams and steps for credit recovery are included.