North Dakota Recording Laws

North Dakota Recording Law Summary: North Dakota Recording Law

Is North Dakota a One Party Consent State?

North Dakota recording law stipulates that it is a one-party consent state. In North Dakota, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record or share communications, whether they are wire, oral or electronic, without the consent of at least one person taking part in the communication. This means that in North Dakota, you are legally allowed to record a conversation if you are a contributor, or with prior consent from one of the involved parties, barring any criminal intentions. N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-15-02 (2011).

However, while the consent of one party is required to record a telephone conversation, this only applies to conversations that take place entirely or partially through “wire, cable, or other like connection between the point of origin and the point of reception”. Therefore, conversations where all parties are using a cell phone, as well as messages exchanged between cell phones, can be lawfully intercepted. N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-15-04.

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Personal Conversations:

You may not record or share conversations that you are not a part of without the consent of at least one party.

However, North Dakota law does make an exception in cases where the person or people communicating are doing so in an environment where they should not be under the expectation of privacy. N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-15-04. This provision also makes it illegal for anyone to loiter near a building in an effort to eavesdrop on a conversation taking place within. N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-15-02.

If you are a third-party and require consent from the parties taking part in the conversation, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states that you may gain consent to make a recording by:

  • Getting verbal or written consent prior to the recording being made.
  • A verbal notification being played before the conversation begins. (For example: “This phone call is being recorded for quality control purposes…”).
  • An audible beep tone being repeated at steady intervals during the duration of the conversation.

North Dakota Video Recording Laws

It is illegal to trespass on another person’s property to secretly install or use any device for observing, photographing, recording, amplifying, or broadcasting sounds or events that are happening in that person’s house with the intention of intruding upon or interfering with that person’s privacy for sexual gratification purposes. N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1‐20‐12.2(1)(b)

It is illegal, for sexual gratification purposes, to trespass on another person’s property to secretly install or use any device for observing, photographing, recording, amplifying, or broadcasting sounds or events from a tanning booth, hotel room or any other place where a reasonable individual would have an expectation of privacy and has exposed or is likely to expose his or her intimate parts or has undressed. N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1‐20‐12.2(1)(d) For example, it is illegal to install or use a camera in a hotel room or public restroom because that is an area where people are likely to expose their intimate parts and have a reasonable expectation of privacy.


N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1-15-02: Recording a conversation in violation of North Dakota law is considered a felony.

N.D. Cent. Code § 12.1‐20‐12.2(1): Violating North Dakota’s video recording laws is a Class A misdemeanor which is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $3000, or both.

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