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North Dakota Recording Laws

North Dakota Recording Law Summary:North Dakota Recording Law

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.

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.

Penalties:

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