North Dakota Legal Age Of Consent (Legal Age for Consensual Sex)
What is the 2023 Age of Consent in North Dakota?
The North Dakota Legal Age of Consent for sexual contact is 18 years old.
A total of eleven states, including ND, have set their age of consent at 18 years old, which is the highest legal age of consent in any state.
A person who engages in a sexual act with another, or who causes another to engage in a sexual act, is guilty of "A person who engages in a sexual act with another, or who causes another to engage in a sexual act, is guilty of "Gross sexual imposition" if the victim is less than fifteen years old\. An adult who engages in, solicits with the intent to engage in, or causes another to engage in a sexual act with a minor, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if the victim is a minor fifteen years of age or older, and an adult who solicits with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor under age fifteen or engages in or causes another to engage in a sexual act when the adult is at least twenty-two years of age and the victim is a minor fifteen years of age or older, is guilty of a class C felony (Corruption or solicitation of minors).
North Dakota has no Close-In-Age Exemption
There are no set close-in-age exemptions or "Romeo and Juliet laws" to North Dakota's age of consent law. This means that anyone who engages in sexual activity with someone under the age of consent in North Dakota is liable for prosecution, including people only a few years older then their sexual partner and even two individuals who are both under the age of consent.
What is the Age of Consent?
The Age of Consent is the age at which a person is deemed by North Dakota law to be capable of consenting to, and engaging in, sexual acts. Anyone who engages in sexual activity of any type with a partner under the applicable Age of Consent is breaking the law and can be charged with crimes ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony (statutory rape) depending on the jurisdiction in which they are prosecuted. North Dakota's specific laws on the Age of Consent can be found above.
What happens if I violate the North Dakota Age of Consent?
If you engage in sexual activity with a minor who is under the North Dakota Age of Consent of 18, you can be prosecuted under North Dakota sexual abuse laws and charged with crimes ranging from sexual assault or statutory rape to first degree rape, regardless of whether or not the sexual acts were consensual. Depending on the charges, conviction can carry penalties ranging from one to fifty years in prison and registration as a sex offender .
Does the North Dakota Age of Consent apply to explicit pictures or videos?
It is important to note that North Dakota's Age of Consent does not apply to "sexting", or transmission of explicit photos or video. Producing or receiving explicit photos of minors (any person under age 18) is illegal in North Dakota, and all other states, under child pornography laws.
Because the North Dakota Age of Consent is also eighteen years old, people who have reached the legal age of consent are also legally allowed to participate in sexting.
Possession of explicit images of an underage person is also illegal under Federal law, and while minors are not typically prosecuted for possession, adults are frequently prosecuted for producing, possessing, receiving, or distributing underage pornography.
What happens if I travel to a state where the Age of Consent is lower?
In most states, the travel or transportation of a minor over state lines with the intention of engaging in sexual activity is in itself a severe misdemeanor or felony. As a result, it is generally not possible to evade a state's age of consent rules by travelling to a different state.
Map of Ages of Consent by State
16 Years Old
17 Years Old
18 Years Old
Need more information? Find data on the age of consent in other states.