North Dakota Substance Counselor Certification

Addiction Counselor Resource, North Dakota

Are you wondering how to become a substance abuse counselor in North Dakota? Addiction counselors within the state are provided licensure by the North Dakota Board of Addiction Counseling Examiners (NDBACE). They offer 2 different levels of licensure. These levels are Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) and Licensed Master Addiction Counselor (LMAC).

*How To Become A Substance Abuse Counselor in North Dakota

Degree Requirements & Education

LAC applicants must hold at least a Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field such as counseling, addiction disorders, or any field related to behavioral health. The LMAC applicants must have completed their Master’s Degree. The Master’s Degree should be in a relevant field such as one listed above.

LAC applicants will need to be able to submit verification of completion of a Board approved 960 hour program of clinical training. The LMAC applicants will only be required to complete a 700 hour program. This must be submitted by the supervisor who oversees the program.

Experience Requirements & Supervision

Aside from the 960 hour training program, LAC applicants are not required to complete any formal hours of work experience. LMAC applicants must complete 2,000 hours of supervised substance abuse counseling after receiving licensure. In the state of North Dakota, it is illegal to practice counseling without holding a license. Upon the completion of the training program, all applicants are required to fill out the Clinical Trainee Completion Form. This must be submitted before the applicant can even apply to register for the exam. The Clinical Trainee Completion Form must be filled out and sent into the Board by the supervisor.


Fill out the application and mail it to: North Dakota Board of Addiction Counseling Examiners PO Box 175, Carrington ND 58421. The forms can also be filled out online and emailed to: Transcripts must be mailed to the Board directly from the educational institution. Two reference letters must be submitted on Board approved forms. The Board has provided a form available here: Reference Form.

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The applicant must submit application fees when they submit their application to the Board. This application fee is $50 and should be paid by money order or check made out to the NDBACE.

The appropriate licensure holder fees must be paid every other year. These are the fees for licensure, not application. They may either be paid by check or Paypal. The fees are dependent on the time of application.

  • On or after January 1 (even year) and before July 1 (even year): $300
  • On or after July 1 (even year) and before January 1 (odd year): $250
  • On or after January 1 (odd year) and before July 1 (odd year): $150
  • On or after July 1 (odd year) and before January 1 (even year): $100
  • For those who wish to run a private practice, they must be licensed LMACs in order to do so. The LMAC can apply for independent practice with the Board. There is a $200 registration fee that is due at the time of application. It can be paid by money order or check made out to the NDBACE. Private Practice Application


    Exams are provided by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC). The LAC applicants are required to take either the NCAC II or MAC Exam. Both will satisfy the Board. The LMAC applicants are only allowed to take the MAC Exam. Applicants will need to apply to sit for the examination with the Exam Application. There is a fee for registering for the exam. This fee is $150 and will be paid online to Kryterion. After the exam application has been approved, the Board will reach out to the applicant to schedule the exam. If the applicant is taking the exam at a physical location, they must bring a copy of the approval to test email from the Board.

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    All licenses expire every odd numbered year on December 31. Within every 2 year cycle, both LACs and LMACs must complete 40 hours of continuing education. 3 of these hours must be in Clinical Supervision. 6 hours must be in Professional Ethics. These hours of continuing education may be earned at a workshop or a seminar. There is a $300 renewal fee. The renewal application may be mailed or emailed to the Board.