Driver Licensing

FAQs

1. How do I renew my South Dakota drivers license?

2. How do I obtain a copy of my South Dakota driving record?

3. I have been convicted of No Proof of Insurance, DWI or another serious violation. How do I get my license back?

4. My license has either been stolen or lost, what documents are required to get a duplicate license?

5. Where are the Driver Exam Stations located and what are the hours?

6. I recently changed my name, how do I change the name on my driver license?

7. My driver license has been lost and I am currently out of the state. How can I get a replacement?

8. I'm not in South Dakota to go to an Exam Station and my license is about to expire. How can I get renewed?

9. I moved to South Dakota from another state. What do I need to do to get a South Dakota Driver license?

10. I just bought a motorcycle. How do get my license changed to be legal to drive it?

11. I would like to add a Class A, B or C endorsement to my license. Can I take the driving/skill test at the exam station when I come in to take the required written exam(s)?

12. I have passed the CDL written and skill tests and need to convert my Class 1 or 2 license to a Commercial license. Can I go to a County Issue site to have the conversion done?

13. How many tests do I take when I apply for a Driver License?

14. How high must I score to pass?

15. How many times can I retake each test?

16. If I fail the written or skill test, can I retake the rest on the same day?


1. How do I renew my South Dakota drivers license?

Your driver license is valid for 5 years and will expire on your birthday or 30 days after your birthday if you are turning 21. You may renew the license anytime up to 180 days before it expires (unless you are turning 21, in which case you must wait until your 21st birthday). You will need to bring your current license. If your driver license has been lost, please see #4 below. You will be required to take a vision test. If the driver license you surrender is expired for more than 30 days, a knowledge test will be required. Drivers from foreign countries will be issued a license for the duration of their legal stay in the U.S. based on immigration documents provided at license issuance, not to exceed 5 years. For a list of the documents needed to bring with you, click here.

Back to Top


2. How do I obtain a copy of my South Dakota driving record?

Due to the new Federal Privacy Act, you must complete a form that gives our department authorization to release the record. Forms for Driving Record requests

Back to Top


3. I have been convicted of No Proof of Insurance, DWI, or another serious violation. How do I get my license back?

Convictions of No Proof of Insurance, DWI, Vehicular Homicide, 2 Reckless Driving charges in a year, or Failure to Pay a Judgement all require license suspension or revocation. The return of your license is dependent on whether we've received an SR-22 at the end of the suspension/revocation. The SR-22 filing proves to the state that you have valid insurance on all vehicles in your possession. This filing is needed for a minimum of 3 years, and is required even if you don't own or have a vehicle registered in your name. Click here for more information on SR-22.

When the suspension time is over, the SR-22 is filed with the State of South Dakota, and you are eligible to reinstate your driver license, you will be required to pay a reinstatement fee, plus an application fee and pass any required tests.

Back to Top


4. My license has either been stolen or lost.  What documents are required to get a duplicate license?

Proof of your identity, date of birth, and lawful status, ( if your name is different than the name on your identity document, you will need to bring additional proof of your legal name). Proof of your Social Security number and two documents to prove your principle address. Click here for a complete list of documents.

Back to Top


5. Where are the Driver Exam Stations located and when are they open?

To view Exam Stations locations and schedules click dates and time, please click one of the links below:
Search by City
Search by County

Back to Top


6. I recently changed my name.  How do I change the name on my driver license?

You will need to show the examiner your divorce decree, marriage license, or other legal document showing your name has changed. You will also need to provide documents to prove your identity, date of birth, and lawful status, a document to prove your Social Security number, and two documents to prove your principal address.  For a complete list of documents, click here.

There will be a $10 fee to make this change.

Back to Top


7. My driver license has been lost and I am currently out of state.  How can I get a replacement?

Due to federal and state regulations, as of December 31, 2009, we will not be able to issue renewals/duplicates by mail until the applicant has applied in person one time.  If your are out-of-state and need a temporary permit to extend your driver license, please either e-mail us or call 1-800-952-3696 or 605-773-6883.

Back to Top


8. I'm not in South Dakota to go to an exam station and my license is about to expire.   How can I renew?

Due to federal and state regulations, as of December 31, 2009, we will not be able to issue renewals/duplicates by mail until the applicant has applied in person one time.  If you are out-of-state and need a temporary permit to extend your driver license, please either email us or call 1-800-952-3696 or 605-773-6883..

Back to Top


9. I moved to South Dakota from another state. What do I need to do to get a South Dakota Driver license?

To obtain a South Dakota driver license, you need to visit a South Dakota exam station and submit an application. You will need to take your out-of-state license and provide items from this list of documents.  The application and the out-of-state license will be given to the examiner.   The examiner will check to make sure you have valid driving privileges in all states, and you will be given a vision screening.  When both are completed and passed, you will be issued a South Dakota license valid for five (5) years and charged a license fee.

Back to Top


10. I just bought a motorcycle. How do get my license changed to be legal to drive it?

To obtain a motorcycle license, you must be at least 16 years of age and pass the vision, knowledge (car/truck and motorcycle), and motorcycle driving tests.

If a minor is at least 16 years of age, but under 18 years of age, they must complete the requirements of the Instruction Permit and not have been convicted of a traffic violation during the past six months prior to obtaining the Motorcycle Operator's License.

The license is valid for 5 years or until the same date as the expiration date on the valid documents authorizing the applicant's presence in the United States, whichever occurs first.

You will be charged a license fee.

For information about Motorcycle Safety Courses, please call 1-800-952-5539 (outside Sioux Falls area), or 605-361-7785 in the Sioux Falls area, or visit the South Dakota Safety Council web site.

Back to Top


11. I would like to add a Class A, B, or C endorsement to my license. Can I take the drive test at the exam station when I come in to take the required written exam(s)?

As of January 2, 2006, examiners at our exam stations will no longer administer the drive tests for Commercial Endorsements. Please contact a Third Party Tester to schedule the drive test. Click here to view the Third Party Tester List.

Back to Top


12. I have passed the CDL written and skill tests and need to convert my Class 1 or 2 license to a Commercial license. Can I go to a county issue site to have the conversion done?

No.  County issue sites do not have the ability to convert Class 1 or 2 licenses to commercial licenses. You will need to visit a state driver exam station.

Back to Top


13. How many tests do I take when I apply for a Driver License?
You will need to complete vision screening, a 25 question written test, and the driving skills test.

Back to Top


14. How high must I score to pass?
Vision Screening: 20/40 with both eyes
Written Test: 25 questions, 80 percent
Skill Test: 80 percent
Law violations or dangerous actions result in automatic failure.

Back to Top


15. How many times can I retake each test?
If you fail your vision screening, no further testing will take place until a statement from your optometrist or ophthalmologist is completed and submitted.

You are allowed a total of three attempts to pass both the written AND the skills test each time you submit an application and fees.

For Example:  If it takes you two times to pass the written portion of the test, you only have one try to pass the skills test and vise versa.

If you do not pass both tests within three attempts, you must reapply, and pay the fee again to get three more tries.

Back to Top


16. If I fail the written or skill test, can I retake the rest on the same day?
No, you are allowed to take each test only once per day.