Commercial Driver License
************* IMPORTANT NOTICE *************
Entry-Level Driver Training (EDLT)
FMCA's Entry Level Driver Training became a requirement on February 7, 2022. This includes those applying to:
- Obtain a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time;
- Upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL; or
- Obtain a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time.
FMCSA Video on ELDT Eligibility for Drivers
Looking for information on which drivers are required to take entry-level driver training? The FMCSA has released a video to help answer this question. Click the image below to watch and learn more!
Training Provider Registry (TPR)
The FMCSA Training Provider Registry will retain a record of which CDL applicants have completed the new ELDT training and certification process outlined in the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations.
For more information about the ELDT regulations and the Training Provider Registry (TPR), click here.
There are no state-specific CDL training requirements.
Other Important Notices
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has been notified of a phishing scam that you may receive from the FMCSA “Assistant of Administration” claiming you need to “complete your most recent up-to-date membership License certificate.” If you receive any suspicious email from firstname.lastname@example.org or any other entity that you are not expecting or looks suspicious, please delete the email from your inbox. Once the email has been deleted from your in-box, go into your deleted mail folder and delete it from your deleted mailbox. Doing this will limit the exposure of the phishing email.
Note that the only legitimate way to log in to the Training Provider Registry is via login.gov. Never enter your email address and password into a third-party website claiming to give you access to the Training Provider Registry.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued an extension on their existing CDL waiver until November 30, 2022. For South Dakota CDL holders this means:
- We will continue to waive the 14-day waiting period from CLP issuance to skill test date until November 30, 2022.
For official documentation and full explanation, click here.
TSA is granting a temporary exemption from requirements regarding the expiration of TSA Security Threat Assessments (STAs) for Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) holders, states may extend the expiration date of an HME that expires between July 1, 2022 and December 27, 2022, for a period of up to 180 days.
This exemption becomes effective on September 15, 2022 and remains in effect thorugh December 27, 2022, unless otherwise modified by TSA through a note published in the Federal Register.
Apply for a South Dakota CDL
You must have a South Dakota Commercial Driver License (CDL) if you’re operating a vehicle:
- With a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds or any such vehicle towing a trailer with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or more
- Designed to transport 16 or more people (including the driver)
- Any size vehicle which requires hazardous materials placards or is carrying material listed as a select agent or toxin in 49 CFR Part 73
To apply for your South Dakota CDL or Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP), you’ll need to have a valid South Dakota Driver License and a few other things:
- Completed license application form. Electronic, digital, or stamped signatures are not allowed on the application form.
- Other required documents
- $33 application fee (plus $15 for each endorsement test)
You’ll also need to take a CDL driving skills test at a third party testing site. Keep in mind that drive tests must be scheduled at least two business days in advance, and you must drive on your CLP for 14 days prior to taking the drive test. Third-party testers charge $90 plus tax for a driving skills test. No testing is required to transfer a valid CDL from another state unless you are applying for a hazardous materials endorsement.
For motor carrier information including rules, ports of entry and permitting, visit South Dakota Truck Info.
Military Skills Test Waiver Program
If you have a military license issued by any military facility that allows you to operate a military commercial vehicle, there is the possibility you can use it to obtain a South Dakota CDL. This process allows you to obtain a CDL by waiving the skills test due to your experience and training with these vehicles in the military. To qualify for the skills test waiver program:
- You must still pass the commercial knowledge testing required to operate the requested commercial vehicles.
- You must be a South Dakota resident and have a valid SD driver’s license.
- This waiver does not cover Hazardous Materials or School Bus endorsements.
- This waiver is ONLY available to current and former members (within one year after separation/retirement) of the military service, including Reserve and National Guard units.
Military Knowledge and Skills Test Waiver "Even Exchange" Program
If you have been regularly employed in a qualifying Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) and have a military license issued by any military facility that allows you to operate a military commercial vehicle, there is the possibility that you can use it to evenly exchange for a South Dakota CDL. This process allows you to obtain a CDL by waiving the knowledge testing and skills testing requirements due to your experience and training with these vehicles in the military. To qualify for the "Even Exchange” program, the following applies:
- You must provide evidence and verification on the Military Skills Test Waiver application form by your commanding officer that you have been regularly employed within the last year in one of the following specified Military Occupational Specialties (MOS):
- US Army- 88M, 92F, or 14T
- US Air Force- 2T1, 2F0, or 3E2
- US Marine Corps- 3531
- US Navy- EO
- The Operator Qualification Record must be submitted with this application.
- You must be a South Dakota resident and have a valid SD driver’s license.
- This waiver does not cover Hazardous Materials or School Bus Endorsements.
This waiver is ONLY available to current and former members (within one year after separation/retirement) of the military service, including Reserve and National Guard units.
To receive credit for your military experience with commercial vehicles, you must send the following documents to our department. You can obtain the forms online by clicking here or visit any South Dakota Driver License Exam Station location.
- Military Skills Test Waiver Application
- Complete Section 1 yourself
- Section 2 will need to be completed by your Training or Commanding Officer
- Proof of current or previous military service
- This can be your DD-214/NGB-22 military discharge papers or current military ID card
- 2 most recent years of W-2 forms from the military
- The Operators Qualification Record (for the Even Exchange)
CDL Program staff will review the application and notify the applicant in writing if the knowledge and/or skills test waiver has been approved or denied.
- If approved, the applicant will have 30 days from the mailing date of their approval letter to visit a South Dakota Driver License Exam Station to have the waiver processed.
- If approved only for the skills test waiver, the knowledge tests must be passed prior to a commercial license being issued.
The applicant will need to pay appropriate licensing fees and meet the commercial vision and medical standards.
Mail your completed application, along with your phone number, email address, and the other necessary documents to:
South Dakota Driver Licensing Program
118 West Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Resource Library Documents
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