CDL FAQs

 

You must have a South Dakota Commercial Driver’s License to operate any of the following commercial motor vehicles (CMVs):

  • A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds.
  • Any combination vehicle with a GCWR of 26,001 pounds or more towing a trailer with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or more.
  • A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more persons (including the driver).
  • Any size vehicle which requires hazardous materials placards or is carrying material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR Part 72.

To qualify for your South Dakota CDL, you’ll need to have a qualifying South Dakota Driver’s License and a few other things:

  • Completed license application form
  • Other required documents including proof of identity, proof of residence and a completed medical certificate form (if applicable)
  • $33 application fee and $15 for each endorsement knowledge test
  • Pass all required knowledge testing
  • Be issued a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)
  • Pass all required driving skills testing

You’ll need to take the CDL driving skills test at a third party testing site. Keep in mind that a driving skills test must be scheduled at least two business days in advance, and you must drive on your commercial learner’s permit for 14 days prior to taking the driving skills test. Third party testers charge $90 plus tax for the drive test.

Commercial driver’s license skills tests are not given at South Dakota Driver Licensing locations. Instead, you must take your test with a third party tester; several testers are located throughout South Dakota.

All CDL drivers must complete a medical self-certification statement to certify that they are or aren’t subject to physical requirements in 49 CFR Part 391 or when their medical status changes. Depending on the self-certification categories selected, some drivers may also need a medical examiner certificate. For example, a driver who drives interstate or hauls interstate commerce would need a certificate, as would a driver operating a school bus only in South Dakota.

Medical certificates must be issued by a medical professional registered with the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. Find a professional near you.

Drivers may mail, fax or email a copy of their self-certification statement and/or medical examiner certificate to:

Driver Licensing Program
118 West Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Fax: (605) 773-3018

Please submit only copies, and keep originals for your records. An accepted Medical Examination Form for Commercial Driver Fitness Determination will not be returned to you. Incomplete or illegible certificates will be returned and must be re-submitted. For more information, email us or call (605) 773-6883.

For a hazardous materials endorsement, you must give your fingerprints at an authorized site. See details for fingerprinting locations in South Dakota.

You must be 21 years of age to obtain a hazardous materials endorsement, and meet other qualifications in addition to your CDL. See more about hazmat endorsements.

Motor carriers traveling in South Dakota can find rules, regulations, permitting information and more at South Dakota Truck Info.

For information on commercial driver’s licenses, background checks, ports of entry, permits and more, visit:

South Dakota Driver's License

Get your CDL in a Snap

Need to apply for or renew your commercial driver’s license? Review CDL manuals to get ready for testing. Then review third party testers to take your CDL driving test and hit the road.

 

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