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South Dakota
Motorcycle License



If your driver license has been expired for more than 30 days,
you must schedule an appointment to visit a driver exam station, as 
you will be required to take and pass the operator's knowledge test
and the motorcycle written knowledge test.


Motorcycle Instruction Permits

To learn to operate your motorcycle, you may apply for an instruction permit by completing the vision test and a written knowledge test. The permit is valid for one year and allows for operation between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. You must be accompanied by a licensed motorcycle operator on a separate motorcycle who is at least 18 years old and has one year of riding experience. No permit holder may carry a passenger on a motorcycle.


Applying for a South Dakota Motorcycle License

To get a motorcycle license, make sure you have the required documents and training:

  • A completed license application form (in English or in Spanish).  Electronic, digital, or stamped signature are not allowed on the application.
  • Your South Dakota Driver’s License or ID card if you have one; otherwise you will need to bring the required identity documents
  • Two documents proving your residential address.  Documents must show your name and be less than one year old, such as a bill, rental or lease agreement, or vehicle registration.

You must also pass a vision test, a knowledge test with a score of 80% or higher, and a motorcycle driving test.  Please wear appropriate safety gear for your test including a helmet, boots and leathers.  The pavement must be dry to conduct a driving test.

Please schedule an appointment to visit a South Dakota Driver Exam Station to complete these tests.  

Schedule an Appointment


Motorcycle Rider Education

To prepare for the knowledge test, download the South Dakota Motorcycle Operator Manual in English or in Spanish. You can also sign up for motorcycle safety classes to help you prepare for and pass your test. The South Dakota Safety Council offers classes from April through October and will also administer the license test as the final step of the course. Click here to visit the South Dakota Safey Council for information about motorcycle rider safety classes.


Motorcycle License FAQs

No, but you must possess a valid operator’s license or restricted minor’s permit. A moped is defined as a motor-driven cycle equipped with two or three wheels, with an engine no larger than 50cc and not requiring clutching or shifting by the operator.

All motorcycle and moped operators and passengers younger than 18 years of age must wear a helmet. Learn more about motorcycle safety.

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Motorcycle License Documents

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South Dakota Driver's License

Renew Your License Online, Not in Line

Time to renew? Don't spend time in line - renew your license online or by mail. You can also schedule an appointment for a faster trip to your local driver exam station. Review a list of required documents to make sure you have the identification you need. 

To check on the status of your online or by-mail renewal, email us or call (605) 773-6883.

Are you a new driver?  Learn how to pass a driver's license test.

View more driver licensing information

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