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South Dakota Driver Licensing Information

Anyone who operates a motor vehicle or motor-driven cycle on public roadways in South Dakota is required to have a driver’s license.  If you’re at least 14 years old and have the required documents, you can apply at any driver licensing location.  Applicants under 18 years of age must also be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

If you live in South Dakota for more than 90 days, you are required to have a driver’s license. If you are a commercial driver’s license holder, you must apply for a South Dakota license within 30 days. Every licensee must have their South Dakota driver’s license in their possession at all times when operating a motor vehicle.

Who can get a South Dakota Driver’s License?

  • To be eligible for a South Dakota Driver License, you must have a physical residential address located in South Dakota, live full time in an RV/camper, or travel full time for work (for example, traveling nurse or truck driver).
  • If you use a mail forwarding service, you will be required to complete a residency affidavit, including a perjury statement indicating the answers you provided on the form are true and correct.

Who cannot get a South Dakota Driver’s License?

  • People under 14 years of age.
  • People whose driver’s license or driving privileges are currently under suspension or have been revoked in South Dakota or another state.
  • People who have accumulated child support arrearages of $1,000 or more. These people will be issued a one time six-month temporary license.
  • People who are in the U.S. illegally.
  • People who own, live in, or maintain a full-time residence in another state.

Already have a South Dakota Driver License?

  • You can renew your license 180 days (6 months) before the expiration date. 
  • You can renew in-person at any driver licensing location across the state.   
  • You may be eligible to renew online or by mail.  If your license has not expired and you did not renew using the online or mail-in method 5 years ago (for your last renewal), you may be eligible to renew online or by mail.  Click on one of the links above to learn more.

Has your driver license expired?  

  • Drivers with a license expired more than 30 days are required to visit an exam station in-person and pass the knowledge test.  
  • Those with a motorcycle endorsement (Class 2 license) expired more than 30 days must take the operator's knowledge test and the motorcycle knowledge test. 
  • If you need to take a knowledge test, please click here to schedule an appointment to visit a South Dakota Driver Exam Station.

Have you lost or misplaced your South Dakota Driver License?

Do you have a South Dakota CDL (Commercial Driver License)?

  • Visit our CDL page for specific information about renewing, replacing, or upgrading your Commercial Driver License (CDL).

Need to upgrade your permit to a driver license?

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 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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