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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.

  • 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.
  • 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  • People whose driver’s license or driving privileges are currently under suspension or have been revoked in South Dakota or another state.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.
  • 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.

  • 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.

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

Visit our Full-Time Traveler webpage to learn more about obtaining, renewing, or replacing a South Dakota driver license or ID card.

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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