All South Dakota driver licenses (including CDLs)
and ID cards that expired on or after
March 13, 2020 have automatically
been extended to expire on March 30, 2021.

While the physical card will show it is past its expiration date, it will still be legally valid.

click here for renewal options

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We'd like to thank you for your patience as we work through the backlog created during our closures for the COVID-19 pandemic. 


At this time, we are scheduling appointments for:

  • persons whose license or ID card expired BEFORE March 13, 2020
  • anyone needing to take a test in person
  • anyone whose license/ID has been lost or stolen
  • first time applicants in South Dakota
  • those transfering to South Dakota from another state
  • student drivers or teens who have completed Drivers Education 
  • those experiencing other urgent circumstances

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If your license or ID CARD expired ON OR AFTER March 13, 2020
(or expires in the future), 
please wait to schedule an appointment until after August 1, 2020.

This will help us serve the customers who urgently need to visit our exam stations.

Click here to see if you are eligible to renew online or by mail

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Currently, ALL driver exam stations are offering service
by scheduled appointment only: 


schedule an appointment online

You may also schedule by Email or call (605) 773-6883.
In your message, please provide:
**  Your full name  **
**  Your driver license number or date of birth  **
**  The driver exam station location where you want make an appointment  **

You can complete your application before arriving at the exam station.

Anyone who is ill or experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms is asked to stay home until they are well. 

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For Commercial Driver Licenses (CDL):

  • The TSA is granting a temporary 180-day exemption from the requirements in 49 CFR part 1572 regarding expiration of TSA security threat assessments (STAs) for Hazardous Material Endorsement (HME) holders -- read further
  • The FMCSA has granted a waiver through September 30, 2020 from certain regulations applicable to interstate and intrastate commercial driver’s license (CDL), commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders, CDL medical certificate requirements, and other interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).  Read the full waiver here.
  • To schedule an appointment to take your CDL test, use our online scheduling tool, call (605) 773-6883, or send an email.

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For other driver licensing questions, 
send an email to the Driver Licensing Program staff
or call (605) 773-6883 (be prepared to leave a message,
as our customer call volume has been extremely high).

Again, we thank you for your patience.


Driving Tests

Though it might be stressful, if you’re well prepared, passing your driving test can be a piece of cake. Look below for testing requirements for each type of South Dakota Driver’s License, then download driving manuals to start studying.

You can apply for a license at any South Dakota Driver Licensing location across the state unless you are applying for a first-time commercial driver’s license or are a non-U.S. citizen. New commercial drivers and non-U.S. citizens must apply at a state Driver Licensing location. For questions, email us or call (605) 773-6883.

Drivers must furnish their own vehicles for road tests, and pets or passengers are not allowed in the vehicle. We recommend that you do not bring children or pets, as they aren’t allowed in the testing area, and you’ll be able to focus on passing your exam.

 

Getting a Driver’s License

To earn your driver’s license, you must:

  • Have a completed license application form
  • Bring a $28 application fee
  • Bring your required documents
  • Have a photo taken at a Driver Licensing location
  • Pass a vision test. If you wear glasses or contacts during the test, you’ll be required to wear them while driving. If you do not pass the test, you must present a statement from an optometrist or ophthalmologist certifying that you possess the visual ability to drive safely before continuing the exam.
  • Pass a knowledge test with a score of 80% or higher. This test will cover rules of the road and safe-driving practices. Download a driving manual.
  • Pass a driving test with a score of 80% or higher. During this test, you must demonstrate your ability to safely operate a vehicle and perform normal driving tasks. You will need to schedule an appointment at most testing locations.

See the South Dakota graduated licensing system for information on driving requirements for teens.

 

Getting a Motorcycle License

To learn to operate your motorcycle, you may apply for an instruction permit by completing the vision test and knowledge test. The permit is valid for one year and allows the driver to operate a motorcycle between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

To get a South Dakota Motorcycle License, you must:

  • Have a completed license application form
  • Bring your required documents
  • Pass a vision test. If you wear glasses or contacts during the test, you’ll be required to wear them while driving. If you do not pass the test, you must present a statement from an optometrist or ophthalmologist certifying that you possess the visual ability to drive safely before continuing the exam.
  • Pass a knowledge test with a score of 80% or higher. This test will cover rules of the road and safe-driving practices. Download a motorcycle driving manual.
  • Pass a motorcycle driving test. You will need to bring your own motorcycle for the driving test.  During this test, you must demonstrate your ability to safely operate a motorcycle with normal driving tasks. You may be required to schedule an appointment in certain testing locations.

Please wear appropriate safety gear for your test including a helmet, boots and leathers. The pavement must be dry to conduct a motorcycle driving test.

You can 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.

 

Commercial Driver’s License Test

To qualify for your South Dakota CDL, you’ll need to have a qualifying South Dakota Driver’s License along with:

If you have recent experience driving large trucks in the military, you may be eligible to obtain a CDL without a driving skills test by completing a military waiver.

 

Unsuccessful Examinations

If you fail any of the tests, you may not re-test before the next working day. You may wait longer if you want more time to study the manual or practice. You are allowed three opportunities to test for each fee paid within a six-month period.

If a drive test applicant commits any of the following infractions, they must wait 30 days before another driving test will be administered:

  • Car accident on driving test (unless the tester is not at fault)
  • Poor car control
  • Weaving in and out of lanes
  • Failure to yield to a car or pedestrian
  • Running a stop light or stop sign
  • Excessive speeding
  • Turning into an oncoming lane of traffic
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Any action that puts citizens’ or an examiner’s safety at risk

 

License Restrictions

An operator license may be issued subject to certain restrictions. For example, a person who cannot see clearly with their right eye could be restricted to driving a vehicle with a left outside rearview mirror. Other restrictions could include:

  • (A) Automatic transmission (formerly E)
  • (B) Corrective lenses (formerly O)
  • (C) Specially equipped vehicle (formerly Z)
  • (F) Left outside rearview mirror
  • (G) No night driving
  • (I) No driving outside of town (formerly Q)
  • (R) Restricted permit (6:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.)
  • (Y) 50-mile radius of residents (formerly X)

Those with a CDL may be subject to additional commercial driver's license restrictions.

 

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. 

Are you a new driver? 

Learn how to pass a driver's license test.

View more driver licensing information

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