South Dakota driver licenses
and ID cards that expired on or after
March 13, 2020 are automatically
extended to expire on December 30, 2020.

All CDLs and commercial learner's permits
must be renewed by 9/30/2020
(the expiration of the FMCSA waiver).

           Renew Online        Renew by Mail           

Make Appointment to
Visit a South Dakota Driver Exam Station

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thank you for your patience
as we work through the backlog created
during closures for the COVID-19 pandemic. 


At this time, we strongly encourage persons eligible to renew or request a replacement driver license/ID card online or by mail to do so using those methods.

Appointments must be made to visit a South Dakota Driver Exam station in person. We cannot take walk-in customers at this time. 

Appointments are available to anyone unable to renew their license/ID card or request a duplicate online or by mail and for the following situations:

  • persons whose license or ID card expired BEFORE March 13, 2020
  • persons not eligible to renew online or by mail
  • anyone needing to test in-person
  • anyone whose license/ID card has been lost or stolen
  • first time applicants in South Dakota
  • those transferring to South Dakota from another state
  • student drivers or teens who have completed Drivers Education 
  • those experiencing other urgent circumstances

Anyone who did not renew using the online or mail-in method 5 years ago (or for your last renewal) is eligible to renew online or by mail.

A replacement or duplicate license or ID card may be requested online or by mail once every 10 years.

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If your license or ID CARD expired ON OR AFTER March 13, 2020
(or expires in the future), 
please RENEW ONLINE OR BY MAIL.

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

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Our driver exam stations are offering services
by scheduled appointment only

 

If you are unable to renew online or by mail
Schedule an appointment online


You may also schedule an appointment by Email.
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  **

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

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

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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.  For futher information, click here.   
  • 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 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 to complete a drive test at any Driver Exam Station in South Dakota.  

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 must schedule an appointment to complete a motorcycle drive test at any driver exam station in South Dakota at this time.  

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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