Frequently Asked Questions


22-14-9.Carrying concealed pistol or revolver without a permit: misdemeanor. Any person, other than a law enforcement officer as defined in 22-1-2 acting under color of authority, who:

  1. Carries a pistol or revolver, loaded or unloaded, concealed on or about his or her person without a permit as provided in chapter 23-7; or
  2. Carries a pistol or revolver, loaded or unloaded, concealed in any vehicle while operating the vehicle, without a permit as provided in chapter 23-7; is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

22-14-9.1. No person may possess a concealed pistol in accordance with chapter 23-7 or this chapter unless that person also has in his or her physical possession a valid South Dakota permit to carry a concealed pistol or a permit effective pursuant to 23-7-7.3. A violation of this section is a petty offense. However, if within twenty-four hours of being charged with a violation of this section, the person produces a permit to carry a concealed pistol, which was valid at the time of the alleged offense, in the office of the officer making the demand, the charge shall be dismissed.

22-14-9.2. Any person who is permitted to carry a concealed pistol in a state with which the secretary of state has entered into a reciprocity agreement pursuant to 23-7-7.3, 22-14-9.1, 22-1-49.2, 23-7-7, 23-7-7.1, and 23-7-8 may carry a concealed pistol in this state if the permit holder carries the pistol in compliance with the laws of this state. A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor. 

22-14-10. Lawful uses of unloaded pistols or revolvers exempt from concealment prohibition and permit requirement. Section 22-14-9 does not apply to persons who carry one or more unloaded pistols or revolvers for the purpose of, or in connection with, any lawful use, if the unloaded weapon or weapons are carried:

  1. In the trunk or other closed compartment of a vehicle; or
  2. In a closed container which is too large to be effectively concealed on the person or within his clothing. The container may be carried in a vehicle or in any other manner.

Any person who complies with this section may not be required to obtain a permit for the lawful uses herein described.

For more information on firearms or concealed weapons, visit Secretary of State Firearms web page.

The speed limit on rural Interstate is 80 mph for cars or trucks, day or night, with a minimum speed of 40 mph. All secondary highways are 65 mph, unless otherwise posted.

School zones and obstructed intersections are 15 mph. City streets are 25 mph, unless otherwise posted. All vehicles are required to operate in a reasonable and prudent manner based on the existing driving conditions.

Radar and aircraft are used by the South Dakota Highway Patrol to check for speeders. Warning signs are posted at the state borders and city limits. Radar detectors are allowed in passenger vehicles.

Seat belts are required for the driver and front seat passengers as a secondary offense. However, all occupants 17 years old and under, must wear a seat belt as a primary offense.

South Dakota Seat Belt Statutes:

  • 32-38-1: Use required—Public highways—Front seat passenger
  • 32-38-2: Passenger vehicle defined
  • 32-38-3: Exceptions to required use of safety belts
  • 32-38-4: Failure to comply—Evidence
  • 32-38-5: Enforcement—Violation as petty offense

Yes. In South Dakota, children under 5 years of age and children weighing less than 40 pounds must be properly secured in a child passenger restraint system; however, it is recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to keep kids in child safety seat until the age of 8, or until they are 4'9" tall.

South Dakota Child Passenger Restraint System Statutes:

  • 32-37-1: Use of system required—Violation as petty offense
  • 32-37-1.1: Operator to assure that passengers between ages 5 and 18 wear seat belts
  • 32-37-1.2: Certain operators required to wear seat belts
  • 32-37-1.3: Passengers between ages 14 and 18 required to wear seat belts
  • 32-37-2: Exemptions
  • 32-37-3: Repealed
  • 32-37-4: Violation not considered negligence or assumption of risk; evidence inadmissible

It is illegal to text or read a message while driving as a secondary offense in South Dakota. However, talking on your cellular phone is permitted.

All riders and passengers under the age of 18 must wear a motorcycle helmet.

Parking on the highway is prohibited except in emergencies. Every reasonable effort should be made to alert oncoming traffic of the temporary hazard.

Drivers should use their hazard lights when pulled over on the highway for an emergency as a warning to other drivers. In South Dakota, hazard light use is permitted while driving to warn others if you’re moving at a slow speed or in dangerous conditions like a blizzard or fog to improve visibility to other vehicles.

Studded tires are permitted from October 1 to April 30. School buses and municipal fire vehicles are permitted to use studs anytime.

Coming from either direction, you must stop when you see red signal lights displayed on a school bus. Flashing red lights mean the bus is stopped to either load or unload school children. Minimum distance from the bus when stopped is 15 feet. Failure to stop will result in citation and substantial fine.

South Dakota Move Over law requires motorists in South Dakota to:

  • Stop when coming from any direction and approaching any stopped authorized emergency vehicle using red visual signals/lights.
  • Move over and slow down when passing any vehicle displaying amber or yellow flashing signals/lights.

Bicyclists must obey motor vehicle laws and the rules of the road and must ride with traffic. Helmet use is not required but highly recommended. Bicyclists are allowed to travel on the interstate system and other roadways unless specifically prohibited. Bicyclist shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.  Special events require approval from the Department of Transportation or the local authorities on a highway under their jurisdiction. A list of bicycle regulation may be found from the South Dakota Department of Transportation.

Pedestrians have the right of way within the crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk at intersections.

By joining the South Dakota Highway Patrol, you can pursue a career that serves citizens with confidence, distinction and pride. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, a U.S. citizen and pass a written and physical skills test. Learn about Highway Safety job requirements and apply online.

Patch requests are fulfilled only to law enforcement professionals representing a law enforcement agency. Requests must be submitted on the agency's official department letterhead to:

South Dakota Highway Patrol
C/O:  Patch Request
118 West Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-2000

For a full list of rules of the road and driving regulations, download a drivers manual.


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