Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to file a police report if my license was lost or stolen?
South Dakota does not require you to file a police report if your drivers license has been lost or stolen. Informing a local law enforcement agency of a lost or stolen license may help to prevent identity theft or fraud. If you do file a police report, bring a copy to a local South Dakota DMV office when you apply for a drivers license replacement.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated South Dakota Driver’s License or ID Card

How can I obtain a copy of the driver manual?
Drivers in South Dakota can prepare themselves for the drivers license application by reading the South Dakota Driver License Manual. If you want to obtain a copy of the South Dakota Driver License Manual immediately, you may download it as a PDF file from the DMV website, or go to your local South Dakota DMV office and request one.

For more information: South Dakota Driver’s License Manual

How can I renew my drivers license?
South Dakota residents may complete a drivers license renewal, online, by mail or at a local South Dakota DMV office. State and federal laws require you to have a federally compliant South Dakota drivers license (with a gold star on it) in order to apply by mail or online unless you are an active member of the military. To renew your drivers license at a local South Dakota DMV office, you must submit:

  • Completed South Dakota Driver License/I.D. Card Application
  • Expired drivers license
  • Two forms of proof of your South Dakota residential address
  • Proof of lawful status in U.S. (if you are a non-U.S. citizen)
  • Proof of name change (if applicable).

If you do not have a golden star on your drivers license, you will have to present additional documents as Proof of identity, date of birth, and Social Security number.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in South Dakota

How do I apply for a drivers license?
South Dakota residents who want to get drivers license, must applying for drivers license by visiting a local South Dakota DMV office. When you go to the DMV, you will have to:

  • Provide proof of your identity, date of birth, lawful status, Social Security number and two documents proving your South Dakota residential address
  • Have your photo taken
  • Pass the DMV drivers tests
  • Submit a payment for the required drivers license fee of $28

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in South Dakota

How do I get a replacement license if I am in the military and stationed elsewhere?
If you are a resident of South Dakota who is an active military member stationed elsewhere and who has a stolen, damaged or lost drivers license, you have the option to replace your license by mail. To complete the application process for a drivers license replacement, you need to mail the following documentation to the South Dakota DMV:

  • A South Dakota Driver License/I.D. Card Application
  • Copies of two documents for identification (from the above-mentioned primary and secondary identification documents) or copy of your federally compliant South Dakota drivers license
  • Copies of two documents showing your South Dakota residency
  • Check or money order for the $15 duplicate drivers license fee
  • Self-addressed and stamped envelope

Mail may be sent to the following address:

Driver Licensing Program

118 W Capitol Ave, Pierre SD 57501

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated South Dakota Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I obtain a duplicate license?
South Dakota resident who have a lost, damaged, mutilated or stolen drivers license must apply for a duplicate drivers license online, by mail (if a federally compliant license with a gold star) or in person at a local South Dakota DMV office. You will be required to submit the following:

  • A South Dakota Driver License/I.D. Card Application
  • One proof of your identity, date of birth and lawful status in U.S.
  • One proof of your Social Security number
  • Two proofs of your South Dakota residential address
  • Proof of a name change, in case that you have made a change
  • Payment of $15 fee

Use the following address if mailing in your duplicate license request:

Driver Licensing Program

118 W Capitol Ave, Pierre SD 57501

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated South Dakota Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I renew my license if I am in the military and stationed elsewhere?
South Dakota residents who are active military members stationed elsewhere, are not required to have a federally compliant drivers license when applying by mail. You need to mail the following documentation:

  • Completed South Dakota Driver License/I.D. Card Application
  • Certified copy of your military ID card
  • Two proofs of your South Dakota residential address
  • Proof of lawful status in U.S., if you are a non-U.S. citizen
  • Payment for the $28 renewal fee

To the following address:

Driver Licensing Program

118 W Capitol Ave, Pierre SD 57501

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in South Dakota

How do I replace my license if I am a non-U.S. citizen?
If you are a non-United States citizen living in South Dakota, you should present the following documentation when applying for a duplicate drivers license:

â—¦ I-551 (Lawful Permanent Resident Card, Machine Readable Immigrant Visa) with your unexpired foreign passport

â—¦ I-766 (Employment Authorization Document, EAD, work permit)

â—¦ I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) or admission stamp in the unexpired foreign passport

  • Proof of work eligibility:

â—¦ Non-citizens or foreign workers need permission to work from DHS, and need to show their I-94 form and I-766 form from DHS

  • Proof of age:

â—¦ Your foreign birth certificate (If you don t have your foreign birth certificate, you can present your passport or a DHS document, as evidence of your age)

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated South Dakota Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I replace my license if I lost it out of state?
Resident of South Dakota who are currently out of the state and have a stolen, damaged or lost drivers license, have the option to replace your license by mail. This is only an option if you have been issued a federally compliant driver’s license with a gold star on it or if you are on active duty in the military. If you qualify, mail the following documentation to the South Dakota DMV:

  • A South Dakota Driver License/I.D. Card Application
  • Copies of two documents for identification (from the above-mentioned primary and secondary identification documents) or copy of your federally compliant South Dakota drivers license
  • Copies of two documents showing your South Dakota residency
  • Check or money order for the $15 fee for duplicate drivers license
  • Self-addressed and stamped envelope

Mail should be sent to the following address:

Driver Licensing Program

118 W Capitol Ave, Pierre SD 57501

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated South Dakota Driver’s License or ID Card

How does the DMV check my vision?
The vision test is one of the required examinations in the process of applying for drivers license at a local South Dakota DMV office. This test will check your visual acuity and will determine whether you have a minimum standard of vision for safe driving of 20/40. Applicants may wear corrective lenses while taking the vision test, but will be required to wear them anytime they plan to operate a motor vehicle. If you do not pass the vision test (with or without corrective lenses), the examiner has the right to suspend your drivers license until you present a statement from an optometrist or ophthalmologist certifying that you possess the visual ability to drive safely.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in South Dakota

How soon can I renew my driver’s license?
The South Dakota DMV allows drivers license renewal in the period of 180 days before the birthday on which it will expire. If you fail to renew it by the expiration date, you have one additional month to apply for a drivers license renewal.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in South Dakota

If I file a police report, will my replacement fee be waived?
South Dakota residents will have to pay the $15 drivers license replacement fee in most cases. For further questions about whether your replacement fee will be waived or not, contact the South Dakota DMV at (1-800) 952-3696, or send an email at DPSLicensingInfo@state.sd.us.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated South Dakota Driver’s License or ID Card

Is there an age limit to renew your license?
In South Dakota, there is no age limit on whether a resident can renew drivers license. Drivers under 21 years of age have an expiration date of their driver’s license on their 21st birthday. Drivers between 21 and 65 years old must renew drivers licenses after a period of five years. Motor vehicle operators above 65 years of age have a driver’s license validity of five years, but they are required to provide a Vision Statement upon renewal.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in South Dakota

What address will my replacement license be mailed to?
The drivers license replacement will be sent to the mailing address that has been entered in the South Dakota Driver License/I.D. Card Application.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated South Dakota Driver’s License or ID Card

What are requirements for seniors to renew a driving license?
Drivers in South Dakota have no restrictions on age. This means that senior drivers are required to renew their drivers license following the same process for drivers license renewal as for every driver in South Dakota. Visit a local South Dakota DMV office, and complete the following:

  • Take a vision test
  • Present a medical statement that you are a safe driver

You might be required to undergo a reexamination of your driving skills in order to reevaluate your physical and mental condition. A reexamination includes:

  • An interview
  • Vision test,
  • Written drivers test
  • Driving test

To prepare for this reexamination, you can enroll in a drivers ed course or study the South Dakota Driver License Manual.

For more information: Senior drivers in South Dakota

What are the fees for a duplicate drivers license?
The fee for a duplicate drivers license is $15 in South Dakota. You will need pay this fee by visiting a local South Dakota DMV office, or by sending a check or money order to the following address:

Driver Licensing Program

118 W Capitol Ave, Pierre SD 57501

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated South Dakota Driver’s License or ID Card

What do I need to do to get my driver’s license if I fail the driving test?
If a South Dakota resident fails the driving test, they have two chances to retake it in the following six months. Drivers failing three times must restart the entire application process. Preparing for the exam in advance by reading the South Dakota Driver License Manual and taking practice tests will help prospective drivers avoid having to restart this process.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in South Dakota

What documents do I need to get my drivers license?
South Dakota residents must submit the following to a local South Dakota DMV office to receive a drivers license:

  • Drivers license application
  • Proof of your identity, date of birth and lawful status
  • Proof of Social Security number
  • Two documents as a proof of your South Dakota residential address
  • Proof of your name change (in case that you have made a name change)
  • Have your photo taken
  • Pass the following tests:

â—¦ Vision test

â—¦ Written knowledge test

â—¦ Driving skills test

  • Pay the required drivers license fee of $28

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in South Dakota

What documents do I need to present to renew my drivers license?
If you have a federally compliant South Dakota drivers license with a golden star on it, you should present the following:

  • Completed South Dakota Driver License/I.D. Card Application
  • Your South Dakota drivers license
  • Two proofs of your South Dakota residential address
  • Proof of lawful status in U.S., if you are a non-U.S. citizen
  • Proof of name change (if applicable)

If you do not have a federally compliant South Dakota drivers license with a golden star on it, you should present the following:

  • Completed South Dakota Driver License/I.D. Card Application
  • One proof of your identity, date of birth and lawful status in U.S.
  • One proof of your Social Security number
  • Two proofs of your South Dakota residential address
  • Proof of name change (if applicable)

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in South Dakota

What documents will I need to present to replace my drivers license?
If you have a federally compliant South Dakota drivers license with a golden star on it, you will be able to apply by mail. When applying in person or by mail, you should present the following documentation:

â—¦ U.S. certified birth certificate

â—¦ Valid U.S. passport

â—¦ Certificate of citizenship or naturalization

â—¦ Valid permanent resident card

â—¦ Valid employment authorization document

â—¦ Foreign passport with U.S. visa or I-94

  • One proof of Social Security number:

â—¦ Social Security card

â—¦ W-2 form

â—¦ Military ID, tribal ID, or other document approved by examiner

  • Two proofs of your South Dakota residential address:

â—¦ Utility bill or a credit card statement showing your address

  • Proof of legal name change, if you had a change of your name

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated South Dakota Driver’s License or ID Card

What languages is the written test available in?
The written drivers test is only available in English. If English is not your first language, you may qualify for additional time on your examination. You must request an ESL Authorization for this time extension from Prometric, by providing the following:

  • A personal letter requesting the authorization
  • A letter from your English instructor proving that English is not your primary language

If this time extension is approved, Prometric will extend the examination time by 50 percent. You will be notified by mail, and do not schedule the exam until you receive the approval letter.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in South Dakota

What penalties will I face if I do not renew my expired drivers license?
South Dakota drivers who fail to renew drivers licenses by their expiration date, have an additional one month to apply for a drivers license renewal. It is illegal to drive with an expired drivers license and you will be required to pay fines and administrative fees if discovered operating a motor vehicle by a law enforcement official.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in South Dakota

What should I do if I have not received my renewed license?
In South Dakota, the DMV will send you a drivers license renewal notice by mail or email prior to your drivers license expiration date. If you haven’t received the renewed driver’s license in the period of time specified by the DMV, you must contact a local South Dakota DMV office at (1-800) 952-3696 or (605) 773-6883 or send an inquiry to:

Driver Licensing Program 118 W. Capitol Ave, Pierre, SD 57501

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in South Dakota

What tests will I need to take for my drivers license?
If you are a South Dakota resident and you are applying for drivers license, you will be required to pass the following exams:

  • Vision test
  • Written knowledge test
  • Driving skills test

If you want to obtain a South Dakota learners permit, you are required to pass the written drivers test with a score of 80 percent or higher. The exam contains 25 questions on topics related to safe driving, rules of the road and traffic laws. If you fail the test three successive times, you will have to repeat the whole drivers license application process before you will be allowed to retake the test. To prepare yourself for the exams, take the online practice driving tests and review the South Dakota Driver License Manual.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in South Dakota

What type of noncommercial license will I need?
Which noncommercial drivers license you need, depends on your age and type of motor vehicle you operate. In South Dakota there are different types of drivers licenses according to the type of motor vehicle you want to drive:

  • Commercial driver’s license
  • Noncommercial driver’s license:

â—¦ Instruction permit or restricted minor’s permit

â—¦ Full unrestricted driver’s license

â—¦ Motorcycle license

If you are under 21, you will need either the instruction permit or the restricted minor’s permit. If you are above 21, you can apply for a full unrestricted drivers license. Residents that want to drive a motorcycle will need a motorcycle license, or a motorcycle endorsement on your existing drivers license.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in South Dakota

When will I need to renew my license?
South Dakota drivers licenses expire on your birthday five years after they were issued. The South Dakota DMV will send you a drivers license renewal notice via mail or email prior to your drivers license expiration date. You have one additional month after the expiration date to apply for a drivers license renewal.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in South Dakota

When will I receive a replacement license after applying?
South Dakota residents who apply for a duplicate drivers license in person, will receive their replacement license immediately. Those choosing to apply by mail will have to wait for the duplicate drivers license to arrive.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated South Dakota Driver’s License or ID Card

Where can I get a new drivers license?
To apply for drivers license in South Dakota, you are required to visit a local South Dakota DMV office. You must submit the necessary documentation and pay the drivers license fee. Drivers must also pass the following exams:

  • Vision test
  • Written drivers test
  • Driving test

Residents of South Dakota can obtain their drivers license at the local South Dakota DMV office at the time of application

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in South Dakota

Will I be required to take a vision test for a drivers license renewal?
The South Dakota DMV does not require you to take a vision test upon renewal unless you are over the age of 65. If you are 65 years of age or older, you will be required to provide a Vision Statement. Your vision exam must have been taken in the past six months and if you wear bioptic lenses, you are required to apply in person.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in South Dakota

Will I get a drivers license renewal notice in the mail?
Prior to your drivers license expiration date, the South Dakota DMV will send you a renewal notice by mail or email. If you haven’t received a renewal notice, you should contact a local South Dakota DMV office.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in South Dakota