You need a South Dakota CDL license if you want to drive commercially in the state. The commercial drivers license allows you to drive trucks or buses, depending on which endorsements you choose. There are several restrictions in place that prevent some drivers from getting commercial licenses to drive. This includes age restrictions and medical restrictions.

For those asking, “What is a CDL application procedure like in South Dakota?” there are several components to learn about. From the permit process to the required testing necessary to obtain a full CDL, you must abide by all of the requirements enforced by the South Dakota Motor Vehicle Division, or MVD. Learn how to gain CDL credentials in South Dakota by following the state-specific steps outlined in the sections below.

CDL Requirements in South Dakota

South Dakota CDL license requirements state that you must be at least 18 years of age in order to get your commercial license. However, the age requirement is 21 for motorists who will be driving across state lines. Additionally, all commercial license applicants need to be residents of the state.

CDL requirements also prohibit you from getting a license if you have been convicted of two different felonies involving your commercial vehicle. If the felony involves driving under the influence of a controlled substance, you will be prohibited from getting your CDL after a first offense.

How to Apply for a CDL Permit in South Dakota

The South Dakota CDL permit gives applicants the chance to practice driving on public roads before taking the road exam. To get the CDL learners permit, you first need to fill out the South Dakota Driver License/ID Card Application. This application is the same that is used for standard driver licenses, and you will need to provide basic personal information like your name, address and Social Security Number. Section C is designed for commercial drivers, specifically, requiring you to state whether you are getting endorsements, and if you are driving excepted or non-excepted.

South Dakota CDL permit requirements vary, based on whether or not you have a form of REAL ID. If you have already have a form of REAL ID, you will need to bring that license or ID card, along with two documents proving your residency in the state.

If your ID is not REAL ID-compliant, you will need to bring your ID, along with a document proving your Social Security Number. This means either an SSN card, a W-2, a 1099 or a paystub.

You will also need two documents proving your state residency. To prove your residency, you can use any official document showing both your name and address. This includes bills, mortgage agreements, rental agreements and more.

Keep in mind that South Dakota CDL permit rules state that you can only drive a commercial vehicle when supervised by someone with a CDL.

CDL Written Test in South Dakota

The South Dakota CDL written test must be taken at a DMV office. The CDL general knowledge test is required for all applicants, and will require you to demonstrate that you understand safe driving habits, the laws you are required to follow and how to pack a vehicle safely. You will also need to take a knowledge test for each endorsement you plan to obtain.

These CDL permit test questions will quiz you on the material listed in the endorsement’s specific chapter. This means school bus endorsement applicants should study the school bus chapter, tanker endorsement applicants should study the tank vehicles chapter, and so on.

Note that you must get at least 80 percent of the questions right in order to pass the CDL knowledge examination. You cannot take an online CDL test in South Dakota, because the DMV needs to supervise your exam.

South Dakota CDL Training Schools & Practice Tests

There is a short CDL practice test at the end of each chapter of your South Dakota CDL book. Studying this book the most important form of CDL prep in which you can engage, because the questions on your test draw from the material found in that book.

In order to study for your road exam, you will need to drive with a commercially licensed truck driver. You do not need to get formal South Dakota CDL training in most situations, as proper supervision will teach you what you need to know.

However, note that drivers applying for a hazmat endorsement will need to obtain certain training. In most cases, you will not need to go to a designated school, because your employer should provide you with the requisite instruction.

How to Get a CDL License in South Dakota

To apply for CDL licensure in SD, You will need to submit the CDL application to a DMV office. You will also need to support the same information you proved when getting your permit; you should be able to use your REAL ID permit and two forms of residency verification to complete the process.

In addition, in order to get your CDL in South Dakota, you will need to pass both a road exam and a vision exam.

CDL Driving Test in South Dakota

The South Dakota CDL driving test consists of three different sections. These include the below:

  • Inspecting the vehicle before you drive it
  • Showing mastery of various driving skills, including multiple forms of parking
  • Taking the vehicle on the road, and exhibiting safe driving habits

You can schedule your CDL driving test in South Dakota at one of 26 testing locations. You will need to go to a private business that administers these tests, because the DMV offices do not handle the road exams for commercial drivers. Keep in mind that you are only allowed to take the driving test once you have held your permit for two weeks.

How to Get a CDL as a Military Member in South Dakota

The South Dakota military CDL waiver is available to some veterans and military personnel. To get this road exam waiver, you must have:

  • Driven a commercial vehicle for the military at some point during the past year.
  • Driven a commercial vehicle for the military that would have required the commercial license class for which are currently applying, at some point during the past two years.
  • Received a waiver that did not require you to get a CDL while serving in the military.

To get a CDL for veterans who do not fit the above requirements, you will need to take the road exam. That said, veterans can get still receive veteran designations on their licenses.

CDL Medical Exams in South Dakota

To fulfill the new DOT physical requirements in South Dakota, you need to complete a self-certification form. On this form, you will state which of the four types of commercial driving in which you plan to engage, once licensed:

  1. Excepted interstate
  2. Non-excepted interstate
  3. Excepted intrastate
  4. Non-excepted intrastate

The category of driving in which you plan to engage depends on your personal situation, so you will need to consult the form to determine which category best fits.

A South Dakota CDL physical is required of all drivers. If you are non-excepted Interstate or intrastate, however, your DOT medical examiner will need to sign a Medical Certificate for you. You may then bring the certificate to the DMV to be filed with your application.

The exam will look for issues that could prohibit you from getting a commercial license. These issues include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Seizures
  • Heart conditions

Types of CDL Classes in South Dakota

The South Dakota Class A license, Class B license and Class C license each offer different driving privileges. To determine the class of license for which you should apply, you need to know which vehicle you intend to operate. Note that:

  • The Class A CDL allows drivers to operate combination vehicles that are at least 26,001 pounds. You are permitted to tow a vehicle, or group of vehicles, that weigh(s) over 10,000 pounds.
  • The Class B CDL allows drivers to operate a single vehicle that is at least 26,001 pounds. You are not permitted to tow a vehicle that weighs more than 10,000 pounds.
  • The Class C CDL allows drivers to operate vehicles that carry hazardous materials or 16 or more people. You will need to get the hazmat, passenger or school bus endorsement to drive a Class C vehicle.

Types of CDL Endorsements in South Dakota

CDL endorsements in South Dakota allow applicants to take tests in order to get additional driving privileges. You can test for the:

  • Hazmat Endorsement.
  • Tanker Endorsement.
  • Tanker/Hazmat Endorsement.
  • Doubles/Triples Endorsement.
  • Passenger Endorsement.
  • School Bus Endorsement.

Interstate vs. Intrastate Commercial Drivers Licenses in South Dakota

The South Dakota interstate CDL allows commercial drivers to cross state borders while driving their vehicles. It has more rigorous application standards, so you should get the intrastate CDL if you will not be driving outside of South Dakota. If your job requires both interstate and intrastate driving, you need to get the interstate license.

Commercial Driving License Fees in South Dakota

The South Dakota CDL license cost and CDL permit cost is the same for all applicants. You will need to pay extra for endorsements, however. The current fees are outlined as:

  • Permit or license: $33.
  • Endorsement tests: $15 per attempt.

Note: Road test pricing is set by each location, but cannot cost more than $90. (This figure does not include taxes.)

Last updated on Thursday, March 5 2020.