Commercial licensing is complicated. Applying for a CDL can be easy with our SD guide to your CDL.

Basic Requirements For A Commercial Driver’s Permit/License

  • You need to be at least 16 years old and have a valid Class 1 or 2 Operator’s License. You must be 21 years of age to receive a hazardous materials endorsement. You must hold a valid South Dakota driver’s license. Your license should not have been suspended, revoked or cancelled.
  • Certify that you are in agreement with state motor carrier safety regulations. See Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or call (605) 773-6883 for more information.
  • Provide a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate. You can obtain one by having a licensed medical professional fill out the appropriate Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver Fitness reports. The medical examiner should provide you with a Medical Examiner’s Certificate.
  • Provide proof of identity.
  • Provide proof of legal presence.
  • Provide proof of South Dakota residency.
  • Provide your Social security number.

Steps To Apply For A CDL Permit/License

  1. You must meet the requirements for a South Dakota driver’s license.
  2. Fill out the CDL application form and hand in in-person to a DMV office. For more information see Instruction Permit section below.
  3. Pay the fee for your permit.
  4. Follow these steps. See the CDL Manual for the required information. The exam can be taken at any DMV location. You will have to answer 80% of the questions correctly in order to pass.
  5. Pass vision screening test.
  6. Attend and then provide proof that you have taken a Commercial driver’s education program specifically for commercial motor vehicles.
  7. Take the skills (road) test at any Third party Testers
  8. Pay license and endorsement fees.

Instruction Permit

In order to be eligible for a South Dakota CDL, you must first obtain a CDL instruction permit. First, you must fill out the CDL application form. Then show proof of legal presence and US residency. Next, pay the permit fee. Lastly, pass the CDL general knowledge exam and vision screening test. Also, you must have your instruction permit for 30 days before obtaining a CDL. South Dakota Instruction Permits expire in 6 months and can only be renewed once during a two year period.


A South Dakota Commercial Driver’s License will be valid for 5 years or for 30 days after your birthday if you are turning 21. The cost is $15.00 for a standard CDL license. There is a $5.00 fee for each endorsement. Third party testers may charge up to $80.00 for a skills test.

CDL Endorsements

The following is a list of endorsements you can get on your CDL:

  • Hazardous Material (Class H).
  • Tank Vehicles (Class N).
  • Passenger-Carrying Vehicle (Class P).
  • School Bus (Class S).
  • Towing a Double or Triple Trailer (Class T).

Federal Guidelines For Interstate Drivers

The following is a list of federal requirements for interstate drivers.


Last updated on Tuesday, February 20 2018.

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