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South Dakota drivers licenses are available to any resident who wants to operate a motor vehicle on the public roads and highways in the state. In order to get drivers licenses in South Dakota, applicants need to go in person to the nearest SD DPS office. When applying for drivers licenses, drivers need to fulfill certain requirements and pass a series of exams.
Did you know? By practicing with our online practice driving tests to prepare for the official written exam, makes you 5x more likely to pass the test on the first try.
How to Apply for a South Dakota Driver's License:
- Be at least 14 years of age.
- Visit an SD DPS location.
- Provide the required documentation.
- Pass the written and road tests.
- Pay the South Dakota drivers license fees.
Continue reviewing the sections below for more information on how to get drivers licenses in South Dakota.
Types of Drivers Licenses in South Dakota
South Dakota drivers licenses are available to all residents who fulfill the requirements set by the SD Department of Public Safety. They can apply for any of the following DMV license types:
- Class A driving license - issued to drivers who operate combination vehicles.
- Class B license - issued to drivers who operate heavy straight vehicles.
- Class C license - issued to drivers who operate small vehicles.
First-Time Driver (Under 18) in South Dakota
South Dakota residents can start the process of applying for drivers licenses as soon as they reach the age of 14. At this age, they can get a South Dakota learners permit to practice driving. During the drivers permit application process, they will be required to pass the vision and knowledge tests and to submit the required documents to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.
For more information, visit our Learner's Permit page.
South Dakota New Drivers (Over 18)
New drivers license applicants are required by the South Dakota Department of Public Safety to pass a vision and knowledge test before submitting an SD drivers license application.
SD Driver's Study Guide and Driver's Practice Test
South Dakota residents who want to apply for drivers licenses need to pass a knowledge test. For that purpose, they must study from the South Dakota Driver's Manual. Apart from the manual, future drivers can bolster their preparation with our practice driving tests. These tests contain questions similar to those on the actual DMV learners permit knowledge test, which are based on the traffic laws and road signs sections of the Driver's Manual.
How to Apply for Drivers Licenses in SD
In order to apply for drivers license in South Dakota you must visit the nearest SD DPS office. Upon the visit, new drivers license applicants must provide the following documents:
- Proof of date of birth, identity and lawful status of presence.
- Proof of name change, if applicable.
- Proof of Social Security Number.
- Two proofs of residential address.
SD Eligibility Requirements
Drivers can get drivers licenses in South Dakota by fulfilling certain requirements. They must be at least 14 years of age in order to apply for drivers licenses and submit the required documentation at the nearest SD DPS location. Additionally, they need to pass vision, knowledge and road tests, as part of the South Dakota drivers license eligibility requirements.
SD Written/Driving Test
Passing the South Dakota knowledge test is part of the drivers license application process. The knowledge test covers topics on road rules and safe driving practices. Applicants use the South Dakota Driver's Manual in order to study for the exam. However, you can get better prepared by utilizing our practice driving tests, which contain similar questions to those on the actual SD knowledge test.
SD Driving Test
South Dakota drivers license applicants are required to pass a driving test as part of the final exam. You will also be tested on select maneuvers that include the following:
- Ability to stay focused and concentrated.
- Ability to bring the vehicle to a complete stop.
- Ability to keep safe distance between the vehicles.
- Ability to understand and obey traffic signs and signals.
- Ability to make a proper lane change.
- Ability to adapt to road and weather conditions.
- Ability to make a parallel parking.
The vehicle you will use for the driving test must be in good condition, registered, insured and properly inspected.
NOTE: Certain SD DPS branches require you to schedule a DMV appointment for the driving road test.
New South Dakota Resident
New South Dakota residents can either apply for drivers licenses or transfer their out-of-state licenses within 90 days of their move. No matter which of the two processes you choose, you will have to visit a local SD DPS office to begin the process. Make sure to bring your out-of-state drivers license, additional proof of identity and payment for the applicable fee. While there, you will need to take and pass a vision test. Thereafter, you will be issued a SD drivers license with a validity period of five years.
Replace Drivers License in South Dakota
If your drivers license has been lost, stolen or mutilated, you will have to apply for a drivers license replacement. For more details on how to get a duplicate drivers license, click here.
Locate a DMV in South Dakota
South Dakota drivers can take care of any driver's license or vehicle matters at a local SD DPS. Browse our SD DPS locations page for phone numbers, addresses and office hours to each DMV branch within the state.