South Dakota Driver’s License: A New License Guide

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Today you will learn what’s required to get a South Dakota driver’s license.

To begin, a South Dakota license is required for anyone wanting to drive on state roads and highways legally. The license application process doesn’t take long if you have the appropriate paperwork and time needed when visiting your local SD DMV.

What Is The Process in Applying for a New License?

The process in this article assumes you’re an adult applying for a new license or have a provisional license through the state’s GDL program. If this doesn’t describe you, see our learner’s permit and/or provisional licensing guides to begin the steps through the graduated licensing program.

Ready? Let’s begin.

South Dakota Driver’s License: Step-by-Step

This guide assumes one of the following:

  • You’re an adult and want to apply for a new license
  • You need to transfer your out-of-state license (you have 90 days)
  • Your old license expired. You allowed it to lapse renewal/reinstatement
  • You’re holding a learner or provisional license (going through the GDL)

If one of these describes you, you can apply for a new driver’s license by visiting the South Dakota Department of Public Safety (DPS). You’ll submit the appropriate paperwork, pass your required tests, and pay the appropriate fees to get your SD license there.

Other requirements when applying include:

  • Being 18 years old or older
  • Be an SD and U.S. resident
  • Be safe to drive a vehicle

You will complete the following to get an adult SD license:

  1. Visit a local DMV office
  2. Submit proofs of:
    1. Identification
    2. Date of birth
    3. Lawful status
    4. Social Security number
    5. SD residency
  3. Pay the $28 application fee
  4. Pass your tests:
    1. Vision
    2. Written
    3. Road
  5. Receive your license

The written/knowledge test examines your understanding of road rules and signs. You can practice using the state’s license manual. Or, take an online practice test to improve your passing chances.

The road test examines your ability to control the vehicle and adhere to signs and commands. This may include your ability to change lanes, maneuver the vehicle, park, and more. You will provide your vehicle when conducting this test. Make sure you have SD auto insurance when doing it.

You will have up to 3 attempts within 6-months to pass these tests.

Congratulations, You’re a Licensed Driver in South Dakota

Submitting these documents, taking these steps, and passing the tests will grant you a driver’s license in South Dakota. Your license is good for 5 years given you’re a safe driver.

Keep note of your license expiration date, as you’ll want to renew an SD license as it draws close. Failing to renew on time can result in loss of driving privileges.

The open roads of South Dakota are now yours to explore. Enjoy yourself, and happy travels!