Who is required to hold a driver's license in South Dakota?

Everyone who operates a motor vehicle or motor-driven cycle on public roadways is required to have a driver license.

Who can drive in South Dakota without a South Dakota driver's license?

Any member of the Armed Forces or student who is at least 16 years old and holds a valid out-of-state driver's license.

Who is not eligible for a SD driver's license?

You cannot obtain a South Dakota driver's license if you
  • currently have suspended or revoked driving privileges in SD or outside the state;
  • are in this country illegally;
  • you have been found by a court to be mentally incompetent, alcoholic or habitual user of illegal drugs;
  • have unpaid fines for moving traffic violations;
  • are from a foreign country and do not have legal presence in the US.

What is the age requirement to obtain a SD driver license?

You must be at least 14 years old.

Which driver licenses are available in South Dakota?

  • Instruction Permit;
  • Restricted Minor's Permit;
  • Operator's License.

Which documents are required to apply for a SD driver's license?

  • Proof of your date of birth, identity and lawful status or presence in the US;
  • Proof of Social Security number (SSN);
  • 2 documents proving your residential address in South Dakota;
Yes, you need the consent for every application completed.

How can I obtain a South Dakota instruction permit?

  • Be at least 14 years of age;
  • Pass the vision and knowledge tests.

How long is my SD instruction permit valid for?

1 year.

Which restrictions apply when I practice driving with my instruction permit?

With your instruction permit, you are allowed to drive
  • between 6 am and 10 pm only if a licensed driver of at least 18 years of age with
  • at least 1 year driving experience sits beside you in the car;
  • between 10 pm and 6 am only if accompanied by a parent/legal guardian.

How can I upgrade from my instruction permit to my restricted minor's permit or operator's license?

  • If you are between 14 and 18 years of age, you must hold your permit continuously for 180 days. If you have completed an approved Department of Education driver education course, you must hold your permit for 90 days.
  • Pass the driving test.
  • You must not have any convictions of a traffic violation during the last 6 months.

How long is my South Dakota restricted minor's permit valid for?

5 years.

Can I drive unsupervised with my SD restricted minor's permit?

You can drive unsupervised between 6 am and 10 pm if you have the permission of your parent or legal guardian.
Between 10 pm and 6 am you are allowed to drive only if a parent or legal guardian is in the passenger seat.

How can I obtain a South Dakota operator's license?

If you are between 16 and 18 years of age
  • you must complete the requirements of the Instruction Permit;
  • you must not have any conviction of a traffic violation during the past six months.

How long is a South Dakota operator's license valid for?

5 years.

How can I renew my license?

Go to the DPS offices or visit and pass a vision test.

How can I pass the knowledge test?

Study the South Dakota Driver License Manual. The manual contains information on safe driving rules and practices to help you become a safe driver. Practice with our South Dakota DMV written test.

What is the South Dakota knowledge test about?

Rules of the road and safe driving practices.

How can I pass the SD knowledge permit test?

You must correctly answer at least 20 out of 25 questions.

When can I retake my knowledge or driving test in South Dakota if I fail?

You must wait at least the next working day.