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How to get a South Dakota Driver's License

South Dakota Drivers License
  • South Dakota Driver's License Guidelines
  • How to Prepare for the Written Exam
  • Required ID and Paperwork

SD Driver's License Rules and Requirements

Find out the steps to get your drivers license, pass your DMV written test, replace your out-of-state license and the required paperwork to bring to the DMV office to get your driver's license.

Try Sample Test!

All applicants need to be familiar with the South Dakota Driver's Manual. Think you know the material? Take our DMV practice test now and test your driving knowledge.

Get your SD Driver's Permit

You must be at least 16 years of age to apply for a regular South Dakota Drivers License.

If this is your first driver's license, you will need to apply for a South Dakota learners permit which requires you to pass a written exam on traffic signs, motor vehicle laws and safe driving techniques in addition to vision test.

Once you receive a valid instruction permit, you will then need to pass a road skills test to receive a SD drivers license. Applicants under 18 must have held an instruction permit for 180 days (90 days if you successfully complete a Department of Education driver education course) before taking the road skills test.

Prepare for the Written Knowledge Test

All new drivers are encouraged to study for this driver education exam so you don't miss the opportunity to get your learners permit as soon as you reach the approved age. Online practice tests are available that provide real sample questions from the DMV Exam - Take the South Dakota practice test now and test your driving knowledge.

New South Dakota Residents

If you are a new resident, you must apply for a South Dakota driver's license within 90 days of becoming a resident of South Dakota (30 days if you hold a commercial drivers license).

The written exam and road skills tests are not required to change a valid out-of-state license to a SD driver's license, however you will need to pass a vision exam.

If your driver's license from your home state has expired, you may be required to pass the knowledge and road tests.

International Drivers

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you will be required to present a valid Naturalization and Immigration record authorizing your presence in the United States. If you are not a U.S. citizen you will be issued a license for the duration of your legal stay based on immigration documents provided at license issuance not to exceed 5 years.

Required Paperwork

Before you head to the South Dakota DMV Office, make sure you have all of the following required documents to get your driver's license:

On the Road

Once your licensing requirements have been met, you will receive your new:

  • Restricted License (14 to 17 years of age) valid for 5 years.
  • Full driver's license (18 and older) valid for 5 years.

Remember... the safe operation of a vehicle requires practiced skill, knowledge, and a respectful understanding of the limitations imposed by the other drivers and the environment.

South Dakota Driver's License Resources

Free Driver's License Practice Test
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Driver's License
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South Dakotachange

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(For Driver's License & Learner's Permits)

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Know the answers BEFORE you take the test!