Commercial Driver Education in South Dakota

No Formal Training Required

The state doesn't require that you pass a certain course to get a CDL. You'll simply have to pass the knowledge and skills tests. However, formal training at a trucking school would help you pass the tests and also give you plenty of real-life practice that you may otherwise not get.

Knowledge Test

One of the steps you'll need to take on the road to obtaining your commercial driver's license (CDL) is passing the knowledge test.

All drivers must pass the general knowledge test. Many drivers will need to pass additional tests depending on the type of license class and endorsement(s) they are seeking. We take a look at the different tests available in our Applying for a New CDL section.

So, how do you educate yourself enough to pass these knowledge tests? By studying the Commercial Driver's License Manual.

You may pick up a copy of the manual at an exam station. Or, you may also download one.

Reading the Manual

Some sections in the manual contain information that all those applying for a CDL will find useful.

In these sections, you'll learn about topics such as vehicle inspection and control, gear shifting, speed and space management, communicating, night driving, winter driving, mountain driving, emergencies, skid control, and staying alert.

You'll also learn about how to haul cargo safely, with topics such as cargo inspection, cargo weight and balance, securing cargo, and how to handle liquids in bulk.

Then, there are specialized sections for only those who need a certain endorsement or class of license. These sections include information for drivers needing a passenger endorsement license, school bus endorsement license, or hazardous materials license.

There are also sections devoted to those who will be driving vehicles with air brakes, those who will be towing double- or triple-trailers, and those who will be driving a tank vehicle.

Lastly, there is information available about the pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and road tests.

So, study hard, and be ready for those tests.

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