Search
Search & Choose State
  • Location:

  • Drivers Permits in South Dakota

    South Dakota Learner’s Permits

    The South Dakota Department of Public Safety (DPS) requires all drivers under 18 years old to satisfy each requirement of its graduated driver license (GDL) program.

    The first step of the process is getting your learner’s permit.

    On this page, you’ll find information about how to apply for your South Dakota learner’s permit and what you need to do to move on to your restricted minor’s permit.

    Apply for a SD Instruction Permit

    You must be at least 14 years old to apply for an instructional permit in South Dakota. To apply, you’ll need to visit your local South Dakota DPS office and:

    • Complete an application form.
    • Have your parent or guardian complete a Parental Consent Form, if you’re younger than 18 years old.
    • Show proof of your identity, such as your:
      • U.S. birth certificate.
      • U.S. passport (valid).
      • Citizenship documents.
    • Show your Social Security card, a W-2, or a 1099 to prove your Social Security number (SSN).
    • Provide 2 documents to prove your SD residency, such as:
      • A school report card.
      • A pay stub.
      • The residency documents of your parent or guardian, if you do not have any of your own.
    • Pass your vision test.
    • Pass the written test.
    • Pay the $20 permit fee.
    Pass Your Test with DMV Cheat Sheets

    Get answers, save time and pass your driving written test the first time around. DMV Cheat Sheets also offers:

    • Steps to getting your license
    • 50 essential study-guide questions
    • Traffic signs and signals

    Simply print and pass or your money back guaranteed.

    Taking the Written Exam

    The written exam is a requirement in order to get your instruction permit. The test contains questions about rules of the road and safe driving practices.

    Be sure to read the South Dakota Driver Manual in preparation, and take some time to pass an online practice test.

    You can take the permit exam once per day. If you fail the written exam, you must wait until the next business day to retake it. You are allowed to fail the test 3 times before you must re-apply for your learner’s permit, including paying all required fees again.

    SD Learner’s Permit Driving Restrictions

    With your South Dakota instruction permit, you may ONLY drive between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. while accompanied by a driver who:

    • Is at least 18 years old.
    • Has been licensed for a minimum of 1 year.
    • Is seated directly next to you.

    Between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., you can only drive if your parent or guardian is supervising in the seat next to you.

    South Dakota Driver’s Ed

    One way to learn how to become a safe driver is by taking a South Dakota driver’s education course.

    If you decide NOT to attend a driver’s education course, you are required to:

    • Hold your instruction permit for 180 days.
      AND
    • Take a driving test before being eligible for your restricted minor’s permit.

    If you DO take driver’s education, you will:

    • Only need to hold your instruction permit for 90 days before you can obtain a restricted minor’s permit.
    • Be exempt from the South Dakota driving test if:
      • You receive a score of at least 80% in your Driver’s Ed course.
      • You completed your course no more than 1 year ago.

    Next Step: Restricted Minor’s Permit

    To be eligible for a restricted minor’s permit in South Dakota, you must have:

    • Held your instruction permit for at least 180 days (or 90 days if you passed a DPS-approved Driver’s Ed course.)
    • NOT been convicted of any traffic violations within the past 6 months.

    To apply, you must visit your local SD DPS office and:

    • Bring your parent or guardian, if you’re less than 18 years old.
    • Show proof of your identity, such as your:
      • U.S. birth certificate.
      • U.S. passport (valid).
      • Citizenship documents.
    • Show your Social Security card, a W-2, or a 1099.
    • Provide 2 documents to prove your residency in South Dakota, such as:
      • Your school report card.
      • A pay stub.
      • Your parent or guardian’s proof of residency, if you have none.
    • Pass the driving test OR submit a signed certificate of completion for an approved Driver’s Ed course showing you scored at least 80% (must be no more than 1 year old).

    Your SD restricted minor’s permit will be valid for 5 years, and is free to upgrade from your instruction permit.

    The next of the GDL process is to obtain your full operator’s license. Please visit ourApplying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in South Dakota page for more information.

    Be a Hero
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 0

    heroes have registered as organ donors with the DMV.