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  • Special Licenses in South Dakota

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    Special Licenses in South Dakota

    The South Dakota Department of Public Safety (DPS) offers different driver's license classes and endorsements for certain types of vehicles and driving professions.

    The application process of a new license class or endorsement is similar to that of a standard SD driver's license. You'll generally need to:

    • Provide proof of your identity.
    • Complete an application.
    • Pay a licensing or endorsement fee.
    • Pass a new written test.
    • Pass a driving test in the type of vehicle you want to drive.

    On this page you'll find basic information on some of the license classes and endorsements available to you.

    If you are looking for information on obtaining a regular driver's license, please visit our pages on the following topics:

    South Dakota Commercial Driver's License

    Certain vehicles and driving professions will require you to hold a South Dakota commercial driver's license (CDL). You'll need a CDL to operate:

    • Heavy-weight vehicles.
    • Vehicles that can carry a large number of passengers.
    • Vehicles designed to transport hazardous materials.

    To apply for a SD commercial driver's license, you'll need to:

    • Complete a new application.
    • Provide proof of your identity.
    • Pay a commercial licensing fee.
    • Become medically certified.
    • Pass a CDL written and driving test.

    For more information, please visit our Applying for a New CDL in South Dakota page.

    School Bus Drivers

    To drive a South Dakota school bus, you typically must:

    • Possess a commercial driver's license (CDL) with a passenger and school bus endorsement.
    • Pass a physical.
    • Pass the driving skills test in a school bus.
    • Pass a school bus knowledge test.
    • Complete a school bus driver training course.
    • Pay a licensing/endorsement fee.

    Questions? Contact South Dakota's Driver Licensing Program at (605) 773-6883.

    Shuttle Drivers

    You do not need a CDL nor a school bus endorsement if driving a shuttle van or bus designed for fewer than 16 passengers.

    Taxi Drivers & Chauffeurs in South Dakota

    Each municipality generally mandates its own taxi driver license requirements.

    South Dakota does not issue a chauffeur's license. However, check with the city you're working in for possible special requirements.

    To become a taxi driver or chauffeur, you may need to:

    • Become medically certified.
    • Pass a training/advanced driver's education course.
    • Pass a criminal background check.
    • Maintain a clean driving record.
    • Pay a taxi licensing/permit fee.

    Please contact your city/county clerk or the South Dakota DMV for more information.

    South Dakota Sport Vehicles

    Generally, South Dakota sport and off-road vehicles do not require you to hold a special license or endorsement, but some may have a minimum operating age or a safety course requirement.

    Certain vehicles may require you to hold a motorcycle license or endorsement. For more information, please visit our Motorcycle License in South Dakota page.

    Snowmobiles

    There is no age restriction in South Dakota to drive a snowmobile. However, if you're under 14 years old, you cannot cross a public road, unless you are supervised by someone who is 18 years old or older.

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