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Commercial Driver License (CDL) Suspensions in South Dakota
Standards for commercial drivers in South Dakota are determined largely by federal CDL guidelines. The South Dakota Department of Public Safety enforces these standards and can suspend, revoke, cancel, or disqualify your CDL.
Read more to learn about South Dakota CDL disqualifications, hearings and appeals, reinstatement procedures, and fees.
Your CDL can be suspended or disqualified for a variety of reasons. Your CDL can even be suspended as a direct result of a suspension of your regular license.
Some common offenses leading to CDL disqualifications are categorized as:
- Major offenses.
- Serious traffic violations.
- Railroad-highway grade crossing offenses.
- Violating out-of-service orders.
In South Dakota, the following major offenses will lead to CDL disqualification, whether they are committed in a commercial vehicle (CMV) or a non-CMV.
- Alcohol- and drug-related offenses, such as:
- Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than the legal limit (0.04% in a CMV).
- Refusing to take a test for BAC when asked by law enforcement.
- Leaving an accident scene.
- Use of a CMV to commit a felony, including the manufacturing and distributing of a controlled substance.
- This leads to lifetime disqualification.
- Negligent commercial vehicle operation that leads to a fatality.
- Operating a CMV when you have a disqualified, suspended, or revoked CDL.
If you are convicted of a major offense, you’ll be disqualified for the following time periods:
- 1st violation: Disqualification for 1 year.
- 3 years if you were transporting hazardous materials in your CMV.
- 2nd violation: Lifetime disqualification.
If your CDL is disqualified for life, the state may award reinstatement after 10 years. However, if you are found to have committed a major violation after your reinstatement, you will receive a permanent and irreversible disqualification.
Serious Traffic Violations
In South Dakota, all of the following offenses are classified as serious traffic violations:
- Excessive speeding.
- Driving recklessly.
- Improperly changing lanes.
- Following other vehicles too closely.
- Failing to yield the right of way.
- Causing a fatal accident by the violation of any motor vehicle traffic control law (other than a parking violation).
- Operating a CMV without having obtained a CDL, without having a CDL on you, or with a CDL that lacks the proper endorsements.
Your CDL will not be disqualified for a single serious offense; however, additional offenses will come with the following disqualification terms:
- 2nd violation within 3 years: for 60 days.
- 3rd violation within 3 years: for 120 days.
Railroad Crossing Violations
Railroad crossing violations include:
- Failing to slow and check that the tracks are clear.
- Failing to stop when required.
- Driving across the tracks when sufficient space for the CMV is not available.
You face the following South Dakota CDL disqualification penalties* for railroad crossing violations:
- 1st violation: 60 days.
- 2nd violation within 3 years: 120 days.
- 3rd violation and any subsequent violations within 3 years: 1 year.
* The penalties listed above are minimum disqualification periods.
If you violate an out-of-service order, you face the following disqualifications*:
- 1st violation: 90 days.
- 2nd violation: 1 year.
- 3rd violation (or additional violations): 3 years.
* Disqualification periods listed are minimums.
In South Dakota, your CDL will be disqualified for any alcohol-related offenses while driving a non-commercial vehicle.
Additionally, CDL carriers must adhere to stricter rules specific to operating a commercial vehicle. Your CDL will be disqualified if you:
- Test for BAC over the CDL legal limit (0.04%).
- Your CDL can be disqualified regardless of a criminal court conviction.
- Refuse to test for BAC.
- Are criminally convicted for DUI.
All alcohol-related offenses are considered major violations.
Check Your License Status
If you’re worried about the current status of your CDL, you can check out your South Dakota driving record.
Your driving record shows your driving history and includes a list of any violations that may lead to your CDL disqualification. Checking your driving record periodically is vital to your career if you drive a CDL for a living.
The DPS offers hearings for suspensions, revocations, and disqualifications of driver’s licenses including CDLs.
To learn more about these administrative hearings, read our South Dakota Suspended License page.
Steps to reinstate a suspended CDL vary slightly based on your specific situation.
Generally, the steps to reinstate your CDL include:
- Waiting for your disqualification period to end.
- Fulfilling any DPS- or court-mandated requirements.
- You may have to re-apply for a new CDL in South Dakota.
- Paying the reinstatement fee (and any other related fees).
- See “Fees for Suspended CDLs in SD” below.
NOTE: You may have heard of “hardship licenses,” which allow you limited driving privileges while you wait to reinstate your license. These are only available for non-CMVs; the DPS DOES NOT issue hardship licenses to operate commercial vehicles.
Reinstatement fees for all licenses in South Dakota, including CDL, range from $50 - $200.
You are also subject to:
- Fines associated with a court conviction.
- Application fees for new licenses.
To ask about your specific fee, call your local South Dakota DPS office.