Driver's Training in South Dakota

South Dakota Driver's Training

If you're a teenager applying for your first driver's license in South Dakota, you'll need to complete a period of supervised driving to satisfy the young driver requirements of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Young drivers also have the option of completing driver's education/driver's training, which can provide additional behind-the-wheel experience. Completing Driver's Ed or a driver's training course can also reduce the time you're required to hold a instruction permit, and may waive some of your DMV testing requirements.

On this page you'll find information about the South Dakota driver's training requirements and the next steps towards your unrestricted driver's license.

South Dakota Behind-the-Wheel Requirements

If you are under 18 years old, you will need to complete the requirements of the South Dakota DMV instruction permit stage, which involves:

  • Completing supervised behind-the-wheel training with a licensed adult.
  • The option of completing a driver's training course.

You can begin your licensing requirements when you are at least 14 years old by applying for your instruction permit.

For more information about applying for your permit, please visit our Driver’s Permits in South Dakota page.

South Dakota Driver's Training

While you hold your instruction permit, you have the option of completing a driver's education course. Successfully completing this course will reduce the amount of time you'll need to hold your instruction permit from 275 days to 180 days.

Driver's education courses generally consist of both classroom and behind-the-wheel training components.

Completing a South Dakota DMV-approved driver's training course will not only serve to improve your driving skills, but it may also waive your DMV written test and road test requirements.

For more information about South Dakota driver's education/driver's training, please visit our Driver’s Ed page.

SD Behind-the-Wheel Practice

With your instruction permit you'll only be able to drive while supervised by a licensed adult who:

  • Is at least 18 years old.
  • Has held their driver's license for at least 1 year.

You must practice driving with your adult supervisor during the mandatory 180 days or 275 days of holding your instruction permit. You must have a minimum of 50 hours of parent/guardian supervised driving which include:

  • 10 hours of night driving.
  • 10 hours of inclement weather driving.
You will also need a signed and completed Supervised Driving Log which shows the 50 hours of your supervised practice driving when you apply for your restricted minor's permit.

The time you spend practicing your driving skills is crucial to passing your road test and taking on the responsibilities of a new, unsupervised driver.

Next Steps - Your Restricted Minor's Permit

You will be eligible to take your road test and advance to your restricted minor's permit after you:

  • Have held your instruction permit for at least 275 days, or 180 days if you've completed a Driver's Ed course.
    • You must not have had any traffic violations during the past 6 months.
  • Have gained enough driving experience to meet the minimum 50 hours practice driving requirement and pass your driving test.

Once you have satisfied the requirements of your instruction permit, visit the South Dakota DMV website to schedule your road test.

For more information about additional documents, forms, and fees you'll need to take to the SD DMV for your first driver's license, please visit our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in South Dakota page.

Please enter your ZIP code OR city and state abbreviation

DMV.ORG BBB Business Review