South Dakota Driver Licensing Law & Teen Driver Law

Obtaining a South Dakota Instruction Permit

Instruction Permits are available to South Dakota 14-year-olds who have passed vision and knowledge tests. This test must be held for a minimum of 180 days, or 90 days if the individual successfully completed an approved driver education course.

When applying for the Instruction Permit, applicants must bring the following documents:

  • An Identity Document that proves identity, date of birth, and lawful status
  • A document proving the applicant's Social Security number
  • Two documents proving residential address

A parent or legal guardian must accompany the teen when applying for the permit.

The Instruction Permit requires a licensed driver who is at least 18 years old must be present and sitting in the seat next to the permit holder.

Obtaining a Restricted Minor's Permit

Young drivers who are at least 14 years and six months, and have passed the knowledge, vision, and driving tests may apply for a restricted permit.

When applying for the Restricted Minor's Permit, drivers are required to bring the same documentation required of the Instruction Permit.

The Restricted Minor's Permit allows the holder to drive unsupervised from 6AM to 10PM. If supervised by a parent or legal guardian in the front passenger seat, a teen may operate the vehicle from 10PM to 6 AM.

This permit is valid for five years and will automatically convert to an Operator's License once the holder turns 18 years old. So long as a driver is 16 and does not have any convicted traffic violations within six months, they are eligible to apply for the unrestricted Operator's License.

If the Department receives record of a conviction for a traffic violation or a violation of the restricted permit for a minor under 16 years of age, the driving privileges shall be suspended for a period of thirty days or as otherwise required by law. A second conviction shall result in suspension of the driving privilege until the permit holder's sixteenth birthday, or for 90 days, whichever is longer. Receipt of a conviction for a Class 1 Misdemeanor or Felony will result in a suspension of the license until their 16th birthday or as required by law. If the department receives a conviction for a violation of the restrictions of the license for a minor 16 or 17 years of age, the driving privileges shall be suspended for 30 days for each conviction.

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