Who Can Not Get A South Dakota Commercial Driver License?
- Persons under the age of 16.
- Persons who have a license under suspension, revocation, cancellation, or disqualification.
- Persons who can’t successfully complete licensing requirements under ‘Driver Application Procedures’ of this manual.
- Persons who aren’t a resident of South Dakota.
- Persons who have accumulated child support arrearages of $1,000 or more.
Prior to obtaining a CDL, a person must meet the following requirements:
A person who operates or expects to operate in interstate or foreign commerce, or is otherwise subject to Part 391 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations, shall certify that he/she meets the qualification requirements contained in that title. A person who operates or is exempt from these provisions is subject to State driver qualification requirements and must certify that he/she is not subject to Part 391;
Drivers Exempt From Part 391
- The private transportation of passengers.
- Farm vehicle drivers except articulated motor vehicles with a GVWR more than 10,000 pounds.
- Farm custom operations engaged in Custom-Harvesting.
- Apiarian industry drivers controlled and operated by a beekeeper engaged in seasonal transportation of bees.
- Transportation performed by the Federal Government, a State, or any political subdivision of a State.
For more information contact the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Pass a knowledge test for the type of motor vehicle the person operates or expects to operate.
Successfully pass a driving or skills test administered by a state certified third party tester in a motor vehicle which is representative of the type of motor vehicle the person operates or expects to operate.
Certify that the motor vehicle in which the person takes the driving skills test is representative of the type of motor vehicle that person operates or expects to operate.
Provide the State the information required to be included on the CDL application
An applicant’s proof of identity, date of birth, social security number and residential address is required.
- Proof of identity and date of birth can be proven through a federally compliant driver license or ID card, certified U.S. birth certificate (issued by the county or state), valid unexpired passport, Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship. Non-citizens must provide proof of lawful status in the form of a valid unexpired permanent resident card, valid unexpired employment authorization document or foreign passport with a valid U.S. Visa and unexpired I-94.
- Verification of the social security number is completed at the time of application. Source documents accepted as verification of social security number are the following (as long as they include your name and full social security number): Social security card, W-2 form, SSA 1099 form, Non-SSA 1099 form, or Pay stub.
- (3)Two documents proving principle address such as a utility bill, credit card statement, rent receipt, phone bill, bank statement, mortgage document, tax document or homeowners/renter’s insurance policy. If you are unable to provide proof of principle address please see our website at http://dps.sd.gov for a list of alternate documents or call 1-800-952-3696.
Certify that he/she isn’t subject to any disqualification, suspension, revocation, or cancellation and that he/she doesn’t have a driver’s license from more than one State. The applicant shall surrender all previous driver licenses to the State.
You will have to take one or more knowledge tests, depending on what class of license and what endorsements you need. The CDL knowledge tests include:
- The General Knowledge Tests, taken by all applicants. 50 questions.
- The Passenger Transport Test, taken by all bus driver applicants. 20 questions.
- The Passenger School Bus Test. 30 questions.
- The Air Brakes Test, which you must take if your vehicle has air brakes, including air over hydraulic brakes. 25 questions.
- The Combination Vehicles Test, which is required if you want to drive combination vehicles. 20 questions.
- The Hazardous Materials Test required if you want to haul hazardous material as defined in 49 CFR 383.5. In order to obtain this endorsement you are also required to pass a Transportation Security Administration background check. 30 questions.
- The Tanker Test required if you want to haul a liquid or liquid gas in a permanently mounted cargo tank rated at 119 gallons or more or a portable tank rated at 1,000 gallons or more. 20 questions.
- The Double/Triples Test required if you want to pull double or triple trailers. 20 questions.
Tests will only be give once per day; to retest you will need to return the next business day. You must have a score of 80% or better to pass each test.
After passing the required knowledge test(s), you can be issued an Instruction Permit and then take the CDL skills tests. There are three types of general skills that will be tested: pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and on-road driving. You must take these tests in the type of vehicle for which you wish to be licensed.
Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
Purpose: To see if you know whether the vehicle is safe to drive.
Test Procedure: You will be asked to do a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle and explain to the examiner what you would inspect and why. The examiner will mark on a scoring form each item that you correctly inspect or explain.
Basic Vehicle Control
Purpose: To evaluate your basic skills in controlling the vehicle.
Set-Up: The test set-up consists of various exercises marked out by lines, traffic cones, or something similar. The exercises may include moving the vehicle forward, backing, or turning maneuvers. The examiner will explain to you how each exercise is to be done. You will be scored on how well you stay within the exercise boundaries and how many pull-ups you make.
Purpose: to evaluate your ability to drive safely in a variety of on-the-road situations.
Test Procedure: The test drive is taken over a route specified by the examiner. It may include left and right turns, intersections, railway crossings, curves, up and down grades, rural or semi-rural roads, city multi-lane streets, and expressway driving.
You will drive over the test route following instructions given by the examiner. The examiner will score specific tasks such as turns, merging into traffic, lane changes, and speed control at specific places along the route. The examiner will also score whether you correctly do tasks such as signaling, searching for hazards, controlling speed, and lane positioning.
The fee for a commercial driver license is $25.00. There is also a $10.00 fee for each endorsement to a commercial license. A third party tester may charge up to $80.00 for each attempt to successfully complete the commercial skills test.
A person whose license has been revoked, suspended, or disqualified is required by law to pay a license reinstatement fee of $50.00 to $200.00 plus application fees when he/she is eligible to apply for a new license. Tests may be required following a revocation, suspension, or disqualification.
Licensing Agency & Website:
South Dakota Department of Public Safety, http://dps.sd.gov/licensing/driver_licensing/commercial_info.aspx