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South Dakota DMV Learner's Permit FAQ

  • When can I apply for a permit in South Dakota?

    You can apply at age 14 for your South Dakota Learner’s Permit.

  • What are the requirements to get a learners permit?

    You will need to show proof of age, identity and residency and you will also need to pass a written knowledge test and a vision test. Once you receive your permit and begin practicing driving, you must have a licensed driver who is at least 18 years old with at least one year of driving experience seated in the front seat with you between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. and a parent or legal guardian with you between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

  • How many questions are on the permit test?

    The written knowledge test has 25 questions.

  • How many questions must I answer correctly to pass?

    To pass, you must answer at least 20 questions correctly.

  • What steps should I take to prepare for the test?

    To receive your Learner’s Permit as fast as possible, you should study for the test. One of the most effective ways to study is to complete online practice exams that boast real sample questions from the exam. Click on the following link to take a South Dakota practice permit test and test your current driving knowledge.

  • What percentage of people fail the permit test?

    According to recent statistics, approximately 70% of those who take the test for the first time end up getting a failing grade. In many states those who fail are required to wait at least a day to retake the exam and may have to pay a re-examination fee. To increase your chances of passing on your first attempt, take multiple practice exams that are designed to closely replicate the actual test.

  • How much does the permit test cost?

    There is an $8 permit fee.

  • Where do I take the permit test?

    The South Dakota Department of Public Safety’s (SD DPS) Driver Licensing Program is responsible for licensing drivers. Visit to find a local office.

  • What documents should I bring on test day?

    You will need to visit the local driver’s license office with a parent or guardian and you will also need to bring proper identification – including a birth certificate, a Social Security card and proof or residence. You will then need to pass the written knowledge test and the vision test to receive your Learner’s Permit.

The South Dakota DMV Learner’s Permit — What You Need to Know

South Dakota’s Division of Inspection and Licensing (DIL) will only issue you a permit after you’ve passed the driver knowledge test. More commonly known as the permit test, the test will determine if you possess the knowledge to be a safe and courteous driver.  You will face questions on the rules of road, safe driving practices, road and traffic signs, and traffic laws specific to South Dakota.

Prepare On Your Own Schedule With SD DMV Practice Permit Tests

Are you afraid to take the written test? Do you generally struggle with tests?  Don’t feel bad. Many test-takers fail the exam.  In fact statistics reveal that 2 out of 3 test people fail the exam every year.

No need to worry though as our study resources will help you prepare for your South Dakota permit test. On this page you’ll find a collection of valuable study material.   Our sample interactive South Dakota practice permit tests are a great tool if you are looking for feedback or you simply want to get a better idea of what the real test format looks like. We also have the official South Dakota Drivers Handbook.  Interested in getting your motorcycle permit?  We have study resources for that exam too.

Don’t put it off any longer. A learner’s permit brings you one step closer to getting behind the wheel.Get started now!