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Search South Dakota Public Driving Records

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South Dakota Public Driving Records

The South Dakota Department of Public Safety is the state agency in charge of driver records. They act like a DMV in other states. They issue copies to individuals and companies in need of driver information. Insurance companies use these reports to decide on auto insurance rates, and employers use them for background checks.

The state allows an individual to get a 3-year or full history copy of their report. However, employers, government agencies, and insurance companies can only obtain a 3-year copy. A CDL-version is also available upon request.

These reports will contain personally identifiable information (PII) like the driver's name, date of birth, driver's license number, social security number, and, if the driver holds a CDL, medical information as well. Other information contained in the report will include accident history, traffic convictions, license status and class, license suspensions, revocations and cancellations, points, and further details.

How to Request a Copy of Your South Dakota Driving History

The state of South Dakota has two ways that someone can obtain a driving record. First, the individual, company, or government agency must download the proper form, fill it out and send it in with payment to:

Driver Licensing Program
118 West Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501

The state has forms for individuals, government agencies, and companies, each for a different purpose.

Requestors can also get records in person at one of seven driving test exam station locations around the state. In-person requests are limited to five records per visit, and the user must have proof of identity and cash or check to pay the fee. Only three-year records are available in person.

Motor Vehicle Records Cost

The cost for a driving record in the state is $5 regardless of the type. Government agencies (state and federal) do not have to pay the fee.

Driving Laws in the State

A South Dakota resident must be at least 14 years old to obtain their instruction permit. Teens must hold this permit for 180 days (at least) and take an approved driver education class before applying for their Restricted Minor's Driving License. As long as they have not had any driving convictions in six months and take a test, they can get thier driver's license.

However, according to the South Dakota Department of Public Health, this license is restricted in the following ways: "With your restricted license, you will be able to drive unaccompanied from 6:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. You may drive with a legal guardian from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. You may not have any passengers outside of your immediate family or household for the first 6 months from the permit issuance date. After driving on a restricted permit for 6 months, you may carry only 1 passenger who is not part of your immediate family or household."

To get a full unrestricted license, the driver must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Meet all conditions of the Instruction Permit
  • Have driven on a Restricted Minor's Permit for at least 6 months
  • Have driven conviction-free for 6 months
  • Have your parent or guardian's written approval

Some additional SD driving laws include:

South Dakota law requires all motorists from any direction approaching an authorized emergency vehicle making use of red visual signals, to come to a complete stop before reaching the stopped emergency vehicle and may, unless otherwise directed, proceed with caution only after making sure it is safe to do so.

South Dakota law also requires all motorists from any direction approaching any stopped vehicle making use of amber, yellow or blue warning lights to do the following:

  • When motorists are traveling on South Dakota interstates or highways with two or more lanes traveling in the same direction as the authorized emergency vehicle, merge into the lane farthest from the vehicle at least three hundred feet before the vehicle and proceed with caution, unless otherwise directed
  • On two-lane highways, at least three hundred feet before the vehicle, motorists must slow to a speed that is at least twenty miles per hour less than the posted speed limit or five miles per hour when the speed limit is posted at twenty miles per hour or less and proceed with caution, unless otherwise directed

Emergency vehicles include but are not limited to, law enforcement vehicles, ambulances, and fire department vehicles.

A violation of this law is a class 2 misdemeanor which is punishable by a fine and/or time in county jail.

All motor vehicles, motorcycles, and trailers owned by South Dakota residents and operated on public highways must be registered with the County Treasurer of the applicants' residence. You have 90 days to register a vehicle brought in from another state. Registration renewals are determined on a staggered registration renewal system based on the first letter in your last name.

South Dakota state law SDCL 32-35-113 requires the owner of any motor vehicle that is required to be registered, maintain in force one of the following forms of financial responsibility:

  • Owner's policy of liability insurance
  • The bond of a surety company
  • Certificate of Deposit or Securities in the amount of $50,000 deposited with the State Treasurer 4. Certificate of Self-Insurance (minimum 26 vehicles)

Written evidence of your financial responsibility must be carried in the vehicle covered and presented to any Law Enforcement Officer upon request. Acceptable written evidence is an insurance policy or identification card identifying the name of the company, policy number, effective date of coverage, and the date of expiration. A Certificate of Deposit issued by the State Treasurer or Certificate of Self-Insurance are also acceptable.

Penalty -A conviction for failure to maintain proof of financial responsibility is a Class 2 Misdemeanor (30 days imprisonment in a county jail, $100 fine, or both), driver license suspension for a period of not less than 30 days, or more than one year and filing proof of insurance (SR22) with the State of South Dakota for 3 years from the date of eligibility. Failure to file proof will result in suspension of vehicle registration, license plates, and driver's license.

Any person who, while violating 32-31-6.1, causes an accident is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if the accident is with a stopped emergency vehicle making use of its red visual signals, or any stopped vehicle making use of amber, yellow, or bluewarning lights."

The state does use a point system to keep track of moving violations, and if the driver earns 15 points in 12 consecutive months or 22 points in 24 consecutive months he or she will suffer a license suspension.

Some examples of point violations include:

  • Driving Under the Influence - 10
  • Reckless Driving - 8
  • Eluding/Attempting to Elude - 6
  • Drag Racing - 6
  • Failure to Yield Right of Way - 4
  • Improper Passing - 4
  • Driving Wrong Side of Roadway - 4
  • Stop Sign/Light Violation - 3
  • Other Moving Violations - 2

A list of the violations that will automatically result in the loss of license include:

  • A drug conviction in a vehicle
  • A conviction for driving while intoxicated
  • An alcohol conviction by a minor
  • Refusing to be tested for alcohol or drugs if you are asked to do so by a police officer
  • Driving during a period of court sentence prohibiting driving
  • Driving while license is suspended, canceled, revoked, or denied
  • Giving false information when you apply for a driver's license or a non-driver ID
  • Failing to settle a financial judgment made against you for damages resulting from a motor vehicle accident
  • Attempting to alter the information on your license or using someone else's license
  • Failing to appear for a re-examination when requested to do so by Driver Licensing
  • Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony or causing the death of someone in a motor vehicle accident
  • Having too many points on your driving record, as dictated by the current point system
  • Failure to maintain proof of insurance on every vehicle owned or operating a vehicle without proof of insurance
  • Any conviction of a traffic violation committed prior to the age of 16 by the holder of a restricted permit or instruction permit
  • failure to pay a fine resulting from a traffic violation conviction
  • Owing debt to a South Dakota government agency totaling $1,000 or more
  • Any convictions for violating the restrictions of the license for a driver under 18 years of age
  • Under 21 and are being arrested for 0.02% to 0.079% BAC in violation of SDCL 32-23-21
  • The sale/distribution of alcohol to a minor under 21 years of age
  • The possession of alcohol by a minor under 21 years of age
  • Eluding law enforcement

Different Types of Driving Reports in the State

The state of South Dakota has a few different types of records available for purchase. All of them are limited except for the full history report, which only the driver can obtain for themselves.

3-Year Individual Record

The three-year individual record is for personal use only and will contain personal driver information along with accidents, convictions, citations, and license status, revocations, suspensions, and points. It will only cover the last three years.

Full History Report

The full history report is only available to the driver. It will include everything from the three-year history but include all records and all driver licenses held.

Driver Abstract

The driver abstract is for employers, government agencies, and insurance companies who need information on drivers. It will be a summarized report of traffic convictions, license status, and points.

CDL History

The CDL history is a three-year record showing all the same information as the three-year report, but it will also include CDL medical information. If an employer requests this record, they will need driver consent.

Criminal Driving Offenses

Criminal driving offenses are serious violations that will result in the driver going to jail or prison, paying a fine, and losing their license. Some examples include:

  • Vehicular manslaughter
  • Hit and run
  • Excessive speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Drag racing
  • Eluding an officer
  • Driving without insurance

Commercial drivers may face harsher penalties for these crimes, such as having to take a defensive driving class.

Civil Driving Offenses

Civil driving offenses are far less severe and will only result in a small fine. Some examples of these types of violations are:

  • Parking illegally
  • Running through a red light
  • Not stopping at a stop sign
  • Failure to yield
  • Going the wrong way down a one-way street
  • Speeding

State Department of Motor Vehicles Driving Records Statistics

The State Police keep track of all driving violations and crash statistics to improve roadway safety. Some interesting driving statistics for SD are:

For 2020:

  • 121 (.5%) drivers were killed in car crashes
  • 3,461 (13.2%) drivers were injured in accidents
  • 22,664 (86.4%) drivers were unharmed after a car crash
  • 26,246 drivers were in accidents
  • 66% of crashes took place between 12 p.m. and 11 p.m
  • 34% of crashes took place between 12 a.m. and 11 a.m
  • Thursday and Friday were the days with the highest number (16%) of crashes
  • The county of Minnehaha had the most crashes (5,231), followed by Pennington (2,290) and Lincoln (1,109)

The top reasons for car crashes are:

  • Distracted driving, which includes cell phones, distracted driving, and other electronic devices
  • Other factors: includes drugs-medication, drugs-other, failed to yield to pedestrian, illegally in roadway, illness, improper lane change, improper parking, improper signal or failure to signal, improper start from parked position, physical impairment, and other driver contributing factors

Driver License Record Search Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about state driving records.

Who Can Get a Copy of Your South Dakota Driving Record?

Only you can get a copy of your full history. Employers, insurance providers, and government agencies can get a copy of your driving record (three-year) with your consent. However, they must comply with all Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) laws.

Can I Use the Online Systems to Get BMV Records?

The state does not have an online system. Therefore, you must request records in person or through the mail.

What Information Do I Need to Get a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)?

When requesting a copy, you will need your driver's license information, name, social security number, and payment of the $5 fee.

Does the State Use a Points System?

Yes. The state has a strict points policy, and a driver who earns 15 points in 12 consecutive months or 22 points in 24 consecutive months will suffer the loss of your driving privileges.

How Do I Get My License Back After a Suspension or Revocation?

According to the SD Department of Public Safety:

  • " Reinstatement from a Revocation:A person whose license has been revoked, suspended, or disqualified is required by law to pay a license reinstatement fee of $50-$200 in addition to the application fee when they are eligible to apply for a license. Vision and knowledge tests will be required following a revocation
  • Reinstatement from a Suspension:Following suspension, no testing will be required unless the license has expired. An application

fee and a $50 reinstatement fee will be required."

Helpful State Driving Record Links

Below are some helpful state driving record links.

Disclaimer: The materials presented here are for informational purposes only. The information is taken from state and local resources, and is current as of the most recent site update. Changes made by state and local departments and agencies after our latest update may render some information and fees outdated, and may cause links to break and forms to be unavailable. Infotracer strongly encourages you to visit the relevant state and local resources to ensure you have the most recent information.