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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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
A list of the violations that will automatically result in the loss of license include:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 are serious violations that will result in the driver going to jail or prison, paying a fine, and losing their license. Some examples include:
Commercial drivers may face harsher penalties for these crimes, such as having to take a defensive driving class.
Civil driving offenses are far less severe and will only result in a small fine. Some examples of these types of violations are:
The State Police keep track of all driving violations and crash statistics to improve roadway safety. Some interesting driving statistics for SD are:
The top reasons for car crashes are:
Below are some frequently asked questions about state driving records.
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.
The state does not have an online system. Therefore, you must request records in person or through the mail.
When requesting a copy, you will need your driver's license information, name, social security number, and payment of the $5 fee.
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.
According to the SD Department of Public Safety:
fee and a $50 reinstatement fee will be required."
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.