South Dakota Driving Record

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You can obtain a copy of your South Dakota driving record online, in person, or by mail from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety (SDDP). It will cost you $5.
A clean driving record is the best way to avoid license suspensions, revocation, and high insurance rates. Your rates could increase as much as 300%, depending on the frequency and severity of the infractions. So if you notice any discrepancies on your record, be sure to notify the DMV as soon as possible.
Here, the car owner’s super app Jerry is breaking down everything you need to know to understand your South Dakota driving record. 

What is a driving record?

A driving record is a historical account of your driving history. In South Dakota, it includes information about traffic violations, accidents, and points assessed on your driver’s license from the previous three years—in or out of state. 

How do I access my driving record in South Dakota?

To request your individual South Dakota driving record, you must complete the appropriate form for the type of record you are requesting. You can get three types of records: 
To order your record in-person at the SDDP you will need: 
  • The completed form
  • Proof of identity
  • Exact change or personal check for payment ($5 per record)
To order your record by mail you will need: 
  • The completed form
  • $5 per record by check or money order 

Requesting a driving record for someone else

Authorized individuals or agencies can request an abstract of your driving record to view traffic convictions, accident dates, and license status. To request this document, you will need to complete one of the following forms: 
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Where else can I find my driving record in South Dakota?

If you don’t want to go to the SDDP directly, you can usually obtain a copy of your driving record from insurance agents or online third parties.

Car insurance agents

Car insurance companies may request your South Dakota driving record to determine your rates and eligibility for renewal. If you ask your insurance agent for a copy of your record, they’ll likely be happy to oblige—though it won’t be an official, certified copy.

Online third-party vendors

If you don’t need a certified copy of your driving record, you can obtain an unofficial one through online third-party vendors. While this is typically quick, it will cost you more and may not be as accurate as the one you’d get from the state. 

What is on my record?

Your driving record consists of details about you and your driving history. The basic record in South Dakota typically includes:
  • Your driving history
  • Past driving violations
  • Traffic accidents
  • Driver’s license suspensions
  • Driving record points
Most notably, your South Dakota driving record reflects every occurrence that happens in or out of state within the past 3 years

DMV points in South Dakota

South Dakota adds points to your driving record for each offense, which can lead to fines, suspensions, and higher insurance rates. If you accrue 12 or more points, your driver’s license will be suspended. 
Some common offenses where points are assessed include: 
  • Driving under the influence (10 points)
  • Reckless driving (8 points)
  • Evading the police (6 points)
  • Drag racing (6 points)
  • Failing to yield right of way (4 points)
  • Improperly passing another vehicle (4 points)
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road (4 points)
  • Running a stop sign or red light (3 points)
  • Any other moving violation (2 points)
Points are not added for speeding or parking tickets. 
The SDDC clears points from your record after a certain amount of time has passed. In South Dakota, You cannot remove points from your record by taking a defensive driving course.
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How can my driving record affect me?

Your driving record impacts multiple aspects of your life.

Your insurance premium

The average cost of basic liability car insurance in South Dakota is almost 3% higher than the national average due to the number of uninsured drivers and rural/remote roads. And if you have a poor driving record, you’ll be considered high risk and your rates will be even higher.

Your ability to drive

If you have a DUI charge on your record, it means immediate revocation of your driver’s license. The SDDP will also suspend your license if you accumulate 15 points in a year or 22 points in two years. 
The SDDP could automatically revoke your license for serious offenses beyond DUI, including: 
  • Involvement in a crash with casualties
  • Evading the police

Your credit rating

While your record itself does not impact your credit score, your credit score influences your ability to obtain good rates for car insurance. And, the financial fallout from a DUI, personal injury claims, or unpaid medical bills from an accident can force you into bankruptcy. 

Your job prospects

Some jobs require a driving record check, including firefighting, policing, and delivery driving. Employers want to know they can trust you behind the wheel, and a spotty driving record may make them pass you over.
Key Takeaway Your driving record is more than just a document. It can have a significant impact on other areas of your life—so it’s in your best interest to keep it as clean as possible.

What is the difference between driving records in each state?

The state where you reside holds your driver’s license and driving record. So if you live in South Dakota, the state of South Dakota will hold your driving record.
South Dakota is a member of the Driver’s License Compact (DLC), an interstate agreement for the exchange of data about moving violations of non-residents. This is known as “One Driver, One License, One Record.”
If you commit a driving violation outside of South Dakota, you’ll be subject to penalties at home as per state law.
Only five states are not part of the DLC. They are:
  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Tennessee
  • Wisconsin
Even still, most states have some level of agreement to share driver information as it pertains to violations and road safety.
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