How to Get a South Dakota Motorcycle License

To get a South Dakota motorcycle license, you have to pass vision, knowledge, and driving tests.
Written by Jessica Gibson
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Oct 24, 2022
To get a motorcycle license in South Dakota, take your completed application with your valid ID to the local DPS office. Then, pass the vision, knowledge, and driving tests.
If you plan to explore South Dakota’s open roads on your motorcycle, you’re in for a treat. There’s the famous Sturgis rally, scenic drives through the Black Hills, and historic byways that connect you to South Dakota’s famous monuments.
Before you head out on your motorcycle, get your motorcycle license through the South Dakota Department of Public Safety (DPS). Although you’re not required to take a motorcycle training course, you do have to pass a written test and a driving test. Once you pay the fee and present a valid ID, you’ll be licensed to drive your motorcycle.
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Do you need a license to operate a motorcycle in South Dakota?

Yes—in order to operate a two- or three-wheeled motorcycle with an engine over 50 ccs in South Dakota, you must have a motorcycle license.
To get a training permit for your license, you must be at least 14 years old. If you’re under 18, you also need your parent or guardian’s permission. Keep in mind that you’ll have some restrictions with a minor’s training permit—you’re only allowed to practice driving between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. with the supervision of a licensed adult. You’re also required to wear a helmet.
To get a full motorcycle license, you must be at least 16 years old.
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How to get a motorcycle license in South Dakota

If you’ve never had a driver’s license, your license expired, or you have a standard driver’s license, you have to get a standalone motorcycle license. South Dakota doesn’t allow drivers to get a motorcycle endorsement—you must get the standard motorcycle license.
To start, you have to be at least 16 years old—if you’re under 18, you’re also required to have a motorcycle instruction permit or a motorcycle restricted minor’s permit. It’s also a good idea to complete a DPS-approved motorcycle education course before applying for your license.
You will need to take South Dakota DPS written and on-road motorcycle exams before you can get your license.
The written exam covers the rules of the road and safe driving practices. If you don’t pass your written exam the first time, don’t worry—you can take it up to three times within six months without paying for the exam again. 
Bring your motorcycle for the test to meet the on-road exam requirements. You’ll have to show the examiner that you can safely operate the motorcycle through a series of normal driving tasks. Don’t forget to wear a helmet, boots, and leathers for the exam.
Once you’ve passed the written and practical exams or finished the motorcycle education course, present a valid form of ID or driver’s license along with proof of your address. Pass a simple vision test at the DPS office and pay the $28 licensing fee. Your new motorcycle license is valid for five years. 

How to save on car and motorcycle insurance in South Dakota

motorcycle insurance
is fairly affordable in South Dakota, it’s always nice to save money, especially when you’re paying for the protection of both your motorcycle and a car.
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