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south dakota drivers license renewal - SD

Renew your South Dakota Drivers license. Prepare all your DMV info. Get all the forms, rules and steps required for your SD drivers license renewal. There exist two different ways in which to renew your license. Appearing In Person is the easiest way because the DPS employees will guide you through the process. If you are out of state in the military, or doing missionary work, or have been previously issued a compliant license you may renew By Mail. If you would like to go in person, start by going to your closest exam station. Your last option is to use our site and download your checklist. We’ll supply you with all of the necessary forms, rules, and steps in order for you to be fully prepared for your licensing visit. Please continue reading below to get started with your South Dakota license renewal.

South Dakota Drivers License Renewal Information

Expiration Date

The face of your regular Operator's license will state the date of your expiration. In The Mount Rushmore State, regular operator's drivers licenses expire every five (5) years and the date will always fall on your birthday. The only exception to the 5 years are licenses issued to drivers under twenty one (21) years of age and that of legal foreign citizens. For under 21 drivers, your license will expire thirty (30) days after your twenty first (21st) birth date. If you are a foreign citizen, your date of expiration will be determined by the expiration of your legal presence documents.

Keep your license active and always in your person while driving. Otherwise, you will be breaking the law and will be given a ticket. 

Renewal Notice

It's possible that some drivers will receive a renewal reminder via mail . If you did not receive it, don't worry, you will not need it to renew. You will need your current expiring drivers license unless you bring your proof of identity documents. Always keep your current mailing address up to date with the South Dakota DPS. You can do this by making a change of address request via email. You must be prepared and renew your license before it expires. It is always your responsibility to do so. 

When To Renew

The South Dakota DPS will give you some flexibility to renew your license ahead of time under the following guidelines:

  • If you are over twenty one (21) years of age, you may renew up to one hundred eighty (180) days before the expiration date. 
  • If your renewal is on your twenty first (21st) birthday you must wait after you turn 21. You can only renew thirty (30) days after your 21st birthday.  

These rules allow plenty of preparation time for all drivers. There will be no fees to renew ahead of time. Of course, you may renew the day that your license expires if you so choose. The important thing is to never allow your license to expire, as it is a violation to do so.

Expired South Dakota License

You are never permitted to operate a vehicle with an expired drivers license, as South Dakota does not have a grace period. If your current license has expired and you to choose to renew it, you will be required to retake the Rules of the Road Knowledge written test. Remember that driving with an invalid license is the same as driving without a license.

Suspensions or revocations can occur if you do not follow the driving laws. Examples of offenses which can result in suspensions are DUI's, drug charges while driving, false information when applying for a new license, driving with privileges suspended, evading police officers, etc.. If you are charged and are sentenced to a suspension you must surrender your license to the courts and serve your suspension period. In order to reinstate your license you must pay for all the new driver license fees and for the reinstatement fee of $200. 

Renew South Dakota Drivers License Online

Unfortunately, South Dakota does not allow online renewals.

South Dakota Drivers License Renew by Mail

Only a select number of SD drivers will qualify for the renewal by mail. These are the conditions:

  1. If you need to make changes to your name, you cannot use the mail option.
  2. Your license must be active. You cannot have been issued a license from another state (besides South Dakota). If so, you must go in person. 
  3. You must be in the U.S. Armed forces (and your spouse and dependents), or in the Peace Corps, or a missionary who is living out of the country. 
  4. Your current drivers license is a federally compliant driver license. These license are not given via mail. You must have gone previously In Person for your renewal.
  5. If you are currently living outside the state of South Dakota you may request a temporary extension.


  1. Fill out and download the following South Dakota Renewal by Mail Form.
  2. You will need to enter your full name, birth date, social security number, SD address (military drivers do not need to enter this), current out of state address, height, weight, eye color, phone number and email address. 
  3. Have an eye doctor or optometrist administer and fill out the following Vision Statement Form. Note: The vision test cannot have been administered more than six (6) months ago.
  4. All renewal applicants by law must send the required documents from this Documents Page. Note: Drivers in the military must send a copy of their military ID.
  5. If you are doing missionary work or volunteering in the Peace Corps, please send your proof of out of state work. Military drivers must send proof of their out of state active duty service. 
  6. Send payment for the cost of your Renewal Fee. The fee for non commercial licenses is currently $20.00.
    • If paying by check please make payable to Department of Public Safety.
  7. Put all of the items above in a self addressed stamped envelop.
  8. Mail it to the following address

    Driver Licensing Program
    118 West Capitol Avenue
    Pierre, SD 57501


Your new renewed address will be sent via postal mail. If you have any additional questions, please contact the South Dakota DPS by either of the following means: 

Online: Visit the SD DPS Website.

South Dakota Drivers License Renewal Temporary Permit Extension

This option is only valid for South Dakota residents who are currently away from the state. In order to request a temporary extension for your expiring drivers license please do one of the following:

  1. Call the following Toll Free number: 1-800-952-3696 OR the following in state number: 605-773-6883.
  2. Or you may email the SD Department of Public Safety.

South Dakota Drivers License Renewal for Military Drivers

This South Dakota SDCL 32-12-45 law is very important. In summary, it states that a drivers license for a person serving in the U.S. armed forces will remain valid (not expire) as long as the person remains in active duty, and as long as the license has not been suspended or revoked. Upon return to SD, the license will remain valid for a total of thirty (30) days, as long as the driver carries his/her military separation or discharge papers.

If you are currently serving in the U.S. military you may apply for your renewal by mail. Your dependents that live with you may also apply.

Renewal Steps and Conditions for U.S. Military Drivers

  • You need to send a photocopy of proof that you are currently in active duty with the U.S. military.
  • You need to send a copy of your Military ID. 
  • The steps are the same as the ones for the Renew By Mail instructions above.

If you have any additional questions, please contact the South Dakota DPS by either of the following means: 

Online: Visit the SD DPS Website.

Renew South Dakota Drivers License In Person

Going in person for your renewal is available to all South Dakota license holders. This is the only method available to you if you have not been previously issued a federally compliant driver license in person. If you do have a federally compliant driver license you may renew by mail.

Requirements to Renew In Person

  1. You must bring your current expiring drivers license to show as Proof of Identity
  2. If you do not have your expiring drivers license, you must bring your Proof of Identity, Birth Date, Proof of Social Security and Proof of Lawful status documents (see below).
  3. You do not need to bring your renewal notice (if one was sent to you).


  1. Drive or have someone take you to your exam station center.
  2. Show your expiring drivers license OR identity verification documents
  3. Take and pass the Vision Exam
  4. No tests are required if your license has not been expired for over thirty (30) days. If so, you will be required to retake the Rules of the Road Written test. 
  5. Pay the renewal Fees
  6. Your picture will be taken.

Your newly federally compliant drivers license will be handed to you.

South Dakota Drivers License Renewal Documents

When going in person to your nearest DPS office, please bring the following documents:

  • If you are able to show your current drivers license, that will suffice for Proof of Identity.
  • if you have lost your current expiring license, you must show Identification, Date of Birth, Lawful Status, Social Security, and Proof of South Dakota Address. For a handy downloadable PDF file click here.  For another view at all the required documents, click HERE.

Auto Insurance

Failure to maintain insurance on any motor vehicle driven in the state of South Dakota can result in the suspension or revocation of your drivers license. You must always have Financial Responsibility or Liability Insurance to drive in SD. Please carry your insurance documents at all times while driving because you will be required to show them to any police officer that asks for them. If you would like to get or reduce the rates on your car insurance please visit our free guide.



Other Driver License Topics in the State of South Dakota

  • New Driver's License
  • Renew Driver's License
  • Learner's Permit