- You must show proof of identity, date of birth, Social Security number, and your residential address.
- All applicants are required to take and pass the general knowledge test.
- You must also take and successfully pass a knowledge test for the type of commercial motor vehicle you expect to operate.
- You will also be required to take and successfully pass a skills test given by a certified third-party tester. You must take the skills tests in the same type of commercial vehicle for which you wish to be licensed.
- You must give up any previous drivers license and certify that you are not subject to any disqualification, cancellation, suspension, or revocation. You are not allowed to have a drivers license from more than one state.
- Depending on the class of license you are applying for, and which endorsements you require, you may have to take more than one knowledge test. These tests can include Passenger Transport, Air Brakes, Combination Vehicles, Hazardous Materials, Tankers, or Doubles/Triples.
- Once you have successfully passed all the required knowledge tests, you are eligible to take the CDL skills tests. This is a three-part test that includes a pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and on road driving.
During the pre-trip vehicle inspection, you will be tested on whether or not you know if your vehicle is safe to drive. This is demonstrated by conducting a pre-trip inspection of your commercial vehicle while explaining to the examiner what you are expecting and why it’s important.
Basic vehicle control is the portion of the test that measures your skill in controlling the vehicle. You will be asked to maneuver the vehicle forward, backward, and into a turn, generally within a defined area.
The last section of the skills tests is the on road test. Your ability to safely drive your vehicle will be tested in a variety of traffic situations. The examiner will instruct you as to where to drive, and the route may include left and right turns, railroad crossings, intersections and curves, uphill and downhill grades and single or multi-lane highways.
If you have additional questions or need more information about CDL training in South Dakota, contact the South Dakota Department of Public Safety by visiting the website at:
Interested applicants can download the CDL manual by clicking the following link: