South Dakota CDL License Requirements

To become a truck driver in South Dakota, you must first obtain a South Dakota commercial driver's license (CDL). While classes of CDL licenses can vary slightly from state to state, South Dakota categorizes commercial vehicles as follows:

  • Class A: Combination vehicle weighing over 26,001 pounds with the trailer weighing over 10,000 pounds
  • Class B: Single or combination vehicle weighing over 26,001 pounds and a trailer weighing less than 10,000 pounds
  • Class C: Vehicles weighing 26,000 pounds or less, carrying hazardous materials or transporting 16 or more passengers

To qualify for a CDL in South Dakota, you must be at least 16 years old, have a valid South Dakota driver's license and obtain a medical certificate. Interstate transportation of cargo is regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), which requires drivers to be at least 21 years old to transport materials across state lines. All CDL applicants then need to pass a general knowledge exam and a skills test, which includes a pre-trip vehicle inspection, a basic control test and an on-road driving exam. For the driving test, applicants must use a vehicle in the same class for which they are trying to obtain a CDL license--for example, if you wish to obtain a Class B CDL, you must test in a Class B vehicle.

To drive a truck with double/triple trailers, a truck with air brakes, a tanker truck or a school bus, additional endorsements are required. If you wish to transport passengers or hazardous materials (Hazmat), additional endorsements are also required. A background check by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is needed for the Hazmat endorsement. Truck driving schools in South Dakota will provide the training and education necessary to pass the CDL exams.

Resources for South Dakota CDL Requirements

Visit the South Dakota Department of Public Safety website for more information.

Learn more about South Dakota trucking schools.

Truck Driver Salary in South Dakota

Location 25th Percentile 75th Percentile Annual Salary
United States $31,270 $48,330 $38,700
South Dakota $29,220 $43,440 $34,990
Rapid City, SD $29,360 $42,170 $34,800
Sioux Falls, SD $32,050 $46,530 $36,820

Table data taken from 2015 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm)