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South Dakota Learners Permit Restrictions - SD Driving Permit Rules

South Dakota Permit Restrictions

When you receive a learners permit, you can start your driving practice, however you must remember that this is not a full drivers license yet and you must observe all permit restrictions. South Dakota permit restrictions depend on the age of the permit holder and the type of a permit. Supervised driving only, nighttime driving prohibition and a cell phone ban - these are just some of the common South Dakota permit restrictions. Failure to observe these rules and restrictions may cost you your driving privilege, so make sure to follow these rules at all times.

The reason why these permit restrictions were introduced is the fact that inexperienced drivers with not much driving experience are highly likely to be involved in a traffic accident. Driving experience is very important and there is only one way to gain that experience - to get behind the wheel and start driving. In order to help you get through these first hours of driving and make them as safe as possible, a learners permit stage was introduced. Restrictions that are enforced during this stage are supposed to prevent you from engaging in potentially dangerous activities while driving and reduce your chances of being involved in a traffic accident.

Permit Restrictions - Over 18 Years of Age

Before you can be issued with a permit, you will be required to take a South Dakota permit test. More than a half of all applicants fail the test the first time they take it. Try yourself with a free South Dakota permit practice test now to see if you're ready for the real thing.

If you are at least 18 years of age, there is really only one rule you have to follow and that is no driving alone. Once you receive your South Dakota drivers permit, you can start driving, provided you have a licensed driver at least 18 years old with at least one year of driving experience seated next to you. The supervising driver should be prepared to take control of the vehicle at any time.

Although this is the only real limitation to your learners permit, there are other safety tips you can follow. Try to avoid any distracting activity while driving, such as playing with the radio or talking on the phone. Always wear a seat belt and have everyone else in the vehicle wear one as well.

Permit Restrictions - Under 18 Years of Age

If you are under 18 years of age, you are subject to the South Dakota graduated license program and you will need to observe the graduated license requirements. The minimum age for applying for a learners permit is 14 and just like adult drivers license applicants, you have to take a vision and a permit exam before you can be issued with your first learners permit. Once you got a permit, you can start driving, observing the following restrictions:

  • No driving alone. You must have a supervisor who holds a valid South Dakota drivers license, is at least 18 years of age and has not less than a year of driving experience seated in the front seat next to you.
  • Curfew. Driving is allowed only between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
  • No cell phones. You cannot use any communication devices while driving.
  • Seat belts. Safety belts must be worn by everyone in the vehicle.

In most cases, you have to hold your learners permit for at least 180 days before you can apply for a drivers license. However, if you take a South Dakota drivers education class and get a score of at least 80% on both the classroom and the driving portion of the class, you only have to hold a permit for at least 90 days.

You cannot receive any traffic tickets during this six-months holding period. If you are convicted of a traffic offense, your permit holding period is extended for another six months.

Restricted Minors Permit

Once you fulfill the regular permit requirements and pass South Dakota drivers test, you become eligible for a restricted minor's permit. Although called a permit, it is more like a restricted drivers license and allows you to drive without a supervising driver under the following conditions:

  • Curfew. You cannot drive alone between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. If you want to drive during these hours, you must have a parent or legal guardian present in the front seat next to you.
  • Seat belts. You and everyone in the vehicle must wear a safety belt.
  • Cell phones. You cannot use a cell phone or any other communication device while driving.

After observing these restrictions for the required period of time, you may apply for a regular operator's license. You may read more about upgrading to a full license in the South Dakota drivers manual.