South Dakota CDL Practice Test

We've broken our South Dakota CDL practice tests into 16 categories which will cover the entire CDL permit exam, all of the CDL endorsement exams, and your job duties as a driver.

  • South Dakota Driving Rules & Regulations

    Driving Rules And Regulations will cover the basics like who needs a CDL, CDL classifications, CDL reqiurements and disqualifications, and why special CDL endorsements are sometimes required.

  • South Dakota Transporting Cargo Safely

    Transporting Cargo will cover the different terms related to truck and cargo weights, driver responsibilities regarding overweight trucks, the safe loading of cargo, and cargo securement.

  • South Dakota Safe Driving

    Safe Driving will cover the basics of a pre-trip inspection, basic control and backing, speed and lane control, managing space around your vehicle, and driving in poor weather conditions.

  • South Dakota Transporting Passengers

    Transporting Passengers is required for the passenger endorsement and will cover the basics of a pre-trip inspection for a bus, loading and securing passenger cargo, and school bus safety.

  • South Dakota School Bus

    The School Bus Endorsement is required in some states for driving a school bus. This section covers loading and unloading passengers safely, bus inspection, and regulations for passenger transport.

  • South Dakota Air Brakes

    Air Brakes will cover the various parts of an air brake system, air brake inspection, proper braking techniques, the differences between air brakes and hydraulic brakes, and stopping distance.

  • South Dakota Combination Vehicles

    Combination Vehicles is a requirement for driving a tractor trailer and will cover combination vehicle air brakes, coupling and uncoupling trailers, and combination vehicle air brake inspection.

  • South Dakota Doubles And Triples

    Doubles And Triples is an endorsement needed to pull double trailers or triple trailers and will cover coupling and uncoupling of doubles and triples, inspection, and air brake tests.

  • South Dakota Tankers

    Tankers is a required endorsement to pull tanker trailers or large totes of liquid and will cover the pre-trip inspection of tankers, tanker loading, and safe driving for tankers.

  • South Dakota Hazardous Materials

    Hazardous Materials is an endorsement required to pull hazardous cargo and covers labels and placards, loading and unloading hazardous materials, parking and routing, and emergency response.

  • South Dakota Pre-Trip Inspection

    Pre-Trip Inspection will cover the inspection of the outside of the truck, the air brake system, inspection of the trailer, engine start and check, and driver responsibilities.

  • South Dakota Driving Exam

    Driving Exam will cover the reqiurements for passing the CDL driving exam, the CDL driving exam scoring system, upgrades and downgrades, and the basics of the driving exam itself.

  • South Dakota Logbook Rules

    Logbook Rules is not a requirement for the CDL permit or endorsements but it's critical for doing your job. This is a very thorough section which covers all of the rules governing the logbook.

  • South Dakota Weight Distribution

    Weight Distribution is not a requirement for the permit or endorsements but is critical for doing your job. It will cover cargo loading, weight distribution, fuel calculations, and center of gravity.

  • South Dakota Flatbed Cargo Securement

    Flatbed Cargo Securement is not required unless you're pulling a flatbed. This section covers tiedown components, securing devices, working load limits, and requirements for different types of freight.

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South Dakota CDL Resources

Here are more resources related to getting your CDL in South Dakota:

How to Get a CDL Permit in South Dakota

Every driver who wants a South Dakota Commercial Driver’s License must be at least 18 years of age (or 21 for interstate commerce) and pass a general knowledge test. Additional endorsement tests are required based on the type of vehicle you intend to drive and transportation requirements.

CDL Permit Requirements

To apply for a CDL Permit in South Dakota there is a $33 application fee (plus $15 for each endorsement test), other requirements for obtaining a CDL Permit include:

  • A current South Dakota federally compliant driver’s license/ID card with a gold star in the upper right corner.
  • If your driver's license or ID card does not have a gold star in the upper right corner, you will need to bring your social security card, W-2, 1099, or a paystub showing your full social security number (Only original documents are accepted).
  • Two documents to prove your residential/physical address.
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Legal Residence
  • A competed medical certificate form if applicable
  • Certify that you are in agreement with state motor carrier safety regulations according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Testing locations and hours

Hours vary by location, to find one nearest you visit South Dakota's Driver's License Location Directory. Most offices are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and applications are accepted up to an hour before closing. Not all locations are state exam locations so it is important to call ahead to ensure the location can serve non-citizens or accept first time applications.

General Knowledge Exam

To prepare for the General Knowledge Exam, it is recommended you take a certified course in CDL Training as well as CDL Practice Tests in South Dakota. Use the official South Dakota Commercial Driver's Manual as a study guide. The manual covers the following topics, which will be on the exam:

  • Driving Safely - Covers vehicle inspection, basic control of your vehicle, shifting gears, fires, crash procedures, skid control and recovery, seeing hazards, controlling speed, managing space, driving in various conditions including night, fog, winter, hot weather, mountains and more.
  • Transporting Cargo Safely - Covers inspecting cargo, weight and balance, securing cargo, and cargo needing special attention.
  • Transporting Passengers - Covers when a passenger endorsement is required, vehicle inspection, loading and trip start, on the road, after trip vehicle inspection, prohibited practices, use of brake door interlocks.
  • Air Brakes - Covers the parts of an air brake system, dual air brake, inspecting air brake systems, and using air brakes.
  • Combination Vehicles - Covers driving combination vehicles safely, combination vehicle air brakes, antilock brake systems, coupling and uncoupling, and inspecting a combination vehicle.
  • Doubles and Triples - Covers pulling double and triple trailers, coupling and uncoupling, inspecting doubles and triples, doubles and triples air brake check.
  • Tank Vehicles - Covers inspecting tank vehicles, driving tank vehicles and safe driving rules.
  • Hazardous Materials - Covers the intent of the regulations, hazardous materials transportation, communication rules, loading and unloading, bulk packaging marking, driving and parking rules, emergencies and glossary.
  • School Bus - Covers danger zones and use of mirrors, loading and unloading, emergency exit and evacuation, railroad-highway grade crossings, student management, antilock braking systems, and special safety considerations.

Military Exemptions

The skills test portion of the State CDL Testing process may be waived for individuals who have experience driving commercial motor vehicles for military purposes. Military personnel must meet the following requirements:

  • Currently possess a South Dakota driver’s license
  • Complete an Application for CDL Skills Test Waiver Military form
  • Military Letter (page 2 of application) must be completed by Commanding Officer or appropriate administrative office within the last 30 days
  • Clean driving record for the past 2 years
  • Currently employed or have been employed within the last 12 months in a military position (requiring CMV operation)
  • Exempted from the CDL licensing requirements due to active duty military status
  • Have been operating a CMV in the military for at least the last two years (or two years immediately preceding discharge from the military)

CLP Test

The CLP test consists of 50 multiple choice questions, of which you must answer at least 40 correct to get a passing score of at least 80%. The following endorsements require additional tests:

  • T - Double/Triple Trailers (Knowledge Test only)
  • P - Passenger (Knowledge and Skills Tests)
  • N - Tank Vehicle (Knowledge Test only)
  • H - Hazardous Materials (Knowledge Test only)
  • X - Combination of Tank Vehicle and Hazardous Materials endorsements (Knowledge Test only)
  • S - School Bus (Knowledge and Skills Tests)

You must be 21 years of age to obtain a hazardous materials endorsement, and must also meet other qualification requirements including a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) background check. Applicants must complete the security threat assessment background check online. You can also call 1-855-347-8371, Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. (EST). There is a fee of $86.50 upon completion.

Facts About Commercial Learners Permit in South Dakota

  • A CLP is considered a valid CDL for behind-the-wheel training
  • While you possess a CLP, you are only permitted to drive with a full CDL holder in the vehicle, and driver's must stay on public roads.
  • CLP holder must hold a valid driver's license from the same state as the CLP until the applicant possesses a valid CDL
  • Driver's must possess a CLP for 14 days before applying for a full CDL.

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