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South Dakota CDL License Test

SOUTH DAKOTA TRUCK DRIVER TRAINING

Commercial Drivers License
2021 CDL License TEST Requirements
Home Study Course
For Tests Beginning September 1, 2021

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DO I HAVE TO PASS ANY EXAMS TO GET A SOUTH DAKOTA CDL?

Yes . . . You will have to pass written exams and skills exams. Just how many exams you will have to take and pass will depend upon the type(s) of commercial vehicles you will be driving and what type of "cargo" you will be transporting.

WHAT ARE THE SOUTH DAKOTA CDL WRITTEN EXAMS?

The "written" exams consist of the knowledge portion of your South Dakota CDL exams. There are seven different written exams. Which ones you will be required to take and pass depends upon the type of commercial vehicle that you will be driving. A description of these written exams follows . . .

  • General Knowledge Test . . . Must be taken and passed by ALL CDL applicants no matter what Class of CDL or Type of Endorsement(s) are needed. You WILL take this written test. You WILL pass this written test if you are to obtain a CDL.
  • Air Brakes Test . . . Must be taken and passed if any vehicle you drive has air brakes.
  • Combination Vehicles Test . . . Must be taken and passed if you drive combination vehicles requiring a Class "A" CDL.
  • Passenger Transport (P) Test . . . Must be taken and passed by all bus driver applicants. An additional written test may be required if transporting children to and from school.
  • Hazardous Materials (H) Test . . . Must be taken and passed if you transport hazardous materials requiring "placarding".
  • Tank Vehicles (N) Test . . . Must be taken and passed if you drive a "tank" with a capacity of more than 1000 gallons.
  • Doubles & Triples (T) Test . . . Must be taken and passed if you pull double or triple trailers.
WHAT ARE THE SOUTH DAKOTA CDL SKILLS EXAMS?

The "skills" exams consist of the practical portion of your South Dakota CDL exams. They consist of three parts as follows . . .

  • Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Test . . . You will be tested to see if you know whether your vehicle is safe to drive. The examiner will score each item that you correctly inspect and explain.
  • Basic Vehicle Control Test . . . You will be tested on your basic skills in controlling the vehicle . . . including moving your vehicle forward, backward, and turning within a defined area. You will be scored on how well you stay within the exercise boundaries and how many pull-ups you make.
  • On-Road Test . . . You will be tested on your skill to safely drive your vehicle in a variety of traffic situations.

The skills exams are taken in the same "type" vehicle that you will be licensed in.

AFTER I PASS ALL OF MY CDL EXAMS . . . THEN WHAT?

You can apply for your CDL. You must provide proof that you possess a valid DOT medical certificate (you will need to get a physical in accordance with MCSR 49 CFR 391.41. . . . the medical forms are included with the CDL Course package), fill out the forms, provide documentation, and pay the appropriate fees.

HOW DO I FIND SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR South Dakota?

We are including the following links to information that is specific to South Dakota. We try to include all available official links, however the State of South Dakota often change their webpages and/or the addressing of those webpages. We constantly update these links, but from time to time they are not available due to recent changes. If you are having problems with any of these links, try typing "South Dakota Official Website" into your Google, Bing or Yahoo search engine and you should be able to find your "starting point" on their website. You should be able to find the Commercial Drivers License information by typing in "CDL" into their internal search (if available) or by following the Drivers License Services links within their website. This is a great source of South Dakota regulations, forms, locations, contacts, etc.

Quickly Access Official South Dakota CDL Information

South Dakota CDL Information
Access to official web pages maintained
by the State of South Dakota
For South Dakota CDL information regarding locations, procedures, handicap assistance, and other issues CALL 1-800-952-3696

South Dakota CDL Fees

The fee for a South Dakota commercial driver license is $25.00. There is also a $10.00 fee for each endorsement to a South Dakota commercial license. A third party tester may charge up to $90.00 for each attempt to successfully complete the South Dakota commercial skills test.

Who must have a South Dakota Commercial Driver License?

You must have a South Dakota Commercial Driver License to operate any of the following Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV'S):
  • A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds.
  • A trailer with a GVWR of 10,001 or more pounds if the gross combination weight rating is 26,001 or more pounds.
  • A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more persons (including the driver).
  • Any size vehicle which requires hazardous materials placards or is carrying material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR Part 172, Subpart F.

Who Does Not Need A South Dakota Commercial Driver License to Drive a Commercial Vehicle?
  • Operators serving in the United States military, operating commercial vehicles in pursuit of military purposes.
  • Operators of emergency firefighting equipment necessary to the preservation of life, property, or the execution of emergency governmental functions performed under emergency conditions when operated by members of a fire fighting agency.
  • Operators of rental transporting equipment used as personal family use vehicles.
  • Operators of recreation vehicles used as personal family recreational use vehicles.
  • Operators involved in farm to market transportation movement s, at least 16 years of age holding a valid operator's license, limited to those operators of a farm vehicle:
    • Controlled and operated by a farmer,
    • Used to transport either agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies to or from a farm, and
    • Not used in the operations of a common or contract motor carrier,
    • Used within 150 miles of a person's farm.

What is Considered a Passing Score?

You must have a score of 80% or better to pass each test.

Third Party Testing The State has authorized persons, employers, training facilities, departments, and other agencies to administer the skills tests. The tests given by the third party ar e the same as those, which would otherwise be given by the State. For more information on Third Party Testing please contact:
State of South Dakota
Driver Licensing Program
(605) 773-6883 or 1-800-952-3696 or see a list of Third Party Testers on our website at:
http://dps.sd.gov

South Dakota Commercial Drivers Instruction Permit

A South Dakota commercial driver instruction permit may be issued to an individual 16 years of age who holds a valid Class 1 or Class 2 South Dakota operatorís license.

No South Dakota commercial driverís instruction permit may be i issued for a period exceeding six months. Only one renewal or reissue shall be granted within a two-year period. The holder of a South Dakota commercial driverís instruction permit may, unless otherwise disqualified, drive a commercial motor vehicle only if accompanied by the holder of a CDL, who is 21 years of age, has a valid license for the type of vehicle driven, and occupies a seat beside the individual for the purpose of giving instruction in driving the commercial motor vehicle.

South Dakota CDL Written Knowledge Tests
You will need to pass the South Dakota Knowledge Tests that are required for the class of license, restriction, and endorsements you wish to possess. A general knowledge test for the Class A or Class B and C license must be successfully completed by all CDL applicants. The information needed to pass these tests is contained in the FREE South Dakota CDL Handbook. Please read and study this manual carefully.
  • Class A - 70 Questions (50 GK + 20 Combination Vehicles) - Skills test required.
  • Class B - 50 Questions - Skills test required.
  • Class C - 50 Questions - Skills test required for bus, school bus and air brakes vehicles..
  • Passenger Endorsement - 20 questions - Skills test required in bus.
  • School Bus Endorsement - 25 questions - Skills test required in school bus.
  • Doubles/Triples Endorsement - 20 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Tank Vehicle Endorsement - 20 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Hazardous Materials Endorsement - 30 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Air Brake Restriction Removal - 25 questions - Additional skills test in vehicle with Air Brakes.

Classes of South Dakota CDL and Required Tests

CDL Class Tests Required Possible Endorsements and Required Tests
Class A
(Combination
vehicle endorsement required)

General Knowledge Written Exam

Combination Endorsement Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
T - Doubles/Triples Written Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class B

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class C

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

Note: If upgrading to a Class C from a Class D, no road test is required UNLESS the endorsement requires one.
H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam

South Dakota CDL Endorsements

Exam Time Allowed (Minutes) # of Questions on Exam # of Correct Answers Needed to Pass
General Knowledge 60 50 40
Air Brakes 25 25 20
HazMat 30 30 24
Tank 20 20 16
Passenger 20 20 16
Doubles/Triples 20 20 16
Combination Vehicles 20 20 16
School Bus 20 20 16

Access Official Federal CDL General Information

WHAT KIND OF QUESTIONS ARE ASKED ON THE CDL WRITTEN EXAMS?

A tiny sampling of questions from each of the written CDL exams follows . . .

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE EXAM (Required for ALL CDL's)

Steering tires must have a tread depth of at least . . .
A. 2/32 inch.
B. 3/32 inch.
C. 4/32 inch.
D. 5/32 inch.

When driving on wet roads, you should reduce your speed by . . .
A. half the distance from the vehicle in front of you.
B. 1/3.
C. 1/2.
D. 2/3.

You're performing your pre-trip inspection for your CDL test. Where should your ignition key be?
A. In the ignition.
B. In your pocket.
C. With your logbook.
D. In the cab.

TRANSPORTING PASSENGERS, (P) ENDORSEMENT

You must stop at least how far from a drawbridge, if there is no traffic light or attendant?
A. 10 feet.
B. 20 feet.
C. 50 feet.
D. 100 feet.

When stopping for railroad tracks, you must stop no closer than 15 feet before the nearest track.
A. True.
B. False.

AIR BRAKES ENDORSEMENT

The air leakage rate for a combination vehicle with the engine off and the brakes applied should be no more than . . .
A. 1 psi in 15 seconds.
B. 3 psi in one minute.
C. 4 psi in one minute.
D. allowed at lower altitudes.

You "put on the brakes" by . . .
A. pushing down on the brake pedal.
B. pushing down on the foot valve.
C. pushing down on the treadle valve.
D. all of the above.

COMBINATION VEHICLES (Req'd by ALL Class A's)

Every combination vehicle with air brakes has two air lines, the service line and the return line.
A. True.
B. False.

How much visible space should be between the upper and lower fifth wheel plates?
A. None.
B. At least 1/4 inch.
C. No more than 1/2 inch.
D. Approximately 1 inch.

DOUBLES AND TRIPLES, (T) ENDORSEMENT

Driving conditions are good. A 100 foot long combination vehicle traveling at 35 MPH would need how much safe following distance?
A. 8/10 of a minute.
B. 10 seconds.
C. 11 seconds.
D. Two vehicle lengths.

Triple trailers are legal in your State of Residence.
A. True.
B. False.

TANK VEHICLES, (N) ENDORSEMENT

Because liquids expand and contract under different temperatures . . .
A. you must be familiar with the difference between bulkheads and baffles.
B. you must know the outage requirements.
C. you must be prepared for possible surge.
D. you must have a HAZ MAT placard in place.

Bulkheads in a tank and baffles in a tank are the same.
A. True.
B. False.

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, (H) ENDORSEMENT

The driver may keep hazardous materials shipping papers . . .
A. behind the left side HAZ MAT placard.
B. in a pouch on the drivers door or on the driver's seat when out of the vehicle.
C. with the shipper until acceptance at the destination.
D. in a secure place that is locked.

What is the minimum distance from a Class 3 (flammable liquids) or Division 2.1 (gases) placarded cargo tank that you may smoke or carry a lighted cigarette, cigar, or pipe?
A. 10 meters.
B. 25 feet.
C. 100 feet
D. 300 feet.

There is a total of 670 questions on the actual South Dakota CDL Course tests, which covers the entire POOL of questions used on the actual CDL examinations. Questions on your ACTUAL TESTS will come from this POOL of questions. Each "CLASS" of CDL and each "ENDORSEMENT" is covered in a separate section. You are required to take only those exams that apply to your driving requirements. The South Dakota CDL Course includes complete "self testing" practice tests and "self scoring" BLANK and CORRECT answer sheets.

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