Driver Licensing

Documents Required to Obtain a Driver License

New Requirements for All Driver License and ID Card Applicants Effective 12/31/09

Federal requirements have changed the documents required to obtain or renew your South Dakota driver license or identification card. We want to make the process as quick and easy as possible for you.

We understand the changes in requirements can be confusing at first glance. See below for the list of documents you will need to bring with you to the exam station to apply for or renew a South Dakota driver license or identification card. PLEASE REMEMBER: YOU WILL ALWAYS NEED 2 DOCUMENTS (NO OLDER THAN 1 YEAR)TO PROVE SOUTH DAKOTA RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS (Only Active Duty Military can have a stateside address elsewhere in the U.S.).

Look over the material on the list, and if you have any questions at all, anything you don't understand or any documents you aren't sure you can find, please contact the Driver Licensing Program. You may click here to email us (please include your first and last name) or call toll-free at 1.800.952.3696 or directly at 605.773.6883.

If you think you will have difficulty obtaining any of the documents before your license expires, please contact us. We can arrange for an extension or a temporary permit while you gather the documents needed to obtain your federally compliant South Dakota driver license or identification card. If you find that you simply can't produce one of the required documents, hardship exceptions may be available. We can work with you in those situations. Again, please use the contact information for the Driver Licensing Program if you have any questions or concerns.

The need to show the additional documents is a one-time requirement. That means once you have your federally compliant driver license or identification card in hand, you will only need that card and TWO DOCUMENTS to show your current address the next time you renew your driver license or identification card.

Our staff is committed to providing the best service possible, so don't hesitate to contact us by telephone or email. We will help you in any way we can.

We will only be able to process your application if you have the following documents (this applies to everyone applying for a new, renewal or duplicate* driver license or ID card). WE CANNOT ACCEPT PHOTO COPIES. You will need a minimum (married women or anyone who has changed their name will need more) of 4 documents to receive a driver license or ID card. Please read carefully:

MUST HAVE ONE to prove identity, date of birth, and lawful status*:

  • Certified U.S. birth certificate issued by state or county (no hospital birth-certificates)                                                       
  • Valid unexpired U.S. passport
  • Certificate of Naturalization       
  • Certificate of Citizenship

       Non-Citizens Need:

  • Valid unexpired permanent resident card
  • Valid unexpired employment authorization document
  • Foreign passport with valid unexpired U.S. Visa with I-94

*Anyone who has changed their name since birth (and does not have a valid U.S. Passport in their current name) needs to show proof of the name change(s). Acceptable documents for proof of legal name change are a certified marriage certificate (issued by a state vital records agency), a certified adoption document, or a certified court order authorizing a name change (such as a divorce decree). If you have been married multiple time you will need to provide proof of all name changes (unless you have taken back your maiden/birth name or hold a valid U.S. Passport).

South Dakota birth and marriage certificate information is available at http://www.doh.sd.gov/vitalrecords/order.aspx and through your local County Register of Deeds' office. If you were born in South Dakota, you can obtain a birth certificate at any South Dakota court house.  Marriage certificates before 1970 may not be available for same day issuance.  For telephone numbers and addresses to write for out-of-state vital records, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm.

Note:  We are unable to accept birth certificates from Puerto Rico issued prior to July 1, 2010.

MUST HAVE ONE document to prove Social Security number.  The documents below are the only ones we can accept for proof of Social Security number (the document must include name and full social security number). Please do not ask us to accept anything other than the documents below:

  • Social Security card (we cannot accept the Social Security stub) (card/stub examples
  • W-2 Form
  • SSA 1099 Form
  • Non-SSA 1099 Form
  • Pay stub (must include name and social security number)

(For information on how to apply for a social security number or replacement card, please visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber/)

MUST HAVE TWO documents to prove your residential/physical address.  A parent's proof of address is acceptable for a minor child.  Proof of address documents may not be more than one year old.  Please bring two of the documents listed below (each must contain your name and current address):

  • Utility bill
  • Pay stub or earnings statement
  • Rent receipt
  • Phone bill
  • Transcript or report card from an accredited school     
  • Bank statement
  • Mortgage document
  • Tax document
  • Homeowners/renter's insurance policy
  • Other items with your address can be reviewed by Driver Licensing personnel
  • If you are unable to provide proof of residency, please call 1.800.952.3696 or 605.773.6883 for exceptions.
  • Post Office Box addresses are acceptable in areas not assigned a street or 911 address

Address Exceptions:

Minors - If a minor does not have two documents proving residency, the parent may provide two forms for them.

Living with someone else - An individual residing with another person may have the other person sign a "Consent for Use of South Dakota Address" form and present two residency documents belonging to the person with whom they reside.  Click here for the "Consent for Use of South Dakota Address" form.

Living within an organization or at a facility - You may provide a letter from the organization or facility (on their letterhead) stating you reside there.

People who travel full-time - If you are using a South Dakota mail forwarding address, you will need to complete the Residency Affidavit.  You will also need to provide one document proving your temporary South Dakota address (a campground or RV park receipt no more than one year old) and ONE DOCUMENT no more than ONE year old proving your personal mailbox (PMB) service address (receipt from the PMB business or a piece of mail with your PMB address on it).  If you have friends or family in South Dakota and plan to use their address, you can complete and follow the instructions on the Consent for Use of Address form.

Military and Military Dependents - Can use an out-of-state address on their license and provide two documents proving residency showing the out-of-state address. 

 

*If you have been issued a South Dakota driver license or ID card since 12-31-09 (or an out of state driver license or ID card that is federally compliant) and you still have possession of that driver license or ID card, U.S. citizens only need to provide their federally compliant driver license or ID card and TWO PROOF of residential address no more than one year old. Non-citizens must also show a valid U.S. Citizenship and Immigration document authorizing their presence in the United States.

Before your license or ID card is issued, our examiners will review your documents to make sure they comply with the federal requirements. We will work with you to resolve any problems with your documents and to identify any additional documents or other information that may be necessary to complete the process. The additional requirements are designed to establish a more secure driver license, which will address our shared concern about national security, identity theft and highway safety.

Please be prepared to pay by cash or check.  The examiners are unable to accept debit or credit cards. 

If you have any questions, please call the Driver Licensing Program office at 1.800.952.3696 or 605.773.6883.