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South Dakota DPS Knowledge Test & Permit Practice – 2022

This South Dakota DMV Practice Test
  Number of questions on each test: 25
  Question pool: 500+
  Type of test: Random multiple-choice



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#1. This road sign tells you that:

T-intersection. The roadway you are traveling on ends ahead. You must turn either left or right at the T-intersection ahead.


#2. When is the only time that you should drive with one hand in a 12 o'clock position on the steering wheel?

When backing up, grasp the steering wheel at the 12 o’clock position with your left hand. Place your right arm on the back of the passenger seat and look directly through the rear window.


#3. If you are about to make a right turn and there is a bicyclist ahead of you:

When making a right turn, signal your turn, and check for bicyclists. You should slow down and let a cyclist clear the intersection before making your turn. Avoid turning sharply in front of a bicyclist and do not force a bicyclist off the road.


#4. Which of the following results from drinking alcohol?

Alcohol and other impairing drugs reduces things like your judgment, vision, color distinction, and reaction time. Judgment is a brain-centered activity that stores all of your experiences and knowledge so it can be used quickly when you face a new problem.


#5. The shape of a No U-turn sign is:

The No U-turn is an example of a square, red, and white regulatory sign. It means that you are not allowed to make a U-turn.

Remember, this is square red and white regulatory sign. It is not circular or round. The circular shape is used exclusively for railroad crossings.


#6. This road sign means:

Steep hill ahead.


#7. What does this sign mean?

A yield sign is a downward pointing triangle. It is red and white with red letters. You will see no other signs of this shape on the highway.

The sign means you are approaching an intersection where you must yield to any lanes you intend to enter or cross approaching from the right or left.

Remember, it is your responsibility to slow down, look to the right or left and yield to oncoming traffic. The yield sign is also found at railroad crossings without signals where you must yield to approaching trains.


#8. To reduce your risk of hitting a wild animal you should be extra alert:

Deer are most active in the dusk and dawn hours, so be especially alert while driving during these times. Scan the sides of the road to watch for the reflection of the vehicle headlights in the eyes of deer.


#9. If an emergency vehicle with flashing red lights and siren approaches on a two-lane roadway, you must:

South Dakota law requires all motorists from any direction approaching an authorized emergency vehicle making use of red visual signals, to come to a complete stop before reaching the stopped emergency vehicle and may, unless otherwise directed, proceed with caution only after making sure it is safe to do so.


#10. Which is the main cause of car skids?

Skids are caused when you are traveling too fast for the road conditions, when you stop suddenly, or when the tires can no longer grip the roadway. When you begin to skid, you have little control of your vehicle. If your vehicle begins to skid:

  • Release pressure from the brake or accelerator.
  • Look where you want to go and steer the vehicle in the direction you want to go.

#11. If you see pedestrians or children near the road, you should:

If you see a vehicle, pedestrian, or children near the road, you should slow down and be prepared to stop. Be careful in playground and residential areas where children could run out from between parked vehicles. It is a good idea to drive slower than the speed limit in these areas and be prepared to stop quickly.


#12. You should not attempt to pass another vehicle:

Do not attempt to pass when an oncoming vehicle is approaching, when your view is blocked by a curve or a hill, while at intersections, or before a highway-railroad crossing or bridge.


#13. Which is true about your driving record and out-of-state convictions?

Points are assessed on out-of-state convictions just as if they were committed in South Dakota.


#14. To avoid glare from high-beam headlights of an approaching car:

If a vehicle comes toward you with its high beams on, glance toward the right side of the road to keep from being distracted or momentarily blinded by the vehicle’s headlights. If a vehicle comes toward you with its high beams on, glance toward the right side of the road to keep from being distracted or momentarily blinded by the vehicle’s headlights. You should not look directly into the lights of the cars you are meeting.


#15. You must always stop before railroad tracks if:

Do not move forward across tracks until you can do so safely. In heavy traffic make sure there is room for your vehicle on the other side before starting to cross.


#16. If you are involved in a minor crash and you are blocking traffic:

If your vehicle can move, get it off the road so that it does not block traffic or cause another crash. Do not stand or walk in traffic lanes. You could be struck by another vehicle.


#17. Signs that warn you of possible dangers ahead are:

Yellow is used for general warning and advisory of unexpected roadway conditions.


#18. There are three things you can do to avoid or minimize the impact of a crash:

Most drivers will eventually find themselves in an emergency situation. As careful as you are, there are situations that could cause a problem for you. If you are prepared, you may be able to prevent any serious outcomes. All drivers have the responsibility to do all they can to prevent collisions. You have three options to avoid a collision or to reduce its impact. These options are braking, steering, or accelerating.


#19. On a road with yellow center lines:

Yellow lines mark the center of a road used for traffic going in opposite directions.


#20. Motorcycle operators:

Allow a motorcyclist a full lane width. Never try to share a lane with a motorcycle. The motorcycle needs space for the motorcyclist to react to other traffic.


#21. When is inappropriate and wrong to use your horn?

Use your horn whenever it will help prevent an accident. Using the horn inappropriately could scare or anger another road user. Do not use the horn in the following circumstances:

  • Encouraging someone to drive faster or get out of the way
  • Informing other drivers of an error
  • Greeting a friend
  • Around blind pedestrians
  • Around animal-drawn vehicles or animals being herded on the roadway

#22. When you park on a hill headed downhill and there is no curb, you should turn your front wheels:

Parking on a hill:

  • Check for traffic in the mirrors and blind spots. Signal right and pull over as far to the right as possible and stop. Slow as you are moving out of traffic.
  • Turn the wheels sharply to the left if there is a curb and facing uphill.
  • Turn the wheels sharply to the right if there is no curb or if facing downhill.
  • Set the emergency brake and place the vehicle in park. If the vehicle has a manual transmission, shift it into reverse if parking downhill or into the lowest gear if parking uphill.

#23. What do the light gray areas in this picture show?

Blind spots are areas around the vehicle where your view is obstructed. You cannot see pedestrians or other vehicles in the rearview or side mirrors when they are in these locations. It is important to know the location of any blind spots. Before making lane changes or turns, quickly turn your head to look for any hidden pedestrians or vehicles. Avoid driving in other driver’s blind spots. Be particularly conscious of blind spots when driving near commercial vehicles.


#24. Child passengers must be secured in approved child safety seats until they are:

Children age seven and younger must sit in a car seat in the back seat of the vehicle to avoid injury from an air bag in the event of a collision. An infant under two must be secured in a rear-facing car seat in a rear seat of the vehicle until the child exceeds the height or weight limit allowed by the manufacturer of the car seat. If the child has outgrown the manufacturer’s height or weight limits for a rear-facing car seat OR is at least two years old, they must be secured in a forward-facing car seat in a rear seat of the vehicle until the child exceeds the height or weight requirements of the forward-facing car seat.


#25. If you face a solid yellow arrow in a left turn lane, you should:

A YELLOW arrow means that the protection of a green arrow is ending. If you are turning in the direction of the arrow, you should prepare to stop and give the right-of-way to oncoming traffic before turning.

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South Dakota DMV Written Knowledge Test
  Number of questions on exam: 25 questions
  Passing score: 80 percent
  Correct answers to pass: 20
  Allotted time to complete test: No limit
  Wait time before retest: 1 day

South Dakota Practice Test

South Dakota Practice Tests

This South Dakota knowledge test has 25 random questions, just like the real SD knowledge examination. You must correctly answer 20 questions to pass the examination, which means that you must reach a passing score of 80 percent.

After each question, there is instant feedback to let you know if your answer is correct or not. When you miss a question there is also a brief explanation, based on the information in your Driver License Manual.

Answers to all exam questions are found in the South Dakota Driver License Manual, so make sure you read it.

You can get a hard copy from any DPS location or download a PDF-version online .

The practice test is a randomized test (just like the real knowledge test) that pulls questions from a larger database. This means that each practice test is slightly different, and you will see new questions most of the time.

You can take the practice test over and over again until you feel ready for the real South Dakota DPS test.

Please note that this is a practice test, not a real examination that qualifies for a test certificate. South Dakota does not offer any kind of knowledge testing from home.

You should also know that is not affiliated with South Dakota DPS or any Government Entity.

Young woman studying - Photo Credit: CollegeDegrees360

After reading the Driver License Manual, you should take practice tests to verify how much you’ve learned. Most likely, you will miss some questions when you start practicing. Read the short comment and look up information in the manual. If you don’t fully understand the answers and why they are correct, find someone to discuss rules and safe driving techniques with. It will help you learn much faster.

An important key to success is to carefully read all questions and choices. Try not to add your information or read anything into a question that isn’t there.

Another common mistake is to just try to memorize questions and answers. It is a risky study tactic and no guarantee of passing the real exam.

Unless you truly know and understand the information in the Driver License Manual, it is hard to pass the real permit examination.

What You Must Know about the Real South Dakota Knowledge Test

Your first step towards a South Dakota driver license contains two tests:

  A vision screening
  A written knowledge test (on a computer)

If you need glasses/lenses for your vision screening, don’t forget to bring them. You will not be allowed to take any other tests if you fail the vision screening.

The passing score on the South Dakota permit test is 80%. You need 20 correct answers to pass. If you fail the written test, you must wait at least one day before you can try again. There is no new fee the second time your try, but after three attempts you must pay a new fee.

Minors must always be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when visiting a Driver Licensing office.

The written test is available in English only.

If you have passed an approved South Dakota driver education course with at least an 80% score, the knowledge test at a driver exam office is waived. You must bring the driver education certificate with you to the driver exam station and pass the vision screening.

Is the South Dakota Permit Test Difficult?

South Dakota does not publish failure rates, but it is estimated that about one out of three fail their first attempt on the test.

Who Must Take the South Dakota Test?

  All new drivers

An applicant who hasn’t been licensed before must always pass all tests. An applicant under 18 years must follow the three-step program under the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) law, which includes the first Instruction Permit, the Restricted Minor’s Permit, and the full unrestricted South Dakota Driver License.

  Drivers with an expired license

Drivers who let their South Dakota Driver License expire more than 30 days can be required to pass the knowledge test again. A test may always be required at the discretion of DPS staff.

  Drivers with a revoked license

After a revocation of your driving privilege, you must pass all applicable tests in addition to a new application fee and a reinstatement fee.

If your license is suspended, you don’t have to take any new tests when your license is reinstated – unless the license expires for more than 30 days during the suspension period.

  Drivers with a license from another country

Holders of a foreign driver license who move to South Dakota must pass the same tests as first-time applicants. Exemptions exist for holders of a valid license from Canada or Germany.

When you hold a valid driver license another state or territory and move to South Dakota, no testing (except vision screening) is necessary to get a South Dakota driver license.

What is on the Official South Dakota Written Test?

The written test is designed to test your:

“…ability to read and understand highway signs regulating, warning, and directing traffic, the knowledge of the traffic laws of this state.”

You should expect a small number of questions about the road signs described in the South Dakota Driver License Manual. Don’t forget to learn how colors and shapes are used for the most common signs.

You will most likely also see a question or two about traffic signals and/or pavement markings. Know when you can cross yellow center lines and when you cannot.

There is also a clear focus on how to safely share our highways with pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and commercial vehicles such as tractor-trailers and large trucks.

Specific South Dakota traffic laws include the consequences of impaired driving and the purpose of South Dakota point system.

Many questions in the question pool also deal with everyday driving situations, such as right-of-way rules at intersections, and what to do in case of accidents and vehicle failure.

Remember, everything you need to know for your test is found in the Driver License Manual. Never think you can pass the test without getting the latest version of the manual.

We help you pass your South Dakota DMV exam

South Dakota Permit and License FAQ

If you are a US citizen, you should bring an original or certified birth certificate, social security card, and two documents proving your South Dakota address. If you are a minor, proof of address can be provided by the parent who comes to the driver license exam station with you.

If you are a non-citizen, you need an unexpired permanent resident card or unexpired U.S. Visa with an unexpired I-94, social security card, and two documents proving your South Dakota address.

If you are under 18 years, you must have approval of a parent/legal guardian, and the parent/legal guardian must accompany you when apply for the permit.

A parent or guardian who signed for you to get your permit can at any time request to have your permit or license cancelled.

When you hold an instruction permit and practice driving, you must be supervised by a licensed driver who is at least 18 years old and have at least one year driving experience. The supervising driver must always sit in a front seat beside you.

The Instruction Permit allows you to practice from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. if you you are supervised by a driver who is not a licensed parent or guardian.

From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., you must have a parent or legal guardian seated beside you.

The holding period for the Instruction permit is 180 days if you have satisfactorily completed a state-approved driver education program. This means that you must 14 years and 180 days old before you can apply for the Restricted Minor's Permit.

If you haven't completed a driver education course, this holding period is extended to 275 days and the minimum age for applying becomes 14 years and 275 days.

During these periods you must have a minimum of 50 hours of parent/guardian supervised driving (10 hours at nightand 10 hours in inclement weather) to upgrade to a Restricted Permit.

You cannot have had any traffic convictions within the last six months when you apply.

Yes, the minor's permit allows you, with your parent's or guardian's permission, to drive unsupervised during daytime (between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

If you want to drive at night, a parent or legal guardian must occupy a seat beside you.

When you are 16 years old, you can apply for a full operator's license with full driving privileges and no restrictions.

Your Instruction Permit or Restricted Minor’s Permit will be suspended for 30 days if you are under 16 years old and are convicted of a traffic violation or of violating the restrictions of your permit.

If you are convicted a second time, the suspension period is 90 days or until you turn 16, whichever is longer.

You must be at least 16 years of age and have met the requirements of an Instruction Permit (see above) to get your full SD Driver's License.

You must have held a Restricted Permit for a minimum of six months.

If you have achieved at least an 80% grade in a state-approved driver education course within the last year, no road skills test is necessary.

Appointments ONLY

Currently, driver exam stations are offering service by scheduled appointment only! If you plan to take your knowledge test at exam station, you must schedule an appointment .

Final Note

We have designed all tests to challenge your knowledge of rules of the road and safe driving practices. By using our practice tests as a study guide, you can prepare for and pass the South Dakota DPS knowledge test without any problems.

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