South Dakota Motorist Info

The following information is updated periodically. However, laws and regulations can change between updates. State statutes and local ordinances are the ultimate authorities for these issues.

Points of Interest

  • Some of the most desolate highways in North America can be found in South Dakota. Once away from the main tourism routes to the Bad Lands, Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore, traffic and dwellings (and service stations!) disappear.
  • The first week of August is the world famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. Lodging and campgrounds within a hundred-mile radius are filled to capacity.

Speed Limits

Rural Interstates: Cars 80, Trucks 80
Urban Interstates: Cars 80, Trucks 80
Other Limited Access Roads: Cars 70, Trucks 70
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These speed limits apply unless a different limit is posted.

Speed limits are absolute–exceeding the speed limit is illegal per se (regardless of whether it was safe under the specific conditions).

Speed Limits Enforcement Techniques
Enforced through use of:
Pacing: Yes
Radar: Yes
Vascar: No
Automated Speed Enforcement: Yes
Aircraft: Yes
Laser: Yes

Ticket Payment Methods
Consult your ticket or clerk of courts

Trial By Declaration Allowed
No

Discovery
Allowed with provisions

Jury Trial Allowed
Speeding: No
Parking: No
Equipment: No
DWI: Yes

Member of Nonresident Compact
Yes

Member of Driver License Compact
Yes

When and Where to File Accident Reports
The driver of any motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in bodily injuries or death to any person or property damage to an apparent extent of one thousand dollars or more to any one person’s property or two thousand dollars per accident shall immediately, by the quickest means of communication, give notice of the accident to the nearest available law enforcement officer who has jurisdiction. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(South Dakota Statute 32-34-7

Resident Insurance Requirements
Liability insurance is required (although some states allow posting a cash bond or such as an alternative)
Minimum Coverage Required:
Injury to one person: $25,000
All injuries: $50,000
Property Damage: $25,000
Uninsured motorist coverage is required

Phone/Texting Restrictions
Hand-Held Ban: No
All Cell Phone Ban: Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders (effective 07/01/14)
Texting Ban: All drivers (effective 07/01/14)
Enforcement: Secondary: for all offenses (effective 07/01/14)

Other Regulations

  • Open intoxicants are prohibited in the vehicle.
  • The BAC level is .08%.
  • South Dakota has an administrative license suspension law and an implied consent law. There is no breathalyzer refusal penalty.
  • Handguns must be unloaded and carried in the trunk or other closed compartment of the vehicle; loaded rifles and shotguns may be carried in a vehicle passenger area.
  • Studded tires are permitted from October 1 to April 30.
  • Tire chains are not required.
  • South Dakota has a seat belt law with secondary enforcement for all front seat occupants.
  • South Dakota has a mandatory child restraint law for passengers under 6 years of age. Children under age 2 must use approved car safety seats.
  • South Dakota has a mandatory motorcycle helmet law for persons under 18 years of age.
  • Registration and insurance card must be carried in the vehicle.

General Information
Telephone: 605/773-3105 (Highway Patrol)
Emergency Cellular Phone Number: 911