South Dakota Written Knowledge Test Practice – 2021



Congratulations. This is a passing score. Do you want to try again?

Try again

This is not a passing score. Do you want to try again?

Take another practice test

#1. What is the meaning of this sign?

Traffic signal ahead. Slow down and be prepared to stop, if necessary.


#2. You must yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians in an intersection:

Pedestrians are difficult to see, and it is difficult to determine their intentions. As a driver:

  • Always be prepared to yield to pedestrians even if they are not in a crosswalk.
  • You must yield when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, even if it is unmarked, including mid-block crosswalks marked by warning signs and pavement markings.
  • You must yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians in the intersection even if the traffic light is green.

#3. Always turn your front wheels away from the curb when you are parked on a grade and facing:

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.

#4. Which statement is true about alcohol and driving?

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. An orange and red sign like this on a vehicle means:

A fluorescent or reflective orange and red triangle displayed on the rear of a vehicle means the vehicle is traveling less than 25 mph. Use caution when approaching a slow-moving vehicle, and be sure it is safe before you pass.


#6. Use this center lane to:

Shared Center Lane Left Turn Only. This sign tells you where a lane is reserved for the use of left turning vehicles from either direction and is not to be used for through traffic or passing other vehicles.


#7. Driving around a lowered gate at a railroad crossing is:

Sometimes flashing red signals and gates are present at railroad crossings. It is against the law to go around lowered railroad gates at a crossing.

Do not move forward until the gates are raised and the lights stop flashing as there may be a train approaching on an adjacent track.


#8. What does this sign mean?

Reduction of lanes / Lane drop. The sign means that there will be fewer lanes ahead. Traffic must merge left. Drivers in the left lane should allow others to merge smoothly. Right lane ends.


#9. When it is hard for you to see ahead because of darkness or bad weather, you should:

There are certain situations when you need more space in front of your vehicle. Increase your following distance when it is hard to see because of darkness or bad weather. You need to increase the following distance so you can see ahead or have time to stop if it’s necessary.


#10. The areas around a large truck where other vehicles disappear into blind spots are often called no-zones. These areas include:

The No-Zone is areas around large trucks and buses where cars cannot be seen. These blind spots are found on the sides, rear, and front of a large vehicle. Crashes are more likely to occur in those areas.

When driving near a large vehicle, be aware of the driver’s blind spots on the right, left, front and behind. Avoid following too closely and position your vehicle so the truck driver can see you in his side mirrors. Then you will have a good view of the road ahead, and the truck driver can give you plenty of warning for a stop or a turn. You will have more time to react and make a safe stop.


#11. When driving on slippery roads, you should NEVER:

Use your head, use your feet. Never use cruise control on slippery roads.


#12. This hand signal means:

Left turn – left arm extended horizontally out of open window.


#13. When you drive through a work zone, you should:

When approaching a work zone watch for materials such as cones, barrels, signs, large vehicles, or workers to warn you and direct you where to go. Reduce your speed in work zones and be prepared to stop suddenly. Do not tailgate in work zones.


#14. What does this sign mean?

The sign warns of a roundabout or traffic circle ahead.


#15. You should always look carefully for motorcycles before you change lanes because:

Motorcycles are small and therefore more difficult to see. Be aware that motorcycles can be part of the traffic mix. Always check your mirrors and blind spots for them. Before turning left, be alert for motorcycles by looking carefully to the front and sides of your vehicle.


#16. Anti-lock brakes prevent wheels from locking. This means your tires are less likely to:

Most new vehicles are equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS). The ABS will allow you to stop your vehicle without skidding and keep steering control. Be sure to read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to use the ABS. The ABS system will allow you to stop without skidding. The general guidelines for using ABS are:

  • Press on the brake pedal as hard as you can and keep applying constant pressure. Do not pump the brakes because this will deactivate ABS.
  • ABS will work only if you keep the pressure on the brake pedal. You may feel the pedal vibrate and you may hear a clicking noise. This is normal.

#17. Signs with fluorescent yellow-green background mark:

Fluorescent yellow-green is used for high emphasis warning of school, pedestrian, and bicycling activity.


#18. Which is true about backing up a vehicle?

Follow these steps to back a vehicle up safely:

  • Check behind the vehicle before you get in it. Children and small objects cannot be seen from the driver’s seat.
  • Place your foot on the brake and shift to reverse.
  • 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 to the right and look directly through the rear window.
  • Occasionally check your mirrors when backing up but keep in mind that these mirrors do not show the area immediately behind your vehicle. If your vehicle is equipped with a rearview camera, occasionally check it while backing up.
  • Accelerate gently and smoothly, keeping your speed slow. Your vehicle is much harder to steer while you are backing up.

#19. When could it be a good idea to give your horn a light tap?

If there is no immediate danger, a light tap on the horn should be all that is needed. Give the horn a light tap:

  • When a person on foot or on a bicycle appears to be moving into your lane of travel. However, pedestrians and bicyclists crossing at an intersection have the right-of-way. Do not use the horn in these instances but do yield the right-of-way.
  • When passing a driver who starts to turn into your lane.
  • When a driver is not paying attention or may have trouble seeing you.
  • When coming to a place where you cannot see what is ahead: a steep hill, a sharp curve, or exiting a narrow alley.

#20. This sign means:

This sign indicates a left turn is permitted, but you must yield to oncoming traffic. It is commonly placed at intersections, near the left-turn traffic signal, to remind drivers left turns are not protected when the circular green signal comes on.


#21. If a traffic signal light is not working and completely unlighted, you:

If a traffic control signal is out of operation or is not functioning properly, the vehicle facing a:

  1. Green signal may proceed with caution
  2. Yellow signal may proceed with caution
  3. Red or completely unlighted traffic signal shall stop in the same manner as if the vehicle were at a stop sign.

#22. When making a right turn you must:

When you prepare to make a right turn, signal at least 100 feet ahead and approach the corner slowly, staying close to the right curb or edge of the roadway. Yield to bicyclists and pedestrians crossing your way. Remain close to the right curb, or parked cars at the curb, while making your turn so that you will be in the right lane when the turn is completed.


#23. If you are about to be hit from the rear, you should apply your brakes:

If your vehicle is hit from the rear, your body will be thrown backwards. Press yourself against the back of your seat and put your head against the head restraint. Be ready to apply your brakes after the impact so that you will not be pushed into another vehicle.


#24. Hydroplaning occurs:

Hydroplaning occurs when the steering tires ride on a layer of water on top of the road surface, similar to the action of water skis. The best way to avoid traction loss from hydroplaning is to slow down when driving in the rain or on a road that is wet with pooled water or water puddles.


#25. What should you do if you are involved in a traffic crash and someone is injured?

If any person is injured or killed, get help. Make sure the police and emergency medical or rescue squad have been called.

Do not move the injured unless they are trapped inside a burning vehicle or other immediate form of danger.

See result

South Dakota Driver Licensing Test

Key numbers for the official South Dakota DPS knowledge test:

Test Questions: 25
Correct answers needed: 20
Passing score: 80 percent
Time limit: No
Earliest retest if you fail: Next day

South Dakota Permit Tests - Photo by William Fortunato

Test Your Knowledge before You Take the South Dakota Exam

This practice test is designed to help you verify your knowledge before you take the South Dakota written test for a learner’s permit or a full unrestricted driver’s license.

Unlike the practice tests on many other websites, this test focuses only on facts described in the South Dakota Driver License Manual published by SD Driver Licensing Office. Everything on your knowledge exam is drawn from this manual. You will not get any questions about driving rules that aren’t found in the manual.

The practice test pulls 25 question from a large pool of questions, which helps you cover all important items in the manual and truly help you prepare for the exam. If you reach a full score on a handful of practice tests, you are also very likely to pass the real examination the first time.

What You Should Know about the South Dakota Exam

There are 25 questions on the official knowledge test. You must correctly answer at least 20 question to pass and get your learner’s permit – a passing score of 80%.

Should you fail the first time you take the test, you cannot take it again the same day. There is a minimum wait time of one day before your next possible attempt.

If you fail three times, you must pay your permit fee again before you can take the test a 4th time. There will also be a longer wait time.

You must take the test at Driver Licensing Office or as part of an approved Driver Education Course.

South Dakota DPS does not allow testing from home. You should also know that tests on this website are not official tests that qualify you for a permit. is not affiliated with South Dakota Department of Public Services. Practice tests are only designed to be a learning tool.

The test is a closed book test, and you cannot use the manual or any other books when taking the test. The use of any electronic devices is also prohibited.

The test is given only in English. If you need a translator, you must provide and pay for the translator yourself.

When taking the test at a Driver Licensing Office, you may need to make appointment before your visit. All testing on a walk-in basis was cancelled as a result of the COVID19 pandemic.

South Dakota Graduated Driver Licensing Program

The South Dakota Graduated Driver Licensing program is a three-step process for teenagers to earn their first driver license. After the initial phase with an instruction permit and supervised driving, a teenager may drive unsupervised with the South Dakota Minor’s Permit.

This permit allows a teenager to drive alone between from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm, but not drive alone at night.

For the first six months a teenager cannot drive with any passengers, other than immediate family or household members. After 6 months, a teen may carry no more than one passenger who is not part of your immediate family or household.

The restricted Minor’s Permit cannot be converted to a full and unrestricted license until a teenager is 16 years.

Instruction Permit
Minimum age: 14 years
Hold period: 90 / 180 days
Minor’s Permit
Minimum age: 14 years 90 days
Hold period: Up to age 16
Unrestricted License
Minimum age: 16 years

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments