South Dakota Written Knowledge Test Practice – 2021



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#1. You should be especially alert for deer on the road at

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.


#2. When brakes fail and you cannot get them to work:

In the event your brakes stop working while driving, use the parking brake. Pull on the parking brake handle in the center console or push the parking brake foot pedal slowly so you will not lock the rear wheels and cause a skid. Be ready to release the parking brake if the vehicle does start to skid.

look for a safe place to slow to a stop. Do not continue to drive the vehicle without working brakes.


#3. Mixing prescription drugs and alcohol is likely to:

Never drink alcohol while you are taking other drugs. These drugs could multiply the effects of alcohol or have additional effects of their own. No one is able to drink alcohol or use other impairing drugs and still operate a vehicle safely.


#4. If you have an accident and someone is injured, you must report it to the police:

The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident shall immediately report such accident to the police agency which has primary jurisdictional responsibility for the location in which the accident occurred:

1. When the accident results in injury or death to any person.

2. When the accident occurs on a public highway, and it results in property damage to an apparent extent of $500.00 or more.

3. When it appears that an accident involves a driver whose physical ability has been impaired as a result of alcohol or drug use, and it results in property damage to an apparent extent of $1,000.00 or more.


#5. Before you make a turn or lane change that depends on what path a motorcycle is taking, you should:

Do not assume a motorcycle is turning when you see its turn signal flashing. Motorcycle turn signals may not self-cancel and the motorcyclist may have forgotten to turn them off. Wait to be sure the rider is going to turn before you proceed.


#6. 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.


#7. If your car gets hit from the side and you are not wearing a seat belt, your body will move in which direction?

When a vehicle is struck from the side, it will move sideways. Everything in the vehicle that is not fastened down, including the passengers, will slide toward the point of crash, not away from it.


#8. A pedestrian hybrid beacon will show a circular green signal:

The beacon head consists of two red lenses above a single yellow lens. The lenses remain dark until a pedestrian desiring to cross the street pushes the call button to activate the beacon. Once the pedestrian has safely crossed, the hybrid beacon goes dark again.


#9. You have a green light at an intersection and a blind pedestrian is preparing to cross. Who must yield?

Blind pedestrians have special protection under the law. You must always yield the right-of-way to persons who are visually impaired. When a pedestrian is crossing a street guided by a dog or carrying a white cane, you must come to a complete stop.


#10. This sign shows:

Regulatory Speed Limit sign. It indicates the maximum legal speed allowed in ideal conditions.


#11. If you approach a railroad crossing and see a vehicle with this sign, you should:

There are some vehicles that are required to stop at all railroad crossings, such as transit buses, school buses, or vehicles carrying hazardous materials. If you follow these vehicles, you should increase you following distance. At crossings, you should slow down and be prepared to stop!


#12. Under South Dakota point system, your driving privilege can be suspended if you under any 24 consecutive months accumulate:

Any operator who accumulates 15 points in any 12 consecutive months, or 22 points in any 24 consecutive months, is subject to a driver license suspension.


#13. What does this sign mean?

Slippery when wet. The road on which you are traveling can be slippery when wet and you should reduce speed.


#14. When driving at higher speeds, which method helps you determine a safe following distance between you and vehicle in front?

Following the vehicle in front of you closely limits your vision of the road and does not allow enough time to react to avoid a crash. Always try to keep a minimum following distance of 4 seconds between your car and the vehicle in front.

Remember, there are certain situations when you need more space in front of your vehicle.


#15. When you are very tired (fatigued):

When you are tired, you cannot drive as safely as when you are rested. You do not see as well, and you are not as alert as when you are rested. It takes you more time to make decisions and you do not always make good decisions. You can be more irritable and can get upset more easily.

Stop and rest. Never drive if you are sleepy.


#16. If you are driving in fog and conditions are so bad that you can barely see the road ahead:

When driving in fog you should slow down and use your low-beam lights. If the fog is so bad that you cannot see, pull off the road and wait for the fog to clear.


#17. A broken yellow center line:

Yellow lines mark the center of a road used for traffic going in opposite directions. Dashed or broken yellow lines mean that passing is allowed from either direction if safe.


#18. If you are being followed too closely while driving on a two-lane road, you should:

Every now and then you may find yourself being followed closely or tailgated by another driver. If you are being followed too closely and there is a right lane, move over to the right. If there is no right lane, wait until the road ahead is clear then reduce speed slowly. This will encourage the tailgater to drive around you. Never slow down quickly to discourage a tailgater, all that does is increase your risk of being hit from behind.


#19. You approach this road sign. What does it tell you?

Divided Highway Ends. The divided highway on which you are traveling ends ahead. You will then be on an undivided roadway with two-way traffic. Keep to the right.


#20. When leaving a multi-lane highway with a deceleration lane, you should:

Plan to move to the lane closest to your existing point early to avoid a quick lane change. Keep up with the speed of traffic if you are on the main road. If the road on which you are traveling has exit ramps, do not slow down until you move onto the exit ramp. When you turn from a high speed, two-lane roadway, try not to slow down too early if you have traffic following you. Tap the brakes quickly but safely and reduce speed.


#21. What does this sign mean?

School Crossing or School Zone.

When you see the picture sign with two children’s figures, you know you are approaching a school. Farther along, a second pentagon-shaped sign with the line representing a crosswalk tells you that children may be crossing the road at or near that point going to and from school. Drive slowly and carefully, and be prepared to stop.


#22. To back a vehicle up safely, you should:

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.

#23. Which of the following is indicated by circular road sign?

A circular sign is used to warn that there is a railroad crossing ahead.


#24. 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

#25. During an enforcement stop, you should:

Remain inside your vehicle unless otherwise directed by the officer. Never step out of your vehicle unless an officer directs you to do so. During an enforcement stop, the officer’s priorities are your safety, the safety of your passengers, the public and the officer’s own personal safety. In most situations, the safest place for you and your passengers is inside your vehicle. Exiting your vehicle without first being directed by an officer can increase the risk of being struck by a passing vehicle and/or increase the officer’s level of feeling threatened.

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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

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