South Dakota Written Knowledge Test Practice – 2021



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#1. 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.


#2. Traffic in this lane:

Lane use control signs tell you where you can go or where you can turn. This sign means you must go straight.


#3. Which is most important when driving on icy or snowy roads?

In the first storm of the season, most drivers have forgotten their safe winter driving skills. They will drive too fast and try to stop too quickly.

Go slowly. Increase following distances. Avoid sudden, sharp turns. Use light braking. Drive defensively. Relearn your skills.

Remember, posted limits are intended for summer months on dry pavement.


#4. After a conviction of driving without insurance, you will be required to file proof of insurance (SR-22) for:

SR-22 is a certificate of insurance showing that you have adequate coverage for liability. After a conviction for failure to maintain proof of financial responsibility, you must file proof of insurance (SR-22) with the State of SD for 3 years from date of conviction.


#5. Road signs that give directions and information are usually:

Horizontal rectangles are generally used to give directions or information.

When vertical, signs are generally used to give instructions or tell you the law.


#6. Drivers entering a roundabout or traffic circle:

When using roundabouts or traffic circles:

  • Slow down to enter the roundabout or traffic circle.
  • Yield to the traffic in the roundabout or circle.
  • Enter a roundabout or traffic circle in a counterclockwise direction.
  • Proceed to the appropriate exit, signal intent, and exit.

#7. When is a good time to adjust your seat and mirrors?

When getting into your car, make certain the seat is adjusted properly for your comfort and safety. Adjust your mirrors. Always fasten your safety belt and shoulder harness if you have one. Make sure they are both firm and comfortable to you. The head restraint on newer cars is an important safety addition. It should be in a correct position so that in the event someone runs into your vehicle from the rear your chances of a neck injury are cut down considerably.


#8. A shared center left turn lane should be used for:

Shared center lanes are reserved for making left turns (or U-turns when they are permitted) by vehicles traveling in either direction. On the pavement, left-turn arrows for traffic in one direction alternate with left-turn arrows for traffic coming from the other direction. These lanes are marked on each side by solid yellow and dashed yellow lines. Be sure you enter the lane only if it is safe to do so.


#9. Which is true about alcohol?

Alcohol and other impairing drugs reduces things like your judgment, vision, color distinction, and reaction time. Alcohol slows your ability to process information and respond to the task of driving.


#10. Compared to other vehicles on the highway, motorcyclists:

Motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers. However, it may be more difficult to see them. There are special situations and conditions drivers need to be aware of so we can safely share the road with them.


#11. What does this sign mean?

Divided Highway / Divided Highway Begins. Two-way traffic will be divided by a center strip ahead. Each roadway is one-way. Stay to the right.


#12. 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.


#13. Which is true about signaling a turn when you do not see anyone else around?

Signaling gives other drivers time to react to your moves. Signal even when you do not see anyone else around. It is easy to miss someone who needs to know what you are doing.


#14. When you approach a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing warning lights on an interstate, you must:

If you are on a road with two or more lanes of traffic going the same direction and you approach an emergency vehicle, tow truck or roadside assistance vehicle that is stopped with lights flashing, you must change lanes, so you do not drive next to the stopped vehicle.

If making a lane change is unsafe or you are on a road with one lane in each direction, you must reduce your speed by at least 5 miles per hour under the posted speed limit and give the emergency vehicle as much room as safely possible.


#15. Which is true about large trucks?

Large trucks and buses cannot accelerate, stop, or change direction as quickly as smaller vehicles. Remember these points:

  • Larger vehicles are less maneuverable than cars.
  • They have much larger blind spots than cars.
  • They have longer stopping and accelerating distances
  • They need more room to turn.
  • They take longer to pass.

#16. What does this sign mean?

Side Road Ahead.

The sign tells you it is a branch intersection with traffic entering from one side. Be prepared to slow down, and observe any special speed limit instructions, in the event a car enters or crosses the highway from the side road.


#17. If you have a tire blowout while driving, you should:

If a tire blows out or suddenly goes flat:

  • Grip the steering wheel firmly and keep the vehicle going straight.
  • Slow down gradually. Take your foot off the accelerator pedal.
  • Do not brake. Allow the vehicle to slow by itself or brake gently if necessary.
  • Do not stop on the road if at all possible. Pull off the road in a safe place and turn on emergency flashers.
  • Have the tire changed and replaced.

#18. When driving in foggy conditions, high beams will:

Light from high beams will reflect back, causing glare and making it more difficult to see ahead.


#19. This picture illustrates:

Finish your turn in the proper lane. Turn into the lane nearest and to the right of the center line. Some intersections are marked to permit turns from more than one lane, and you may make your turns as indicated by signs or pavement markings.


#20. The flashing yellow signal has the same meaning as:

A flashing YELLOW traffic light means slow down and proceed with caution.


#21. When you see a sign with this shape and color, you must:

The stop sign is the only eight sided (octagonal) sign you will see. When you come to a stop sign, you must make a complete stop.


#22. 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.


#23. When approaching a work zone, you should:

When approaching a work zone, watch for signs, cones, barrels, large vehicles, and workers.


#24. What would be a reason for approaching a sharp curve slowly?

Always reduce speed before entering the curve to a safe speed (a speed that allows you to apply slight and constant acceleration through the curve). Reduce speed more when traction is poor, when following other vehicles, and when you cannot see the end of the curve. Hard braking after entry to a curve could cause the vehicle tires to lose traction.


#25. The best way to increase visibility when backing up is to:

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.
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

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