Your South Dakota driving record contains information about your driving history from the last three years, including suspensions, driving status, endorsements, and classifications.
Your main concern as a driver in South Dakota is the number of points you may have accumulated on your license.
What are Points, and Why Should I Care?
When you get your South Dakota driver’s license, it’s shiny and new, and you start with a point balance of zero.
Every moving violation you receive earns points on your license, and if you get 15 points added to your license over 12 months or 22 points during 24 months, your license will be suspended for up to 60 days.
That’s right. You’ll have to turn in your driver’s license and lose your driving privileges for two whole months. That’s a lot of not driving.
The second time your license is suspended, you’ll be taking the bus for six months, and the third time, you’re looking at an entire year of begging for rides.
Keeping a running total of the points you’ve earned is essential if you’re a maniac behind the wheel. Otherwise, you may be in for a big surprise when the State of South Dakota demands that you turn in your license.
For your reference, here’s a list of the most common violations and their point value in South Dakota:
- 3 points for stop sign/light violation
- 4 points for improper passing
- 4 points for failure to yield right of way
- 6 points for eluding/attempting to elude
- 8 points for reckless driving
- 10 points for driving under the Influence
The state will revoke your license by law if you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), regardless of the points on your record.
Why You Should Order Your South Dakota Driving Record
Believe it or not, the State of South Dakota isn’t infallible. Mistakes on driving records are rare, but they can occur.
Checking your driving history every couple of years ensures that you know exactly where you stand in terms of points earned and allows you to fix mistakes that could cost you big.
How can point accumulations and mistakes cost you? Insurance rates, for one. Your driving history is a major factor in determining your auto insurance premiums, and I guarantee you’ll pay more for insurance if you have points against your license.
Your driving record may also be a determining factor in whether or not you secure that dream job you applied for. Employers order your driving history as part of routine background checks, and a poor driving record can considerably reduce your employment opportunities.
How to Order Your Driving Record
You can order your certified South Dakota driving record in person or by mail, or you can get an uncertified copy online. Whichever way you choose, the first thing you’ll need to do is download, print, and fill out the Request from Record Holder form and have it notarized. Your bank probably offers notary public services.
Order by Mail
Send the notarized form along with a check or money order in the amount of $5 to:
Driver Licensing Program
118 West Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Order In Person
You can stop at an exam station to obtain your driving record on the spot and forego the notary step. You’ll need proof of your identification in the form of your driver’s license, a valid passport, or a certified birth certificate. Pay the $5 fee with the exact amount in cash or write a personal check.
Locations where you can get your record in person include the exam stations in Aberdeen, Brookings, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown, Mitchell, and Yankton.
To order your driving record online, you’ll need to go through a reputable third-party vendor like Inteligator.
Questions and Corrections
Once you obtain your South Dakota driving record, inspect it carefully and make sure the information is correct.
If you discover an error or have any questions about your record, call the South Dakota Department of Public Safety at 800-952-3696.
Meanwhile, if you want to avoid points from being added to your driving record, you may attend a defensive driving course.
But take note that you need to seek permission from your court handler first to see if they will allow defensive driving courses to dismiss traffic tickets. Most courts will not allow it in South Dakota, but there’s no harm in trying, right?
Besides, despite not being able to dismiss points, your auto insurance company may still give you an insurance discount if you complete a defensive driving course.
If interested, check out the course offered by GoToTrafficSchool. They are one of the most trusted online traffic schools in the US, and they offer the most affordable courses!
To sum up, all you need to know is that a clean driving record can keep your insurance rates low, improve your chances of getting hired, and avoid substantial penalties and fines. It also allows you to take necessary actions in order to improve your driving record to avoid license suspension.
Thankfully, obtaining a copy of your driving record in South Dakota has never been easy. So I hope this article helped you with that!