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Motorcycle Laws in South Dakota


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This page will answer the most common questions we receive about motorcycle laws and licensing requirements in  South Dakota.

Continue reading to find your answer and follow links to explore some of these topics in greater depth. 

Motorcycle Helmet Law in South Dakota

Motorcycle helmets are required for riders under 18 years old.

Additionally, eye protection like a face shield or goggles is also required if the motorcycle doesn’t have a windshield.

A motorcycle helmet is one of the most important pieces of safety equipment. Wearing one can greatly reduce your chances of being seriously injured or killed if you are involved in a motorcycle crash

Read more about motorcycle helmet laws and safety.

South Dakota Motorcycle Noise Restrictions & Exhaust Requirements

A proper muffler is required and cannot make excessive or unusual noise.

Noise restrictions may be enforced by local law enforcement or during periodic inspections. 

Local jurisdictions may have their own ordinances regarding motorcycle noise limits.

Motorcycle Safety Inspections and Equipment Requirements

Period safety and equipment inspections for motorcycles in South Dakota are not required.

Motorcycle Passenger Laws in South Dakota

There are no motorcycle passenger restrictions in South Dakota.

Whenever you ride with a passenger:

  • Be sure to give them instructions on what they’ll need to do. 
  • Make sure they can comfortably reach the passenger handholds and footrests. 
  • Make sure that they are wearing all of the necessary motorcycle safety equipment.

Learn more about riding with passengers on your motorcycle.

Requirements for Daytime Running Lights for Motorcycles in South Dakota

Using daytime headlights is not required for motorcycles in South Dakota.

Using headlights during the day can help to increase your visibility to other drivers. 

This is a smart thing to do regardless of whether the law requires it. 

South Dakota Lane Splitting Laws

Lane splitting is illegal in South Dakota.

There are some nuances to lane splitting, lane filtering, and lane sharing. 

Learn more about lane splitting.

Motorcycle Title Laws & VIN Verifications

The state of South Dakota issues titles to all motorcycles.

If you buy a motorcycle without a title or are moving from a state that doesn’t issue titles, the registration documents and the Bill of Sale should serve as proof of ownership.

Learn more about motorcycle registration and title requirements in South Dakota.

Find some helpful tips for when you buy a motorcycle.

Minimum Motorcycle Insurance Coverage in South Dakota

Motorcycle insurance is required in South Dakota, the minimum coverage limits are:

  • $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident.
  • $25,000 property damage coverage per accident. 

Remember, the minimum liability requirements kick in during the event of a collision with another vehicle. If you need more coverage for things like theft, single vehicle collisions, and other types of damage you’ll need to get a policy with comprehensive and collision coverage as well. 

Compare quotes for free, and find cheaper motorcycle insurance

Learn more about motorcycle insurance in South Dakota.

Motorcycle Safety Course Requirements & Details

An approved motorcycle safety course is not required to get a motorcycle license in South Dakota.

Completing the course will waive the requirements for the skills exam and the written test.

A motorcycle safety course is a great way to get familiar with the basics of riding, learn about the most important motorcycle laws, and become a safer, smarter rider. No riding experience is necessary to complete a course.  

Learn more about motorcycle safety courses and Basic Rider Training programs.

Is a Driver’s License Required to get a Motorcycle Endorsement in South Dakota?

Before you get a South Dakota motorcycle license, you will not need to already have a standard driver’s license. 

Motorcycle Permit & Licensing Requirements in South Dakota

A motorcycle instruction permit is required for riders under 18 years old.

In order to get the permit, you’ll need to pass a written test.

In South Dakota, motorcycle permit restrictions include:

  • No passengers.
  • Supervised riding only.
  • Daytime riding only.

The permit is valid for up to 1 year, and can be renewed as needed.

Learn how to get a motorcycle license in South Dakota.

South Dakota Motorcycle License Age Requirements

The minimum age to begin the South Dakota motorcycle licensing process is 14 years old.

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