South Dakota Truck Driving Schools


There are many truck driving careers in South Dakota, allowing you to get started with just a CDL. Once you have your commercial license, you can begin checking out all of the employers who are hiring drivers.

Salary & Career Information

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (reference site: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm) has estimated earnings for truck driving careers in South Dakota to be in the neighborhood of $35,770. This salary is lower than the national average, but you can earn more based upon choosing more demanding industries and having more experience on the roads.

The stability of a trucking career is high because of reports that the Bureau of Labor Statistics have released. They have shown that there will be a growth of 21 percent or more of trucking opportunities across the country over the next 10 years.

When you explore trucking careers throughout South Dakota, you want to look at what each industry has to offer. General trucking has something different to offer than merchandising or petroleum industries. Such variations can include salary, hours worked, schedules and much more.

Starting a Truck Driving Career

There are significant benefits to starting a truck driving career in South Dakota. The sales tax is reasonable, the real estate is affordable and the state offers one of the lower state property taxes around the country.

You will be able to get started within your career after completing a CDL training course. You do not need a 2 year or 4 year degree, which eliminates a lot of student loan debt that you could otherwise find yourself in.

You control your schedule by choosing the industry and employer that you will work for. You can find schedules allowing you to travel around the country or ones that keep you local, allowing you to sleep in your own bed each night. There is a trucking career for every lifestyle.

Laws & Regulations to be Aware Of

South Dakota allows you to obtain your CDL earlier than many other states. You only need to be 16 in order to get your CDL to drive within the state, though the federal law states you must be 21 or older in order to drive cargo across state lines.

You will need to comply with DOT regulations throughout the state. This includes filing a monthly report with the DOT to show that you are not driving more than 11 hours within a single period and that you are not exceeding 70 hours within the span of 8 consecutive days.

Maintaining a clean driving record will help you achieve higher salaries and more employment opportunities. Familiarize yourself with the South Dakota laws so you can avoid fines and points on your license such as when you can change lanes and when it is appropriate to have your headlights on.

Links and Resources

South Dakota CDL Requirements

In order to drive a truck that weighs over 26,000 pounds with a trailer weighing over 10,000 pounds in the state of South Dakota, you must first obtain a class A Commercial Driver's License.

There are a few requirements and qualifications that applicants must meet in order to obtain a CDL in South Dakota. These requirements include:

  • You must be a minimum of sixteen years of age to qualify

  • You must provide one or more documents to verify citizenship and identification. These documents include but are not limited to birth certificates, state issued identification cards, passports, and drivers licenses

  • You must hold a valid drivers license in the state of South Dakota

  • You must obtain medical certification

  • If you plan on transporting materials across state borders, you must be at least 21 years of age according to the requirements put in place by the United States Department of Transportation in effort to regulate interstate cargo transportation

  • A general knowledge exam must be passed with a score of at least 80 percent


A skills test which includes a vehicle inspection, a control test, and a driving test must be passed using the class of vehicle the applicant is trying to obtain a license for. Additional endorsements are required in order to drive a truck pulling double or triple trailers, a truck that uses air brakes, school buses, or tanker trucks.

Additional endorsements are also required in order to transport hazardous materials as well as a background check done by the Transportation Security Administration.

You cannot obtain a CDL in South Dakota if:

  • You are not a resident.

  • You have a license that is suspended, revoked, cancelled, or disqualified

  • You owe more than a thousand dollars in child support


The fee for a commercial driver license of 25 dollars. A ten dollar fee is also charged for each endorsement to your commercial drivers license.

If you need assistance, South Dakota has many great trucking schools that will provide excellent training and education to give you the information and experience needed to pass the Commercial Drivers license written and driving tests.

Midwest Coast Transport
P. O. Box 5233
Sioux Falls, SD 57117

Southeast Technical Institute
2301 Career Place
Sioux Falls, SD 57107

Western Dakota Tech Institute
800 Mickelson Dr.
Rapid City, SD 57703