South Dakota Car Insurance

The open plains and wide expanses of highway make for easy summer miles across South Dakota, but this state’s harsh winters keep drivers on their toes when it comes to road safety and good insurance. We know that staying on top of your insurance policy isn’t always easy, so The Simple Dollar has pulled together a number of different links, information sets, and resources to guide consumers on their way towards understanding how auto insurance works. Read on to learn more about how you can stay safe and well insured in The Mount Rushmore State.




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Stats in Your State

To help readers get a handle on what affects their car insurance rates, we’ve visualized a few different data sets to make it easier to understand all the factors impacting South Dakota drivers' insurance rates. Below, readers can compare their rates with the state and U.S. averages, and see how traffic deaths and car repair costs have changed over time.

Auto Insurance Premiums

Between the years of 2000 and 2008, the average car insurance premium in South Dakota has remained less than $600 per year, and has consistently been at least $200 less than the national average throughout the decade. The state’s flat landscape and predictable weather patterns generally contribute to fewer traffic accidents and low insurance costs.

Traffic Fatalities over time

South Dakota traffic fatalities reached a decade high at just over 200 deaths in 2003, before decreasing over the next several years to just over 100 deaths in 2011. Stricter safety standards for car manufacturers and wider public awareness of road safety contributed to safer roads across the country.

Auto Repair Costs

From 2010 to 2011, the average car repair cost in South Dakota dropped by roughly $80, compared with the national average which only changed by about $30. These statistics are affected by drivers who choose not to fix their cars, or who only perform partial repairs — they do not represent a definitive index of car repair costs across the state.

Rules in Your State

Staying safe and secure on the road isn’t as simple as following one set of rules or another, multiple factors need to be considered to have all your bases covered. That’s why we’ve put together a list of insurance requirements, teen driver laws, and drunk driving laws, so South Dakota drivers can find them all in one place.

Required Car Insurance in South Dakota

According to South Dakota’s Department of Labor and Regulation:

  • $25,000 of bodily injury to another person
  • $50,000 of bodily injuries to all other persons
  • $25,000 of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident
  • Medical Payments Coverage: covers the medical bills acquired by policyholders as well as their passengers following an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Collision: pays for any repairs to your car when it is damaged in an accident.

Required Proof of Insurance in South Dakota

  • A current insurance identification card, supplied by your carrier.
  • A Certificate of Deposit issued by the State Treasurer.
  • A Certificate of Self-Insurance.
  • A surety bond certificate.

South Dakota Licensing Facts for Teen Drivers

If you’re a teen and you want to drive in South Dakota, you have to follow these rules:

  • Hardship License for Minors? No.
  • Learner’s Permit Age: 14 years. Drivers must hold permit for 6 months before applying for a license.
  • Restricted License Age: 14 years, 6 months. Restricted drivers may not drive between 10:00 pm and 3:00 am.
  • Full License (Unrestricted) Age: 16 years.

Additional South Dakotan Insurance Rules

South Dakota Division of Insurance Laws & Regulations: Use this link to read more about South Dakota’s laws and regulations for insurance companies, and how they must conduct business and claims handling.

Minimum Benefit Standards: The minimum benefit standards for health, accident, and life insurance policies are listed at the above link.

Unfair Trade Practices: South Dakota’s legislature has set forth specific unfair claims practices, which are listed at the link above.


The following penalties are in place for those who drive under the influence; via the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.

Administrative license suspension 1st offense? 30 days.
Restore driving privileges during suspension? If hardship is demonstrated, the court may reinstate driving privileges sooner.
Are ignition interlocks mandatory for first offenders for the following offenses? No
Are ignition interlocks mandatory for repeat offenders for the following offenses? no
Fine for first offense? No
Jail sentence for first offense? No

Representatives & Resources in Your State

Whether you need assistance on a difficult insurance issue, consumer advocacy in a dispute with your insurer, or just want to learn more about how insurance works in your state, we’ve got you covered. Use the links and resources below to get started on learning more and seeking help from your government’s agencies to address your insurance-related concerns.

South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation: Insurance Division
South Dakota Division of Insurance
445 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Get Directions
Consumer Complaint Information
Car Insurance Information
The Insurance Division has put together a useful consumer guide to understanding car insurance in South Dakota, and it can be accessed using this link.

South Dakota Department of Motor Vehicles
445 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Get Directions
The Department of Motor Vehicles handles vehicle title services and enforcement. Contact them for your vehicle-related needs.

South Dakota Department of Public Safety
Department of Public Safety
Department Secretary
118 West Capitol Avenue
Pierre, South Dakota 57501
Get Directions
Contact Information
The Department of Public Safety handles driver licensing for South Dakota drivers.

South Dakota Department of Transportation
Mailing Address
South Dakota Department of Transportation
Becker-Hansen Building
700 E. Broadway Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501
Contact Information