South Dakota’s Traffic Violation Point System

The penalties and point schedule associated with South Dakota’s demerit point system.

In order to identify problematic drivers, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety (DPS) keeps track of all moving violation convictions (even if committed out-of-state) using a point system. This article explains how South Dakota's point system works and the consequences you'll face for getting too many points on your driving record.

How Does South Dakota's Traffic Ticket Point System Work?

For each traffic violation conviction, the South Dakota DPS assigns a certain number of points. The number of points roughly corresponds to the seriousness of the offense (see chart below).

South Dakota drivers who rack up too many points face license suspension. However, points only count for two years following the violation.

License Suspension for Traffic Violation Points in South Dakota

The DPS is authorized to suspend the license of any driver who accumulates 15 points in 12 months or 22 points in 24 months. A driver who is halfway to earning a suspension will usually receive a warning letter explaining the point system and possible penalties. Once a driver reaches the point level for suspension, the DPS will send a notice of suspension outlining the suspension period and appeal rights.

The driver will generally be suspended for a period of 60 days. A driver who has previously been suspended for excessive points will be suspended for six months. Drivers with two prior point-related suspensions face a one-year license suspension.

Before beginning the suspension, the driver is permitted to request a hearing before the DPS to contest the validity of the record of past violations and suspensions.

Getting Limited Driving Privileges in South Dakota During a Point Suspension

A restricted license is available for drivers with no prior point-related suspensions. With a restricted license, the motorist is limited to driving in certain locations and at certain times—generally, as necessary for going to any from places like work and school.

Traffic Points for Common Violations in South Dakota

Here are the points assigned to some of the most common traffic violations. Multiple violations arising out of the same incident will only result in the assessment of points for the highest point-total violation.


Points Assessed

Driving while intoxicated


Reckless driving


Eluding an officer


Drag racing


Failure to yield right-of-way


Improper passing


Driving on wrong side of roadway


Stop sign or stop light violation


Most other moving offenses


Speeding, seatbelt, and parking violations are not included in the list above because they are zero-point offenses.

Get Professional Help

Talk to a Traffic Ticket attorney.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you

Talk to a Lawyer

Need a lawyer? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you