Amid pandemic, S.D. officials are telling motorists to renew driver licenses online

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A governor’s executive order related to COVID-19 gave South Dakotans extra time to renew their driver licenses through December 30. But South Dakota exam offices still require appointments as part of the pandemic response. So state Department of Public Safety officials want drivers to renew licenses online if they’re eligible.

Some 18,000 license-holders are now getting mailings, according to a spokesman, and the department issued a reminder statewide. “Our goal is to get all of them to renew online so we can keep the appointment times for exam stations open for those who are not eligible to renew online,” Tony Mangan said.

A 2013 state law allows renewals of driver licenses and state-issued ID cards online or by mail. Those methods can be used once every 10 years. An applicant must provide two documents of identification less than one year old, including at least one with a street address.

Any person age 65 or older must include a vision statement signed by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist that the person has adequate eyesight of 20-40 or better with both eyes and no worse than 20-50 in either eye. The form is available from the department website.

For those who need appointments, there are dozens of exam stations, but hours and days vary when they are open. State officials emphasize that walk-ins aren’t accepted.

Mangan said Friday that October already had seen more than 4,000 online renewals. He said that was some 800 more than renewed online in all of September. “We are averaging about 184 renewals a day this month. Our goal is to end October with between 6,000 to 8,000 online renewals,” he said.

People can provide them in any of the following ways, Mangan said:

  • Scan or take a picture of the documents and email them to dpsdl@state.sd.us
  • Fax them to 605-773-3018
  • Mail them to: Driver Licensing Program, 118 W. Capitol Ave., Pierre SD 57501

“Typically utility bills, phone bills, or even junk mail can be used as long as it shows the name and current address of the applicant,” he said.

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