PIERRE, SD (KWSN) – Online renewal of South Dakota driver licenses will be more convenient when a new law easing vision-test requirements takes effect on July 1.
The law removes for most citizens, those under the age of 65, the requirement for a statement from an ophthalmologist or optometrist as part of the renewal process. Persons 65 and older must still provide a vision statement.
“The change makes it much more convenient for our citizens under 65 to renew online or through the mail, eliminating a trip to the exam station,’’ said Cindy Gerber, director of the Driver Licensing Program.
The 2013 Legislature authorized the Driver Licensing Program to implement an online and mail-in renewal process. Gerber said the vision change is an additional step that makes the system work effectively.
“Gov. Dennis Daugaard saw the value of online renewal to our citizens, and the Legislature supported the changes,’’ Gerber said. “We are grateful to them, and we believe our driver license holders will appreciate the convenience when they go to renew their cards.’’
Some data changes on a driver license or replacement license also may be obtained online or by mail. And minors with restricted permits may upgrade those permits to full operators’ license electronically or by mail.
Driver licenses are valid for five years. The law allows online renewal every other five-year cycle. License holders who prefer to renew at an exam station will take the standard vision test.
Online or mail-in renewal is available to citizens holding a federally compliant driver license. South Dakota began issuing those licenses on Dec. 31, 2009. Since licenses may be renewed up to 180 days prior to the expiration of a license, holders of federally compliant cards will be able to begin using the online system after July 1.
Applicants who would prefer to visit an exam station in person are reminded that the Driver Licensing Program offers scheduled appointments in several cities. To schedule an appointment for driver license or ID card renewal in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen or Watertown, or with any other driver licensing questions, applicants may go online (http://dps.sd.gov/licensing/driver_licensing/default.aspx) or call 1-800-952-3696.
Courtesy: State of SD