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Motorcycle Insurance in South Dakota

In South Dakota, the term motorcycle includes “motorcycles, motorbikes, mopeds, bicycles with motor attached, and all motor operated vehicles of the bicycle or tricycle type, whether the motive power be a part thereof or attached thereto, and having a saddle or seat with the driver sitting astride or upon it, or a platform on which the driver stands, but excluding a tractor,” according to the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles. Those who wish to operate a motorcycle in South Dakota must be at least 14 years of age and pass both a vision and knowledge test to receive their instruction permit. Parental consent it required for applicants under the age of 18. Once they reach the age of 16, they can apply for their motorcycle operator’s license. All operators must carry proof of a valid motorcycle insurance policy with them at all times.

Motorcycle License Requirements

To gain an instruction permit, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • At least 14 years of age
  • If under 18, parental consent is required
  • Fee of $8.00
  • Vision test
  • Knowledge test

To gain an license, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • At least 16 years of age
  • If under 18, parental consent is required
  • No traffic violations within the last six months of holding a permit
  • Fee of $8.00
  • Vision test
  • Knowledge test
  • Motorcycle driving test

Insurance Requirements

The state of South Dakota requires all operators to carry proof of financial responsibility. The minimum motorcycle insurance requirements are 25/50/25. This requires operators to carry a policy with $25,000 of bodily injury coverage for injuries or death for a single individual in an accident, $50,000 of bodily injury coverage for injuries or death for multiple individuals in an accident, and $25,000 of coverage for property damage. Motorcyclists should carry proof of a valid motorcycle insurance policy with them at all times while operating the vehicle. Proof of financial responsibility can be obtained via one of the following options:

  • Buy insurance — Individuals can select their desired coverage through an insurance broker or agent. Motorcyclists who choose this option will typically pay a monthly motorcycle insurance premium.
  • Bond — Proof of financial responsibility can be evidenced through a bond issued by a surety company licensed to do business in South Dakota. This requires an individual seeking coverage to leverage cash or real estate.
  • Deposit — This requires the deposit of $25,000 in cash, or securities valued at $35,000, to the state treasurer to comply with motorcycle insurance laws.

Insurance Rates

Motorcycle insurance companies consider a number of factors when they calculate rates. These include your age, gender, location, marital status, experience as an operator, driving record, the type of vehicle you own, and how much you travel on average. Young, unmarried males, those who use their vehicles more, those with more expensive vehicles, or those who live in high crime areas will often find they receive a higher motorcycle insurance estimate. Those with poor driving records may find it difficult or expensive to obtain coverage. In addition, due to the higher risk of injury while operating this type of vehicle, motorcycle insurance prices average more than standard car insurance rates.

State Laws

Ensuring you are knowledgeable about state motorcycle rules and regulations is essential to being a responsible operator. If you fail to follow state traffic laws you are risking injury, tickets, fines, and even the loss of your license. Some of the important motorcycle laws in South Dakota are listed below: