Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

If you received a speeding ticket in South Dakota, must be confused a little frustrated. But it’s all right to feel this way. Contrary to a popular belief, you don’t have to roll over and accept the ticket just because you are stopped for it. Remember, a speeding ticket is not just a fine, it carries with it the inevitable hike to your car insurance rates as well as the speeding points which might cause suspension of the license altogether.

In this article, you’ll find knowledge about the South Dakota speeding laws and the penalties that come with them.

South Dakota has two main types of speeding laws, namely, (1) Absolute limits law and a (2) Basic speeding law. 

Absolute Limits Law 

There is an absolute limit set by the state. If the driver exceeds this limit, he has violated the law. These limits are posted on the highways, if not posted the speed limit is 50 miles/hour. South Dakota’s speed limits are as follows:

Zones/AreasSpeed Limit
School Zones15 mph
Urban Zones25 mph
Township Roads55 mph
State Highways and Roadways65 mph
Interstate Highways80 mph

But you can get a speeding ticket even after following these absolute speed limits. Here comes the role of basic speeding laws.

 Basic Speeding Law

South Dakota’s Basic Speeding Law prohibits the driver to speed “greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing”. Therefore, the safe speed depends on the circumstances. For instance, speeding at 50 mph on a bright sunny day might be safe. But if it’s dark and the road is not properly lit, speeding at 50 mph can be dangerous. This is a violation of basic speeding law.

Moving Violations 

It is deemed to be a moving violation when a vehicle is in motion when transgression occurs. This includes running a stop sign, speeding, reckless driving, drunk driving, eluding an officer, and racing. Misdemeanors are the majority of moving violations.

In South Dakota, the Division of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license if you have 15 or more points in a year or 22 points in 2 years. If you happen to be in another state when an offense occurs, the offense points will be transferred to your South Dakota driving record. These infractions can cause your insurance rates to rise.

Speeding Ticket Penalties 

In South Dakota, speeding is a class 2 misdemeanor. The driver pays the fine as well as the court fee for a violation. The total amount of these two generally is :

FineSpeed Limit
$87.50More than 1-5 mph
$107.50More than 6-10 mph
$127.50More than 11-15 mph
$147.50More than 16-20 mph
$167.50More than 21-25 mph
$222.50More than 26 mph

Speeding violation fine is doubled in construction zones. Hence, the driver pays more if caught speeding in a construction zone.

Speeding tickets will add two points to South Dakota’s driving record. 

Speeding violation can cause conviction, due to reckless driving offense. Or if someone causes the death of a person while speeding, vehicular homicide charges can be levied on them.

What to do in case of a citation in South Dakota?

The citation indicates how and by what date you have to pay the fine. Many citations do not need you to appear in front of the court, you may admit that you are guilty and pay the fine directly. 

But if you do not want to admit that you are guilty, you can fight the ticket. In this case, you need to inform the court in writing of this. You will have to appear in court personally on a date scheduled, and enter a “not guilty” plea. You may be able to negotiate with the prosecuting attorney. If no agreement is reached, a trial will be scheduled. A trial will allow you to present your case in front of a judge or a jury. Most people hire a lawyer to defend them in court. If you are unable to attend the court on the scheduled date, informing the court is the right decision. Failing in doing so may result in a warrant being put out for your arrest.

What are the consequences if found guilty in South Dakota?

If you pay a ticket, you are pleading guilty to the particular traffic offense, which has the same consequences if found guilty in court for the same violation. Following consequences can be a result of a speeding violation in South Dakota:

  • Offenses like speeding and other moving violations are reported directly to the South Dakota Driver Services Division. South Dakota also provides information concerning traffic ticket convictions to other states.
  • Points are added to the driving record of the driver, which can later result in the suspension of the driver’s license if it exceeds a certain limit in 12 months.
  • Points added to the Driving record will result in higher car insurance rates.

How to Pay Speeding Fine in South Dakota?

Drivers faced with a speeding citation in Soth Dakota must appear before the court. Traffic citations include the location of the court, address, and phone number of that court.

Paying citation is easy, just visit the court’s website and pay directly online.  

If you want to pay the citation in person or by phone, you need to contact the court directly

Paying the fine online:

  • Visit this website.
  • Make Payments by clicking the green box.
  • Click the dropdown box on the right side of the screen to select the search type:

Check for Case Number: This will be a number given to you by the clerk  OR

Check for the Citation Number found on your ticket.

Enter the case number or citation number and hit the tab.

  • Enter your last name in search by the last name
  • Enter your first name in search by the first name.

Your ticket information should now be displayed on the screen; click the box on the left to proceed with information on your credit card.


If the officer stops me, will I go to trial for the speed he wrote me for or for the speed he stopped me for?

An officer may write a speeding ticket for a slower speed than he observed, all depends on his discretionary authority. However, if a driver may contest the ticket, the state may and will amend the ticket to the actual speed of the driver as informed by the officer.

Will a speeding ticket affect my insurance?

A ticket will affect your insurance rates, this depends on the policies of different insurance companies. You might need to call your insurance company to know how the ticket might affect your policy or premium.

Can I plead guilty to a different offense rather than I was charged with?

It is unethical to allow an individual to plead guilty to an offense not committed by him. Hence you can not do that.

I have heard if you ask for a trial, the prosecutor will dismiss the charges?

A typical traffic violation may take less than fifteen minutes. The States Attorney’s office is located in the courthouse and has no problem for one of us to go for a trial. Hence, the charges will not be dropped even if you ask for a trial.


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