Getting your South Dakota insurance license is the first step to becoming an insurance agent in South Dakota. Whether you’re interested in selling property and casualty insurance, life insurance, health insurance, or any combination of those lines of authority, this article has the information you need to get started.
The South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation – Division of Insurance has a 5-step process on how to become an insurance agent in South Dakota. We’ll walk you through step-by-step; from the license application to insurance test prep, to the South Dakota insurance exam, and beyond.
This guide has everything you need to know to get your SD insurance license quickly and easily.
Recommended: Interested in getting started? We recommend using Kaplan’s online study packages, which come with a 93% pass rate.
How to Get Your South Dakota Insurance License
Getting your insurance license in South Dakota is easy! Just follow our step-by-step guide. Be sure to bookmark this page so that you can visit it again throughout this process.
Step 1. Which Insurance Licenses Do You Need?
The first step to getting your insurance license is choosing which licenses you need. The most common licenses new insurance agents get are the property & casualty license (P&C), life and health insurance license (L&H).
The types of insurance products and policies you’ll be selling will determine which licenses you need. Here are some examples of the types of policies you can market with each license:
- Property and Casualty Insurance License – Auto Insurance, Home Insurance, Business Insurance, etc…
- Life and Health Insurance License – Life Insurance, Annuities, Medicare, Health Insurance, etc…
Most insurance agents and producers choose to get both P&C and L&H licenses, but if you plan on specializing in only one category then you don’t need every license.
Step 2. South Dakota Insurance Pre-Exam Education
After you’ve determined which licenses you need, it’s time to begin studying for the South Dakota insurance exams.
South Dakota does not require you to take a certain amount of pre-license credits before testing. This means that studying for your exam is 100% up to you.
Most folks choose to take an insurance pre-license course online. These courses are created specifically to give you the skills you need to pass the test. Others purchase books or other self-study tools to prepare themselves.
It’s wise to take a week or so to dedicate to your study of this exam. If you don’t feel as though you’re a strong test taker, take a little longer, but don’t let it drag out for long. We want you to pass your test the first time you take it, and we know that you can do it.
Over 81% of our readers use Kaplan’s online courses — which come with a 93% pass rate — when preparing for their insurance license exam(s). For comprehensive study packages, StateRequirement recommends:
Step 3. South Dakota Insurance License Exam
The next step after completing all of your pre-exam coursework or self-study is to take the insurance exam. You will take one exam for each combined line of insurance you wish to carry.
The Property and Casualty lines are combined as one exam, as is the Life, Accident, and Health or Sickness lines.
This is a proctored test, which means that you will be in a controlled environment with a person watching over you. For people who haven’t tested in a situation like this should be aware of this fact, and work on taming their nerves prior to sitting for the exam.
The fee for each attempt of the exams is
- Life & Accident and Health or Sickness: $95
- Property & Casualty: $95
- Life: $85
- Accident and Health or Sickness: $85
- Property: $85
- Casualty: $85
When you arrive you must have a photo ID any other documents that the testing facility has asked you to bring.
Each of the tests consists of one hundred fifty (145) questions, and you have two hours and thirty minutes (2:30) to finish them. The minimum score to pass the exams is 70% correct answers.
Pearson VUE provides content outlines for these exams. Be sure to study them before you attempt the tests.
Check out our Insurance Exam Guide. It’s extremely in-depth, and will hopefully help you pass the first time.
Looking for a guide to passing the insurance exam in South Dakota? Check out our South Dakota Insurance License Exam article.
Insurance license tests are intentionally difficult, but not impossible by any means. You should study to the point of comfortability with the information before you attempt the test. Failing the exam isn’t the end of the world, but keep in mind that you will need to pay the fee each time you attempt the test.
StateRequirement recommends that you study for one exam at a time, then after passing, starting on your next line. The exams are difficult enough on their own without confusing information from one line to another. Check out our review of the Kaplan Insurance Course.
You may register to take your exams on the Pearson VUE South Dakota Insurance page. For much more information on testing, refer to the Pearson VUE South Dakota Insurance Licensing Candidate Handbook.
Step 4. South Dakota Insurance License Application
Once you have completed your exams, you are now ready to apply for your license. If you have more than one line of authority that you have passed the exam for, be sure to apply for all of those lines.
The fee for an online application is $25, plus a transaction fee from Sircon.
If you wish to add a line of authority to your license at a later date, you will only need to pay the Sircon fee.
You must wait five (5) business days after passing the exam to fill out the application. This will allow the system to offer you the correct lines of authority to apply for.
Fill out and submit your online application on the Sircon South Dakota page.
Step 5. Application Review
Once you have submitted your application and have filled all the other requirements, your license application will be reviewed by the state. Your background check initiated by the application will also be reviewed.
If everything is to acceptable standards your license should be issued quickly. If there are any items from your background check that need to be reviewed, it may slow down the process of issuance. If this is the case, the state may contact you to provide context to the issues that they have run into.
After submitting the application, the licensing department will receive it from Sircon within a few hours. If there are no questions, then your license will be issued right away. You will get an email from the department with verification when the process is complete.
You’ve done the work, put in the time and effort, and now hold the key to your own success! We’re proud of you. Take five (5) minutes and celebrate.
After Getting Your South Dakota Insurance License
Once you’ve passed your exams and completed the licensing application, you are now a licensed insurance agent in South Dakota. A common question we hear is, “I have my insurance license, now what?” Here are a few things you can do or need to know:
- Get a job in the insurance field. Check out StateRequirement’s Insurance Jobs board
- If you’re going to sell advanced life insurance products, you’ll need to have the proper securities licenses. Series 6, Series 7, and Series 63 are the most common among insurance agents, but you’ll need to begin with the SIE (Securities Industry Essentials) exam. Find out which licenses you need with our Securities Licensing Guide
- Every two years, you’ll need to renew your insurance license. Check out our guides on South Dakota Insurance License Renewal and South Dakota Insurance Continuing Education for more details
- Learn how to market yourself as an insurance agent: Have a look at our Insurance Agent Marketing article
- Interested in learning how successful life insurance agents operate? Check out our How Do Life Insurance Companies Make Money article
South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation Contact Information
Division of Insurance
124 South Euclid Avenue 2nd Floor
Pierre, South Dakota 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3563
Fax: (605) 773-5369
License Search: South Dakota Insurance License Search and Lookup
South Dakota Insurance License FAQ
How long is the insurance license period in South Dakota?
In South Dakota, the insurance producer license renewal requires the completion of continuing education (CE) requirements. These CE requirements must be completed during a 24-month period ending on your birth month, as per the South Dakota Division of Insurance. Learn how to get an insurance license renewal here: South Dakota Insurance License Renewal.
How long does it take to get an insurance license in South Dakota?
2-8 weeks. The bulk of the time is spent studying for your South Dakota insurance exam. Some people study for as little as one week and feel comfortable taking the exam. We recommend you take whatever amount of time you need to feel comfortable with the material. Check out our guide: How to Pass the Insurance Exam.
How much does the South Dakota insurance license cost?
The cost of obtaining an insurance license in South Dakota is around $120, plus the fee for your insurance course. According to the South Dakota Division of Insurance website, the licensing fee is $25, and the examination fee is $85-$95. If you don’t pass the exam the first time, add $95 for each retake at a Pearson VUE test center.
How do I get a life insurance license in South Dakota?
To get a life insurance license in South Dakota, you may need to take a pre-licensing course. You will also need to pass the actual state licensing exam. After successfully passing the exam, you can apply for your life insurance producer license online.
How do I get a property and casualty license in South Dakota?
To obtain a property and casualty license in South Dakota, you need to go through a series of steps, including taking a pre-licensing course and passing the state exam. After completing the exam, you will receive a score report with the information on how you can proceed to apply for your P&C license.
Do I need business insurance in South Dakota?
Yes. If you own a business in South Dakota, having South Dakota business insurance is recommended to protect your assets from various risks and liabilities. Different types of business insurance cater to various needs so it ensures that your business operates smoothly despite unforeseen challenges.