How to Get Your South Dakota Real Estate License

Written by: Kevelyn Rodriguez

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Getting your South Dakota Real Estate Broker License is the first step to becoming a real estate broker associate in South Dakota. Nowadays, this process can be done almost entirely online. You will still need to take your South Dakota real estate license exam in person, but the rest of the process can be completed entirely online!

This article outlines how to become a real estate broker in South Dakota in an easy to understand, step-by-step manner. You’ll learn how much it will cost, how long it will take, what is on the exam, and much more.

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How to Become a Real Estate Broker Associate in South Dakota

Becoming a real estate broker associate in South Dakota is as simple as getting your license, finding a broker sponsor, and getting to work selling real estate! As long as you fulfill the below requirements, you are already on your way to your goal.

South Dakota Real Estate License Requirements

The requirements to become a real estate affiliate in South Dakota are:

  • Be a citizen of the United States or a lawfully admitted alien
  • Be 18 years of age or older

How to Get Your Real Estate Broker Associate License in South Dakota

Step 1. Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course

South Dakota requires that real estate broker associates must complete 116 hours of pre-license coursework before sitting for their exam.

Most people choose to take their pre-license education course online. The majority of online courses are self-paced and include study materials like real estate practice exams and flashcards. Some also come with a “guarantee” that you will pass the exam on your first attempt if you complete their course. These benefits are all dependent on the education provider and package you choose, so be sure to get the course that best suits your needs.

Remember that the point of these courses isn’t just to check a box and complete a requirement, but rather to prepare you to pass your exam and become a better broker.

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South Dakota does not require the final pre-license exam to be supervised by a proctor. This is not the same as the state exam. This test is provided by your pre-license education company and is an indication that you have completed and retained the information from your pre-license education course.

Similar to the state exam, this test is closed-book and closed-note. You are allowed a basic-function calculator and scratch paper, but no cell phones or outside internet access.

Step 2. South Dakota Real Estate License Exam

After you’ve completed your pre-license education, it’s now time to take the South Dakota Real Estate Exam.

The fee to take the exam is $98 per attempt.

The South Dakota Real Estate Broker Associate Licensing Examination consists of three parts:

  • State Multiple-Choice Examination – 100 questions
  • National Multiple-Choice Examination – 57 questions
  • Broker Simulation Examination – 11 simulation problems

You will have 420 minutes (7 hours) to complete the entire exam. The National section time is 150 minutes (2.5 hours), the State section time is 90 minutes (1.5 hours), and the Broker Simulation section is 180 minutes (3 hours).

How Hard is the South Dakota Real Estate Exam

The minimum score required to pass the multiple-choice portions is determined by using a process known as the Angoff method, in which subject-matter experts estimate the difficulty of each item on the examination for the “minimally competent practitioner” (MCP). This test is purposefully difficult, but not impossible. Be sure to pay attention during your pre-license course and take studying seriously. If you put the proper effort forth, we know that you can pass on your first attempt!

You can register to take your exam on the PSI South Dakota Real Estate page. On this page, you will find some other helpful resources, including the Candidate Handbook and Content Outline.

Before taking the exam, check out StateRequirement’s guide on How to Pass the Real Estate Exam. This in-depth guide works as a great partner to your pre-license course to prepare you to pass on your first attempt!

Step 3. Fingerprinting and Background Check

After passing your exam, the next step is to complete your fingerprinting and background check. The South Dakota Real Estate Commission requires that all applicants have a background check performed before they can become a licensed real estate broker associate in South Dakota.

To begin this process, contact the South Dakota Real Estate Commission office to request a set of DCI and FBI fingerprint cards.

Return these cards to the Real Estate Commission with your completed application and a separate check for $43.25 made payable to the DCI. Please be sure to sign and date the DCI fingerprint card on the back to avoid having the cards returned for signature and prolonging your application completion. For best results, complete the fingerprints at a local law enforcement agency or fingerprint office.

Completing and turning in your fingerprints will begin the background check process. The South Dakota Real Estate Commission will review any findings in your background report to ensure your eligibility. During this process, they may reach out to you to provide additional information or documentation to clear up any findings.

For those who have criminal offenses or judgments against them, there’s a possibility that you may not be eligible for a real estate license in South Dakota. If this is the case, make sure to attach documents to questions you answer yes to.


If you aren’t sure whether you are eligible for a real estate license based on your history, check out our article on Real Estate License Eligibility.

Step 4. Obtain Errors and Omissions Insurance

Every active licensee is required to carry errors and omissions insurance in South Dakota.

Licensees will need to contact RISC to pay for their group insurance policy. The program is designed specifically for South Dakota licensees and exceeds state minimum requirements. The state group program offers affordable E&O insurance to each and every active licensee by spreading the risk over a large number of insureds.

Licensees who purchase errors and omissions insurance coverage instead of the group policy provided by Rice Insurance Services Company should make sure that their private provider is a carrier in South Dakota.

If you wish to enroll in another errors and omissions insurance policy, you will need to provide your certificate of coverage from your insurance company to the real estate commission prior to being issued a license.

Step 5. Real Estate Associate Broker License Application

The last step to getting your real estate license in South Dakota is to complete your license application.

Submit the completed application form to the following address:

South Dakota Real Estate Commission
221 W. Capitol Ave Suite 101
Pierre, South Dakota 57501

Along with the application form, you must also attach the following documents:

  • Non-refundable application fee of $225.00
  • Original education certification 
  • Errors and omissions certificate of coverage
  • Original exam score reports
  • Completed SD and FBI fingerprint cards and a separate check for $43.25 made payable to DCI

The application must be filed within 60 days after passing the examination.

Step 6. Application Review

Once you’ve passed your exam, you will only need to wait for your background report to come back as a pass. It might take 2 to 4 weeks to process your application. After this, you should receive an email from the South Dakota Real Estate Commission with a license document. If you have any questions at this point, you should contact SDREC at (605) 773-3600 or


Be sure to take some time to celebrate your accomplishment. You’ve put in a lot of work and effort and deserve a celebration!

Step 7. Real Estate License Sponsorship

To have your license be changed to “active” status, your sponsoring broker must certify your license application form.

If you don’t yet have a broker to work with check out StateRequirement Jobs for a real estate salesperson opening in your area.

South Dakota Post-Licensing Education

Post licensing education is required of new broker associates to build on the basic real estate principles and practices acquired during the pre-licensing education courses.

New broker associates are required to complete 30 hours of post-licensing education. Post License Period 1 begins once a new broker associate receives their initial license and must be completed between the current license year and the following license year.


There’s a chance that your pre-license education package came with the post-license courses in the package, so be sure you check before you buy another course.

Check out StateRequirement’s recommended post-license course provider for access to these courses.

SDDLR – South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation

Mailing Address:

South Dakota Real Estate Commission
221 W. Capitol Avenue, Suite 101
Pierre, SD 57501

Phone: (605) 773-3600



South Dakota Real Estate License FAQ

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Real Estate License in South Dakota?

If you’re pursuing a real estate career in South Dakota, you can expect to invest around $900-$1,100. This includes all state fees of $555, including application, exam, and background check. The estimated fee range for real estate pre-licensing education is $600-$800.

How Long Does it Take to Get a South Dakota Real Estate License?

If you want to become a licensed real estate agent in South Dakota, you should plan to spend three to six months on the process. The most time-consuming steps are the pre-license education and the test preparation. You can finish the process faster if you study full-time and work hard, but you might not be well-prepared if you rush.

How to Get a South Dakota Commercial Real Estate License?

To sell commercial real estate in South Dakota, you only need a standard Broker license since there’s no separate commercial real estate license. You can choose to find and work with a broker-in-charge who specializes in commercial property management and transactions.

Are There any Real Estate Jobs Open Around Me?

For those holding a South Dakota real estate license and seeking opportunities in the real estate business, StateRequirement Jobs is a great job resource. It provides a detailed listing of available real estate jobs in your area, helping you to navigate and advance your career in the local real estate market.

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