Noem suspends enactment of teen driver's license law due to backlog at exam stations

Gov. Kristi Noem has suspended the implementation of a new law aimed at tightening driver's license requirements for teen drivers in South Dakota due a backlog at exam stations caused by COVID-19.

Noem issued the executive order on Friday, suspending the implementation of SB 113 for as long as South Dakota remains in a state of emergency due to the pandemic.

The law was passed by the legislature earlier this year. It includes a number of new requirements for teens to get their driver's license, including extending the time required to hold an instructional permit.

Noem's executive order states the law will require many more people to go to driver's license exam stations, as the law impacts all permits issued prior to July 1.

These stations are already backlogged since they temporarily closed statewide due to the coronavirus earlier this year. Stations that are now open are operating by appointment-only. The executive order states that stations will not be able to handle the additional inquiries or workload that would come with the enactment of this bill.