Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed carry permit may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state. Read about the process for getting a South Dakota Concealed Pistol Permit (CPP) below.

Similar to permit requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed handgun permit, what their permits/licenses are called, whether licenses include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, license duration, license costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.

Concealed Carry Permit Basics

South Dakota is a shall-issue, permitless carry state. Shall-issue means licensing authorities are compelled to issue a license as long as an applicant meets the basic requirements set out by state law. Permits are processed at the county level by the sheriff’s office. No permits, firearms registration or background checks are required to buy a handgun from a private individual.

Open carry is legal in South Dakota without a permit. The minimum age is 18 years old. Based upon an unofficial 2004 attorney general opinion, without a permit, handguns in a vehicle must be in plain sight. South Dakota is now a permitless carry state, so anyone at least 18 years old who can legally possess a firearm may carry a concealed firearm without a concealed carry permit.

For reciprocity purposes, the state issues Concealed Pistol Permits (CPP) to residents as well as members of the military and their spouses stationed in South Dakota. There are three permits available: Regular, Gold Card and Enhanced. The regular permit allows holders to carry concealed and is recognized in several other states. The gold card permit, in addition to the benefits of a regular permit, proves passage of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) when purchasing a firearm, resulting in no required waiting period. The enhanced permit requires a firearms training course, provides the purchase background check exemption and is recognized in seven more states than the regular license.

Federally Prohibited Persons

The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed handgun permit/license as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.

What Are the License Requirements in South Dakota?

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 18 years old for a regular permit; 21 for enhanced or gold permits
  • Have been a resident of the county where the application is submitted for at least 30 days prior or be active-duty military stationed in South Dakota or the spouse of active-duty military
  • Be a citizen of the United States or legal resident alien
  • Not have pleaded guilty to, nolo contendere to or been convicted of a felony or a violent crime
  • Not habitually exist in an intoxicated or drugged condition
  • Have no history of violence
  • Not have been found, in the previous 10 years, to be a “danger to others” or a “danger to self,” or is not currently adjudged mentally incompetent
  • Have had no violations of firearms control, unlawful use of weapons or controlled substances or marijuana, constituting a felony or misdemeanor in the preceding five years
  • Not be a fugitive from justice
  • Meet federal law requirements

Do I Need Firearms Training in South Dakota?

Yes and no. Firearms training is required in order to obtain an Enhanced Permit. A qualifying handgun course must include instruction in each of the following:

  • South Dakota law relating to firearms and the use of force
  • The basic concepts of the safe and responsible use of handguns
  • Self-defense principles
  • Live-fire training, including the firing of at least 98 rounds of ammunition by the student

How Do I Get a Concealed Handgun Permit in South Dakota?

Step 1: Determine which permit you want: Regular, Gold Card or Enhanced.
Step 2: Complete a training course within 12 months preceding your application if you want an Enhanced Permit.
Step 3: You must complete a temporary application in person at your local sheriff’s office. Your fingerprints will be taken for Gold Card or Enhanced Permits. A separate payment is required for the cost of processing the fingerprint background check.
Step 4: The sheriff will issue a temporary permit within five days. Because of the fingerprint background investigation required for an enhanced permit, the issuance of the enhanced temporary permit may take longer.
Step 5: Within seven days after the temporary permit has been issued, the sheriff will send a copy of the application to the secretary of state who issues the official permit. The official permit will be issued within 30 days.


For more information, visit the USCCA South Dakota gun laws page now…