South Dakota CNA Registry Guide

A comprehensive guide to the South Dakota CNA Registry: From application to renewal

Welcome to the gateway for becoming a CNA in South Dakota! The South Dakota CNA Registry serves as the authoritative hub, ensuring the qualification, competence, and adherence to standards for all CNAs in the state. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get on the South Dakota CNA Registry and essential details for maintaining an active status.

Requirements to get on the South Dakota CNA Registry


The application process is free of charge.

Minimum Age

Some training schools and employers will require you to be at least 17 or 18 years old.

Minimum Education

Training school may require to have a high school diploma or a GED.

Training Requirements

To qualify you must complete a permitted training program in South Dakota. You will need to get approval for your training program by filling out the Application for Initial Training Program or in case of re-approval the Application for Re-Approval of Training Program. The specific requirements of the nurse aide training program can be seen here. Before you can enroll in an approved CNA course, you will also need to submit the Training Enrollment Verification Form and the online CNA Initial Registration Application. More information can be found here.

Competency Test

To be certified on the South Dakota CNA Registry, you must successfully complete the Clinical Skills examination and the Written or Oral examination.

Background Check

Many programs as well as employers require you to submit a clear criminal background check.

Applying to appear on the South Dakota CNA Registry

Where to apply

Go to the Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) Initial Application and click Submit & Continue at the bottom of the page to start your application.

Required Documentation

You will need to have completed the CNA Training Enrollment Verification before starting your online application, as this form needs to be uploaded during the application. Moreover, you will need to upload your personal information as well as other documentation during the application process.


If you have any findings against you, these will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and you must provide all information required by the Registry.

Processing Time

Processing time varies. The time from passing the exam successfully to being placed on the Registry should not be more than a few weeks.

How to keep your license on the South Dakota CNA Registry

Stay Active

The certification period is for 24 months, and you must renew every 2 years. You will need to provide verification that in the past two years you have worked for pay for a minimum of 12 hours as a nurse aide and also completed at least 12 hours of training each year (note: courses from nursing schools are not counted).


If you’re an actively registered CNA, you can renew your certification 90 days or less before your certification is set to expire. For your renewal, you must fill out and submit the CNA online renewal application. If you do not meet the requirements (see above under Stay Active), you will need to be reinstated (if you meet the requirements laid out below) or retake the exam.

Reactivate your expired license

If your nurse aide certification expires, you can request to be reinstated, provided that you meet the following criteria:

  • You have completed the required 12 hours of training each year, and
  • You have been employed for pay performing nursing or nursing-related services for at least 12 hours during the last 24 months.

If you fulfill the above criteria, you can fill out the CNA Lapsed Reinstatement Application and submit the completed application by email to or by mail to 4305 S. Louise Ave., Suite 201 l Sioux Falls, SD 57106-3115. After 5 to 7 business day you can verify your registry status here.

If you do not fulfill the above criteria, you must retake the competency exam. In that case, fill out the CNA Reinstatement Application: Competency Evaluation Program Required and submit the completed application by email to or by mail to 4305 S. Louise Ave., Suite 201 l Sioux Falls, SD 57106-3115. The application will be processed within 5 to 7 business days, after which you will receive a letter that allows you to register for the competency exam.

South Dakota CNA reciprocity

For those seeking reciprocity, additional information can be found on our South Dakota CNA Reciprocity page.

South Dakota Registry and contact details

Link to Registry:

Link to license lookup:

Contact information:
Phone: (605) 773-3361
South Dakota Department of Health
600 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501-2536