Who Needs a License

Generally, no person may engage in the business of selling or advertising the sale of new or used vehicles or boats, without a dealer license. A violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation is a Class 6 felony.

No person may act as, offer to act as, or hold himself or herself out to be a broker. A violation is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Common Exceptions:
  • Any person not engaged in the sale of vehicles/boats as a business and is disposing of vehicles/boats used solely for personal use if the vehicles/boats were acquired and used in good faith and not for the purpose of avoiding the provisions of this chapter.
  • Any person who sells less than five vehicles/boats in a twelve-month period, unless the person is licensed as a dealer in another state or holds himself or herself out as being in the business of selling vehicles/boats.  However, if the vehicles are travel trailers, any person who sells less than three travel trailers in a twelve-month period.
  • Regulated Lenders as that term is defined in ยง 54-3-14, any insurance company authorized to do business in this state or any financing institution as defined in and license pursuant to Chapter 54-7 (this link says it is repealed) that acquires vehicles/boats as an incident to its regular business.
  • Financial Institutions chartered or licensed in any other jurisdiction that acquires vehicles/boats as an incident to its regular business and sells such vehicles/boats to dealers licensed under this chapter.
  • Vehicle Rental and Leasing Companies that sell their used vehicles to dealers licensed under this chapter.
  • Any Nonprofit Automobile Club if selling automobiles twenty years old or older under the provisions of Chapter 32-3.
  • Any person engaged in the business of manufacturing or converting new vehicles/boats if selling such vehicles/boats to a licensed dealer holding a franchise from the original manufacturer of the vehicle/boat.
  • Any person acting as an auctioneer if auctioning South Dakota titled vehicles for a licensed dealer or a person who is exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
  • Any Towing Agency that acquires and sells a vehicle which has been towed at the request of a private landowner under the provision of Chapter 32-36 or at the request of a law enforcement officer, if no vehicle is sold for an amount over two hundred dollars.
  • Any person not engaged in the sale of vehicles as a business who operates fleets of vehicles is disposing of vehicles used in the person's business, if the same were acquired and used in good faith and not for the purpose of avoiding the provisions of this chapter.

Fees

The actual (paper) dealer license is issued for a 5-year period, unless canceled or revoked for cause by the Division of Motor Vehicles; however, each year, a License Renewal Notice and Billing is sent out by the division approximately 3 months before the expiration of the license.

The initial dealer and renewal license fees are:

License Fees Vehicle dealer/used vehicle dealer - $300/initial, $175/renewal
Mobile home dealer - $300/initial, $150/renewal
Motorcycle dealer - $250/initial, $150/renewal
Trailer dealer - $125/initial, $100/renewal
Boat dealer - $250/initial, $175/renewal
Snowmobile dealer - $150/initial, $125/renewal
Click here for license renewal information.

Before a dealer's license may be issued, the following must be submitted with the application for dealer license:

Bond

A surety bond issued by a bonding company qualified to do business in South Dakota. Any dealer renewing his South Dakota dealer license, and who has already filed such surety bond with the department, need not file any further bond; unless the dealership name changes.

New and used vehicle, mobile homes - $25,000
Trailers (over 3,000 pounds) - $10,000
Boats - $20,000
Motorcycles and snowmobiles - $5,000

Insurance

public liability insurance policy of not less than $300,000 for vehicle dealers, used vehicle dealers and motorcycle dealers. This is not required of trailer dealers, snowmobile dealers, mobile home dealers, and boat dealers.

Contact Us

Dealer Licensing Office - Provides information on licensing/renewal requirements, principal place of business requirements, bonding and insurance requirements, fees, dealer plates and permits, title and registration, recordkeeping requirements, violation penalty provisions, etc.
445 E. Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501  |  Phone: 605-773-4416650-773-4416  |  Fax: 605-773-2549

Motor Vehicle Information Section - For general motor vehicle questions, titling and registration.
445 E. Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501  |  Phone: 605-773-3541605-773-3541  |  Fax: 605-773-2550

Dealer Inspector - Answers dealer business questions, provides training and instruction on compliance and procedures, enforces laws and regulations, investigates complaints and violations, conducts inspections, etc

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445 E Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501




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