Section K: Special Plates

Tax Exempt Plates

  1. Vehicles owned by United States, states, counties, townships, and municipalities; vehicles purchased by the state under Sections 18 and 16(b)2 of the Urban Mass Transportation Act; vehicles owned by public school corporations, fire departments, Native American tribes or schools, or non-profit community support providers; buses and vans owned by churches.
    It may be necessary for the applicant to provide additional information to substantiate eligibility.
    • It will be necessary to complete an Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration (MV-608) and an Application for Special License Plates (MV-SLI).
    • No 3% excise tax is due on vehicles owned by the above-indicated entities.
    • The fee for such plates is $4. A $5 mailing fee is also assessed.
    • A title fee must also be included when transferring ownership of the vehicle.
    • A properly completed Damage Disclosure Statement form, if applicable and if damage disclosure information is not contained on the assignment of the certificate of title, must be attached to the application for title.
    • Send properly completed forms directly to the Division of Motor Vehicles; Special Licensing; 445 East Capitol Avenue; Pierre, South Dakota 57501-3185.
    • When plates are being transferred from one vehicle to another, it will be necessary to send a $5 reassignment fee to the Division of Motor Vehicles. An application must be submitted indicating "renewal". A copy of the registration of the vehicle from which the plates are being removed must also be submitted.
    • In the case of a company, the FEIN is required. If the company is a sole proprietorship, the owner’s social security number or South Dakota driver’s license number may be used.
  2. Buses owned by individuals or companies which are being leased or rented by schools may apply for special bus plates. However, when the bus is being used for private or commercial use, it will be necessary for the applicant to obtain commercial plates.
    It may be necessary for the applicant to provide additional information to substantiate eligibility.
    • It will be necessary to complete an application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration (MV-608) and an Application for Special License Plates (MV-SL1).
      • Seating capacity must be declared.
    • Three percent excise tax will be due based on the applicable purchase price.
    • The fee for such plates is $4. A $5 mailing fee is also assessed.
    • A title fee must also be included when transferring ownership of the vehicle.
    • A properly completed Damage Disclosure Statement form, if applicable and if damage disclosure information is not contained on the assignment of the certificate of title, must be attached to the application for title.
    • Send all properly completed forms directly to the Division of Motor Vehicles; Special Licensing; 445 East Capitol Avenue; Pierre, South Dakota 57501-3185.
    • When plates are being transferred from one vehicle to another, it will be necessary to send a $5 plate reassignment fee to the Division of Motor Vehicles. An application must be submitted indicating "renewal". A copy of the registration of the vehicle from which the plates are being removed must also be submitted.
    • In the case of a company, the FEIN is required. If the company is a sole proprietorship, the owner’s social security number or South Dakota driver’s license number may be used.
  3. Driver education vehicles.

    Any motor vehicle dealer who participates in the driver education program in the schools of the state by furnishing any school with a motor vehicle used in the program shall qualify for special license plates.

    • It will be necessary to complete an Application for Special License Plates (MV-SL1).
    • The fee for such plates is $4. A $5 mailing fee is also assessed.
    • Send all properly completed forms directly to the Division of Motor Vehicles; Special Licensing; 445 East Capitol Avenue; Pierre, South Dakota 57501-3185.
    • When plates are being transferred from one vehicle to another, it will be necessary to send a $5 plate reassignment fee to the Division of Motor Vehicles. An application must be submitted indicating "renewal". A copy of the registration of the vehicle from which the plates are being removed must also be submitted.
  4. Heavy motor vehicle operator’s course vehicles.
    • A motor vehicle that is not for hire and operated solely for educational proposes by a student or an instructor as part of a heavy motor vehicle or heavy equipment operator's course offered by a non-profit post secondary institution located in the state is exempt from commercial motor vehicle licensing requirements.


Construction Plates

  1. A vehicle used exclusively on the job site for the construction of township roads, stock water dugouts, dams, farm and ranch irrigation systems or other soil and water conservation projects on farms and ranches, or for the construction or maintenance of highways in the state of South Dakota may qualify for construction plates.
  2. A vehicle eligible for construction plates will be any motor vehicle, trailer, semi trailer, motor propelled or trailed vehicle chassis registered in South Dakota.
  3. Prior to moving any vehicle or equipment (between job sites or from a job site to a central location) that has been issued a construction plate, the owner must issue a $5 permit for the movement of the vehicle or equipment on the roads and highways.
    • The permits, which are obtained through the Highway Patrol, are available in books of 10 for a fee of $50.
    • The permits are self-issued by a company driver.
    • The original (white) copy of the permit must be carried by the driver and displayed on demand by any officer. The duplicate (blue) copy of the permit must be mailed to the South Dakota Highway Patrol (500 East Capitol Avenue; Pierre, SD 57501-5070) prior to beginning the trip.
  4. Examples of this type of equipment would be a portable office on a trailer, a lube trailer, a shop trailer, a tool trailer, or a water truck or fuel truck that does not leave the job site to replenish its supply.
  5. A vehicle such as a gravel truck operated both on and off the highway project or a tractor semitrailer or tractor lowboy type operation used for the hauling of heavy equipment around the state will be construed to be a vehicle that does not quality for construction plates.
  6. To obtain construction plates, applicant must complete an Application for Special License Plates (MV-SL1), and present a South Dakota certificate of title.
    • The application is submitted to the Division of Motor Vehicles.
    • In the case of a company, the FEIN is required. If the company is a sole proprietorship, the owner’s social security number or South Dakota driver’s license number may be used.
  7. Construction plates are to be purchased annually from the Division of Motor Vehicles for a fee of $25. A plate mailing fee is also assessed.
  8. In the event a construction plated vehicle is sold or transferred, the construction plates must be removed from the vehicle and become invalid (plates cannot be used on another vehicle).


Special License Plates for National Guard

  1. A resident owner of a motor vehicle who is a regularly enlisted or commissioned member of the South Dakota National Guard, other than an inactive member, may receive National Guard license plates.
    • Each member of the South Dakota National Guard shall apply to the county treasurer of the county of his/her residence for the special plates.
    • The application shall be accompanied with a copy of the National Guard identification card.
    • The plates will bear a distinctive number and design, designating such persons as a member or retired member of the South Dakota National Guard.
    • The fee for an initial National Guard plate is $10, in addition to the registration fee. There is no additional fee for the renewal of special plates, but the registration fee is assessed. A $5 mailing fee is assessed.
      • If an applicant’s vehicle currently has regular or organization plates assigned to it, the applicant may choose to retain the regular or special license plates that are being removed for future reassignment to a newly acquired vehicle or the applicant may choose to turn in the regular or organization plates to the county treasurer and receive credit for any remaining months on the plates toward the registration fees.
    • The special plates may be used on a noncommercial or a noncommercial declared gross weight licensed vehicle.
  2. A retired member of the South Dakota National Guard, with twenty (20) years or more of creditable service is entitled to make application for National Guard plates. These plates are subject to the same limitations and conditions as are applicable to active members.
  3. Any member of the National Guard who is discharged, separated, or furloughed to a reserve or inactive status shall surrender the National Guard plates to the Division of Motor Vehicles.
  4. Sale or transfer of a vehicle.
    • Upon the sale or transfer of a vehicle to which special license plates are attached, the owner must remove the special plates and may select either of the options below:
      • If an owner is (or will be) replacing the vehicle with a newly acquired vehicle, the owner may request, at time of registration of the newly acquired vehicle, attachment of the special plates to the vehicle. Credit for any remaining months left on the special plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
      • An owner may request transfer of special plates to another vehicle that is owned and titled by the applicant. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed.
        • The special plates may be transferred to a vehicle that already has special license plates assigned to it.
          • Any remaining credit on the special license plates at the time of attachment will apply to the vehicle the plates are being reassigned to. If additional license plate fees are due, the county treasurer will collect the additional fee. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. No refund will be given.
          • The regular or organization plates that are removed from the vehicle are eligible for attachment to a newly acquired vehicle upon registration of the newly acquired vehicle through the county treasurer. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. Credit for any remaining months on the plates at time of registration will apply. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.


Special License Plates for Certain Disabled Veterans

  1. Before a person can receive a disabled veteran plate, an applicant must be an owner of a motor vehicle or motorcycle and be a resident veteran who is either:
    • A recipient of a Veteran’s Administration K Award; or
    • A recipient of an automobile under Public Law 187; or
    • A recipient of a statutory benefit for loss or loss of use of one or more extremities; or
    • A recipient of a veteran’s allotment for a total service-connected disability.
  2. In addition, the disability must have been incurred in active duty during a time of war or while participating in a military mission involving armed conflict.
  3. Initial registration.
    • The disabled veteran (DV) application must be completed using the full name (no initials) and South Dakota driver’s license number or social security number, and submitted to the county treasurer of veteran’s county of residence.
    • The applicant is not exempt from the 3% excise tax.
    • A plate applied for permit will be issued by the county treasurer for the veteran to use in the interim of obtaining the special license plates. The veteran will initially pay the $10 special plate fee and a $5 mailing fee is also assessed.
    • DV plates will be issued from the division upon verification of DV status through the Veteran’s Administration in Sioux Falls, SD. If the applicant does not qualify for DV status, the $10 special license plate fee will be refunded and a collection will be done for the registration fee.
    • A maximum of 2 sets of special DV plates will be issued per veteran.
    • The special plates can be used on an automobile, pickup truck, or van licensed under the noncommercial license fee schedule or a motorcycle.
    • The veteran may choose to use one of the 2 sets of DV plates on a noncommercial motor vehicle that is a pickup truck that weighs more than 6,000 pounds that is licensed under the noncommercial gross vehicle weight fee schedule or a motor home. In this case, the veteran pays the registration fee but is not required to pay the $10 initial and renewal DV plate fee.
  4. Renewal of disabled veteran plates.
    • A fee of $10 is collected yearly by the county treasurer and decals issued for the special plates. No registration fee is assessed unless the plates are being used on a pickup that weighs more than 6,000 pounds licensed under the noncommercial gross weight fee schedule or a motor home (see #7 above).
  5. Sale or transfer of a vehicle.
    • Upon the sale or transfer of a vehicle to which special license plates are attached, the owner must remove the special plates and may select either of the options below:
      • If an owner is (or will be) replacing the vehicle with a newly acquired vehicle, the owner may request, at time of registration of the newly acquired vehicle, attachment of the special plates to the vehicle. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. Credit for any remaining months left on the special plates at time of registration will apply. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
      • An owner may request transfer of special plates to another vehicle that is owned and titled by the applicant.
        • The special plates may be transferred to a vehicle that already has special license plates assigned to it.
          • Any remaining credit on the special license plates at the time of attachment will apply to the vehicle the plates are being reassigned to. If additional license plate fees are due, the county treasurer will collect the additional fee. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. No refund will be given.
          • The regular or organization plates that are removed from the vehicle are eligible for attachment to a newly acquired vehicle upon registration of the newly acquired vehicle through the county treasurer. Credit for any remaining months on the plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
  6. If the applicant dies.
    • The plates must be surrendered to the county treasurer’s office and no additional fees are due for that registration year.


Portable Physically Disabled Person's Parking Permit

  1. Application for portable physically disabled person’s parking permit.
    • Initially, the disabled person parking permit system is being retained under the present mainframe computer system. At some point in the future, plans are to convert these records to the SDcars system.
    • This permit is to be used only when transporting a physically disabled individual and the use of a designated physically disabled person’s parking facility is necessary. Unlawful use of this permit by anyone not authorized to use physically disabled person’s parking facilities is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor and such use may result in revocation of the permit by the Secretary of Revenue.
      • If an applicant is no longer a person with a physical disability or is deceased, or if the applicant no longer transports persons with physical disabilities, the permit must be surrendered within 30 days to the county treasurer of the applicant’s residence.
    • The applicant must properly complete an Application for Portable Physically Disabled Person’s Parking Permit and have it validated by a physician. The application is filed with the county treasurer of the applicant's residence.
    • It is a Class 1 misdemeanor to submit a false or fraudulent application or to alter a portable permit.
  2. The plastic portable permit must be displayed while the vehicle used for transporting the physically disabled person is parked. The permit must be visible through the front windshield of the vehicle.
    • Failure to properly display or the illegal use of any portable parking permit may result in enforcement action.
  3. All portable physically disabled person’s parking permits shall contain an expiration date. The expiration date may not exceed five years.
    • A temporary permit will be construed as a permit expiring within 12 months or less of the issuance date. A permanent permit will be construed as a permit issued for a period of more than 12 months, not to exceed five years. The only distinguishing feature between the temporary permit and the permanent permit is that the expiration date on the permanent permit is denoted in black ink and the expiration date on the temporary permit is denoted in red ink.
    • It is the applicant's responsibility to obtain a new permit prior to its expiration. A new and renewal permit application must be completed. If the applicant's condition is certified as permanent by the certifying doctor on the initial application, the doctor's certification section on the renewal application does not have to be completed. The renewal application will be processed the same way as was the original application.
  4. Vehicles owned by certain nonprofit organizations, licensed hospitals, retirements homes, educational institutions that have under their care or responsibility physically disabled persons, and nursing facilities licensed pursuant to chapter 34-12 (regulation of hospitals and related institutions) may obtain portable physically disabled person’s parking permits.
    • These organizations can obtain one permit for each vehicle used to transport physically disabled persons.
    • The permits are only for the loading and unloading of physically disabled persons. Vehicles cannot be parked in a physically disabled person’s parking facility.
    • Permits must contain an expiration date and must be renewed with the county treasurer.
  5. Violations
    • The court shall assess a fine of not less than $100 if the parking space is marked in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines, as of January 1, 2002, when any person, other than the physically disabled person to whom it was issued uses a physically disabled person’s parking permit for the purpose of parking; when a person who is not a person with a physical disability exercises the privileges granted to a person with a physical disability; when the owner of any vehicle not displaying a permit or special plate parks or stops in a parking space, or blocks a parking space on public or private property designated as reserved for a person with a physical disability; when an owner of a vehicle parks, stops, or stands in an access isle or lane immediately adjacent to reserved parking spaces or in front of a ramp or curb-cut in such a manner that blocks access to a person with a disability who uses a wheel chair.
    • The police of any municipality or any other political subdivision are requested to report all violations of special license plates or permits to the Division of Motor Vehicles; who in turn, must revoke the privilege of displaying plates or permits that are improperly used.
    • Each designated parking space must state the penalties for illegal use of the parking space. This only applies to a new sign or a sign that replaces an existing sign after July 1, 2002.
  6. Parking Spaces for Physically Disabled Persons
    • Each municipality shall, by ordinance designate special parking spaces that are accessible to and usable by persons with physical disabilities.
    • A municipality may, by ordinance, designate spaces that are only for use by a person using a wheel chair.


Plates for Substantially Physically Disabled Persons

  1. Permanently physically disabled persons may obtain special vehicle or motorcycle license plates.
    • Application is made through the applicant’s county treasurer in the county of applicant’s residence.
    • Applicant must complete an Application for Physically Disabled Person’s License Plates.
    • It is a Class 1 misdemeanor to submit a false or fraudulent application.
    • Applicant must submit a physician's certificate on a form approved by the Secretary of Revenue, which states that he is substantially disabled by a physical disability and that it is impossible or causes substantial hardship for him to walk.
    • The applicant pays the registration fee and there is no additional charge for the physically disabled persons’ license plates. A $5 mailing fee is assessed.
      • If an applicant’s vehicle currently has regular or organization plates assigned to it, the applicant may choose to retain the regular or special license plates that are being removed for future reassignment to a newly acquired vehicle or the applicant may choose to turn in the regular or organization plates to the county treasurer and receive credit for any remaining months on the plates toward the registration fees.
    • The special plates may be used on a noncommercial or a noncommercial declared gross weight licensed vehicle or a motorcycle.
  2. Plates are limited to physically disabled persons who own the vehicles and who operate or direct the operation of the vehicles.
    • Effective July 1, 1995, skilled nursing facilities, licensed pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 34-12 (regulation of hospitals and related institutions), who transport physically disabled persons, are eligible for physically disabled person’s license plates.
      • Applicant must comply with procedures for obtaining special plates as set out herein. However, a physician's certificate on the application form is not required.
      • The plates are only for loading for unloading of physically disabled persons. Vehicles cannot be parked in a physically disabled person’s parking facility.
  3. Renewal of physically disabled person’s parking plates.
    • Renewal is made though the county treasurer.
    • The registration fee is charged, but there is no additional fee charged for the special plate.
  4. Sale or transfer of a vehicle.
    • Upon the sale or transfer of a vehicle to which special license plates are attached, the owner must remove the special plates and may select either of the options below:
      • If an owner is (or will be) replacing the vehicle with a newly acquired vehicle, the owner may request, at time of registration of the newly acquired vehicle, attachment of the special plates to the vehicle. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. Credit for any remaining months left on the special plates at time of registration will apply. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
      • An owner may request transfer of special plates to another vehicle that is owned and titled by the applicant.
        • The special plates may be transferred to a vehicle that already has special license plates assigned to it.
          • Any remaining credit on the special license plates at the time of attachment will apply to the vehicle the plates are being reassigned to. If additional license plate fees are due, the county treasurer will collect the additional fee. A $5 reassignment fee is assessed. No refund will be given.
          • The regular or organization plates that are removed from the vehicle are eligible for attachment to a newly acquired vehicle upon registration of the newly acquired vehicle through the county treasurer. Credit for any remaining months on the plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
  5. Violations
    • The court shall assess a fine of not less than $100 if the parking space is marked in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines, as of January 1, 2002, when any person, other than the physically disabled person to whom it was issued uses a physically disabled person’s parking permit for the purpose of parking; when a person who is not a person with a physical disability exercises the privileges granted to a person with a physical disability; when the owner of any vehicle not displaying a permit or special plate parks or stops in a parking space, or blocks a parking space on public or private property designated as reserved for a person with a physical disability; when an owner of a vehicle parks, stops, or stands in an access isle or lane immediately adjacent to reserved parking spaces or in front of a ramp or curb-cut in such a manner that blocks access to a person with a disability who uses a wheel chair.
    • The police of any municipality or any other political subdivision are requested to report all violations of special license plates or permits to the Division of Motor Vehicles; who in turn, must revoke the privilege of displaying plates or permits that are improperly used.
    • Each designated parking space must state the penalties for illegal use of the parking space. This only applies to a new sign or a sign that replaces an existing sign after July 1, 2002.


Special License Plates for Prisoners of War

  1. Any resident of South Dakota who was a prisoner of war (POW) while serving in the United States Armed Forces is eligible for special motor vehicle license plates.
  2. Initial registration.
    • The Prisoner of War (POW) application must be completed using the full name (no initials) and South Dakota driver’s license number or social security number of the veteran and must be submitted to the county treasurer of veteran’s county of residence.
    • The applicant is not exempt from the 3% excise tax.
    • A plate applied for permit will be issued by the county treasurer for the veteran to use in the interim of obtaining the special license plates. The veteran will initially pay the $10 special plate fee and a $5 mailing fee is also assessed.
    • POW plates will be issued from the division upon verification of POW status through the Veteran’s Administration in Sioux Falls, SD. If the applicant does not qualify for POW status, the $10 special license plate fee will be refunded and a collection done for the registration fee.
    • A maximum of 2 sets of special POW plates will be issued per veteran.
    • The special plates can only be used on an automobile, pickup truck, or van licensed under the noncommercial license fee schedule or a motorcycle.
    • The veteran may choose to use one of the 2 sets of POW plates on a noncommercial motor vehicle that is a pickup truck that weighs more than 6,000 pounds that is licensed under the noncommercial gross vehicle weight fee schedule or a motor home. In this case, the veteran pays the registration fee but is not required to pay the $10 initial and renewal POW plate fee.
  3. Renewal.
    • A fee of $10 is collected yearly by the county treasurer and decals issued for the special plates. No registration fee is assessed.
  4. Sale or transfer of vehicle.
    • Upon the sale or transfer of a vehicle to which special license plates are attached, the owner must remove the special plates and may select either of the options below:
      • If an owner is (or will be) replacing the vehicle with a newly acquired vehicle, the owner may request, at time of registration of the newly acquired vehicle, attachment of the special plates to the vehicle. Credit for any remaining months left on the special plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
      • An owner may request transfer of special plates to another vehicle that is owned and titled by the applicant.
        • The special plates may be transferred to a vehicle that already has special license plates assigned to it.
          • Any remaining credit on the special license plates at the time of attachment will apply to the vehicle the plates are being reassigned to. If additional license plate fees are due, the county treasurer will collect the additional fee. A $5 reassignment fee is assessed. No refund will be given.
          • The regular or organization plates that are removed from the vehicle are eligible for attachment to a newly acquired vehicle upon registration of the newly acquired vehicle through the county treasurer. Credit for any remaining months on the plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
  5. Surrender of plates.
    • If it is determined that the veteran does not qualify for the special plates or if the veteran dies, the plates must be surrendered to the county treasurer’s office of the applicant’s county of residence.


Ameteur and/or Commercial Radio Plates

  1. Special plates may be obtained from the Division of Motor Vehicles by any official amateur radio operator licensed by the FCC or any licensed commercial station.
    • Application is made through the applicant’s county treasurer in the county of applicant’s residence.
    • Applicant must complete an Application for Special License Plates (MV-SL1).
    • Upon initial application, the applicant is assessed a $10 fee, in addition to the registration fee. A $5 mailing fee is also assessed.
    • An applicant for amateur radio plates must provide a copy of his FCC license when applying for amateur radio plates.
    • Applicants are allowed to obtain more than one set of the same plate for multiple vehicles; however, each set of plates must be distinguished by using a distinctive numeric at the end of the call letters (for example: KOTQ1; KOTQ2, etc.).
    • The special plates may be used on a noncommercial or a noncommercial declared gross weight licensed vehicle.
  2. The plates may bear the inscription of the station's call numbers and shall be displayed on the vehicle.
    • Special license plates shall be validated each year with distinctive stickers and are valid only for the registration year for which stickers are issued.
    • Upon renewal, the owner pays only the registration fee.
      • If an applicant’s vehicle currently has regular or organization plates assigned to it, the applicant may choose to retain the regular or special license plates that are being removed for future reassignment to a newly acquired vehicle or the applicant may choose to turn in the regular or organization plates to the county treasurer and receive credit for any remaining months on the plates toward the registration fees.
  3. In the event the FCC license is voided, the applicant must return the special plates to the county treasurer.
  4. Sale or transfer of vehicle.
    • Upon the sale or transfer of a vehicle to which special license plates are attached, the owner must remove the special plates and may select either of the options below:
      • If an owner is (or will be) replacing the vehicle with a newly acquired vehicle, the owner may request, at time of registration of the newly acquired vehicle, attachment of the special plates to the vehicle. Credit for any remaining months left on the special plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
      • An owner may request transfer of special plates to another vehicle that is owned and titled by the applicant.
        • The special plates may be transferred to a vehicle that already has special license plates assigned to it.
          • Any remaining credit on the special license plates at the time of attachment will apply to the vehicle the plates are being reassigned to. If additional license plate fees are due, the county treasurer will collect the additional fee. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. No refund will be given.
          • The regular or organization plates that are removed from the vehicle are eligible for attachment to a newly acquired vehicle upon registration of the newly acquired vehicle through the county treasurer. Credit for any remaining months on the plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.


Purple Heart Plates

  1. Any resident veteran owner of a motor vehicle who has received the Purple Heart medal can apply for special motor vehicle license plates.
  2. Initial registration.
    • The Purple Heart application must be completed using the full name (no initials) of the veteran and submitted to the county treasurer of the veteran’s county of residence.
    • The veteran must submit a copy of DD Form 214, discharge papers verifying eligibility.
    • The applicant is not exempt from the 3% excise tax.
    • A plate applied for permit will be issued by the county treasurer for the veteran to use in the interim of obtaining the special license plates. The veteran will initially pay the $10 special plate fee and a $5 mailing fee is also assessed.
    • If the applicant does not qualify for Purple Heart status, the $10 special license plate fee will be refunded and a collection done for the registration fees.
    • A maximum of 2 sets of special Purple Heart plates will be issued per veteran.
    • The special plates can be used on an automobile, pickup truck, or van licensed under the noncommercial fee schedule or a motorcycle.
      • The veteran may choose to use one of the 2 sets of Purple Heart plates on a noncommercial motor vehicle that is a pickup truck that weighs more than 6,000 pounds that is licensed under the noncommercial gross vehicle weight fee schedule or a motor home. In this case, the veteran pays the registration fee but is not required to pay the $10 initial and renewal Purple Heart plate fee.
  3. Renewal.
    • A fee of $10 will be collected yearly by the county treasurer and decals issued for the special plates. No registration fee is charged.
  4. Sale or transfer of vehicle.
    • Upon the sale or transfer of a vehicle to which special license plates are attached, the owner must remove the special plates and may select either of the options below:
      • If an owner is (or will be) replacing the vehicle with a newly acquired vehicle, the owner may request, at time of registration of the newly acquired vehicle, attachment of the special plates to the vehicle. Credit for any remaining months left on the special plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
      • An owner may request transfer of special plates to another vehicle that is owned and titled by the applicant.
        • The special plates may be transferred to a vehicle that already has special license plates assigned to it.
          • Any remaining credit on the special license plates at the time of attachment will apply to the vehicle the plates are being reassigned to. If additional license plate fees are due, the county treasurer will collect the additional fee. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. No refund will be given.
          • The regular or organization plates that are removed from the vehicle are eligible for attachment to a newly acquired vehicle upon registration of the newly acquired vehicle through the county treasurer. Credit for any remaining months on the plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
  5. Surrender of plates.
    • If it is determined that the veteran does not qualify for the special plates or if the veteran dies, the plates must be surrendered to the county treasurer’s office of the applicant’s county of residence.


Pearl Harbor Plates

  1. Any resident of South Dakota who was serving in the United States Armed Forces and survived the attack at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, and who received an honorable discharge may apply for special motor vehicle license plates.
  2. Initial registration.
    • The Pearl Harbor Survivor (PHS) application must be completed using the full name (no initials) and VA Claim Number and submitted to the county treasurer of the veteran’s county of residence.
    • The applicant is not exempt from the 3% excise tax.
    • A plate applied for permit will be issued by the county treasurer for the veteran to use in the interim of obtaining the special license plates. The veteran will initially pay the $10 special plate fee and a $5 mailing fee is also assessed.
    • If the applicant does not qualify for PHS status, the $10 special license plate fee will be refunded and a collection done for the registration fees.
    • A maximum of 2 sets of special PHS plates will be issued per veteran.
    • The special plates can be used on an automobile, pickup truck, or van licensed under the noncommercial license fee schedule or a motorcycle.
      • The veteran may choose to use one of the 2 sets of PHS plates on a noncommercial motor vehicle that is a pickup truck that weighs more than 6,000 pounds that is licensed under the noncommercial gross vehicle weight fee schedule or a motor home. In this case, the veteran pays the registration fee but is not required to pay the $10 initial and renewal PHS plate fee.
  3. Renewal.
    • A fee of $10 will be collected yearly by the county treasurer and decals issued for the special plates, no registration fee is assessed.
  4. Sale or transfer of vehicle.
    • Upon the sale or transfer of a vehicle to which special license plates are attached, the owner must remove the special plates and may select either of the options below:
      • If an owner is (or will be) replacing the vehicle with a newly acquired vehicle, the owner may request, at time of registration of the newly acquired vehicle, attachment of the special plates to the vehicle. Credit for any remaining months left on the special plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
      • An owner may request transfer of special plates to another vehicle that is owned and titled by the applicant.
        • The special plates may be transferred to a vehicle that already has special license plates assigned to it.
          • Any remaining credit on the special license plates at the time of attachment will apply to the vehicle the plates are being reassigned to. If additional license plate fees are due, the county treasurer will collect the additional fee. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. No refund will be given.
          • The regular or organization plates that are removed from the vehicle are eligible for attachment to a newly acquired vehicle upon registration of the newly acquired vehicle through the county treasurer. Credit for any remaining months on the plates at time of registration will apply. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
  5. Surrender of plates.
    • If it is determined that the veteran does not qualify for the special plates or if the veteran dies, the plates must be surrendered to the county treasurer’s office of the applicant’s county of residence.


Veteran and Active Duty Military Member Plates

  1. A resident veteran or active duty military member owner of a motor vehicle who has a South Dakota driver’s license and who signs an application/affidavit may apply to the Secretary of Revenue for special vehicle veteran or active duty member license plates.
    • Application is made through the applicant’s county treasurer in the county of applicant’s residence.
  2. Initial Application for Veteran and Active Duty Military Member License Plates.
    • The South Dakota Application for Veteran and Active Duty Military Member License Plates and Affidavit must be used by the veteran or active duty military member to attest that he/she is a resident of South Dakota, possesses a valid South Dakota driver’s license, and is an honorably discharged veteran having served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States or is currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
      • An owner falsely attesting to having been an honorably discharged veteran on active duty from the armed forces of the United States or of currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.
    • The application/affidavit form will also be used by the veteran or active duty military member to indicate the military branch of the armed forces that applies and choose from predetermined plate indicators pertaining to conflict and status that are available to the veteran or active duty military member.
    • The applicant is not exempt from the 3% excise tax.
    • Upon initial application, the registration fee is charged in addition to a $10 fee for the special plates. A $5 mailing fee is also assessed.
      • If an applicant’s vehicle currently has regular or organization plates assigned to it, the applicant may choose to retain the regular or special license plates that are being removed for future reassignment to a newly acquired vehicle or the applicant may choose to turn in the regular or organization plates to the county treasurer and receive credit for any remaining months on the plates toward the registration fees.
    • Veteran or Active Duty Military Member plates can be used on any noncommercial or declared gross weight licensed vehicle or motor home and, effective March 1, 2012 are also available for a motorcycle.
  3. Renewal of Veteran or Active Duty Military Member Plates.
    • The veteran or active duty military member pays the registration fee, but is not assessed an additional fee for the special plates.
  4. Sale or transfer of vehicle.
    • Upon the sale or transfer of a vehicle to which special license plates are attached, the owner must remove the special plates and may select either of the options below:
      • If an owner is (or will be) replacing the vehicle with a newly acquired vehicle, the owner may request, at time of registration of the newly acquired vehicle, attachment of the special plates to the vehicle. Credit for any remaining months left on the special plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed.
      • An owner may request transfer of special plates to another vehicle that is owned and titled by the applicant.
        • The special plates may be transferred to a vehicle that already has special license plates assigned to it.
          • Any remaining credit on the special license plates at the time of attachment will apply to the vehicle the plates are being reassigned to. If additional license plate fees are due, the county treasurer will collect the additional fee. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. No refund will be given.
          • The regular or organization plates that are removed from the vehicle are eligible for attachment to a newly acquired vehicle upon registration of the newly acquired vehicle through the county treasurer. Credit for any remaining months on the plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
  5. If applicant dies.
    • The plates may be retained by the veteran or active duty military member owner’s family, but may not be displayed on the vehicle beyond the expiration date of the plates or stickers.


Congressional Medal of Honor Plates

  1. Any resident veteran owner of a motor vehicle who has received the Congressional Medal of Honor may apply for special license plates.
    • The application must be completed using full name (no initials).
    • The applicant is not exempt from the 3% excise tax due.
    • No license fee is charged (registration fee or special license plate fee).
    • The initial application is submitted to the veteran’s county treasurer in the veteran’s county of residence.
    • A maximum of two sets of plates may be issued.
  2. Renewal of Congressional Medal of Honor Plates.
    • No fee for the renewal of the plates.
  3. Sale or transfer of vehicle.
    • Upon the sale or transfer of a vehicle to which special license plates are attached, the owner must remove the special plates and may select either of the options below:
      • If an owner is (or will be) replacing the vehicle with a newly acquired vehicle, the owner may request, at time of registration of the newly acquired vehicle, attachment of the special plates to the vehicle.
      • An owner may request transfer of special plates to another vehicle that is owned and titled by the applicant.
        • The special plates may be transferred to a vehicle that already has special license plates assigned to it.
          • The regular or organization plates that are removed from the vehicle are eligible for attachment to a newly acquired vehicle upon registration of the newly acquired vehicle through the county treasurer. Credit for any remaining months on the plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
  4. If the applicant dies, the special plates may be retained by the veteran's family, but may not be displayed on the vehicle beyond the expiration of the plates or renewal stickers.


Historical Vehicles

  1. A vehicle or motorcycle over 30 years old that is used only for special occasions such as display, exhibitions, parades, etc., and not for general transportation, although the vehicle/motorcycle may be driven to and from service stations for fuel and repairs, may be licensed as a historical vehicle/motorcycle.
  2. Historical plates can be obtained for a one-time $10 registration fee. Application is made directly to the Division of Motor Vehicles. A $5 mailing fee is also assessed.
    • Applicant must complete and submit an Application for Special License Plates (MV-SL1).
    • The original title (South Dakota or out-of-state) must be surrendered and sent with the bill of sale and application for title (MV-608) to the Division of Motor Vehicles.
    • If all efforts have been made to locate the title and no records can be found, an affidavit must be submitted indicating efforts made in locating the previous owner to obtain the title.
    • It will be at the discretion of the Division of Motor Vehicles to determine if a title will be issued based upon the applicant's documentation which is submitted.
    • The South Dakota driver's license number or social security number of each owner must be given. In the case of a company, the FEIN is required. If the company is a sole proprietorship, the owner’s social security number or South Dakota driver’s license number may be used.
  3. Historical plates remain with the owner upon sale or transfer of a vehicle. The plates can be attached to a newly acquired historical vehicle upon title and registration of the newly acquired vehicle. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed.
    • Historical plates can stay attached upon transfer of the vehicle, provided the former owner of both the vehicle and the plates authorizes in writing the reassignment of ownership of the plate to the new owner(s). The new plate owner(s) pays a $10 fee.


Historical Vehicles/Original Plates

  1. A motor vehicle (does not include motorcycles) registered pursuant to 32-5-77 (historical vehicle) may, in-lieu-of being issued number plates, display original South Dakota number plates issued in the same year as the model year of the car on which they are displayed.
  2. The plates must be in good condition and cannot be used if the number on the original plate is identical to a number on any other plate in a numbering system currently being used.
    • A photograph of the license plates (set) must be included with the application.
  3. Authorization will be granted for the display of only one license plate in those years in which only one plate was issued.
  4. The Division of Motor Vehicles must approve the use of the plates.
  5. A fee of $10 shall be assessed, as well as a $5 plate reassignment fee.


Fire Fighter License Plates

  1. A resident of this state who is a fire fighter may apply for special plates designating such person as a fire fighter.
    • Application is made through the applicant’s county treasurer in the county of applicant’s residence.
    • In addition to the registration fee, the applicant pays a special plate fee of $10 for the initial application. A $5 mailing fee is also assessed. Upon renewal, the owner pays only the registration fee.
      • If an applicant’s vehicle currently has regular or organization plates assigned to it, the applicant may choose to retain the regular or special license plates that are being removed for future reassignment to a newly acquired vehicle or the applicant may choose to turn in the regular or organization plates to the county treasurer and receive credit for any remaining months on the plates toward the registration fees.
    • Applicant must complete and submit an application for Special License Plates (MV-SL1).
    • The special plates may be used on a noncommercial licensed or a noncommercial declared gross weight vehicle.
  2. Sale or transfer of vehicle.
    • Upon the sale or transfer of a vehicle to which special license plates are attached, the owner must remove the special plates and may select either of the options below:
      • If an owner is (or will be) replacing the vehicle with a newly acquired vehicle, the owner may request, at time of registration of the newly acquired vehicle, attachment of the special plates to the vehicle. Credit for any remaining months left on the special plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed.
      • An owner may request transfer of special plates to another vehicle that is owned and titled by the applicant.
        • The special plates may be transferred to a vehicle that already has special license plates assigned to it.
          • Any remaining credit on the special license plates at the time of attachment will apply to the vehicle the plates are being reassigned to. If additional license plate fees are due, the county treasurer will collect the additional fee. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. No refund will be given.
          • The regular or organization plates that are removed from the vehicle are eligible for attachment to a newly acquired vehicle upon registration of the newly acquired vehicle through the county treasurer. Credit for any remaining months on the plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
  3. If the fire fighter is discharged, separated or retires, the distinctive plates are to be surrendered to the county treasurer.


Personalized License Plates

  1. Application for special personalized license plates shall be made to the applicant’s county treasurer in the applicant’s county of residence.
    • An application for personalized plates (MV-239), the registration fee, plus a $25 fee for the special license plates is required. A $5 mailing fee is assessed.
      • If an applicant’s vehicle currently has regular or organization plates assigned to it, the applicant may choose to retain the regular or special license plates that are being removed for future reassignment to a newly acquired vehicle or the applicant may choose to turn in the regular or organization plates to the county treasurer and receive credit for any remaining months on the plates toward the registration fees.
    • Personalized plates can consist of no more than seven letters/numbers, nor less than one letter/number (the number 1 and the number 2 are not available). Spaces should be indicated on the application if desired.
    • Applicant shall state the meaning behind the requested personalized plate, on the application form.
    • The special plates may be used on a noncommercial licensed or a noncommercial declared gross weight vehicle or a motorcycle.
  2. Renewal.
    • Personalized license plates shall be renewed each year on a staggered registration basis and are valid only for the registration year for which such stickers are issued.
    • The renewal fee is $25, plus the registration fee.
  3. Sale or transfer of vehicle.
    • Upon the sale or transfer of a vehicle to which special license plates are attached, the owner must remove the special plates and may select either of the options below:
      • If an owner is (or will be) replacing the vehicle with a newly acquired vehicle, the owner may request, at time of registration of the newly acquired vehicle, attachment of the special plates to the vehicle. Credit for any remaining months left on the special plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed.
      • An owner may request transfer of special plates to another vehicle that is owned and titled by the applicant.
        • The special plates may be transferred to a vehicle that already has special license plates assigned to it.
          • Any remaining credit on the special license plates at the time of attachment will apply to the vehicle the plates are being reassigned to. If additional license plate fees are due, the county treasurer will collect the additional fee. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. No refund will be given.
          • The regular or organization plates that are removed from the vehicle are eligible for attachment to a newly acquired vehicle upon registration of the newly acquired vehicle through the county treasurer. Credit for any remaining months on the plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
  4. In the event an owner has purchased personalized license plates and then wants different personalized license plates for the vehicle, the owner can turn in the personalized license plates, receive credit for remaining months on the plates, and pay the $25 plate fee (prorated). A duplicate plate fee is not assessed.


Personalized Motorcycle Plates

  1. An owner of a motorcycle who is a resident of this state may apply for personalized motorcycle license plates. Personalized plates may contain a maximum of six letters/numbers and a minimum of one letter/number (the number 1 and the number 2 are not available).
    • The annual fee for the plate is $20, in addition to the registration fee. A $5 mailing fee is assessed.
      • If an applicant’s vehicle currently has regular or organization plates assigned to it, the applicant may choose to retain the regular or special license plates that are being removed for future reassignment to a newly acquired vehicle or the applicant may choose to turn in the regular or organization plates to the county treasurer and receive credit for any remaining months on the plates toward the registration fees.
    • Initial application is made to the county treasurer of the applicant’s county of residence.
      • Renewal is made through the applicant’s county treasurer’s office.
  2. Sale or transfer of vehicle.
    • Upon the sale or transfer of a vehicle to which special license plates are attached, the owner must remove the special plates and may select either of the options below:
      • If an owner is (or will be) replacing the vehicle with a newly acquired vehicle, the owner may request, at time of registration of the newly acquired vehicle, attachment of the special plates to the vehicle. Credit for any remaining months left on the special plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed.
      • An owner may request transfer of special plates to another vehicle that is owned and titled by the applicant.
        • The special plates may be transferred to a vehicle that already has special license plates assigned to it.
          • Any remaining credit on the special license plates at the time of attachment will apply to the vehicle the plates are being reassigned to. If additional license plate fees are due, the county treasurer will collect the additional fee. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. No refund will be given.
          • The regular or organization plates that are removed from the vehicle are eligible for attachment to a newly acquired vehicle upon registration of the newly acquired vehicle through the county treasurer. Credit for any remaining months on the plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
  3. In the event an owner has purchased a personalized license plate and then wants a different personalized license plate for the vehicle, the owner can turn in the personalized license plate, receive credit for remaining months on the plate, and pay the $20 plate fee (prorated). A duplicate plate fee is not assessed.


Native American Tribal License Plates

  1. Any owner of a motor vehicle, who is a resident of this state, may obtain Native American tribal license plates.
    • Application is made through the applicant’s county treasurer in the applicant’s county of residence.
    • The initial fee for the Native American tribal plates is $10, in addition to the registration fee. A $5 mailing fee is also assessed.
      • If an applicant’s vehicle currently has regular or organization plates assigned to it, the applicant may choose to retain the regular or special license plates that are being removed for future reassignment to a newly acquired vehicle or the applicant may choose to turn in the regular or organization plates to the county treasurer and receive credit for any remaining months on the plates toward the registration fees.
    • Applicant must complete and submit an Application for Special License Plates (MV-SL1).
    • The special plates may be used on a noncommercial or a noncommercial declared gross weight licensed vehicle.
  2. Renewals are processed through the applicant’s county treasurer. There is no renewal fee for the special plates, other than the registration fee.
  3. Sale or transfer of vehicle.
    • Upon the sale or transfer of a vehicle to which special license plates are attached, the owner must remove the special plates and may select either of the options below:
      • If an owner is (or will be) replacing the vehicle with a newly acquired vehicle, the owner may request, at time of registration of the newly acquired vehicle, attachment of the special plates to the vehicle. Credit for any remaining months left on the special plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed.
      • An owner may request transfer of special plates to another vehicle that is owned and titled by the applicant.
        • The special plates may be transferred to a vehicle that already has special license plates assigned to it.
          • Any remaining credit on the special license plates at the time of attachment will apply to the vehicle the plates are being reassigned to. If additional license plate fees are due, the county treasurer will collect the additional fee. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. No refund will be given.
          • The regular or organization plates that are removed from the vehicle are eligible for attachment to a newly acquired vehicle upon registration of the newly acquired vehicle through the county treasurer. Credit for any remaining months on the plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.


Organization Plates

  1. (available January 1, 2000) Any owner of a motor vehicle or (available July 1, 2009) motorcycle, who is a resident of this state, who has a valid South Dakota driver’s license or South Dakota identification number as assigned by the Department of Public Safety, may upon request receive from the county treasurer a set of organization plates that allow for the placement of an organization decal on the plates.
    • The plates may only be used on noncommercial or noncommercial declared gross weight vehicles and motorcycles (not allowed on commercial vehicles, trailers, snowmobiles, or boats).
    • If the organization plates are requested at time of initial application, no additional fee is charged for the plates, above the costs involved in registering the vehicle. If the plates are requested later or if the vehicle has current plates, the plates must be surrendered and a $10 fee is charged, in addition to any applicable costs involved in the registration.
  2. Sale or transfer of vehicle.
    • Upon the sale or transfer of the vehicle or motorcycle to which the organizational plates are attached, the owner must remove the plates and may select either of the options below:
      • The plates, if valid (not expired) can be attached to a newly acquired vehicle or motorcycle upon registration of the vehicle through the county treasurer.
      • Any remaining credit on the plates at the time of registration is applied.
      • A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed.
    • An owner may request transfer of the organization plates to another vehicle or motorcycle that is owned and titled by the applicant.
      • Organization plates may be transferred to a vehicle or motorcycle that already has special license plates assigned to it.
      • Any remaining credit on the organization plates at the time of attachment will apply to the vehicle or motorcycle the plates are being reassigned to. If additional license plate fees are due, the county treasurer will collect the additional fee. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. No refund will be given.
      • The regular or organization plates that are removed from the vehicle or motorcycle are eligible for attachment to a newly acquired vehicle or motorcycle upon registration of the newly acquired vehicle through the county treasurer. Credit for any remaining months on the plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
  3. To qualify for organization decals, an organization must be a nonprofit corporation or a group of nonprofit corporations with a common purpose, on file with the secretary of state’s office and must have a minimum of 200 members. In addition, the following requirements must be met.
    • The primary activity or interest of the organization or group of organizations serves the community, contributes to the welfare of others, and is not offensive or discriminatory in its purpose, nature, activity, or name.
    • The name and purpose of the organization or group of organizations does not promote any specific product or brand name that is provided for sale; and
    • The decal of the organization or group of organizations does not promote a specific religion, faith, or anti-religious belief.
    • The organization shall make application for the decals to the division and provide the following:
      • A copy of its articles of incorporation for each organization.
      • A copy of its charter or by-laws for each organization.
      • Any Internal Revenue Service rulings of each organization’s nonprofit tax exemption status.
      • A completed decal design with the organization name and the organization logo (no larger than three inches by three inches); or in the case of a group of organizations, a decal design which clearly depicts the common purpose and theme of the group.
        • Effective July 1, 2006, the department may authorize an organization to use a decal produced by the organization. The organization must request approval by submitting, along with the application, an original decal.
          • The size of the decal must be approximately 3” x 3”.
      • A completed application for organization decals on a form provided by the department.
      • If approved, the organization or program must purchase a minimum of 100 sets of the organization decals. The organization must reimburse the division for the cost of the decals, plus a 15 percent administrative fee. The decals are produced by the Penitentiary and sent to the organization.
      • The organization is responsible for establishing the qualifying criteria for the decals, selling/distributing the decals, etc.
  4. Effective July 1, 2004, any first responder organization may apply for first responder decals; effective July 1, 2013, any organ donor program may apply for organ donor decals.
    • First responder organizations and organ donor programs must meet the requirements as set out in 1-3 and d-f above. A first responder application and decal design must be approved by the Department of Public Safety.
    • All other criteria established for organization decals pertain to first responder decals.


Gold Star Family Plates

  1. A resident owner of a motor vehicle who is a parent, a spouse, a sibling, or a child of a member of the US Armed Forces who died while in service to this country or who died as a result of the service may apply for special Gold Star Family license plates.
    • Application is made through the applicant’s county treasurer in the county of applicant’s residence.
    • The special plates may be used on a noncommercial or a noncommercial declared gross weight licensed vehicle.
  2. Initial Application for Gold Star Family Plates.
    • The application must be accompanied by a copy of the Department of Defense Report of Casualty (DD Form 1300) or death notice, or verification from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that the service member’s death was service related.
    • An applicant may receive a maximum of two sets of the special license plates.
    • Upon initial application, the applicant is charged a $10 fee for the special plates, in addition to the registration fee. A $5 mailing fee is also assessed.
      • If an applicant’s vehicle currently has regular or organization plates assigned to it, the applicant may choose to retain the regular or special license plates that are being removed for future reassignment to a newly acquired vehicle or the applicant may choose to turn in the regular or organization plates to the county treasurer and receive credit for any remaining months on the plates toward the registration fees.
    • Gold Star Family plates are available for noncommercial vehicles only.
  3. Renewal of Gold Star Family Plates.
    • The registration fee is assessed, but no additional fee is assessed for the special plates.
  4. Sale or transfer of vehicle.
    • Upon the sale or transfer of a vehicle to which special license plates are attached, the owner must remove the special plates and may select either of the options below:
      • If an owner is (or will be) replacing the vehicle with a newly acquired vehicle, the owner may request, at time of registration of the newly acquired vehicle, attachment of the special plates to the vehicle. Credit for any remaining months left on the special plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed.
      • An owner may request transfer of special plates to another vehicle that is owned and titled by the applicant.
        • The special plates may be transferred to a vehicle that already has special license plates assigned to it.
          • Any remaining credit on the special license plates at the time of attachment will apply to the vehicle the plates are being reassigned to. If additional license plate fees are due, the county treasurer will collect the additional fee. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. No refund will be given.
          • The regular or organization plates that are removed from the vehicle are eligible for attachment to a newly acquired vehicle upon registration of the newly acquired vehicle through the county treasurer. Credit for any remaining months on the plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
  5. If applicant dies.
    • The special plates may be retained by the plate owner’s family, but may not be displayed on the vehicle beyond the expiration date of the plates or stickers.


Silver Star Medal, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device and Bronze Star Medal

  1. A resident owner of a motor vehicle who has received the silver star medal, distinguished service cross, navy cross, air force cross, distinguished flying cross, bronze star medal with valor device and bronze star medal and who has a valid SD driver license may receive special plates.
  2. Initial registration
    • The application must be completed using the full name (no initials) and be accompanied by a copy of the service persons DD 214 form, a copy of the certificate awarded to the service person upon presentation of the medal, or other official documentation that substantiates eligibility. The completed application and supporting documentation must be submitted to the county treasurer of the applicant’s county of residence.
    • The applicant is not exempt from the 3% motor vehicle excise tax.
    • A plate applied for permit will be issued by the county treasurer for the applicant to use in the interim of obtaining the special license plates.
    • Upon initial application, the registration fee is charged in addition to a $10 fee for the special plates. A $5 mailing fee is also assessed.
      • If an applicant’s vehicle currently has regular or organization plates assigned to it, the applicant may choose to retain the regular or special plates that are being removed for future reassignment to a newly acquired vehicle or the applicant may choose to turn in the regular or organization plates to the county treasurer and receive a credit for any remaining months on the plates toward the registration fees.
    • The special plates can be used on any noncommercial or declared gross weight licensed vehicle or a motor home and are also available for a motorcycle.
  3. Renewal of plates
    • The applicant pays the registration fee but is not assessed an additional fee for the plates.
  4. Sale or transfer of vehicle.
    • Upon the sale or transfer of a vehicle to which special license plates are attached, the owner must remove the special plates and may select either of the options below:
      • If an owner is (or will be) replacing the vehicle with a newly acquired vehicle, the owner may request, at time of registration of the newly acquired vehicle, attachment of the special plates to the vehicle. Credit for any remaining months left on the special plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed.
      • An owner may request transfer of special plates to another vehicle that is owned and titled by the applicant.
        • Any remaining credit on the special license plates at the time of attachment will apply to the vehicle the plates are being reassigned to. If additional license plate fees are due, the county treasurer will collect the additional fee. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. No refund will be given.
        • The regular or organization plates that are removed from the vehicle are eligible for attachment to a newly acquired vehicle upon registration of the newly acquired vehicle through the county treasurer. Credit for any remaining months on the plates at time of registration will apply. A $5 plate reassignment fee is assessed. If the plates expire prior to attachment, the plates are invalid and cannot be used.
  5. If applicant no longer qualifies for the plates or dies
    • If the applicant no longer qualifies, the plates must be surrendered to the county treasurer.
    • If the applicant dies, the special plates may be retained by the owner’s family upon the owner’s death, but may not be displayed on the vehicle beyond the expiration of the plates or renewal stickers.
    • Failure to surrender the special plates as required is a Class 2 misdemeanor.


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