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Motor Vehicle

Trucks Driving in Traffic

Online Services

The Motor Vehicle Division provides and maintains motor vehicle records for vehicles owned by your business. Our online services allow you to:

  • Review and renew your vehicle registration/decals and license plates;
  • Purchase new license plates;
  • Opt-in for email renewal and general notifications;
  • Find out the estimated renewal cost of your vehicles;
  • Report the sale of a vehicle; and
  • Print a seller's permit

Get Started

 

Electronic Lien & Title (ELT)

What is the ELT System?

The South Dakota Motor Vehicle Division has an Electronic Lien & Title System (ELT), which allows lienholders to reduce the handling, storage and mailing costs of paper titles by replacing them with an electronic version. No paper title will be printed while there is a lien noted, unless one of the exceptions in South Dakota law apply. SDCL 32-3-70

 

How Does the ELT System Work?

Lenders have the option to utilize a third-party provider that will provide electronic notices of title issuance and lien perfection when a record is issued in the state system. Upon the release of a lien, a participating lender will send a lien release electronically through its provider. Upon receipt of the electronic lien release, the title will be printed and mailed to the owner, unless directed otherwise by the lender. For more information on the Electronic Lien & Title system, take a look at the ELT Guide (PDF)

 

Notation of Liens on Existing South Dakota Printed Titles

To have a lien noted on an outstanding title, the owner or lienholder shall present the original South Dakota certificate of title (or valid duplicate) and a copy of the security agreement to the titled owner’s county treasurer’s office. A lien notation fee of $10 must also be submitted. Note: the check or money order must be made out to the appropriate county treasurer (not to the Motor Vehicle Division).

 

Release of Liens on Printed South Dakota Titles

The signature of the lienholder on the face of the certificate of title is not needed if there is a notice of the satisfaction for liens noted on a South Dakota certificate of title. Note: while liens can be canceled in any county, lien notations must be made in the titled owner’s county of record.

On Titles Which Are Held by the Lienholder

It is the responsibility of the lienholder to have the lien against the record holder released by the county treasurer within 20 days after final payment. No fee is assessed for the release of a lien.

On Titles Which Are Held by the Owner

It is the responsibility of the lienholder to execute a release within 20 days after final payment is received. The lienholder shall mail or deliver the release to the owner. The certificate of title and lien release shall be forwarded by the owner to any county treasurer. No fee is assessed for the release of a lien.

 

Exempt Entity License Plates

General Exempt Entity Plates

Who is Eligible?

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, a licensed ambulance service, Native American tribes or schools, or non-profit adjustment training centers; buses and vans owned by churches. More information on Higher Education, Mass Transit & Tribal vehicles can be found in the Government section

Learn More

 

Community Support Provider

Who is Eligible?

Vehicles owned by nonprofit community support providers (sheltered workshops) recognized or approved by an agency of this state, and which are used exclusively by such nonprofit community support providers (sheltered workshops). Get started with a Motor Vehicle Title & Registration Application (PDF) or complete an Exempt Entity License Plates Application (PDF).

 

Laws & Regulations

South Dakota Laws and regulations regarding vehicle ownership.

 

Driver’s Privacy and Protection Act

A written form must be submitted to the South Dakota Motor Vehicle Division before motor vehicle records can be released.

Request Form

 

Contact

We strive to make our services as convenient as possible and encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns.

  Phone Fax Email
Motor Vehicle Division (605) 773-3541 (605) 773-2550 motorv@state.sd.us
Motor Fuel (605)367-5899 (605)367-5830 sdmotorfuel@state.sd.us
Motor Carrier Services (605) 773-3314 (605) 773-4117 sdmotorcarrier@state.sd.us
Dealer Licensing Office (605) 882-5192 (605) 882-5199 dealerprogram@state.sd.us

 

SeamlessDocs Forms

 

Motor Vehicle Frequently Asked Questions

Also known as the online Vehicle Registration & Plates portal. See questions about reviewing and renewing registration, license plates and motor vehicle records for businesses.

You can contact your local county treasurer’s office or the South Dakota Motor Vehicles Division at (605) 773-3541.

Non-commercial vehicle fees are issued in accordance to the vehicle's age and weight. Other fees as well as policies on other vehicles can be found at our titling and registration page.

Vehicles owners may obtain a duplicate title by completing an application for duplicate certificate of title along with submitting a $10 fee. Submit the form and payment to a local county treasurer’s office or mail to the SD Motor Vehicle Division at 445 E. Capitol Ave Pierre, SD 57501.

Contact your local county treasurer’s office to change your address in your customer record or visit the online Vehicle Registration & Plates portal.

Contact your local county treasurer’s office to complete an affidavit for duplicate license plate/validation sticker. Fees can be found on the form.

State law requires that upon the sale, transfer or trade in of a motor vehicle or large boat, the person who sells, transfers or trades the vehicle or large boat, must provide a completed Damage Disclosure Statement to the person to whom the vehicle or large boat is transferred. If a motor vehicle or large boat, which is titled in another jurisdiction, is to be titled in South Dakota, the person who registers the vehicle or large boat (importer) must also complete a Damage Disclosure Statement.

Effective July 1, 2015, damage disclosure is no longer mandated. Damage disclosure will remain noted on titles issued before July 1, 2015.

Effective July 1, 2015, vehicle owners have 45 days to apply for title and registration of an acquired vehicle. All vehicles acquired prior to July 1, 2015 must be titled and registered within 30 days.

There is not a provision for extensions on the 45 day requirement. Interest and penalties will accrue on the motor vehicle excise tax. All fees are assessed from the purchase date regardless of when an applicant applies for title and registration.

Interest is at a rate of 1 percent or $5, whichever is greater, for the first month; and 1 percent per month thereafter on any application made after 45 days from the date of purchase. (Interest is not calculated on interest.) A one-time penalty equal to 10 percent of the tax or $10, whichever is greater, is automatically applied against any application made after 60 days from the purchase date.

South Dakota is a plate with owner state. This means that the license plates are retained by the owner. If you purchase a new vehicle, you will transfer the license plates from your old vehicle to your newly acquired vehicle. You can do this at your local county treasurer's office. Be sure to take your old plates with you to the county treasurer’s office.

A seller’s permit allows the new owner to drive legally while waiting to apply for title. A seller's permit may be printed by the seller through the online Vehicle Registration & Plates portal or may also be obtained at a county treasurer's office. The seller's permit is valid for 45 days. The seller has 45 days to deliver title. If necessary, the buyer may purchase a 5 to 15-day permit from the county treasurer's office as per SDCL 32-5-8.3.

If you have titled and licensed your vehicles in another state, you will be granted reciprocity when you come to South Dakota and will not have to pay any additional tax if your state’s tax rate is above South Dakota’s 4% tax rate. If a state with no tax or a lower tax rate than South Dakota’s 4%, then you will need to pay the additional tax rate to match the 4%. You have 90 days from your date of arrival to title and license your vehicle in South Dakota.

You should know that your state may prohibit registering your vehicle in another state.

You will need your original out of state titles, a copy of your state driver license, social security number, and an Application for Title (MV-608). Take this paperwork to your local county treasurer’s office to complete registration process. They will be able to tell you the appropriate fees pertaining to that county.

In South Dakota an ATV MUST be titled. If purchased in South Dakota, an ATV is subject to the 4% motor vehicle excise tax. However, if purchased by an out of state business, you will need to show proof of tax paid to your local Department of Revenue office. 

You will need to complete a Drivers Privacy Protection Application (DPPA). Take a local county treasurer’s office or mail to SD Division of Motor Vehicles (address can be found in contact us area). You must qualify to receive this information with one of the following reasons: 

  1. For use by any government agency
  2. For any state authorized purpose relating to the operation of a motor vehicle, public safety or for use in connection with car safety, prevention of car theft, and promotion of driver safety
  3. For use by a business to verify the accuracy of personal information submitted to that business to prevent fraud or pursue legal remedies
  4. In connection with court, agency or self-regulatory body proceedings
  5. For use by insurers in connection with claims investigations, antifraud activities, rating or underwriting
  6. To notify vehicle owners that their vehicle has been towed or impounded
  7. For use by a licensed private investigative agencies or security services for any purpose by the DPPA

You'll start by visiting the online Vehicle Registration & Plates portal. Click the VIN CHECK icon, enter a vehicle identification number (VIN) and you will see if there is a lienholder on that vehicle.

You will need the Bill of Sale.

Log into the online Vehicle Registration & Plates portal, select the vehicle that was sold and choose report of sale in the dropdown menu.

People who engage in the business of selling vehicles, whether exclusively or in addition to another occupation, are required to have a motor vehicle dealer license.

Visit the vehicle dealer section of our page and apply.

ELT stands for Electronic Lien Title. When you have a lienholder on your vehicle loan, your title will remain in an electronic form only until the time your loan is paid off and the lienholder releases their interest in your vehicle. At that time a paper title will be printed and mailed to you. South Dakota has been an ELT state since October 2012.

When a title record is issued with a lien or a new lien is perfected, the provider supplies the lender with an electronic message of the lien perfection. When a lien is needed to be released, the lender would send an electronic lien release to the Motor Vehicle Division through the provider. Providers also supply other services for their lenders.

The ELT vendors provide several different options for your business, so we would suggest that you contact them directly to determine the costs that will be associated with your participation in the ELT program.

No, if the lender chooses to not use a provider, no notice is sent to the lender regarding any lien perfections.

If there is a current title document, the title along with the loan contract and $10.00 lien fee is submitted to the titled owner’s county treasurer’s office. The county will note the lien in the system and keep the title. If the title is already electronic, the loan contract and $10.00 fee is remitted to the county treasurer and lien is noted.

The lender receives no notification. The lender will be able to verify lien perfection by checking the VIN in the online Vehicle Registration & Plates portal.

If the title is already electronic, the loan contract and $10.00 fee is remitted to the owner’s local county treasurer’s office and the lien is noted.

For questions about the Electronic Lien & Title process, please email us at DOR.DMVELT@state.sd.us.

Get Started by Vehicle Type


commercial vehicles

Commercial Vehicles

Complete an application for your commercial motor vehicle title and registration and purchase license plates.

Learn More About Commercial Vehicles
dealer vehicles

Dealer Vehicles

Apply for dealer licensing and plates.

Learn More About Dealer Vehicles
harvest vehicles

Harvest Vehicles

Apply for harvest vehicle permits.

Learn More About Harvest Vehicles
nonprofit organization vehicles

Nonprofit Organization Vehicles

Apply and purchase emblem decals to be sold by your organization for use on the special emblem license plates.

Learn More About Nonprofit Organization Vehicles
motor carrier services

Motor Carrier Services

Register for the International Registration Plan and find SD trucking information.

Learn More About Motor Carrier Services