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Dealer Requirements & License Plates

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Dealer Requirements
New & Used Vehicle Dealers, Boats, Motorcycles and Trailers
Mobile / Manufactured Homes
Snowmobile
Bond
Insurance
Permits
Special Event Dealer Permits
45-Day Title Extension
Dealer License Plates
Dealer Vehicle Frequently Asked Questions

 


Dealer Requirements

New & Used Vehicle Dealers, Boats, Motorcycles and Trailers

  • All applicants and existing dealerships must have a principal place of business that conforms to the laws and rules under dealer licensing. For vehicle, used vehicle, motorcycle, trailer, and boat dealers, this requires an enclosed permanent structure located within the state, which is adequately heated and lighted and easily accessible. The dealer must be open a minimum of twenty hours a week between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. The hours of operation of the office and an operating phone number shall be clearly posted at or near the main entrance to the office. Each location shall display an exterior sign that contains the name of the business and is permanently affixed to the land or building. The exterior sign must be clearly legible for the public right-of-way serving the location. There must be an improved area adjoining the building that is large enough to display five or more vehicles/boats of the type the dealer is licensed to sell. 
  • The principal place of business location must accord to all applicable land use ordinances, building codes and zoning. It is the location that all books, records and files necessary to conduct business are kept and maintained. In no event may rooms in a hotel, motel, apartment house, or any part of a single or multiple unit dwelling house be considered a "principal place of business," unless the entire ground floor is devoted principally to, and occupied for, commercial purposes. 
  • The principal place of business must have separate office space for conducting business if more than one business occupies the structure.
  • A dealer inspector must inspect all principal places of business and certify they are following the law before a dealer license is issued.

Learn more in the South Dakota Dealer Requirements Guide (PDF).

 

Mobile / Manufactured Homes

  • The principal place of business for mobile/manufactured home dealers may not be a tent, temporary stand or other temporary quarters, nor permanent quarters occupied under any temporary arrangement.
  • The license may use unimproved lots and premises for sale, storage and display of mobile homes and manufactured homes.
  • A licensee may use a residence located within or adjacent to his mobile home park or a manufactured home park as a principal place of business, unless prohibited by local zoning.

 

Snowmobile

  • A snowmobile dealer must have a place of business in which the records, books and files necessary to conduct business are maintained and available for inspection. 

 

Bond

Dealers are required to maintain 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 or a new bond is obtained.

  • Boats - $20,000
  • Vehicle Dealer/Used Car, Mobile/Manufactured Home - $25,000 
  • Trailers (over 3,000 pounds) - $10,000
  • Motorcycle/Off-Road Vehicle and Snowmobiles - $5,000

 

Insurance

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

 

Permits

Special Event Dealer Permits

There are several types of permits available to out-of-state dealers selling or displaying products at special events in South Dakota. An event is defined as a fair, exposition, vehicle show, vehicle rally, or fishing tournament that is held once each year and lasts at least three days, including setup time, but does not exceed fifteen (15) days. All permits are good for duration of event, up to 10 days.

Type of Permit Fee
Boat and Boat Trailer Dealer (new or used) - Sell $200
Motorcycle Manufacturer - Display Only $500; $250 if purchased prior to the event
Motorcycle Customizer - Display Only $500; $250 if purchased prior to the event
Motorcycle Dealer (new) - Sell* $500; $250 if purchased prior to the event
Motorcycle Dealer (used) - Sell $500; $250 if purchased prior to the event
Trailer Manufacturer - Display Only $500; $250 if purchased prior to the event
Trailer Dealer (new) - Sell* $500; $250 if purchased prior to the event
Trailer Dealer (new) - Display Only** $500; $250 if purchased prior to the event
Trailer Dealer Selling (used) Trailers Only - Sell $500; $250 if purchased prior to the event


*
The permit can only be issued if the motorcycles or trailers being sold are not franchised in South Dakota.
** Allows for the DISPLAY ONLY of a new trailer(s) already franchised in South Dakota.

 

45-Day Title Extension

This form is for a dealer to request an extension to deliver a title to a purchaser due to the lienholder on the title failing to release the lien or deliver the title document to the dealership.

Submit Request

 

Dealer License Plates

Boat Dealer

The department shall issue to a boat dealer, upon application and payment of a fee of $20 per set, boat dealer license plates. The boat dealer plates must be displayed on or carried in the boat. Any boat owned by the licensed boat dealer and bearing the dealers’ plates may be operated on the waters of this state for any purpose, except on boats that are leased or rented. The plates are transferable by the dealer from one boat owned by the dealer to another boat owned by the dealer. A $5 fee is assessed for each set of plates to be mailed and a $1 fee is assessed for each set of decals to be mailed.

  Vehicle Plate

Boat Dealer License Plate

Boat Dealer Plate
Apply Complete an application for South Dakota Dealer License Plates (MV 1401).
Applicable Law SDCL 32-7B-10, SDCL 32-7B-11

 

Dealer 77

Any new vehicle or used vehicle owned by a licensed dealer bearing a dealer's "77" plate may be driven on the streets and highways of this state for any purpose. The dealer "77" plate is transferable by the dealer from one vehicle owned by the dealer to another vehicle owned by the dealer. The dealer "77" plate may not be used on vehicles for lease or hire or on wreckers or service vehicles. Licensed dealers shall make applications and payment of $101 for each set of license plates desired at the county treasurer's office. A $5 fee is assessed for each set of plates to be mailed and a $1 fee is assessed for each set of decals to be mailed.

  Vehicle Plate

Dealer 77 License Plate

Dealer 77 Plate
Apply Complete an application for South Dakota Dealer License Plates (MV 1401).
Applicable Law SDCL 32-6B-22, SDCL 32-6B-21

 

 

Dealer 88

A dealer may purchase "88" commercial plates that can be used to transport any inventory replacement vehicle and by a prospective purchaser for demonstration purposes for three days. The dealer "88" plate is transferable by the dealer from one vehicle owned by the dealer to another vehicle owned by the dealer. The dealer is exempt from paying 4% motor vehicle excise tax. The fee for the plates is based on the commercial declared gross weight fee schedule. The gross weight tonnage fee must be paid, and the tonnage sticker affixed to the "88" plate prior to operation. The dealer must comply with the requirements set out in federal guidelines before the filing and payment of the federal heavy vehicle use tax (HUVT) on any registration in excess of 27 tons. Before the Motor Vehicle Division will issue dealer 88 commercial license plates or renew the registration on a dealer 88commercial plate, the dealer must provide the Motor Vehicle Division with a copy of the HVUT Form 2290 stamped and verified by the IRS. The vehicle must comply with all provisions pertaining to overweight operation. A $5 fee is assessed for each set of plates to be mailed and a $1 fee is assessed for each set of decals to be mailed.

  Vehicle Plate

Dealer 88 License Plate

 

Dealer 88 Plate
Apply Complete an application for South Dakota Dealer License Plates (MV 1401).
Applicable Law SDCL 32-6B-22.1, SDCL 32-6-22.2

 

 

Dealer 99

These plates can be used by auction agencies on any vehicle being transported to or from the auction agency's place of business to transport a vehicle that will be sold or has been sold by the auction agency. The plates are transferable by the auction agency from one vehicle to another vehicle for transporting purposes. The annual fee for a set of auction plates is $101. The plates are consecutively numbered and bear as a prefix the number "99". A $5 fee is assessed for each set of plates to be mailed and a $1 fee is assessed for each set of decals to be mailed.

  Vehicle Plate

Dealer 99 License Plate

Dealer 99 Plate
Apply Complete an application for South Dakota Dealer License Plates (MV 1401).
Applicable Law SDCL 32-6B-36.3

 

 

Dealer Trailer

The Motor Vehicle Division shall issue to every trailer dealer, upon application and payment of a fee of $24 for trailer metal number plates. One license plate shall be displayed on the rear of any trailer, semitrailer, or travel trailer, owned by the dealer. A prospective buyer may operate any vehicle owned by the licensed dealer and bearing the dealers’ metal plate on the streets and highways of this state for any purpose, including demonstration. A $5 fee is assessed for each set of plates to be mailed and a $1 fee is assessed for each set of decals to be mailed.

  Vehicle Plate

Dealer Trailer License Plate

Dealer Trailer Plate
Apply Complete an application for South Dakota Dealer License Plates (MV 1401).
Applicable Law SDCL 32-7A-10

 

 

Snowmobile Dealer

The Motor Vehicle Division shall issue license plates of a durable material to license dealers upon application and payment of $10 for each set desired. Any new snowmobile or used snowmobile owned by a licensed dealer, bearing dealer's license plates may operate in this state. One plate shall be displayed on each side of the snowmobile. The license plate is transferable by the dealer from one snowmobile owned by the dealer to another snowmobile owned by the dealer. A $1 fee is assessed for each set of decals to be mailed.

  Vehicle Plate

Snowmobile Dealer License Plate

Snowmobile Dealer Plate
Apply Complete an application for South Dakota Dealer License Plates (MV 1401).
Applicable Law SDCL 32-7B-10

 

 

Motorcycle Dealer

The Motor Vehicle Division shall issue to every motorcycle dealer, upon application and payment of a fee of $24 for each plate, dealer’s metal number plates. One license plate shall be displayed on the rear of any motorcycle owned by the dealer. A prospective buyer may operate any vehicle owned by the licensed dealer and bearing the dealers’ metal plate on the streets and highways of this state for any purpose, including demonstration. Motorcycles are required to have only one permit on the back of the vehicle. A $5 fee is assessed for each set of plates to be mailed and a $1 fee is assessed for each set of decals to be mailed.

  Vehicle Plate

Motorcycle Dealer License Plate

Motorcycle Dealer Plate
Apply Complete an application for South Dakota Dealer License Plates (MV 1401).
Applicable Law SDCL 32-6B-23

 

 

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 these license plates. 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. First, apply for a Motor Vehicle Title & Registration then complete the Exempt Entity License Plates form (PDF).

Dealer Vehicles Frequently Asked Questions

See what others are asking the Department of Revenue about Dealer Vehicles.

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.

You will need the Bill of Sale.