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Dealer Vehicles

Cars Parked in a Driveway

License Requirements

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. All businesses must become licensed with the Motor Vehicle Division before any sales transactions occur. An initial violation of this requirement is a Class 2 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor. No person may act as, offer to act as, or hold himself or herself out to be a broker. A violation of this requirement is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

  • Any person not engaged in the sale of vehicles/boats/off-road vehicles as a business and is disposing of vehicles/boats used solely for personal use if the vehicles/boats/off-road vehicles were acquired and used in good faith and not to avoid the provisions of this chapter.
  • Any person who sells less than five vehicles/boats in a 12-month period, unless the person is licensed as a dealer in another state or holds himself or herself out as being in the business of selling vehicles/boats.  However, if the vehicles are travel trailers, any person who sells less than three travel trailers in twelve months.
  • Regulated Lenders as that term is defined in SDCL 54-3-14.
  • Financial Institutions chartered or licensed in any other jurisdiction that acquires vehicles/boats as an incident to its regular business and sells such vehicles/boats to dealers licensed under this chapter.
  • Vehicle Rental and Leasing Companies that sell their used vehicles to dealers licensed under this chapter.
  • Any Nonprofit Automobile Club if selling automobiles twenty years old or older under the provisions of Chapter 32-3.
  • Any person engaged in the business of manufacturing or converting new vehicles/boats if selling such vehicles/boats to a licensed dealer holding a franchise from the original manufacturer of the vehicle/boat.
  • Any person acting as an auctioneer if auctioning South Dakota titled vehicles for a licensed dealer or a person who is exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
  • Any Towing Agency that acquires and sells a vehicle which has been towed at the request of a private landowner under the provision of Chapter 32-36 or at the request of a law enforcement officer, if no vehicle is sold for an amount over one thousand two hundred dollars ($1,200).
  • Any person not engaged in the sale of vehicles as a business who operates fleets of vehicles is disposing of vehicles used in the person's business, if the same were acquired and used in good faith and not to avoid the provisions of this chapter.
  • Any South Dakota nonprofit corporation which gives a donated vehicle to a needy family or individual.

 

New Licenses

Before a dealer’s license may be issued the Dealer License Application must be submitted to the Motor Vehicle Division. The actual (paper) dealer license is issued for a 5-year period, unless canceled or revoked for cause by the Motor Vehicles Division; however, each year, a License Renewal Notice and Billing is sent out by the division approximately 3 months before the expiration of the license. Failure to renew a dealer license before its expiration will result in the dealer being charged the same fee as the initial license fee.

 

New License Fees

  • Boat Dealer - $250
  • Vehicle Dealer/Used Car Dealer - $300
  • Mobile/Manufactured Home Dealer - $300
  • Motorcycle/Off-Road Vehicle Dealer - $250
  • Snowmobile Dealer - $150
  • Trailer Dealer - $125

 

License Renewal Process

ATV in Nature

The actual (paper) dealer license is issued for a 5-year period, unless canceled or revoked for cause by the Motor Vehicles Division; however, each year, a License Renewal Notice and Billing is sent, either electronic or paper form, by the division approximately 3 months before the expiration of the license. The License Renewal Notice contains all important data on file relative to the dealership. A dealer that is exempt from the requirements of using an online system, must then sign and return the renewal notice to their local county treasurer by the deadline date shown on the Notice and Billing. Payment of the annual dealer renewal license fee and dealer plate fees must accompany the License Renewal Notice and Billing. A dealer utilizing the online system will file and pay their renewal electronically.

 

Renewal License Fees

In the event a dealer possesses more than one type of dealer license, the dealer must renew all the licenses during the license renewal month assigned to the dealer. Failure to renew a dealer license before the expiration date will result in the dealer being assessed the same fee as the initial license fee.

(if submitted before the expiration of the license)

  • Boat Dealer - $175
  • Vehicle Dealer/Used Car Dealer - $175
  • Emergency Vehicle Dealer - $175
  • Mobile/Manufactured Home Dealer -$150
  • Motorcycle/Off-Road Vehicle Dealer - $150
  • Snowmobile Dealer - $125
  • Trailer Dealer - $100

Apply NOW

 

Dealer Requirements

Cars Driving on the Road

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 (PDF) then complete the Exempt Entity License Plates form (PDF).

 

Education

The Motor Vehicle Division provides one-on-one training and will do special request training. Our agents offer training for new car dealers every other year, as well as training for the counties and auto dealers.

 

Dealer Agents

Dealer agents answer dealer business questions, provide training and instruction on compliance and procedures, enforce laws and regulations, investigate complaints and violations, conducts inspections and more.

Dealer Territory Map

Department Address Phone Fax Email
Dealer Licensing Office 445 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
(605) 882-5192 (605) 882-5199 dealerprogram@state.sd.us
Dealer Program Manager - Watertown 715 South Maple
Watertown, SD 57201
(605) 882-5192 (605) 882-5199 lori.colberg@state.sd.us
Dealer Agents - Rapid City Office 1520 Haines Ave, Suite 3
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 394-3394 (605) 394-6076 pilo.pena@state.sd.us
Dealer Agents - Sioux Falls Office 300 South Sycamore Avenue, Suite 102
Sioux Falls, SD 57110
(605) 367-5814 (605) 367-5830 ron.rysavy@state.sd.us
Dealer Agents - Aberdeen Office 14 South Main Street, Suite 1C
Aberdeen, SD 57401
(605) 626-2249 (605) 626-2946 jason.silvernagel@state.sd.us

 

More Dealer Vehicle Resources

 

Dealer Vehicle Online Forms

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.