When people think of county revenues, they often think of property taxes and vehicle titles and registrations, which account for the majority of revenue in county budgets. The treasurer, as the tax collector is responsible for collecting all taxes for the county, and all property taxes for cities, school districts and any other political district authorized to levy real estate taxes.
Title & Registration
For key information related to the Division of Motor Vehicles, download our online procedures manual (PDF)
For a list of licensed motor vehicle dealers in South Dakota, including their address and telephone numbers, see our Active Dealer List.
Some registrations may be exempt from the 4% motor vehicle excise tax. For a list of exemptions listed by the tax code number they represent download our Motor Vehicle Exemption (PDF).
For more information, see Registrations and Titles by County or State Totals (PDF).
Motor Vehicle Forms
|County Supply List
|Motor Vehicle & Boat Title Application
|Duplicate Title Application
|Tax Payment Verification
|Out-of-State Dealer Tax Assessment
|Tribal Member Exemption form the MV Excise Tax Application
|Replacement of License Plates, Registration Stickers, or Lost Title Application
|Farm Decal Application
|Mobile/Manufactured Home Affidavit
|Notice of Intent to Sell Mobile/Manufactured Home
|Movement of an Abandoned Mobile/Manufactured Home Affidavit
|Motor Vehicle Affidavit
|Low Speed & Off-Road Vehicle Affidavit
|Rebuilt Motor Vehicle Affidavit
|Form 1016 (PDF)
|Truck Tractor Converted to a Motorhome Affidavit
|Request for Tonnage Decals
|Salvage & Recovered Theft Statement
|Power of Attorney
|Report of Sale
|Bill of Sale
|Notice of Abandon
|Lease Tax Worksheet (Out-of-State)
|Lease Tax Worksheet (In-State)
|Extended Consideration Lease Tax Worksheet Sale
|Motor Vehicle Complaint Form
|County Supply Request
|Personalized License Plate Application
|Veteran & Active Duty Military Member License Plate Application & Affidavit
|Military License Plate Application
|Special License Plate Application
|Physically Disabled Parking Permit & License Plates Application
|Exempt Entity License Plate Application
|Duplicate License Plate or Registration Sticker Affidavit
|Form 1308 (PDF)
|ELT Notice to Submit Title
|ELT Lien Release
Motor Vehicle Trainings
See the list of plates currently available in South Dakota on the Personalized and Specialty Plates page of our site.
Emblem Decal List
Members of approved nonprofit organizations are eligible to purchase organization license plates from their county treasurer which allow for placement of organization decals on a special license plate. See below for a list of organizations who are currently offering decals for sale.
Transferred or Reassigned
Any mobile or manufactured home that is transferred or reassigned must be accompanied by an affidavit stating all property taxes due and payable at the time of transfer have been paid in full as described in SDCL 10-4-2.5 and SDCL 10-21-37. Property taxes are due and payable as of January 1.
Moved, Destroyed or Transferred from a Taxable to an Exempt Entity
Any mobile or manufactured home that will be moved, destroyed, or transferred from a taxable to an exempt entity must be accompanied by an affidavit stating all property taxes are due and payable (the tax bill in hand) and all current year’s property taxes have been paid (the next year’s taxes) as described in SDCL 10-4-2.7. The county treasurer will estimate the current year’s property taxes based on the existing tax levies with the South Dakota Mobile Home Listing Form and Assessment Record (PDF).
As a county treasurer, if you are interested in receiving updates and would like to be included in testing RV88 or other training opportunities, please sign up to receive our Motor Vehicle emails through the form at the bottom of this page.
Property Tax Relief Programs
Sales & Property Tax Refund for Senior & Disabled Citizens
What the Program Does
This program is a method of returning to senior and disabled citizens some of the dollars they pay each year in sales and property taxes.
To Be Eligible
This program is not intended for everyone, however, if the applicant meets all of the following requirements in 2022, they would be eligible for a refund:
- The applicant was a South Dakota resident during the entire prior calendar year.
- The applicant reached the age of 65 on or before January 1 of the current year OR disabled (as defined by the Social Security Act).
- Applicants who live alone and have a yearly income under $14,949 or live in a household whose members’ combined income is under $20,141?
To receive a property tax refund on their home, applicants must meet the age or disability and income requirements listed under the sales tax section above. In addition, they must also be able to answer “yes” to one of the following questions:
- Have owned the house they are now living in for at least three years?
- If they have owned your house for fewer than three years, have they been a resident of South Dakota for five years or more?
If they answered “yes” to either of the last two questions and meet the age or disability and income requirements, they are eligible for a property tax refund. Learn more in the Sales or Property Tax Refund for Senior Citizens & Citizens with Disabilities (PDF).
Assessment Freeze for the Elderly & Disabled
What the Program Does
This program reduces the assessed value of the homeowner's property. Property is defined as the house, a garage, and the lot upon which it sits or one acre, whichever is less. Additional information is available in our Freeze on Assessments: Dwellings of Disabled and Senior Citizens Brochure (PDF).
To Be Eligible
- Must be 65 years of age or older OR disabled (as defined by the Social Security Act).
- Must own the home or retain a life estate in the property.
- Un-remarried widow/widowers of persons previously qualified may still qualify in some circumstances.
- Have resided for at least 200 days of the previous calendar year in the single-family dwelling.
- Income and property value limits apply.
Applications are available online or at any county treasurer's office beginning in January of each year and must be submitted annually to the local county treasurer's office on or before April 1st.
Property Tax Reduction from Municipal Taxes for the Elderly & Disabled
What the Program Does
Reduces the homeowner’s city property taxes the year following their application. Property is the house, garage and the lot upon which it sits or one acre, whichever is less.
To Be Eligible
- The property owner must be 65 years old or older or disabled (as defined by the Social Security Act).
- The individual making the request must own the property.
- Un-remarried widow/widowers of persons previously qualified may still qualify.
- Income limits apply.
- This program is only offered in those cities that have passed ordinances allowing the reduction. (As of July 1, 2003, only Rapid City has such an ordinance).
An application for Property Tax Reduction from Municipal Taxes for the Elderly and Disabled is available online or at any county courthouse beginning in January of each year. Applications must be submitted annually to their county treasurer on or before April 1st. Learn more in the Property Tax Reduction: Municipal Tax Relief for the Elderly and Disabled (PDF).
Tax Deed Sales Process
Tax deed notices are to be read prior to a tax deed sale. All delinquent taxes, penalties and interests are abated and are not the responsibility of the new owner of deed. All special assessments except for delinquent municipal special assessments SDCL 10-25-12 are abated from the property. Only city special assessments, delinquent property taxes, current property taxes & future property taxes stay with the property and are the responsibility of the new owner.
All county liens, mechanic liens, judgments and mortgages are released from the tax deed property and do not follow deed to new owner. State and federal liens stay with the property. Any information / questions / negotiations on these liens needs to be directed to the appropriate form of government not the county. SDCL 10-25-12
Pennington County issues and files a Quit Claim Deed to the property in the name requested by the purchaser. The New Owner may need to clear the title through a Quiet Title Action. SDCL 43-30-26.01 and 43-30-26.02
Appropriation of Proceeds from Tax Deed Sale
When No Rental Proceeds Are Involved
- First all Costs related to taking and selling of the tax deed piece of property are subtracted from the proceeds of the tax deed sale and credited to the County General Fund. SDCL 10-25-39
- The remainder of the proceeds from the sale of each piece of tax deed property is apportioned as the land lies i.e. to all the funds and taxing districts allocated to that individual piece of property. Unless otherwise directed, use the tax apportioning factors of the year the piece is sold, regardless whether the remaining balance after costs, exceeds or not the balance of abated taxes.
- All costs related to taking the tax deed of a rental property shall be deducted from the rental proceeds and shall be reimbursed into the County General Fund.
- All additional proceeds shall be apportioned to all funds and taxing districts in the same manner as if the property were still contributing in taxes. SDCL 10-25-27 & 7-31-12
Tax Deed Statuses & Timeline
As a Reminder: Always discuss your specific situation with your State’s Attorney and the actual statutes for guidance. This is intended to be an outline.
Payment and Receipt of Property Taxes
SDCL 10-21 The following laws define when property taxes are due to the County Treasurer’s Office.
- SDCL 10-21-4 All taxes due January 1
- SDCL 10-21-23 Delinquency dates for taxes
- SDCL 10-21-33 Taxes are a perpetual lien
Collection of Delinquent Property Taxes
SDCL 10-22 The following laws explain when and how property owners are notified when property taxes are delinquent. Distress warrants may be issued against an individual for delinquent mobile home taxes or taxes on buildings on leased sites.
- SDCL 10-22-1 November notice for certain delinquent taxpayers
- SDCL 10-22-2 Annual publication in newspaper of certain delinquent taxes
- SDCL 10-22-8 Distress warrants
Sale of Real Property for Taxes and Assessments
SDCL 10-23 When it is determined that the property taxes due are uncollectible, the county may sell the property at a tax deed sale. The following laws provide information on notification to property owners, when sales may be conducted, and the information that needs to be given to purchasers.
- SDCL 10-23-2 Publication of sale of real property for taxes
- SDCL 10-23-2.1 & 10-23-2.2 Additional notice to property owner and others
- SDCL 10-23-7 Annual sale on 3rd Monday in December from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
- SDCL 10-23-8 Method of sale, lowest interest rate prevails if there is competition. If no buyer, county must bid off the taxes (see SDCL 10-23-24). All certificates should have same third Monday in December date
- SDCL 10-23-11 Report to county auditor
- SDCL 10-23-12 Private sale of taxes
- SDCL 10-23-18 Purchaser receives a certificate stating the time when the purchaser will be entitled to a deed
- SDCL 10-23-21 Assignment of tax sale certificate must be notarized and presented to treasurer
- SDCL 10-23-22 Previous and subsequent taxes can be paid by certificate purchaser or assignee (anyone who legally holds the certificate other than the county) which amount is added to certificate amount if treasurer is told when taxes are paid
- SDCL 10-23-24 County to “bid off” property that is not sold at the tax sale. You must have an act of bidding off of the property (may be oral or written, see AGO 84-04)
- SDCL 10-23-25 Certificate of purchase when county bids off real property
- SDCL 10-23-26 Do not advertise and sell when county holds certificate for past year(s)
- SDCL 10-23-27 All taxes on property must be paid before county can assign certificate. Includes taxes that are due but not yet delinquent
Redemption from Tax Sales
SDCL 10-24 In South Dakota, property owners have a period of time during which they can repurchase (redeem) their property by paying the amount owed, including taxes, interest, penalties and additional costs incurred.
- SDCL 10-24-1 Person can redeem property sold at sale at any time before tax deed is issued, amount to be paid
- SDCL 10-24-3 Redemption time for persons under disability
- SDCL 10-24-5 Person can redeem property bid off by county at any time before tax deed is issued. Must pay all taxes due, even if not delinquent. (see Brink v. Dann. Also compare SDCL 10-23-27, 10-24-1, and 10-24-5)
- SDCL 10-24-6 Payment of subsequent taxes by owner while county holds certificate (see 1935-36 AGR p. 514)
- SDCL 10-24-7 County rights to require payment (notwithstanding SDCL 10-24-6 and 10-24-5)
- SDCL 10-24-8 Disinterested persons not granted lien or claim.
- SDCL 10-24-16 Lien holder can pay taxes and add to debt
- SDCL 10-24-17 Notice to holder of tax sale certificate of a redemption
SDCL 10-25 A tax deed is a legal document that grants ownership of a property to a government body when the property owner does not pay property taxes due. The deed gives the county the authority to sell the property in order to collect the delinquent taxes due and to transfer the property title to the purchaser.
- SDCL 10-25-1 Time to get a tax deed. From date of tax sale: No sooner than 3 and no later than 6 years for property in town (for both individual and county)
- SDCL 10-25-2 Contents of notice
- SDCL 10-25-3 Persons entitled to notice.
- SDCL 10-25-5 How notice must be served.
- SDCL 10-25-8 Service of notice complete when affidavit of service of notice stating how service was made is filed with the treasurer. This should be stamped in by treasurer because this starts the clock ticking: 60 days from filing is the last chance to redeem.
- SDCL 10-25-8.1 A failure to redeem passes the interest to the holder of the tax certificate
- SDCL 10-25-9 Costs included in redemption amount
- SDCL 10-25-10 Person demanding tax deed must purchase all prior tax certificates held by county
- SDCL 10-25-11 Treasurer to make out deed after 60 days expires
- SDCL 10-25-12 Title vested by tax deed
- SDCL 10-25-15 Lost certificate (see 1939-40 AGR p. 304)
- SDCL 10-25-16 No start of tax deed proceedings within 6 years voids all rights and certificate is cancelled. Does not apply to apply to counties (see SDCL 10-25-17)
- SDCL 10-25-17 When county assigns certificate over 4 years old, person has one year to start tax deed proceedings
- SDCL 10-25-18 Person has 6 months after limitations period ends (see SDCL 10-25-17) to complete tax deed proceeding. Failure to do so results in cancellation of certificate
- SDCL 10-25-19 The completion of proceedings for 10-25-18 is the filing with the treasurer of the affidavit of completed service that starts the 60 day time period
- SDCL 10-25-20 Commissioners or taxing district can force treasurer to take tax deed for county
- SDCL 10-25-21 Conveyance in lieu of tax deed
- SDCL 10-25-24 County can quiet title to tax deed property
- SDCL 10-25-41 Reconveyance
The money is apportioned out to all taxing entities in the same proportion as the most recent levies.
This also gets apportioned out, unless a tax certificate has been sold. Then the interest would be paid back to the owner of the certificate.
Yes, except for Municipal Specials. Delinquent, current, & future City Special Assessments stay with the property and are the responsibility of the new owner. SDCL 10-25-12
Most Treasurers refuse to do that and will accept full payment or nothing. By accepting partial payment, it keeps the property legally tied up and requires a lot of paperwork. SDCL 10-24-7 preserves your right for the taxes, meaning you can require all taxes paid in full.
It depends. If the mobile home is part of the real estate, then you can proceed with tax deed. If the mobile home is a building on leased site (which is separate from the land), then you would do a distress warrant.