Over 1.2 million vehicles are registered in South Dakota, all of which are identified by a legal document called a vehicle title. As vehicles are bought and sold, the title becomes the legal documentation of each change in ownership. Both the buyer and the seller must follow specific procedures to ensure the title is correctly transferred from one owner to the next.
Motor vehicle titling and registration is handled through your local county treasurer’s office. An Motor Vehicle or Boat Title & Registration Application must be signed by the record owner(s) or by an authorized agent for the record owner(s). In addition to the title, when selling a vehicle the party selling the vehicle should provide to the purchaser a Bill of Sale.
If you have questions in regards to your driver's license, please contact the Driver's License Office which is a division of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.
The Motor Vehicle Division provides and maintains your motor vehicle records. 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
- Print a seller's permit
Laws & Regulations
South Dakota laws and regulations regarding vehicle ownership.
- SDCL 32-1 State Administration of Motor Vehicles
- SDCL 32-3 Title Registration, Liens and Transfers
- SDCL 32-3A Title Registration and Taxation of Boats
- SDCL 32-4 Theft and Misappropriation and License Plates
- SDCL 32-5 Annual Registration and License Plates
- SDCL 32-5A County Wheel Tax
- SDCL 32-5B Excise Tax on Motor Vehicles
- SDCL 32-6B Regulation of Vehicle Dealers
- SDCL 32-6C Regulation of Snowmobile Dealers
- SDCL 32-6D Manufacturer’s Warranty
- SDCL 32-6E Regulations of Snowmobiles Franchising Agreements
- SDCL 32-7A Dealers of Manufactured Homes and Mobile Homes
- SDCL 32-7B Regulation of Boat Dealers
- SDCL 32-9 Commercial Motor Vehicle Certificates
- SDCL 32-10 Interstate Reciprocity and Proportional Registration of Fleets
- SDCL 32-11 Motor Vehicle Funds
- SDCL 32-20 Motorcycle Regulation
- SDCL 32-20A Snowmobile Operation
- SDCL 32-30 Stopping and Parking Restrictions
- SDCL 32-31 Emergency Vehicles
- SDCL 32-32 School Buses
- SDCL 32-33 Apprehension and Prosecution of Violators
- SDCL 32-34 Accidents and Accident Reports
- SDCL 32-35 Financial Responsibility of Vehicle Owners and Operators
- SDCL 32-36 Abandoned, Derelict and Junk Motor Vehicles and Scrap Metals
Driver’s Privacy and Protection Act
We strive to make our services as convenient as possible and encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns.
|Motor Vehicle Division
|Motor Carrier Services
|Dealer Licensing Office
Also known as the online Vehicle Registration & Plates portal. See questions about reviewing and renewing registration, license plates and motor vehicle records for businesses.
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 Title & Registration page.
- Your local County Treasurer’s office
- Visit one of our DMV Now Kiosk locations:
- Aberdeen: Kessler's, 615 6th Ave. SE
- Brookings: Lewis 910 22nd Ave. S
- Huron: Coborn’s 2150 Dakota Ave. S
- Madison: Sunshine Foods 215 Van Eps Ave N
- Mitchell: County Fair Food Store, 1305 W. Havens Ave.
- Mobridge: Payless Foods 214 W Grand Crossing
- Pierre: Lynn's Dakotamart, 120 W Sioux Ave.
- Pine Ridge: Oglala Tribal Headquarters
- Rapid City: Driver Exam Station 1301 E Catron Blvd
- Rapid City: Pennington County Administration Building, 130 Kansas City St.
- Rapid City: Rushmore Mall, 2200 N. Maple Ave.
- Sioux Falls: Driver Exam Station 1301 E. Catron Blvd.
- Sioux Falls: Get-N-Go 5400 E. Arrowhead Pkwy
- Sioux Falls: Hy-Vee Food Store, 4101 S. Louise Ave.
- Sioux Falls: Minnehaha County Administration Building, 415 N. Dakota Ave.
- Spearfish: Rec Center 122 Recreation Ln
- Vermillion: Pump ‘n Pak 629 Stanford St.
- Watertown: Hy-Vee Food Store, 1320 9th Ave. SE
- Yankton: Hy-Vee Food Store, 2100 Broadway Ave.
- Individuals and companies may renew online through the online Vehicle Registration & Plates portal.
Vehicles owners may obtain a duplicate title by completing a Duplicate Title Application along with submitting a $10 fee. Submit the form and payment to the local county treasurer’s office.
Contact your local county treasurer’s office to complete an Affidavit for Duplicate License Plate/Validation Sticker. Fees can be found on the form.
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 have been titled and registered within 30 days of the purchase date.
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.
An applicant will be charged title late fees at a rate of $1 per week up until the 24th week. If the applicant is over this date, the rate automatically maxes to a fee of $50.
No, you don’t. A vehicle is exempt from tax when it is transferred without consideration (no money is exchanged) between spouses, between a parent and child and between siblings. A title transfer fee of $10.00 will apply.
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 your local county treasurer's office. The seller's permit is valid for 45 days. The seller has 45 days to deliver title.
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.
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 a Motor Vehicle and Boat Title & Registration Application. 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). Submit completed forms to your local county treasurer’s office or mail to the SD Motor Vehicle Division in Pierre (address can be found in contact us area). You must qualify to receive this information with one of the following reasons:
- For use by any government agency
- 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
- For use by a business to verify the accuracy of personal information submitted to that business to prevent fraud or pursue legal remedies
- In connection with court, agency or self-regulatory body proceedings
- For use by insurers in connection with claims investigations, antifraud activities, rating or underwriting
- To notify vehicle owners that their vehicle has been towed or impounded
- For use by a licensed private investigative agencies or security services for any purpose by the DPPA
You'll start by visiting www.sdcars.org. Click the VIN CHECK icon, enter a vehicle identification number (VIN) and you will see if there is a lienholder on that vehicle.
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.
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 the location indicated by the lienholder in the release. 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.