Residents of South Dakota should register their vehicles with the Department of Motor Vehicles, which has offices available through each county. Options to apply for replacements or specialty plates can be done by mail or online.
When registering a personalized license plate, it is possible to look up available plate numbers online.
All vehicles owned by South Dakota residents must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Motor vehicles, such as cars, trucks, and vans, are required to have license plates attached to both the front and rear. Motorcycles and trailers only require plates attached to the rear.
Registered vehicles must have valid decals on their rear license plates at all times.
Vehicle owners can go to their local DMV office in person to apply for license plates in South Dakota.
The following will be required when registering a vehicle:
Vehicle owners applying for other types of license plates may be required to submit additional documentation and payment for fees.
The DMV in South Dakota offers the following types of license plates:
Note: Most dealerships provide buyers with temporary plates to permit them to drive legally and complete their vehicle’s registration. Buying from a private dealer requires temporary license plates to be obtained in advance.
South Dakota offers various specialty license plates with unique emblems and designs. The following are examples of specialty plates available:
All specialty plates have additional fees, which vary by type. These fees are required in addition to the regular registration fees for a vehicle.
Most license plates issued by the DMC in South Dakota can be personalized with a unique plate number. The following guidelines must be followed in order for an application to be approved:
Availability of license plate numbers can be found online. It is advisable to submit more than one possible plate number in case you first choice is rejected or unavailable.
License plates remain with a vehicle owner, regardless of whether they sell their vehicle to someone else.
Other reasons for surrendering license plates include:
Unused license plates should be surrendered to a DMV office either in person or by mail.
If license plates are lost, stolen, or damaged, they can be replaced by submitting an application to the DMV. A copy of the vehicle's registration card is required, along with payment for replacement fees.
Replacement applications can be done:
License plates can be renewed by submitting the appropriate fees and documents:
Fees vary depending on how renewal documents are submitted. Additional fees for postage may be required.
After renewal, vehicle owners will be provided with new decal stickers to be applied to their rear license plate.
Fees for registering vehicles in South Dakota vary by weight and year. The DMV will calculate applicable fees and taxes, which must be paid before license plates are issued.
Some of the fees for South Dakota license plates include:
Contact a local DMV office for a complete list of fees for registering vehicles in South Dakota.
It is possible to pay for a vehicle’s registration or renewal by the following methods:
Checks or money orders should be made out to the DMV in South Dakota and should be used whenever payments are being sent by mail.
Cash should never be sent in the mail for registering, renewing, or replacing license plates.
It is possible to look up license plates in South Dakota to:
To look up vehicles in South Dakota or any state in the U.S., use the search bar above.