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South Dakota Buying a Vehicle

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Obtaining a Title and Registration for a Vehicle Bought from a Car Dealership

If you buy your vehicle from a dealership, then the dealership will likely take care of all the paperwork needed when transferring ownership of your new vehicle. If you have license plates from a past vehicle, you can transfer them to this newly purchased vehicle.

If you do have to title the vehicle yourself, the dealership should give you:

  • The current title
  • A dealer’s invoice
  • The Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (if the vehicle is new and hasn’t been titled in the past)

If you must title the vehicle yourself, take this information to the local county treasurer’s office.

Obtaining a Title and Registration for a Vehicle Bought from a Private Party

If you are buying a vehicle from a private party, you need to get a number of legal documents from them at the time of the purchase. You need to obtain:

  • A bill of sale
  • An odometer reader if the vehicle is younger than nine years old
  • Proof of the lien being released
  • The Seller’s Report of Sale, Form MV2200
  • The title for the vehicle

Sellers are not able to sell to you without a selling permit.

Filling Out the Title

It is easy to fill out a title for a vehicle in South Dakota. All you need to do is sign on the signature line for the buyer/purchaser field. Where it asks you to hand print your name, write your name out in legibly printed letters.

The seller will need to sign the title as well. Their name should match the name on the front of the title exactly. Check the VIN, odometer reading and verify that the seller has signed and printed their name before accepting the title from them.

Registering the Purchased Vehicle

After you finish buying a vehicle, you may not need to do anything else if you purchased from a dealership. If not, then you will need to take your vehicle information including the lien release, vehicle title, odometer reading and title, to the local county treasurer’s office. Bring your:

You need to register your vehicle within 45 days.

Submitting Payment

You will need to pay title and registration fees when you buy a vehicle. Vehicles in the state are subject to an excise tax of 4%. This is 4% of the total purchase price, no matter how much the vehicle cost. There is a $10 title fee, $10 lien notation fee, $1 penalty ($50 max) for each week past 45 days that you don’t register your vehicle. If you need a duplicate title, this is also $10. You can submit payment directly to the county treasurer’s office.

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Last Verified:
Jun 14, 2022