South Dakota Vehicle Registration Benefits

Written by
Amber Hobert
Published on
July 9, 2024
Table of Contents

Vehicle Registration in South Dakota

South Dakota has over 1.2 million registered automobiles, each of which is identifiable by a legal document known as a vehicle title. The title is the legal paperwork of each ownership change as cars are purchased and resold. To guarantee that the title is correctly passed from one person to the next, both the sellers and buyers must follow a specific process.

Your county treasurer's office conducts vehicle titling and registration for South Dakota residents. A motor vehicle or boat title and registration request should be signed either by the record owner(s) or an authorized agent on behalf of the record owner(s). Regarding the title, the party selling the car shall give the purchaser a Bill of Sale. Vehicle registration is a basic procedure that can take a few weeks to conclude.

Most vehicle dealers or resellers finish the process for you and add the fees to the purchase price. A registration certificate is essential since there is no other way to drive a car in South Dakota without first registering it. Car registration is a legal requirement that applies to inhabitants of the United States and to citizens of the majority of other nations.

A vehicle registration plate is a plaque (sometimes known as a license plate) applied to motor vehicles and trailers for identification reasons. The automobile will have a particular number of characters based on its nation of registration. All cars in the United States are required by federal law to be registered annually. If your vehicle is not registered, you could face a significant fine or jail term, depending on the situation.

Fees for Vehicle Registration

Any automobile registered in the state of South Dakota is liable to a four percent vehicle excise tax. Irrespective of when an applicant files for registration or a title, all costs are imposed from the date of purchase. Registrations must be completed within around 45 days from the date of acquisition. Registered vehicles, as well as homes, are liable to duty and penalty charges.

Interest is levied at a 1-1/4% or $5 fee, whichever is greater, for the first month; and 1-1/4% per month thereafter on any application made after 45 days from the date of purchase.

Penalties on Vehicle Registration

A one-time penalty of 10% of the tax, or $10, whichever one is larger, is typically imposed on any application submitted beyond 60 days from the date of purchase. Operating an unregistered motor vehicle is usually a misdemeanor subject to a fine or incarceration.

The Department of Motor Automobiles (DMV) or an office of the County Treasurer is the appropriate institution for registering vehicles in various states. While each state is distinct and requires multiple forms of evidence when registering a vehicle, the most frequently needed documentation is the title or evidence of insurance.

Most states cannot register an automobile that does not have either of these documents; however, they may demand further proof (check with your state's requirements). Other states, for example, request a bill of sale, VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), and odometer reading. The title of an automobile is generally in the name of the person with whom the car is registered.

When you purchase a used automobile, you assume ownership and pay vehicle sales tax, license plate fees, excise tax, and transfer costs from the former owner to yourself. Many car owners regard car registration as a hassle, although it is designed to defend and safeguard their rights.

Vehicle Registration Benefits

Vehicle registration is required for a variety of reasons. For starters, it establishes ownership of the car. According to RTO (Regional Transport Office) records, the car's owner is the identity of the individual on whose name the vehicle is registered. If you plan to sell the automobile, you must have it.

You do not even have the authority to sell or change ownership of a car unless you have a legitimate registration document. In addition, in the event of an accident, you would be able to hunt down the operator or owner of the car using the vehicle registration information.

These assist individuals in identifying those involved in an accident as well as for settling claims in a calm manner. The Transport Ministry of South Dakota keeps track of the number of cars in the state, and registering each vehicle assists them in compiling accurate data. Below are some other benefits that arise from vehicle registration in South Dakota.

Entitles You as the Owner

The main objective of registering is to give you custody of the car. You will not be considered the rightful owner until you have a registration certificate in your hands. When you are handed a registration certificate, it means that you have completed the required purchase price with taxes and are now authorized to drive on public highways.

Moreover, if you are purchasing a second-hand vehicle, you must have ownership changed to your name. This means that you have to go through the full registration procedure all over again.

It is Mandatory

Car registration is necessary in most countries throughout the world, not just in South Dakota. Every automobile on the road is required by law to get a registration and a certificate.  As a driver, if you fail to present the certificate or a duplicate of it when asked to, the regulators have the authority to seize your vehicle, send you to prison, or fine you.

Usable in Checking the Vehicle's Age

The most vital element to consider when buying a used automobile is age. Some people claim that it is not too old and often unfairly overpriced it when selling a car. To prevent being duped in this manner, refer to the Car Registration Certificate for the correct age of the car.

South Dakota Vehicle Registration Process

Car owners in the United States are required to license their automobiles through their state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or the transportation department. This is required when purchasing a car, relocating to some other state, or updating your registration before it expires.

States use registrations to establish car ownership and give data for hunting down criminals or imposing taxes. After paying the fee, a registration certificate plus license plates are issued. The registration certificate for your car is crucial and should be carried with you at all times when driving. If you are suddenly stopped by law enforcement, they will want to see it.

So you've decided to buy an automobile, either old or new. A few items must be crossed off before you can get behind the wheel. The most important of these is registering your automobile or truck with your state. Moving is one of the most gratifying and challenging experiences a person can have. If you are contemplating relocating to South Dakota, you must ensure that you follow all of their laws, including having your vehicle correctly registered. You can only accomplish this by going to your local DMV in person.

To prevent difficulties, ensure you register your automobile within 90 days of moving to South Dakota. The good thing about South Dakota vehicle registration is that you are not required to undertake vehicle inspection beforehand.

Documentation Needed for Registration

Here's what you need to guarantee a smooth registration procedure:

● The motor vehicle’s Registration Application.

● Your current title is from the state from which you relocated.

● Pay all registration costs in full.

● Title or lien: If you own the car outright, you will be required to produce its original paper title. If the vehicle is financed, you must obtain the original paper title.

● Odometer reading: Whenever you bring in your automobile to register it, a DMV worker might check the odometer. Other states allow the vehicle's owner to record the mileage.

● A Salvage, Retrieved Theft, or otherwise Uniform Damage Disclosure form is required if your vehicle is less than seven years old.

● Payment method: Payment in cash as well as a credit card can be used to pay registration and renewal costs.

If you are a South Dakota inhabitant and purchase a car from a dealer, you do not have to worry about having the vehicle licensed on your own. Typically, the dealership where you are buying your vehicle will conduct the registration procedure.

You must have the registration paperwork to obtain a license plate for the car. Going to the DMV to register a vehicle purchased from a private vendor is mandatory for South Dakota citizens.

Fees Payable for Registration

You will be required to pay the following fees:

● Non-commercial cars under the age of 9 years will be charged around $75.60 to register.

● Non-commercial cars older than nine years will be charged around $50.40 to register.

● Motorcycles less than nine years old will require around $18 to register.

● Motorcycles older than nine years will be charged a registration fee of around $12.60.

What is a Car Title?

A car title is paperwork that proves who owns a registered vehicle. It may be granted by your local DMV, much like car registration. However, while registration proves that a car has been approved for driving by the state and that the necessary fees have indeed been paid, a title shows who possesses the car.

Moreover, it includes details such as its make, design, year, or whether or not it has ever been "totaled," or considered a total loss after a previous accident or robbery. When an automobile is bought, the seller must give the buyer title of the vehicle. Based on the state, the buyer might have to fill out a change of ownership form, or they might have to submit the certified title to their local DMV to obtain a new registration and title for the car.

Likewise, after completing your auto loan and becoming the rightful proprietor of your vehicle, you will obtain a title that simply names you as the owner, not the lienholder. An automobile can have several owners, but they must all be included in the title. Anyone whose name appears on a car title has the lawful right to register and sell the car.

How to Transfer a Car Title

The previous owner (or individual disposing of the car) should sign the transfer portion of their automobile title to change ownership to whomever. The new buyer then submits the title to the DMV or comparable office in their state, where a new title is granted. You must validate the transfer paperwork in many states. Moreover, an odometer declaration statement plus a bill of sale may be required.

Your Insurance Information

Many states will not let you buy a car unless you can show proof that you paid for coverage on it. Therefore, the insurance company will issue you a card or certificate proving that you are insured. Insurance, similar to registration, is often renewed every year. Keep your insurance documents in your car. A fine may also be imposed if you fail to present evidence of insurance to a law enforcement official.

Your Driver's License

State law mandates that a person have a driver's license to operate a motor vehicle. To obtain a license, you should be of a specific age (whichever your state demands) and complete certain examinations. As a point of fact, you should always have your driver's license on hand because it fulfills various functions. It not only allows you to drive, but it is also the primary form of identification for the vast majority of people.

Always have your driver's license on you. Your car registration plus proof of insurance must always be in your car. You should also keep the title someplace safe and easy to access. If you have any issues with your driver's license, reach out to the South Dakota Driver's License Department.

Methods of Annual Vehicle Registration Renewal

There are now four methods for renewing a vehicle's registration every year.

In-Person Renewal

To reapply in person, you should go to your local county treasurer's office with the renewal notification and a picture ID (either a driving license or an ID card). If the car to be updated is not depicted on the postcard, you must give evidence of possession in the form of the title or license renewing form. For accepted means of payment, consult your county treasurer's office.

Renewal by Mail

If the renewal is via mail, send the renewal postcard along with the money to your county treasurer's office. If the car in question to be renewed is not depicted on the postcard, You must give evidence of ownership in the form of a title or license renewal form.

Cashier's checks and money orders are accepted forms of payment. Include the necessary mailing price in your purchase ($5 for each plate and $1 for every decal).

Ensure that you also put your driver's license number and ID number from a legitimate ID card on the postcard. Allow two weeks for renewals submitted by mail to be processed. For further information, call the county treasurer's department in your area.

Renewal Online

For electronic renewal, you must have a current SD driver's license and perhaps a valid SD ID given by the SD Department of Public Safety. To get accessibility to the network as a company, a FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) and the state-issued customer number (as specified on the vehicle's renewal notification given out by the state) is required.

Registration fees, postage expenses (a $1 mailing fee is charged for each renewed registration), and a processing fee are included in the costs (around $1.50 for checks or 2.25 percent for debit and credit cards).

Ensure You Have Your Vehicle Fully Registered

Driving with expired license plates may result in a penalty from law enforcement. Specific boats, as well as snowmobile renewals, are not currently available online. Before renewal, you must submit address adjustments through the applicant's county treasurer's office as well as online.

Customers can renew their vehicle registrations and plates online. Electronic checks and credit or debit cards are accepted means of payment (Discover, MasterCard, and Visa only). So you do not have a valid excuse for not having registered your vehicle.

Do You Need Professional Assistance?

After reading this blog, you should now be aware of the following information: federal law requires car registration every year, and some states have different requirements based on how they handle the registration procedure.

The cause for this is that after about five years of usage, license plates typically become less visible during the night. However, if all this sounds daunting to you, please find a vehicle registration specialist who can help guide you through the process step by step.

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