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New to South Dakota

SUMMARY: New South Dakota Residents

Once you become a resident of South Dakota, you'll need to visit your local DMV office and obtain a SD driver's license/ID card and register your car. You will need to provide various documents and payment for the applicable fees. As a new resident, you may wish to register to vote and register as an organ donor.

This page will help you find all the information you need to complete your tasks with the South Dakota Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Motor Vehicles Division (MVD).

South Dakota State Departments

In South Dakota, driver-related transactions are split up into two departments:

  • The Department of Public Safety (DPS), which handles licensing and identification services.
    AND
  • The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which handles motor vehicle tasks, such as registration
    • The DMV is a division of the SD Department of Revenue.

Other state agencies include:

  • The Secretary of State.
    • Handles voter registration and elections in South Dakota.
  • The Unified Judicial System.
    • Enforces state laws and regulations, including traffic offenses.

SD Driver's License/ID Cards

Once you become a resident of South Dakota, you must transfer your out-of-state driver's license. You'll need to visit your local SD DPS office in person with the required documents and payment for a new SD driver's license/ID card. See our Applying for a New License page for more information.

If you are a teenager, you must meet all of the state's graduated driver's licensing (GDL) requirements before you will be able to transfer your out-of-state driver's permit/license. More information can be found on our Applying for a Teen License page.

If you need a commercial driver's license, learn more about how to apply on our Applying for a New CDL page.

Identification Cards

If you don't plan on driving in South Dakota, you can obtain an identification card from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) instead. Your ID can be used to prove your age, name, address, and is very handy to have. Check out our Identification Cards page fore more information.

Register Your Car in South Dakota

If you're bringing your car from your previous state into South Dakota, you'll need to register it with the SD MVD within 90 days of becoming a resident.

You will need to visit your local SD MVD office in person and submit the required documentation (including your current title certificate) and payment for the registration fees. See our Car Registration page for more information.

NOTE: The state of South Dakota doesn't require any emissions or car inspections prior to registration.

Special Vehicles

Vehicles such as recreational vehicles (RVs), motorhomes, trailers, and mopeds also need to be registered with the South Dakota MVD. Check out our Special Vehicles page for more information about registration and licensing requirements.

Car Insurance

Are you getting the best value from your current auto insurance provider? Now that you're changing states, this is a great time to compare rates. You can learn a lot and save even more by visiting our South Dakota Car Insurance center.

Organ Donor & Voter Registration

If you were registered as an organ donor in your previous state, you'll need to re-register once you become a resident of South Dakota, since each state keeps its own registry. To register today, or to learn more, visit our Organ Donation in South Dakota page.

Similarly, if you were registered to vote at your previous home, you'll need to re-register in South Dakota if you'd still like to have your say at the next election. Registering is easy and can be done in person or by mail. Find out more on our Voter Registration page.

Military Members Stationed in SD

If you're an active-duty military member, you and your family may be exempt from some of the state's driver's licensing and registration requirements. You can find out more on our Drivers in the Military page.

DMV Office Location & Resources

When you're ready to visit the South Dakota Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Motor Vehicles Division (MVD), use our handy office finder to find your nearest location.

Before you get on the road with your SD driver's license, make sure you're aware of all the road rules in the state. These DPS manuals may be helpful:

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