Types of Special License Plates in South Dakota

SUMMARY: South Dakota Specialty Plate Options

A variety of special license plates are offered to vehicle owners in South Dakota, from personalized plates to emblem plates for organizations. Current and former military personnel can apply for military license plates, and historical vehicle tags are available for qualifying vehicles.

Read below to learn more about the types of special license plates available from the South Dakota Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).


Personalized Plates in South Dakota

If you want a personalized license plate in SD, your custom tag number must meet DMV guidelines:

  • It MUST have at least 1 character and up to 7 characters.
    • Motorcycle plates can have up to 6 characters.
  • It CANNOT use vulgarity or offensive language.

When you apply for a personalized plate, you can include a few different combinations in case your first choice is not available.

The fees for a personalized plate are:

Emblem Plates for Organizations

Emblem specialty license plates are available for different types of organizations. An emblem plate is a standard SD plate with a decal for an organization or group.

NOTE: Some organizations require proof of membership in order to be eligible for the decal.

The SD DMV offers:

  • Collegiate license plates, such as plates for:
    • Augustana College.
    • Northern State University Foundation.
    • South Dakota State University.
  • Special interest plates, including plates for:
    • Aberdeen Soccer Association.
    • Black Hills Symphony Orchestra.
    • South Dakota Historical Society.
  • Charity plates, such as license plates for:
    • Donate Life South Dakota.
    • Susan G. Komen of South Dakota.
    • The YMCA.
  • Membership organizations, including plates for:
    • The Fraternal Order of Police.
    • The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
    • South Dakota Lions Foundation.

For a complete list of available plates and contact information for eligibility queries, see the SD DMV website.

The fee for a South Dakota emblem plate is $10 PLUS the standard registration fees. A portion of the fee goes to the organization, or a related charity or non-profit.

Learn how to apply for an organizational plate by visiting Applying for Special License Plates.

Military License Plates in SD

The SD DMV offers a variety of military license plates in recognition of military service and honors.

Fees for military license plates are charged IN ADDITION to regular registration fees. You may also be charged a postage fee.

Military license plates are available for:

  • Military honors and medals, such as The Congressional Medal of Honor. Fees vary, for example:
    • The Bronze Star with Valor plate is $10.
    • The Congressional Medal of Honor plate is free.
  • Veterans of each military branch. ($10 fee.)
  • Active duty military in each branch of the service. ($10 fee.)

Military plates are issued only if you have proof of your service or honor, such as:

  • Discharge papers.
  • Valid military ID.

You'll find application instructions on our Applying for Special License Plates page.

Historical License Plates

The South Dakota DMV offers historical license plates for qualifying vehicles.

  • Historical Vehicle plate: $10 for permanent plates. The vehicle must be:
    • Over 30 years old.
    • Operated ONLY for exhibitions and similar events or to be refueled or repaired.
  • Historical Motorcycle plate: $10 for permanent plates. The motorcycle must be:
    • Over 30 years old.
    • Driven for special events and vehicle maintenance ONLY.

To apply, visit our Applying for Special License Plates in SD page.

NOTE: Historical vehicles can also display authentic vintage SD license plates issued the same year as the vehicle's model year. Contact the SD DMV at (605) 773-3541 for more information.

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