Applying for Special Plates in South Dakota

SUMMARY: Apply for a South Dakota Specialty License Plate

In South Dakota, you can apply for special, organizational, military, and personalized plates by completing the appropriate application and submitting it by mail. Renewal of your special plate is part of your vehicle registration renewal. Contact the DMV to replace or transfer your specialty plate. Fees for specialty plates vary.

Several special plates and decals are available through the South Dakota Motor Vehicle Division (DMV). The application process for these specialty plates primarily involves mailing in your completed application forms.

Applying for Special Plates in South Dakota

You can use the South Dakota Special License Plate Application (Form MV-101) to apply for the following types of passenger vehicle special plates:

  • Fire Fighter.
  • Indian Tribal.
  • Historic Vehicle.
  • Historic Motorcycle.
  • Amateur Radio.

To apply for the above special license plates:

  • Complete the application.
  • Make payment for any applicable fees.
    • An additional $5 mailing fee will apply for each set of plates.
  • Send the above by mail to the address on the application.

Personalized Plates

To apply for a personalized South Dakota license plate:

Prior to applying for a personalized plate, it is best to check the availability of your desired custom message online to increase the chances that your application will get approved.

Applying for SD Organizational Plates

You can obtain one of several organizational decals to place on an emblem license plate.

The organization linked to each decal is responsible for the application process of that decal.

To apply for a South Dakota organizational decal:

  • Browse the Organization Decal Guide and find:
    • Your desired decal.
    • The corresponding contact information for the person in charge of the application process for that plate.
  • Contact the appropriate person to learn the specific application steps.

Applying for Military Plates in South Dakota

South Dakota military plates are divided up into the following categories:

  • General.
  • Active Duty.
  • Veterans.

General Military License Plates

Most plates in this category are those recognizing military members who have received a distinguishing medal or award for their service.

To apply for these plates, take the following steps:

  • Complete a Military License Plate Application (Form MV-4000).
  • Obtain a copy of your proof of service and certificate of award (if applicable).
  • Make payment for the initial fee.
    • A $5 fee applies for plates to be mailed.
  • Send the above by mail to the address on the form.

Active Duty and Veteran Plates

To apply for any of the active duty or veteran license plates, take these steps:

Renewing & Replacing Special License Plates

Plate Renewal

Your South Dakota specialty/personalized license plates must be renewed as part of your registration renewal.

Several special plates have a renewal fee that is in addition to regular registration renewal fees.

To learn more about renewing your registration, visit our Registration Renewal in South Dakota page.

Plate Replacement

If your specialty plates are lost or stolen, you can apply for replacements from the South Dakota DMV. Note that you will have to file a police report if your plates were lost or stolen.

To learn more, visit our License Plates and Placards in SD page.

Transferring South Dakota Special Plates

In South Dakota, if you sell your car, the vehicle plates remain with you.

You can transfer the plates from your old car to a new car by visiting your local county treasurer's office with the plates being transferred.

Fees for Specialty Plates in South Dakota

Specialty plate fees vary depending on the type of license plate. You can find specific information about your desired plate's fees on its corresponding application form. Note that most plates have a $5 mailing fee per set of plates.

Personalized plates have an annual fee of $25.

If you wish to apply for an organizational decal, you can learn about the decal fee by getting in touch with the corresponding organization's main contact.

Forms

MV-4000
Military License Plate Application
Apply for military license plates with the South Dakota DMV.
MV-3012
Application for Veteran License Plates and Affidavit
Apply for new, renewed, OR reassigned South Dakota veteran license plates with the Division of Motor Vehicles. MUST be notarized.

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