Removing a Lien in South Dakota
What Is an Auto Lien?
A lien is a way for lenders, service providers or property owners to legally protect themselves against the chance that they won't receive full payment for a bill or a loan.
The lien on your SD car title will allow your lienholder to repossess your car if you're unable to continue making payments on your car loan. Before they are able to do this, the SD DMV or your lienholder must notify you of the situation.
Who Is a Lienholder?
The person or institution providing the money or service up front in a transaction is the lienholder.
Whoever issued your car loan—be it an individual or a company—is the lienholder on your SD car title. Most of the time, a lienholder will be a bank, credit union, or another lender.
Until your loan is paid off, your lienholder can also be referred to as the legal car owner.
Removing a Lien from a SD Car Title
Once you've completed payment on your car loan, there are several ways you can release the lien on your South Dakota car title.
If your lienholder is a participant in the South Dakota Motor Vehicle Division' Electronic Lien & Title program, they can simply remove your lien electronically. Once the lien is released a paper title will be mailed to you.
If your lienholder has your paper title, they are required to send the lien-free title to your SD county treasurer within 20 days of receiving your final payment.
In cases where you have your own paper car title, your lienholder will be required to send a lien release to you within 20 days of receiving your final payment. It is then your responsibility to bring the title and the lien release to your local South Dakota county treasurer's office to have the lien removed.