Title Transfers in South Dakota

How to Transfer a Vehicle Title in South Dakota:
  1. Obtain the properly assigned title from the seller.
  2. Fill out a bill of sale with the seller.
  3. Complete a title and registration application.
  4. Submit all documents, plus fee payment, to your local county treasurer.

Keep reading for more detail regarding South Dakota title transfers.

New Residents to South Dakota

Once you've established residency in South Dakota, you have 90 days to title it with the SD Motor Vehicle Division (DMV).

At your local county treasurer's office, you'll need to:

Buying or Selling a Vehicle in South Dakota

Buying from a Dealer

When you buy a car at a dealership, the dealer will typically take care of the titling and registration for you.

If they DO NOT, make sure that the dealer:

  • Provides you with the Manufacturer's Statement/Certification of Origin (MSO/MCO), OR the original vehicle title.
  • Fills out the price certification section on the Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration (Form MV-608).
  • Completes the odometer disclosure section on the title or MCO/MSO (for vehicles 9 years old or less).

Within 45 days of buying the car, you will need to submit to your county treasurer:

Buying from a Private Seller

When buying a car from another person, you'll need to apply for a new South Dakota title in your name within 45 days.

The seller will need to:

  • Give you the vehicle title properly signed over to you as the new owner.
  • Complete the odometer disclosure section on the Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration (Form MV-608), if the car is 9 years old or less.
  • Complete a Bill of Sale (Form MV-016) that includes:
    • Vehicle information (make, model, year, etc.)
    • Date and price of sale.
    • Buyer/seller information and signatures.
  • Obtains/provides a proof of lien release, if there is a lien on the vehicle.

Once you have these documents, visit your local South Dakota county treasurer with:

Selling a Vehicle in South Dakota

If you're selling your South Dakota vehicle, you'll FIRST need to apply for a seller's permit. This will allow the buyer to drive the vehicle from your property after the sale. You can apply for this permit:

The permit will be valid for 30 days, and it's free.

You'll then need to provide the buyer with:

  • A properly-assigned vehicle title indicating the new owner.
  • A Bill of Sale (Form MV-016) that includes:
    • Make, model, and year of the vehicle.
    • Date and price of sale.
    • Your information and signature.
    • The buyer's information.
  • Proof of lien release, if there is a lien on the vehicle.
  • An odometer disclosure filled out on the Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration (Form MV-608), if the car is under 9 years old or less.

Lastly, you'll need to complete a Seller's Report of Sale online within 15 days of selling your car.

Gifting or Inheriting a Vehicle in SD

Gifted Vehicles

When transferring a vehicle to another person as a gift, simply follow the steps listed above in Buying or Selling a Vehicle.

NOTE: If a vehicle is being transferred between family members, you will be exempt from paying any tax. You will simply be responsible for the title transfer fee.

Inherited Vehicles

The process and documents required to transfer ownership to an heir after an owner has passed away differs based on the whether the estate is probated or not.

Probated estate:

The personal representative of the estate will complete the title transfer.

The county treasurer will need from the representative and the heir (if different than the representative):

  • The original title certificate.
  • A copy of the representative's appointment papers.
  • The driver's license and Social Security numbers of each person taking ownership of the vehicle.
  • A completed South Dakota Exemptions form (Form 2040).
  • Payment for transfer fees.

If the personal representative is selling the vehicle rather than transferring it to an heir, follow the steps for selling a vehicle to a private party, and attach a copy of the appointment papers to the title.

Non-probated estate:

If no personal representative has been appointed for the estate, the vehicle's title will be transferred to the deceased's immediate heir(s). You must wait 30 days after the owner's death to apply.

To do so, the county treasurer must receive:

In a non-probated estate title transfer, you CANNOT immediately sell the vehicle to another party upon the owner's death, as you can with a probated estate. You must first transfer the vehicle to an heir; after this is complete, the heir can then sell the vehicle should they wish to do so.

Removing Liens from a South Dakota Title

Once you have paid off your car loan, your lienholder has 20 days to release the lien on your vehicle.

If the lienholder is in possession of the title, they will send it to a South Dakota county treasurer.

If you (the owner) are in possession of the title, your lienholder will send you a release of lien, which you can then take to your county treasurer along with your title certificate to have the lien notation removed.

Titling Fees in South Dakota

Here are the basic fees you'll pay when titling a vehicle in South Dakota:

  • Standard titling fee: $10.
  • Late application fee: $1 for every 1 week past the grace period of 45 days.
    • Maximum late fee: $50 total.
  • Title transfer fee: $10.
  • Lien notations: $10.
  • Lien releases: Free.
  • Duplicate title: $10.
  • Excise tax*: 4% of the vehicle's purchase price.

* NOTE: If you've recently moved to South Dakota and you paid excise tax in your previous state, you won't have to pay it again as long as it was equal to or more than South Dakota's 4% tax. If it was less, you'll pay for the remainder up to the 4% owed. Make sure to bring proof of any excise or sales tax paid in your previous state.

Duplicate SD Vehicle Titles

If you lost or misplaced your South Dakota title, here's how to get a replacement:


Bill of Sale
Use the DMV's bill of sale form as a proof of purchase when transferring ownership of a vehicle in SD.
Application for Motor Vehicle Title & Registration
Title and register your vehicle with the South Dakota Division of Motor Vehicles.
Application for a Duplicate Certificate of Title
Request a duplicate South Dakota vehicle OR boat title by submitting this form to the DMV. MUST be notarized.
Affidavit of Vehicle Ownership by Succession
Submit this affidavit to the DMV to transfer ownership of a vehicle into your name after the owner has passed away if you meet the criteria listed on the form. MUST be notarized.
Exemptions Form
Claim exemption from South Dakota's excise tax for registering vehicles if you meet the criteria listed on the form.
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