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How Much Do South Dakota License Plates Cost?

When you buy a used car in South Dakota, you’ll get new license plates when you register the vehicle. Standard South Dakota passenger vehicle plates are included in the registration fee of $120.
South Dakota also has a variety of specialty and personalized plates to choose from, which cost more. Additional taxes and fees apply to both new and renewal registrations.

Let’s get into the details of license plate costs in the great state of South Dakota.

The Cost of License Plates in South Dakota

South Dakota’s passenger license plates cost $0 to $25, depending on what type of plate you choose.

Here are the options South Dakota offers for passenger vehicle plates:

Standard passenger plates
Personalized plates
Specialty plates
Military plates
Disability plates

The fees vary based on plate type. Additional registration fees apply on top of the base plate costs.

How Much are Standard License Plates in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, the standard passenger vehicle plate is included with the registration fee. Meaning that it’s free…sort of.

You'll receive the classic plates when:

Registering a vehicle in your name
Replacing lost, damaged, or stolen plates
Trading down from specialty plates to standard plates

For more info on South Dakota’s license plate types, visit the official South Dakota Department of Revenue page.

How Much are Personalized License Plates in South Dakota?

Want to make a statement? Personalized plates cost $25, on top of the regular license plates fee. They are also referred to as vanity plates, allowing you to customize your ride with a unique letter and number combo.

When selecting the lettering for your custom South Dakota plate, there are some restrictions:

You are limited to six total characters and spaces
No special characters or punctuation can be used
Offensive or inappropriate words and phrases are prohibited

How Much are South Dakota Special Plates?

Show some support for a cause with special license plates. You can sport a plate that supports your favorite South Dakota cause, tribal, or organization.

A South Dakota specialty plate fee is $10 to $25, plus a $7.50 license plate mailing fee.

Here are the available specialty plate categories:

1. Tribal plates
2. Firefighter license plates
3. Amateur radio plates
4. Dignity sculpture plates
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How Much are South Dakota Military License Plates?

South Dakota offers over 15 different military license plates to honor those who served, including:

Medal of Honor: no fee for eligible veterans
Pearl Harbor Survivor: $10 annual fee, no registration fee
Purple Heart: $10
Gold Star: $10
National Guard: $10

How Much are South Dakota Handicap License Plates?

South Dakota provides disabled license plates to accommodate residents with permanent disabilities. Eligible South Dakota veterans can get disabled plates at no extra cost beyond regular registration fees.

How Much are Commercial License Plates in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, commercial license plates range from $50 to over $1,000 per year depending on vehicle type and weight class.

How Much are Motorcycle License Plates in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, motorcycle license plates cost up to $24. This covers the registration and plate needed to legally operate a motorcycle.

How Much are Trailer License Plates in South Dakota?

Trailer license plates in South Dakota cost $50 per year. This provides the required registration and plate for legal trailer operation.

How Much are RV Plates in South Dakota?

Recreational vehicle (RV) license plates cost $90 per year in South Dakota. This annual fee covers motor home plates and registration.

What Do I Do With Old License Plates in South Dakota?

When you sell your used car in South Dakota, you must dispose of your old plates properly.

Here are the options for old South Dakota plates:

1. Return: county treasurer’s will take back the old plate when issuing a new one. This is the safest option.
2. Recycle: remove any stickers and recycle the plate through local recycling.
3. Keep: some choose to save the old plate as memorabilia. Be sure to invalidate any active stickers first.
4. Transfer: South Dakota allows you to put your old plate on another vehicle you own. Make sure to check with your county treasurer’s office for the proper paperwork for a plate transfer.

It’s always a good idea to deface your old license plate before returning or recycling it. This prevents someone else from illegally using it. Always remove registration stickers before disposing of your plate.

See our state-by-state guide to license plates to learn which states require removal from the vehicle and which states allow the plates to remain with the vehicle when it’s sold.

License Plate Trivia

Here are some interesting facts about South Dakota license plates:

South Dakota requires a front license plate in addition to the rear plate, unlike some states that require a rear plate only.
Passenger license plates measure 6 by 12 inches and are rectangular—in South Dakota and across the US.
Motorcycle license plates are a bit smaller, measuring 4 by 7 inches.
The South Dakota license plate has seven characters. (Across the US, license plate formats range from 6 to 8 characters.)

How Much is Vehicle Registration in South Dakota?

To register your vehicle at a South Dakota DOT branch office, you must show proof of used car insurance.

The first time you register a passenger car, you need to transfer the title if you’ve just acquired it.

Here are the fees you may owe when you register a car in South Dakota. Note that you’ll owe South Dakota sales tax the first time you register a car that you purchase, whereas most other fees are due annually.

How to Transfer a Vehicle's Title in South Dakota?

Transferring a vehicle's title in South Dakota is a two-part process.

1. The seller signs over the certificate of title after you pay them for the car.
2. You complete the title transfer at the county treasurer's office. At the same time, you apply for a new title, pay sales taxes and fees, complete the registration process, and apply for new license plates.

The seller will provide you with the following South Dakota paperwork:

Completed certificate of title
Completed odometer disclosure section on the application for motor vehicle title and registration
Completed bill of sale (Form MV-016)
Proof of lien (if applicable)

Once the seller has provided you with all the paperwork, you need to visit your local South Dakota county treasurer and submit the following:

A completed Motor Vehicle/Boat Title&Registration Application
Payment for sales taxes (South Dakota sales taxes are 4% of the vehicle’s purchase price)
Payment for title transfer fee: $10

For more information about title transfers, read our South Dakota title transfer guide.

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Sell Your Car In South Dakota

Here’s how you can sell your car in South Dakota with a few simple steps:

1. Gather the required paperwork for selling a car in South Dakota
2. Register on PrivateAuto and get verified
3. List your car
4. Set your terms
5. Vet incoming offers
6. Choose a buyer
7. Schedule a meeting
8. E-sign documents
9. Get paid, instantly
10. Transfer title

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License Plates FAQ

How to request a duplicate vehicle title in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, if you’ve lost, misplaced, or damaged your car title, you will need to take these steps to replace it:

1. Complete an application for a duplicate certificate of title (Form MV-010)
2. Payment for the South Dakota duplicate vehicle title fee: $10

You can submit the above-listed documentation to your local county treasurer's office or by mailing it to the following address:

SD Motor Vehicle Division
445 E. Capitol Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501

Do you pay sales taxes when you purchase a vehicle from a private party in South Dakota?

Can a non-resident register a vehicle in South Dakota?