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South Dakota License Plate Lookup

This article is here to show the main details of the South Dakota License Plate Lookup. Here you can find complete info on SD License-related issues.

How to do SD License Plate Lookup?

Whether you are to buy a new or a used car, the first thing that is important for you is to look up the information about the vehicle before the payment. Accordingly, the license plate lookup will help you get detailed info about primary car features. It will touch on the value, specifications of the car, fuel efficiency, and so on. Secondly, it will keep you from buying a stolen or damaged car. In the process of buying a car, especially a used one, the South Dakota license plate lookup services will assist you a lot. Only after the license plate lookup, you can fully trust the seller and complete the payment.

You can freely search for a license plate in South Dakota. However, you need to know that the state pays special attention to the laws of the Privacy Protection Act (DPPA). Before requesting information about the car history and ownership details, you need to have an allowable purpose. The state cares about its residents’ public and personal safety and tries to prohibit the misuse of the information.

You also need to fill out an appropriate form to receive access to the files. If you break DPPA laws, it will have legal consequences.

Performing Searches

There are several ways to perform the license plate lookup search.  However, due to the pandemic outbreak, it is more preferable to do the lookup online. Furthermore, you can also visit the South Dakota Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Before visiting make sure that you have the following documents with you.

  • Required application forms (already completed),
  • Vehicle insurance,
  • Valid ID,
  • Emissions test certification,
  • Payment for all the fees.

With the South Dakota license plate lookup, you will reveal info like past ownership of the vehicle, the title, odometer reading, and so on. The best time to begin the search for license plates is within 30 days before the expiration of temporary tags. If you prefer to receive the plates by mail, you will need to wait for 2 or 3 weeks.

Registration of SD License Plates

The second thing after purchasing a new or used vehicle is its registration. In South Dakota, you have only 45 days to apply for registration because the Government starts to use penalties on the 46th day of driving without license plates. It does not matter that your temporary tags have not expired. For late transfers, the penalty is $1 per day. The penalty for the transfer is $50 after the 26th week. On the other hand, residents with out-of-state license plates can drive without registration a little bit longer. They have to change their plates within 90 days by applying for a South Dakota license plate at the nearest local county treasurer’s office.

Make sure that you applied for the right registration plate, as the plates for passenger cars, trucks, motorhomes, and motorcycles differ from each other. Besides, you should also remove errors in submitted documents. It often causes rejection of the registration. The other reason for registration rejection can be the lack of vehicle insurance. So before applying for license plates, make sure that you have valid vehicle insurance.

After completing the registration process, DMV will provide you with new license plates. The first one is for the front of the vehicle and the second one is for the rear. You can be charged for a crime in case you do no have one of the plates or they expire.

Note: If you drive your car less than 6000 miles a year, you can apply for a license plate only for the rear. You will pay an extra fee of $25 in addition to the legally prescribed fees.

The South Dakota license plates are made of aluminum and have US standardized sizes (30 cm x 15 cm). On the plates you can see Mount Rushmore in gray, the plate number, and the phrase “Great Faces. Great Places”. It refers to many beautiful places of South Dakota and Mount Rushmore, as a slogan was written on the plate.

Options for License Plates in South Dakota

Most residents prefer standard license plates. On the positive side, the South Dakota Department of Revenue offers many types of specialty tags and license plates. You can choose a plate that describes and identifies you from personalized or specialty plates.

First of all, you should know the difference between personalized and vanity plates. Vanity plates consist of only up to 3 numbers or from 1 to 7 letters. It cannot contain a message abusive to the public. Therefore, before the registration, it needs the approval of the DMV office. Personalized plates include both numbers and letters.

Secondly, each type has its subtypes within. For example, specialty plates assume a variety of plates. see a small part of them below:

  • Military (offered to veterans and active army officers),
  • Emblem (for organizations, universities, colleges, and other interest groups),
  • Historical (can be displayed on the cars that are more than 30 years old),
  • Disability (specially designed for people with disabilities, and emphasizes low speed).

You should pay fees for each type of plate in addition to the standard fees for registration and renewal. Moreover, the value of a personalized license plate is $25 in addition to the registration and renewal fees. The value of a specialty plate is $10, but you need to pay standard fees as well.

Note: If you are applying for a specialty or personalized license plate, you must have a South Dakota driver’s license. You cannot obtain any type of special plate with a driver’s license from another state.

SD Department of Revenue also suggests temporary license plates. When you purchase a car from a certificated dealer, he/she would give you a temporary plate to drive a car for 30 days. This type of plate is for one-time use and cannot be extended. The fee for one day is $1.

The state may reject your vanity plate application, for more information visit our SD banned license plates page.

Where and how to renew vehicle registration?

You have to renew your vehicle registration once a year. The date of renewal is determined with the first letter of the resident’s last name, which corresponds to a particular month of the year. You can renew registration in compliance with the renewal of the car tag. Probably, you will receive a renewal notification by mail. The notice usually contains a special PIN, which will be used during the online renewal process, the amount of the fees, and short personal information about the owner of the car.

There are four options of license plate renewal:

  1. Online,
  2. By mail,
  3. In-person,
  4. Via self-service terminals.

To do the renewal personally, you need to visit the local office of the Division of Motor Vehicles. You must have all the needed documents with you (valid ID, renewal notice, a paper proving the payment of the fees).

Online renewal is easy and time-saving. Nonetheless, sometimes you cannot complete the whole process electronically, as there is a need to pay mailing and processing fees by cash.

Self-service terminals are available all day long and from many points. They allow renewing the vehicle registration with several clicks. During the process, you will need your state-issued ID and driver’s license.

Replacement of the SD License Plate

What do you need to do, if you lost your license plate or somebody stole or damaged it? Yes, you need to replace it as soon as possible. There are two ways of replacement: online or in person.

If you prefer to do it online, you have to complete a certain application form and request from the South Dakota Office of Motor Vehicles. So the first thing that you will need to fill out is the vehicle identification number (VIN). Secondly, you have to provide your license plate number and zip code of car registration. Then, you will need to provide the number of your driver’s license and pay the required fees.

If you choose to replace the license plate personally, you will still have to provide a complete package of documents:

  • Proof of identity,
  • Driver’s license number,
  • Main features and the VIN of the vehicle,
  • Completed application form,
  • Then, you have to describe why you want to replace the vehicle registration document and which type it is,
  • And at last, you have to pay the fees (the replacement of decals and plate is $10).

Can I Transfer or Surrender SD Tags?

As we know each type of vehicle has its type of license plate. That means that you cannot register your car and get a license plate designed for a motorcycle. The same can be said about transferring the license plates. If you sell your vehicle and buy a new one, you can remove your old license plates and transfer them to a new vehicle if they are of the same type.

Referring to stolen or damaged license plates, if you have standard license plates, you can get the duplicate of the plate without additional payment. If you have had specialty or personalized license plates, you need to pay extra money to get a copy of them.

You can also give/transfer your license plates to your family members.

The SD county treasurer’s office states that if you do not need your license plates anymore, you should surrender them to your local DMV office personally.

Iskuhi B

Iskuhi is a newcomer in the sphere of content writing. She has a master's degree on Political Science and is an author of many political researches. Now she is busy with freelance translations and content writing. The skills of working in multicultural groups acquired during non formal educational projects abroad, help to meet different requirements of the employers. She is ready to provide quality contents as she is doing her work with love and devotion. Besides she considers content writing as an effective tool of personal development.

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