While boat registration in South Dakota is processed through local county treasurer’s offices, the process is the same across all counties. There is only one registration form used throughout the state, and titling and registration are done simultaneously when you submit it. Boaters must meet all the requirements to register a boat in South Dakota within 45 days of taking ownership of a new or used vessel. Learn how to register a boat in South Dakota by studying the information below, which includes details on registration fees, renewal policies, boat insurance and more.

Requirements for Boater Registration in South Dakota

“What do you need to register a boat in South Dakota?” is a common question many boaters may ask themselves. There is one uniform South Dakota boat registration form, the Boat Registration Application and Transfer of Ownership Form (Form MV- 607) used to obtain boat registration within the state. Boaters will submit this form at their local county treasurer’s office. Note that other requirements for registration will need to be submitted as well, most notably the title. When boaters adhere to SD boat registration instructions, other necessary documents may include the following:

  • Manufacturer’s statement of origin (MSO)
  • Bill of sale
  • Dealer invoice
  • Title
  • Purchase agreement

A portion of the South Dakota registration form is the Motor Vehicle Purchaser’s Certificate, or bill of sale. In accordance with registration instructions, this must be completed in order to assess the taxes and produce a duplicate title if needed. Bill of sale requirements to register a boat in South Dakota include the following fields:

  • South Dakota boat title number
  • SD boat number
  • Title county where boat is registered
  • Vessel specs such as make, year, length, hull material, type, color, motor style and uses
  • Dealer and/or trade-in info for boats purchased from a dealership
  • Purchase date and price
  • Lien information, when applicable

Note one of the requirements to register a boat in South Dakota is that if a motorized boat is longer than 12 feet but was originally titled before July 1, 1994, the owner will not be able to title the boat. Rather, the title record must be converted to a registration record by issuing a new application in the new owner’s name.

Exemptions From Boat Registration and Titling in South Dakota

To answer the question, “Is your boat exempt from registration in South Dakota?” ask yourself if your vessel is non-motorized and under 12 feet in length. One of the most common boat registration exemptions in South Dakota applies to vessels that meet this condition. To determine exemption status, refer to the following list of South Dakota exemptions from boat titling:

  • Canoes
  • Inflatable vessels
  • Kayaks
  • Sailboards
  • Seaplanes

South Dakota Boat Insurance

Boat insurance rates in South Dakota are competitive, and protect boaters from a variety of risks. Like auto insurance quotes, you should obtain boat insurance quotes in South Dakota from several insurers before signing up for a policy. Keep in mind, however, than an insurance policy is not required to operate a boat in South Dakota. However, some boat insurance programs in South Dakota may advise boat owners to obtain coverage even if it is not a legal requirement in the state.

South Dakota Boat Registration Fees

“How much does it cost to register a boat in South Dakota?” is another common question that arises among boat owners. Boat registration fees in South Dakota are minimal compared to many other states. The actual cost is as follows:

  • Non-motorized boats longer than 12’ and boats propelled by electric motors – $15/year
  • Motorboats shorter than 19’ (including jet skis) – $25/year
  • Motorboats 19’ and longer – $45/year
  • Non-motorized boats shorter than 12’ or boats exempt from a certificate of title – $1
  • Duplicate registration – $1
  • Duplicate boat decals – $3
  • Mailing fee – $1 per decal or set of decals

Note that only boat registration fees in South Dakota are listed above. Titling fees, which average $10, and new purchase excise tax equaling 3% of the purchase price are additional costs.

Renewing Your South Dakota Boat Registration

The process for how to renew your boat registration in South Dakota as simple as dropping a check in the mail or stopping by a local county treasurer’s office. Boaters are not able to renew boat registration online in South Dakota, nor are the DMV self-serve kiosks available for this service. Similar to the notice for the car registration renewal process, a boat renewal notice will arrive in the mail alerting you to your renewal deadline. When this notice arrives, mail the appropriate fees in the form of a check, money order or cashier’s check made payable to the local county’s treasurer’s office as soon as possible. Renewals are processed in about two weeks.

Replacing Your South Dakota Boat Registration

Boaters can replace a boat registration in South Dakota by submitting an Affidavit for Duplicate License Plate/Validation Sticker to the South Dakota Department of Revenue via a local county treasurer’s office. If you are wondering how to replace your boat registration in South Dakota online, you should know that South Dakota does not allow online registration replacements. The fee for registration replacements is $2.

Boater Safety Courses in South Dakota

Taking a boater safety course in South Dakota is not required by law in the state, but it can be beneficial in order learn more about boater safety. Boaters who take a safety course and have boater’s insurance, may be eligible for a discount on their insurance policies. Boating safety education is a valuable investment for boating enthusiasts. Encouraging passengers to take boater safety course exams is a responsible thing for a boat owner to do because it could end up saving a life if an accident takes place.

South Dakota Boater License

An in-person or online boating license is required in South Dakota and does not exist to serve as legal proof of a boater’s authorization to operate a vessel. Instead of a boater license, boaters can obtain an SD boating safety certificate after passing a safety course.

Last updated on Friday, November 9 2018.

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