1. Get Started With License Plate Assistance Online

In most states, you cannot apply for or replace a license plate online. Instead, most states require you to request a new or duplicate license plate in person at a DMV office. However, certain states or counties may allow you to complete these transactions online. In any case, you must apply for a new license plate within a few days of your vehicle’s date of purchase. To do so, you must provide a certificate of title, odometer disclosure, smog certification (if applicable) and bill of sale (if needed). Then, you must pay any applicable DMV service fees. To prepare for this procedure and save time, download our informative online guide. Our guide contains everything you need to know about standard and custom license plates. In it, you will also learn about requesting, renewing and replacing a car registration.

2. By Mail

In most states, you cannot apply for a license plate by mail. However, many states allow you to replace or surrender a license plate by sending the required materials through the mail. When replacing a plate, you will be required to send a completed application form containing personal details and vehicle specifications to the appropriate DMV mailing address. If you wish to surrender an existing license plate after selling your vehicle, you may do so by mailing the plate to the correct DMV branch in your state. Due to mailing and processing times, be mindful that the mail-in method may subject you to certain delays.

3. In Person at a DMV Office

You will most likely need to visit a DMV office in person to apply for a license plate in your state. During your visit, you will be asked to provide proof of identity, documents that verify your car ownership and a completed application form. In addition, you will be required to pay the applicable DMV fees, which vary depending on whether you apply for a standard or personalized license plate. When visiting a DMV, you may also replace or transfer an existing license plate, as long as those procedures are offered in your state. To avoid mistakes or taking additional trips to the DMV, make sure that you are fully prepared for license plate transactions prior to filing your application.


A South Dakota DMV license plate serves as proof that the vehicle has been appropriately registered with the DOR. Moreover, plates serve as verification that the vehicle has met all of the applicable state standards for roadworthiness. In addition, DMV car tags also provide a way for law enforcement officers to quickly identify a vehicle and obtain information about its owner.

The issuance of new registration plates in SD is overseen by the state’s Department of Revenue (DOR). Continue reading the sections below to learn more about how you can get tags when purchasing a new vehicle. You will also find tips on how to replace or transfer your title and tags, if needed.

Types of License Plates in South Dakota

The current non-commercial standard DMV license plate in SD features a gray design of Mount Rushmore against a bright blue sky. The state’s name, car registration plate number and the quote “Great Faces. Great Places” are all written in dark blue ink. As in other states, the standard plate is the least expensive and most commonly used car tag.

Moreover, South Dakota offers a wide range of specialty car registration tags featuring military and college affiliations, fraternal organizations and charities. Historic and antique plates are also available.

Furthermore, drivers can obtain personalized tags that have a unique combination of letters and numbers, if desired. In any case, be mindful that these specialty license plates are issued for an additional fee.

How to Apply for a License Plate in South Dakota

The process of how to get a license place in South Dakota involves completing an Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration form. This DMV license plate form must be signed by the owner on record or an authorized agent for the owner. Authorized agents must be verified through a power of attorney document.

New plate applications for out-of-state vehicle purchases must be accompanied by a bill of sale, purchase order or sales contract. All motor vehicle title and tag registration fees must be configured and paid through the county treasurer’s office where you live.

How to Renew License Plate Tags in South Dakota

South Dakota drivers wondering how to renew license plate credentials have four options for getting a car tag renewal before the expiration date. In order to renew a license plate in South Dakota and access other DMV services online, at a self-service terminal, by mail or in person at your local county treasurer’s office.

Online instructions walk you through renewing a license plate registration electronically, after which your new plates and stickers will be mailed to you. Self-service renewal terminals (SSTs) are available 24 hours a day in several locations and provide fully automated services on the spot. However, be mindful that you will need to provide information from your renewal notice and a credit card to complete an SST transaction.

When renewing your tags by mail, simply mail your filled-out renewal notice and a check or money order to your county treasurer’s office. Furthermore, if you choose to renew your tags in person, you need the same documents required for other transactions. However, you will have the option to pay the applicable fees in cash.

Note: The process for renewing your license plates goes hand-in-hand with renewing your vehicle registration. Most drivers renew their registration at the same time as they renew their vehicle tags.

How to Replace License Plates in South Dakota

You must replace license plate tags as soon as possible after discovering that they were lost, stolen or destroyed. For instructions on how to replace license plate tags or stickers in SD, refer to the DOR’s Application for Replacement of License Plates, Validation Stickers or Lost Title Document.

Complete and submit the form to your county treasurer. When replacing your tags, you may choose to do so by mail instead of going to your county treasurer’s office. However, this option will delay receipt of your new tags by another week or two.

How to Transfer License Plates in South Dakota

If you wish to transfer your old SD DMV license plate to your new vehicle, you can do so at your local county treasurer’s office. South Dakota is a state in which plates stay with their owners. Thus, you must keep your car registration plates whenever you sell a car.

When going to the county treasurer’s office, be sure to bring the old plates with you. If they are in poor condition, you will be issued new plates to replace them, but your registration account information will remain the same.

South Dakota License Plate Fees

There are various fees related to license plates in South Dakota. For instance, personalized plates for cars typically cost $25 in SD. Moreover, a non-commercial license plate can cost between $2.10 and $12 per month.

License Plate Lookups in South Dakota

If you need to obtain license plate history or other information on a certain tag number, you must reach out to the SD DOT.

Last updated on Wednesday, January 16 2019.

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