To ride legally in the state of South Dakota, you must carry proof of financial responsibility with you at all times. Most riders choose liability insurance as the easiest way to meet the state insurance requirements.

Two-Wheeled Vehicle

South Dakota defines two-wheeled rides this way:

  • Motorbikes, mopeds, bicycles with motors attached, and all motor operated vehicles of the bicycle or tricycle type, which have a saddle/seat with the driver sitting astride or upon it, or a platform on which the driver stands are defined as motorcycles. Tractors do not belong here.

If you still have doubts about whether your bike requires insurance, you may contact the Motor Vehicles Division (MVD) at (605) 773-3541.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

The following minimum amounts of liability insurance are required in the state:

  • $25,000 for damage to property.
  • $25,000 for injury/death to one person.
  • $50,000 for injury/death to more than one person.

Remember that you always have the option to maximize your protection with additional types of coverage. You can use the form at the top of this page to get insurance for your ride. It can help you save on motorcycle insurance for the future as well.

Helmet Requirements

Helmets must wear only motorcyclists younger than 18. For the rest wearing a helmet is their personal choice.

Establishing Financial Responsibility

You have four insurance options you can choose from:

  • Liability insurance.
  • Self-insurance. However, to qualify for this, you must have at least 26 vehicles registered in your name.
  • A surety bond with an authorized in-state broker.
  • A $50,000 Certificate of Deposit with the State Treasurer.

Proof of Financial Responsibility

One of the following must be presented if a law enforcement officer requests proof of insurance:

  • A surety bond certificate.
  • A current insurance identification card, supplied by your provider.
  • A Certificate of Deposit issued by the State Treasurer.
  • A Certificate of Self-Insurance.


Make sure you always carry proof of insurance, or you’ll be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor and face these penalties:

  • A $100 fine and possibly 30 days in the county jail.
  • A suspended license for up to one year.
  • Higher insurance premiums.
  • The requirement to file proof of insurance (SR-22) with the state for three years. If you allow your insurance to lapse during this period you’ll face immediate registration, license, and license plate suspension.

For more information about the penalties contact the MVD at (605) 773-3541.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.