A South Dakota car title is used primarily to provide proof of vehicle ownership within the state. Issued by the South Dakota Department of Revenue (SD DOR), a car title is a required document for all car owners who wish to drive legally. In addition to providing the name of the owner, a vehicle title includes car or truck information such as its make, model year, weight and vehicle identification number (VIN).

An SD auto title records each change in ownership as vehicles are bought and sold, and whenever a new owner takes possession of it, the change must be reflected on the title. Keep reading the sections below to learn more about getting a title for car ownership and how titles differ from car registration, despite often being obtained at the same time.

Where to Apply for a Car Title in South Dakota

Whether applying for a new car title or a used car title, all applications must be submitted in person at your local county treasurer’s office. The SD DOR manages a statewide network of these offices that are equipped to handle DMV car title and other motor vehicle document needs. It is best to call ahead to see if you need an appointment to get your car title processed.

Though most offices located in well-populated counties are open during normal business hours, more remote locations may only be open for limited hours on certain days of the week. Unfortunately, drivers cannot get car title applications processed through the mail or online at this time.

The South Dakota Auto Title Application

The South Dakota certificate of title application is available for download online or by visiting your local county treasurer’s office. Request or look up Form MV-608, State of South Dakota Application for Motor Vehicle Title & Registration. As you can see by the title, the state can issue a pink slip and a registration certificate simultaneously.

The SD vehicle title application requires specific information, such as the owners’ or lessor/lessee’s names and their SD driver license number or Social Security Number. Applicants getting car title approval must include their full residence address, the vehicle identification number (VIN), odometer reading and physical characteristics such as paint color, body style make, model and year of manufacture.

If you wonder how to get car title documents for a vehicle with a lien, the application also includes room to list up to three lienholders per vehicle. If the vehicle you are getting a car title for was the result of another vehicle trade-in, complete that section of the form. Study the tax exemption section to see if you are eligible for any of the exemptions, and enter the purchase price information, which will help you calculate the amount of vehicle title taxes and fees you owe.

Documents You Must Provide When Applying for a New Car Title in South Dakota

Because there are several different auto title scenarios in South Dakota, you need to ask the SD DOR agent at your county treasurer’s office to explain to you the supporting documentation you will need to complete your transaction. However, there are several documents that are commonly used when getting car title approval. These include:

  • A valid SD driver license or state-issued photo ID card to verify identity.
  • A completed and signed copy of car title application, Form MV-608.
  • Auto insurance card.

If the vehicle was purchased out-of-state, you must provide a bill of sale, purchase order or sales contract. Moreover, if the auto title is issued to more than one owner, the other owner must be present to sign the car title application. However, if that is impossible, an authorized agent may sign on their behalf, but only if they provide a notarized power of attorney that clearly states the owner’s permission to do so.

What is a South Dakota car registration?

A South Dakota car registration is the other document in the pair of legal paperwork that is required to legally drive a vehicle on the state roadways. A vehicle registration serves as proof that the car or truck has met all safety and other requirements outlined by state law. When you get car registration on your vehicle, it also reinforces that you have taken the time to obtain adequate insurance and keep the vehicle in decent driving condition.

What is the difference between a car title and a vehicle registration in South Dakota?

Although South Dakota new car registration and vehicle titles can be applied for and obtained at the same time, they are two different documents that can be easily confused. As described above, an auto registration shows that the vehicle owner has met state requirements to drive the car legally. A car title basically serves to show ownership of the vehicle, including its complete history of ownership.

A title also includes basic car information, such as make, model and year of manufacture. Your DMV car registration should be kept inside your car at all times, while your car title should be stored in a safe location at home or in a safe deposit box. Finally, motor vehicle registration must be renewed annually to remain valid. A car title is only issued once to each owner, and remains valid through the length of ownership.

Car Title Costs in South Dakota

The standard vehicle title fee in South Dakota is $10.00. Vehicle owners are also required to pay a four percent sales tax on the purchase price of their vehicles. Other costs include:

  • Lien Notation: $10.00
  • Solid Waste: $1.00
  • Mailing: $5.00
  • Highway Patrol: $1.00
Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.