1. Get Started With Car Registration Renewal Assistance Online

In order to renew your South Dakota car registration, you need to complete a number of important steps when applying. In order to simplify the process, you will need to gather the necessary documents, calculate your required fee payment before being able to renew your South Dakota car registration. Online assistance can help you complete all of these steps quickly and easily by providing you with all of the information you need to know about replacing your license. Start simplifying your application process today.

2. By Mail

Rather than get ahead with online assistance and services, some South Dakota residents prefer to handle their DMV transactions via mail. Drivers can complete a few different procedures by mail, but payment methods are restricted, and the transactions have inconvenient and lengthy turnaround times for results.

3. Via a DMV Office

Certain transactions must be completed in person at a South Dakota DMV office. However, before visiting a local branch, be sure to verify that the location offers the service you require. Not all DMV procedures can be completed at every location. Additionally, note that wait times are typically lengthy. So make sure to take advantage of online assistance to prepare for your visit.


South Dakota vehicle registration renewal occurs on an annual basis and is managed by the Department of Revenue Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Motorists may renew car registration online, through the mail, in person at a local county treasurer’s office or at a self-service terminal. All four methods of car registration renewal require similar documents, but have certain requirements detailed in the sections below.

When to Renew Car Registrations in South Dakota

Vehicle registration renewal notices are mailed approximately 90 days prior to the expiration date. You may renew car registration early if you wish. Waiting more than 10 days before the expiration date may mean facing an expired car registration, which could result in law enforcement action against you. SD car registration renewal dates are determined by the first letter of the owner’s last name, with “A/B” names renewing in January, “C/D/E” names renewing in February, and so forth. If you are unsure which month you should renew to avoid an expired car registration, contact the SD DMV online or call your local county treasurer’s office.

How to Renew Car Registrations in South Dakota Online

South Dakota vehicle registration renewal services are offered through its Customized Automated Registration System (CARS). You may not renew car registrations online if you have an address change or name change. CARS users need a valid SD driver’s license or state-issued ID card and their date of birth to create an account. Online payments can be made by MasterCard, Visa or Discover cards or an electronic check. SD DMV vehicle registration renewal transactions made through CARS are subject to service fees. Be sure to print a receipt after renewing car registration online, to carry while waiting for documents to arrive. It takes approximately 10 business days to receive car registration renewal documents in the mail.

How to Renew Auto Registrations in South Dakota by Self-Service Terminal

SD DMV vehicle registration renewal is available at 10 fully automated self-service terminals (SST) located at retail and other locations throughout the state. Renewing car registration at an SST is an easy process for anyone with current registration. Simply follow the prompts to enter information from your car registration renewal postcard and have your South Dakota driver’s license or photo ID card ready to swipe. SSTs are equipped with touch screens and have voice assistance available. Once the auto registration renewal is complete, the machine dispenses the new registration and license plate decals. SSTs are located in Aberdeen, Brookings, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown and Yankton and all machines accept payment by credit card or electronic check. Vehicle owners may renew car registration at an SST 90 days before the registration deadline and renew expired car registration up to 12 months after the expiration date.

How to Renew Car Registrations in South Dakota in Person

Motorists questioning how to renew car registration in South Dakota in person may go to their local county treasurer’s office. The SD DMV maintains dozens of auto registration renewal locations across the state. Applicants must bring the following:

  • Vehicle registration renewal postcard or vehicle title to prove ownership
  • South Dakota driver license or state-issued photo ID card
  • Cash, in-state personal check, cashier’s check or money order for payment

County treasurer’s offices are listed on the SD DMV website by county. Most locations are open during normal business hours Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. but hours and days of operation may vary by location.

How to Renew Vehicle Registrations in South Dakota by Mail

When renewing car registration in SD by mail, simply send the renewal postcard and a check, cashier’s check or money order for payment to your county treasurer’s office. If the vehicle you plan to register is not listed on the car registration renewal notice, send in a notarized copy of your vehicle’s title or license renewal form. Be sure to include in the total payment return postage fees as specified by the DMV. Allow at least two weeks for the county treasurer to receive your vehicle registration renewal and to mail new documents back to you.

How to Renew a South Dakota Car Registration as a Military Member

Military personnel who need to renew car registrations in SD may do so by the same methods as other residents. Out-of-state military personnel living in South Dakota must keep up with vehicle registration renewals in their home state, but are not required to register their vehicles in state. Members of the military who are residents but are stationed out-of-state must keep up with their DMV registration renewals on a regular basis by renewing them online or through the mail. Military personnel are eligible for several military-themed custom license plates, some of which come with free or reduced registration fees.

How to Renew a South Dakota Vehicle Registration on Someone Else’s Behalf

Although South Dakota recommends that drivers renewing car registration take care of it themselves, there is no policy stating that drivers must complete all transactions on their own. SD DMV registration renewal requests can be accomplished by someone other than the car owner if they have been granted power of attorney.

South Dakota Car Registration Renewal Fees

South Dakota calculates its car registration renewal fees based on the vehicle’s age and gross weight. Some counties add a “wheel tax” when renewing car registration in SD, and other miscellaneous fees may apply. Certain motorists may be eligible for vehicle registration renewal fee exemptions, such as disabled veterans.

Last updated on Friday, September 21 2018.

Have a Question? Get Quick Online Answers!