How to Transfer a Vehicle Title in South Dakota

You’ll need to complete a title transfer to pass ownership of the vehicle in South Dakota.

The South Dakota title transfer process involves submitting the Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration and paying the appropriate title transfer fees ($5) and taxes (4% of vehicle cost).

The two parties exchange the title, file the appropriate paperwork, and pay any necessary fees. This process doesn’t take long given you’re prepared. Or, if both parties go to the DMV (recommended).

Below, you’ll learn how the South Dakota title transfer process works for private transactions.

South Dakota Title Transfer: Step-by-Step

It’s recommended that both parties go to the DMV as this clears any confusion and potential issues when passing ownership of the vehicle. However, you’re more than welcome to exchange the title on your own time and later visit the DMV to complete the process.

You will visit a South Dakota Motor Vehicle Division’s office (see our directory) to submit your forms.

As a buyer, you’ll do the following (within 30 days else face a $25 fee):

  1. Retrieve the vehicle’s title or request a duplicate title
    1. Buyers: You may need a lien release from the current owner
    2. Sellers: Provide a lien release to the buyer if needed
  2. Fill in the certificate of title – including:
    1. Full legal name and address of buyer and current owner
    2. Date of sale (month, day, and year)
    3. Vehicle price the buyer paid
    4. Odometer disclosure (if the vehicle is 10 years and older)
    5. Signatures from both parties
  3. Submit the Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration (this form)
  4. Submit any necessary documents:
    1. Proof of NH identification
    2. Proof of NH residency
    3. Proof of NH auto insurance
    4. Bill of Sale
      1. Date of sale
      2. Cost of the vehicle
      3. Vehicle make, model, and year
      4. Signed by both parties
  5. Pay the variable fees:
    1. Title transfer: $5
    2. Tax: 4% of the vehicle’s cost
    3. Registration: $75.60 (under 10 years old), $50.40 (10 years and older)

As a seller, you may need to complete these items when selling the vehicle:

  • Apply and get a seller’s permit to legally sell your vehicle (get the form)
  • Provide a bill of sale to the buyer (signed by both parties)
  • Provide a lien release if needed
  • Provide an odometer disclosure if the vehicle is 10 years old and older
  • Submit a Report of Sale (this form) to the county treasurer within 15 days of the sale

And there you have it – the title transfer is complete!

Get the Vehicle Registered in South Dakota

You should register your vehicle after titling it to avoid any complications. See our South Dakota vehicle registration guide to learn how the process is done. If you haven’t got it yet, do consider adding or dropping auto insurance. Or, shopping around for a new policy as you may find new discounts.