Selling a Car in South Dakota

When you’re selling a vehicle in South Dakota, there are some requirements that you have to meet. We’ve collected the appropriate information here so you can make certain you experience an easy vehicle sale in the state.

1. Title Information

Before you do anything else, in South Dakota you need to get a Seller’s ID in order to sell any vehicle. You can get your ID in person at a South Dakota County Treasurer’s office or electronically online. You cannot sell a vehicle without this ID, so start here first.

You can only sell a vehicle if you have complete ownership of it. In other words, any “lien” (loan) on the vehicle must be paid off before you can sell the vehicle. If you have paid off a lien, the lienholder has 20 days to send you a lien release and the title. You need to then take the release to a county treasurer’s office. You will not be able to sell the vehicle until the lien release has been accepted by the state. Vehicles that have liens on them purchased after October 1, 2012 now have electronic titles that are only transferred to paper once you pay off the lien.

You should also make certain that you have the actual title. If you cannot find the title, you’ll need to request a replacement title from the South Dakota Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). You will need the physical title so that you can fill out the necessary information for the buyer as proof of the transfer of the vehicle. Both your signature and the buyer’s signature will be necessary.

Also be aware that you will need to fill out a Disclosure of Damage form and give it to the buyer.

2. Bill of Sale Requirements

South Dakota requires a Bill of Sale for any vehicle sale. You can either use the official form or make your own, but either way you need to include the following:

  • The new owner’s name
  • The full address of the new owner, which cannot be a P.O. box
  • The seller’s name
  • The full address of the seller, which cannot be a P.O. box
  • The date of the sale
  • The sale price
  • A full and detailed vehicle description, including the vehicle’s make, model, year, series number (if applicable) and body type (2-door, 4-door, sedan, etc.), as well as the vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • The vehicle odometer reading at the time of sale
  • The signature of the seller
  • The signature of the buyer

You also need to submit a Seller’s Report of Sale within 15 days of selling the vehicle.

3. Inspections

South Dakota requires no emissions testing or safety inspections on any of its vehicles, so there are no requirements for you to fix your vehicle or have it inspected before you sell it.

4. License Plates

In South Dakota, when you sell a vehicle, the license plates stay with you and not with the vehicle. Transferring the plates is entirely legal within the state as long as the new vehicle is registered in the same name as the plates. If you are not going to transfer the plates to a new vehicle, make sure you return them to a county treasurer’s office before you cancel your insurance or you could face unintended fines or liability for the vehicle after you’ve sold it.

5. Odometer Disclosure Requirements

South Dakota requires people to formally disclose the vehicle odometer reading when they sell a vehicle that is 10 years old or newer. Filling out the odometer section on the title fulfills this requirement.

6. Other Information

If you have questions or want more details on anything having to do with vehicle selling, check out the South Dakota Motor Vehicles Division website.