Title Transfer South Dakota

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To transfer a title in South Dakota you’ll need to visit your local county treasurer’s office, complete a bit of paperwork, and pay the necessary taxes and fees.
If only selling your car was as easy as taking the money and handing someone your keys! Transferring the ownership of a vehicle in South Dakota involves completing the process of a title transfer. This makes the transaction official and allows the new owner to register the vehicle in their name. 
While it can be a frustrating process, there are no shortcuts. You need to comply with a state’s title transfer laws. Here, the car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry is breaking down what you need to do to transfer a vehicle title in South Dakota. 

What is a title transfer?

The purpose of a car title is to legally determine a vehicle’s ownership. By transferring the title of a car, you are actually transferring its ownership to another party. 
Traditionally, there are two steps—one for the buyer and one for the seller—to complete a title transfer:
  • The seller has to release the vehicle from their ownership by signing the title
  • The buyer has to submit the signed title to the DMV (or county treasurer’s office) and the state will issue a new title and registration
Granted, each state has its own version of this process. Some states require certain documentation to be prepared or paperwork to be filled out. Some states make it mandatory for certain vehicle information like current odometer reading to be provided. 

Who does the title transfer?

The responsibility for the title transfer depends on whether it’s a private sale or you are buying from a dealership. 
For a private sale, it’s the buyer and seller’s responsibility to transfer the title. If the sale is with a dealership, then the dealer should prepare and handle all the paperwork. You’ll receive the new car title from the state DMV by mail. and mail you the car title from the state DMV.

Reasons for a title transfer

There are a lot of reasons as to why you need to transfer the title for a vehicle. The most common are buying or selling a car or a change in residency.
Other reasons include:
  • Gifting a vehicle
  • Inheriting a vehicle
  • Paying off a vehicle loan
  • Donating a vehicle

Car title transfer in South Dakota

South Dakota grants reciprocity if your car is titled and licensed in another state. This means you will not have to pay additional taxes if your state’s tax rate is higher than South Dakota’s 4% tax rate. 
If you are transferring from a state with no tax or with a lower tax rate than 4%, then you will have to pay the difference in taxes to match the 4%. 
You’ll have 90 days from the date you arrive in South Dakota to title and license your vehicle. You will have to visit your local county’s treasurer’s office and do the following:
  • Complete and submit the Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration (Form MV-608).
  • If your vehicle is 9 years old or less, you must complete the odometer disclosure section.
  • Attach your vehicle’s current title to your application.
  • Pay the titling fee ($10) and excise tax in addition to the fees to register your car.
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If you recently bought a vehicle

If you buy from a dealership, confirm that they will handle all titling and registration. If the dealer DOES NOT take care of these matters, make sure that they do the following:
  • Provide you with the Manufacturer's Statement/Certification of Origin (MSO/MCO) or the original vehicle title
  • Complete the price certification section on the Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration (Form MV-608)
  • For vehicles 9 years old or less, they must fill out the odometer disclosure section on the title or MCO/MSO
  • Provide you with a South Dakota Salvage, Recovered Theft, and Uniform Damage Disclosure Statement (Form MV-610), if applicable
Within 45 days of completing the purchase, you will need to submit to your county treasurer:
  • All paperwork that was provided by the dealer
  • The completed Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration (Form MV-608)
  • Payment for your registration and titling fees in addition to excise tax

If you bought from a private seller

If buying a car from a private seller, you must apply for a new South Dakota title in your name within 45 days.
The seller must:
  • Sign the vehicle title and give it to you as the new owner
  • If the car is 9 years old or less, fill out the odometer disclosure section on the Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration (Form MV-608)
  • Complete a Bill of Sale (Form MV-016) with vehicle information (make, model, year), date and sale price, and information and signatures for the buyer and seller
  • Obtain or provide proof of lien release, if there is a lien on the vehicle
After you’ve gathered all the documents, go to your local South Dakota county treasurer with:
  • All the paperwork that was provided to you by the seller
  • A completed Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration (Form MV-608)
  • Payment for your titling fees and taxes in addition to fees for your vehicle registration

Registering a car in South Dakota

After completing a title transfer, you must register the vehicle. Registration is done annually and acts as proof that you are legally allowed to drive the vehicle. 
In South Dakota, the cost to register a vehicle is:
Base registration feeCriteria
$36Vehicles 2,000 lbs. or less
$72Vehicles 2,001 to 4,000 lbs.
$108Vehicles 4,001 to 6,000 lbs.
$144Vehicles over 6,000 lbs.

Find affordable insurance

Even if you don’t have to transfer a title, every vehicle needs car insurance. 
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A title transfer will have more challenges if the vehicle is still financed. You should call your lender and ask how to sell a car with a loan still on it and how the transaction should be properly handled.
Right where it says “seller’s signature.” If two people are on the title, then both must sign on the same line. Please note that there is a separate line for the buyer’s signature.

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