Monday, December 8, 2014

I just bought a car, how do I get a title and register it?



Take all paperwork you received from the dealer to your local county treasurer’s office to pay your excise tax and registration fees. The county treasurer calculates the tax, title, lien filing, and license fees for you. This must be done within 30 days of the vehicle purchase. 

Excise tax is 3% of the total purchase price (this includes rebates, extended warranties, service contracts, and document fees). Tax credit is granted on the dollar amount of the trade-in—only if the trade-in is titled in the new applicant’s name. 

Registration fees are calculated using the weight and the age of the vehicle. Credit is granted on registration fees if you traded or sold your currently registered vehicle (must be registered in South Dakota and not yet expired).

Breakdown of fees:

  • Title transfer fee                    $5
  • Lien filing fee                          $5
  • Highway Patrol Fee               $1
  • Solid waste fee                       $1
  • Excise tax                                 3% of total purchase price
  • Registration/License fees     varies (Treasurer’s office will calculate)

View the full registration/license fee schedule.


Remember to take the South Dakota license plates from your vehicle if you did a trade as license plates stay with the owner, not the car.