In South Dakota, when you buy a car you need some paperwork to register and title the car in your name. South Dakota Department of Revenue Motor Vehicles Division is the department responsible for vehicle registration and titling. If you buy a vehicle from a dealership, they will handle all the required paperwork on your behalf. However, if you buy it from a private seller, you need to handle all the required paperwork yourself when registering and titling the car.

Buying from a Private Seller

Buying a vehicle from private seller is a bit technical, since you need to handle some paperwork yourself to register and transfer the title in your name. If you are new, you need to check if there are any liens on the vehicle that you want to purchase. If there is an active lien, you must get it released before purchase. You also need to attach the lien release when titling or registering the car. The seller must correctly sign over the title to you. Both you and the seller must fill all the required sections of the title. If the vehicle you intend to purchase is 9 years old or less, the seller must fill in the odometer reading section of the title. If the vehicle you are buying is 7 years old or under, both the damage disclosure and odometer reading sections of the title must be filled. The vehicle disclosure section indicates whether the vehicle has been involved in an accident that led to property damage worth over $5,000. Even if the damage was successfully repaired, it still needs to be disclosed. Alternatively, the seller must fill and submit Form MV-610 (Recovered Theft, Salvage and Uniform Damage Disclosure Statement) to report damage. You will also need to obtain a bill of sale from the seller. This document contains the vehicle purchase price, your name, signature and address and the seller’s name, signature and address plus vehicle description.

South Dakota Registration Penalties

After purchasing the vehicle, you must register and title it within 30 days from the date of purchase. If you fail to do so, you will need to pay $1 to $50 fine for every week added. You may also face other penalties for driving unregistered vehicles.

Delayed Paperwork from a South Dakota Seller

You must receive a title from the seller in time in order to register and title your vehicle. If you fail to receive them, you can then file a complaint with the South Dakota MVD through mail. Be sure to include a copy of the bill of sale.

Bill of Sale

A bill of sale is needed when titling and registering the vehicle in your name.

Vehicle History Reports

Although a vehicle history report is not needed when titling or registering your newly purchased vehicle, this document can tell you more about the vehicle that you are buying. It will tell you if the vehicle has been involved in any accident or damaged in any way. Without this information, it is difficult to tell the exact condition of the vehicle from its look.