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South Dakota Auto Licensing: Out of State Registration

South Dakota Auto Licensing
Out of State Registration
By Jen Keehn - June 2015

South Dakota makes it easy for out-of-staters (and many expats) to attain plates without proof of insurance or the smog tests that many states require. Not only are plates easy and affordable to attain, but just as easy to renew.
The renewal fees for tags don’t cost much and don’t require proof of insurance or smog certification. If you've got a vehicle that doesn’t cross the border back to the US, there’s no reason to continue to hold US auto insurance just so you can get your tags renewed.
When acquiring South Dakota plates, if your car was purchased in a state where you weren’t required to pay sales tax you will need to pay 3% of the full market value of your vehicle to get it registered with South Dakota. If you did pay sales tax this fee is waived. If you’re driving a vehicle you purchased in the last year, a bill of sale will be necessary in order to waive sales tax fees.
You will need to forfeit your current title to South Dakota and will receive a new South Dakota title in the mail with your new plates about a week after the process is complete. Other items you will need to submit to get South Dakota plates include:
  • The original title to your vehicle
  • A photo-copy of your driver’s license
  • A photo-copy of your social security card
  • A completed DMV application for title transfer and new registration
  • The weight of your vehicle (the amount you will need to pay is dependent on this)
  • An affidavit stating that you are not required to have you vehicle registered in the USA and that your address is strictly for mailing purposes
  • Applicable Fees
The renewal date of your tags is dependent on the first letter of your last name, and the first year’s registration fees will more than likely be prorated. We will call the county clerk to determine the first year’s fees, and after that you will receive a renewal notice at your mailing address.
You do not need to carry US auto insurance while driving in Mexico with South Dakota plates. It should be noted however that if you can only get Mexican liability auto insurance, not full-coverage, if you don’t have US auto insurance. If you wish to carry full coverage Mexican auto insurance on your vehicle, you must have US auto insurance as well.
As of July 1, 2014, South Dakota plates are invisible to photo enforcement cameras in South Dakota and most other states (excluding Arizona and California). This means that most red light cameras and speed cameras are exempt from ticketing drivers with South Dakota license plates.
The fee for the entire registration service is $30 on top of the applicable fees that must be paid to South Dakota. This is payable by check, cash (US dollars or Mexican pesos), or through PayPal.
When your registration is complete, don’t forget to get your BGLC Mexican auto insurance for your vehicle. One year or 90-day policies are available to all Baja Good Life Club members; policies as low as $127.00 for the year

BAJA GOOD LIFE CLUB Join the Baja Good Life Club today and SAVE big on Baja! Get Mexican Auto Insurance for for as low as $84.00 / year.

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