Titles & Licensing

Duties

The Treasurer's Office titles and licenses all new and used motor vehicles, motorcycles, all terrain vehicles (ATVs), trailers, snowmobiles, and boats in Lawrence County. They also release and notarize motor vehicle liens and assists taxpayers in applying for duplicate titles, temporary, 30-day commercial, snowmobile, and handicapped permits.

The Treasurer's office does not sell the ATV trail permits that are required to ride the trails within the Black Hills National Forest. They can be obtained in person at the Spearfish Ranger District via phone by calling 605-642-4622 or the Custer Ranger District by calling 605-673-9200 which also handles the applications by mail. For more information and application please visit the USDA's page.

Titles

Vehicle owners have 45 days from the date of purchase of a new, used, or leased motor vehicle to transfer title into their name. This includes all motor vehicles, motorcycles, all terrain vehicles (ATVs), trailers, snowmobiles, and boats. Original title and bill of sale are always required and, when needed, any other documentation given to them by the purchaser to process a clear title (ex: lien release, dealer reassignment, odometer statement, etc.), Photo ID is always required. If the vehicle owners do not have a South Dakota driver's license or ID card, they must show their current out of state photo ID and physical proof of their Social Security number for every person listed on the title. 

A 4% excise tax is imposed on all vehicle transactions unless exempt. The excise tax is based on the purchase price of the motor vehicle listed on the bill of sale, purchase order, or sales contract, including any assessed document fees, extended warranties, rebates and all other taxable charges. Credit is given for trade-ins if the vehicle is in the owner's name at time of transfer. There is a $10 title fee and a $10 fee to note any lienholder. Penalties and interest will be assessed for late transfers.

Registration

Registration is on a staggered licensing system based on the first letter of the owner's last name. (See schedule below) All vehicles with tax due at the time of transfer must register the vehicle when transferring title. When a vehicle is traded in, vehicle owner should keep their license plates from that trade in. If a purchase is made on a new or used vehicle while the tag on those plates is still valid, the old plates can be used and owner will get prorated credit for registration already paid.

Renewal Notice

The Motor Vehicle Division mails out a renewal notice listing all vehicles in the owners name that are ready to renew within the next 90 days. Notices are sent to the individual whose name is listed first on the title. The owner has the option to renew online through the State using the South Dakota Customized Automated Registration System, mailing the card and payment to the Lawrence County Treasurer, or coming in person to the Treasurer's Office (must show ID). Vehicles can also be renewed at any self service kiosk the state has set up across South Dakota. The locations are listed on the customer's renewal notice. 

Rapid City has 2 locations:

  • Pennington County Administration Building
    130 Kansas City Street
    Suite 250
  • Rushmore Mall
    2200 N Maple Avenue (during mall hours)

Renewal Payment Options

We accept cash, personal check from South Dakota banks, cashier’s check, money orders, or credit card through Official Payments or Forte.

When you pay by check, you authorize us to use its information to process an electronic funds transfer (EFT). When we use information from your check to make an electronic fund transfer, funds may be withdrawn from you account as soon as the same day you make your payment.

License Renewal System Annual Schedule

  • January: A, B
  • February: C. D. E
  • March: F, G, J
  • May: H, I, O
  • June: K, L
  • July: M, N
  • August: P, Q, R
  • September: S
  • November: T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z