Updated Policies & Fee Increases


Effective 9/26/2023, Lawrence County will not be selling tax certificates until further notice. There will be no tax certificate sale in December of 2023.


The state office has had a number of businesses applying for titles under fictitious names. In order to confirm these businesses are valid, it is now required to supply copies of the corporation, LLC, and other papers where they are filed and registered in their home state. This applies to all businesses, whether or not they are doing business in South Dakota. Any business, LLC, or corporation must supply copies of these papers for verification when doing a title transfer.


Effective 7/1/2023, the state of South Dakota will no longer sell 5-15 day temporary permits on any ATVs or UTVs. Instead, an annual decal will be available for $50.00. A revised Form 1030, a copy of all owner's driver's licenses and social security cards, and proof of ownership must be supplied in order to purchase the permit. Proof of ownership would be a current title or registration. If the state does not title or register units, a current insurance card would be accepted. Decals are only valid in the state of South Dakota and can be purchased through the Treasurer's office or online through the state. 


Effective 3/15/2023, HB 1042, the bill to increase mailing fees for license plates and decals, has passed in the legislature and been signed by the governor. License plate mailing fees will increase from $5.00 per plate to $7.50 per plate. Registration decal mailing fees will increase from $1.00 per registration to $1.50 per registration.


Effective September 14, 2022, the state of South Dakota requires proof of tax paid when an individual is transferring a vehicle title from another state. This can include a paid receipt from the dealer it was purchased from or a completed Form 1004, a receipt from the state, or other official documentation showing the amount of tax paid. A copy of the bill of sale listing tax due is not the same as a paid receipt. If the issue date on the out of state title is more than two years from the date of your application for South Dakota title, proof is not required unless the title is coming from a state that collects less than 4% tax.

Trust Policy

Effective August 26, 2022, when titling a vehicle into a trust, the state of South Dakota will require a copy of the trust agreement for EVERY title transaction to verify trustees. 


Effective July 1, 2022, the state of South Dakota will no longer allow golf carts to be licensed. Any golf cart with a current license plate can not be renewed.

Policies for Nomads

As of July 12, 2021 we will no longer accept checks from any person with a PMB and no actual physical address in South Dakota. We will only accept payment in the form of cash, credit card, or money order from those individuals. 

Odometer Readings

As of January 1, 2021, there is a federal mandate requiring mileage be recorded on titles for sales of all vehicles 20 years or newer. Any title previously marked "exempt" for mileage will still need to record the current mileage for the new title. At the time of sale, the seller should print the current odometer reading in the odometer section of the title. No title can be processed without this mileage filled in on the back of the title.

Hunting & Fishing Licenses 

As of July 1, 2020, the Treasurer’s Office will no longer sell hunting & fishing licenses.

Amended Wheel Tax Ordinance

Beginning January 1, 2020, Lawrence County will revise the way wheel tax is calculated. See attached document. Wheel Tax Amendment

Out of State ID / Driver’s License

As of September 18, 2017, anyone with out-of-state ID or driver’s license has to have physical proof of Social Security Number in order to do motor vehicle business.

Real Property Tax Information

Real Property and Mobile Home taxes are due either in the treasurer’s office or postmarked by April 30 each year for 1st half taxes, and October 31 for 2nd half taxes. For your convenience, we also have a tax drop box at the south end of Administrative Annex building that will be open until midnight of April 30 and October 31. Tax amounts due are not listed online. Please either check your tax notices or call our office for the correct amount if you are uncertain what amount is due.

Fee Increases

Effective July 1, 2016 the following fee increases will take place statewide:

  • Title fees: $10
  • Lien notation fee: $10
  • Lawrence County Wheel tax: $2 per tire

Change to ATV Title Procedures

Effective July 1, 2016, excise tax on all ATV purchases will be paid in the treasurer’s office. You will now be required to pay 4% excise tax at the treasurer’s office as opposed to sales tax that was previously paid at the dealership. The state will no longer recognize casual sales between individuals as tax exempt. They will also be subject to 4% tax.

Substitute Plates

Effective July 1, 2008 license plates no longer stay with a vehicle when it is sold. The owner keeps the plates and can reuse them when a new or used vehicle is purchased if the tag on the plate is still valid. DO NOT put the plates on the new vehicle before transferring your title in the treasurer’s office. Your plates are not legally attached to that vehicle until we reassign the plates and give you a new registration. If you put plates on a vehicle before they are reassigned by the treasurer’s office, law enforcement can cite you for substitute plates and may arrest you.

Special Interest Plates

Beginning July 1, 2016, individuals may apply for a special interest plate which will allow them to drive on just a rear license plate. You must apply for this plate like any other specialty plate. Effective July 1, 2018, individuals may apply for personalized special interest plates.

True & Actual Mileage

You will be required to supply the treasurer’s office with the true and actual mileage on your vehicle at the time of application. This is a restrictive plate, as you are only allowed to drive your vehicle for 7,500 miles each calendar year.

Each year when you renew your tags, you are required to supply us with the current mileage. If you exceed 7,500 miles in that calendar year, you will be required to forfeit your special interest plate on this and any other vehicles you have for 3 years. 


The cost for this plate is regular registration plus $25 per year and $7.50 initial mailing fee.

Motorcycle / Snowmobile

Legislation took effect in July 2013 that provides for an annual permit (issued by the Department of Game, Fish, and Parks) for a motorcycle that can be converted and used as a snowmobile.

Per the South Dakota Legislative Research Council’s Codified Laws:

  • 32-20A-25. Permit to operate motorcycle as a snowmobile. Any resident owner who has titled a motorcycle which has been modified to comply with the definition of a snowmobile for use as a snowmobile on a state snowmobile trail or area established pursuant to the provisions of chapter 41-19 may purchase an annual permit valid from December first to March thirty-first, inclusive, for a fee of twenty dollars. The permit shall be affixed to the motorcycle on the right side of the unit and shall be clearly visible. The Department of Game, Fish and Parks shall collect the annual permit fee imposed by this section and shall deposit the fees in the snowmobile trails fund established by 32-5-9.2.

Per the South Dakota Department of Revenue:

  • A motorcycle / utility terrain vehicle (UTV) can be converted to use as snowmobile and used on the South Dakota snowmobile trails with the following mandatory equipment requirements:
    • Ski on the front of unit
    • Endless belt on the back of the unit
    • The unit can not exceed 48 inches in width
    • The unit can not exceed 1,400 pounds
    • Has all other equipment required of snowmobiles

Trail Permit & Vehicle Inspection

The trail permit and vehicle inspection, which is required, can only be done at the South Dakota State Forestry Office located at:

11361 Nevada Gulch
(Terry Peak Road outside of Lead)
Lead, SD 57754

Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Phone Number 606-584-3896

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact our office.