Whether you live in the Black Hills and Badlands, the Great Lakes region, the Glacial Lakes and Prairies, or the Southeast region of South Dakota, if you are thinking about privately selling your used car or truck, you’ve come to the right place. With an estimated 400,000 registered trucks and cars in the state of South Dakota, it’s no wonder that thousands of private vehicle sellers from the Mount Rushmore State have used Autotrader to sell their car. Below, we’ve outlined the six steps and forms required for how to sell a car in the state of South Dakota so you can sell your car quickly for the most cash..
Remember, most states consider the vehicle title a legal document, so the legal names (no nicknames) of both parties involved should be used, along with legible handwriting using black or blue ink. Mistakes, errors, and using White-Out may void the document so be careful and take your time filling it out.
Step 1: Allow the buyer to have the car inspected by a third party
Step 2: Organize and gather all related vehicle documentation
Step 3: Bill of Sale
Step 4: Transfer the title
Step 5: Remove your plates and cancel your insurance
Step 6: Report the sale
Autotrader recommends shoppers who buy a car privately pay for a pre-purchase vehicle inspection conducted by a qualified and licensed auto mechanic of their choosing. Although the buyer pays for this inspection, the seller and buyer must agree on when and where the inspection is to be held. If the inspection does find any issues with the car, it is a good idea for you as the seller to keep the report for your records. South Dakota does not require this inspection and doesn’t have any forms that need to be filled out, but it’s a good idea for the buyer to have the inspection performed prior to the purchase.
Find all maintenance records, the owner’s manual and other paperwork related to the vehicle. If you can provide the buyer with extensive and detailed maintenance records, this will help provide the buyer with confidence that you’ve maintained the car in a proper and regular manner. You may even want to consider including a vehicle history report from a service like CarFax or AutoCheck.
The most important document when selling a car is the certificate of title. If there is a lien on the title, the lienholder must release interest in the vehicle before the car is sold. This can be achieved either by the seller paying off the car or by getting a lien release from the lienholder.
South Dakota has an Electronic Lien and Title system which enables the DMV and lending institutions to exchange vehicle and title information electronically. If the title on your vehicle is electronic, then the lien must be released electronically. If you have a paper title with a lien on it and need a lien release, then you need to get a lien release from your lender.
South Dakota requires a bill of sale to be filled out by the buyer and the seller for private vehicle purchases. The official South Dakota bill of sale is form MV016 which contains the following information:
The seller needs to provide the name, address, and signature, but it’s optional for the buyer. We recommend that you have the buyer provide their information and sign the bill of sale as well. After it’s filled out and signed, it’s a good idea for the seller to make a copy and hold onto it as proof that the car has legally changed hands.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) odometer disclosure requirements were updated in December 2020 impacting certain private vehicle sales in South Dakota: For a vehicle transfer that occurs from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2030, any vehicle of model year 2011 or newer (2012, 2013, etc.) will require an odometer disclosure. Starting on January 1, 2031, any vehicle that is less than 20 model years old will require an odometer disclosure. Previously, the NHTSA required disclosure was for only the first 10 years. Cars older than 2010 are exempt from odometer disclosures. South Dakota state law and federal law require the seller to disclose a vehicle's actual mileage on each transfer of ownership.
If the vehicle’s title has been lost, stolen or badly damaged, you can get a replacement/duplicate South Dakota title by filling out form MV010. With that form filed at the DMV plus a $10 fee you can get a duplicate title.
The buyer and the seller both need to fill out the relevant sections on the back of the title. This information includes the legal name, address, and signature of the buyer and the seller(s) along with the date of the sale, and the odometer reading (if applicable). When this is filled out accurately and legibly, it makes it easy for the buyer to transfer registration and acquire a new plate.
If there is more than one seller named on the title and their names are separated by “or” then only one of the sellers needs to sign vehicle title in order to transfer it to the buyer. If there is more than one seller named on the title and their names are separated by “and” or “and/or” then both sellers need to sign the title before it is transferred to the buyer. The same applies to multiple buyers.
If you’re wondering about gifting a car to a relative, you can follow the same process that is outlined here to transfer the title. For inheriting a car, it’s a similar process, but you’ll need to file documentation of the inheritance with the county along with the title of the vehicle in question.
The seller must remove their license plates before handing the vehicle over to the buyer. If you do not do so, you may be liable for any violations after the buyer has taken possession of the vehicle. After the sale of your vehicle, you have 30 days to transfer the plates to a new vehicle if you’d like to continue using them. Make sure to cancel your insurance as soon as possible after you’ve removed your plates so you don’t continue paying to insure a car that you no longer own.
After the sale is complete, it’s important to report the sale to the state. This can be done with form MV2200, which is a Report of Sale that requires basic information about the vehicle, your name, address, and signature plus the name and signature of the buyer. Make sure you get this information from the buyer before they drive away with the vehicle you sold them. The Report of Sale must be filed within 15 days of selling the car.
For more information, visit the South Dakota DMV website or review all South Dakota's vehicle forms at this page.
The following paperwork is required for selling a car in South Dakota:
Yes, a bill of sale is required for private owner car sales in South Dakota. The official South Dakota bill of sale is form MV016.
Yes, your license plate must be removed upon the sale of the car. If you want to continue using them, you have up to 30 days to transfer them to a new vehicle.
No. A vehicle bill of sale for a private party transfer does not need to be notarized.
No. A notary does not have to witness the buyer and the seller signing the vehicle title.
Monday – Friday | 8am – 8pm (Eastern)
Saturday | 9am - 6pm
Available 24 hours/day; 7 days a week
Enter Information Center now
Awareness is the best defense.