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Updated information on South Dakota residency - Printable Version

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Updated information on South Dakota residency - Glynb - 06-10-2019

Hey Y'all,

I start fulltiming in August, and plan on driving straight to South Dakota to set up residency.  There has not been a post on South Dakota residency for some time, so I wanted to ask several questions.

1. What town in South Dakota is the easiest to reach heading north into the state, that has a drivers license bureau. personal experience would be great.

2. Please advise the blow by blow details of what you did when you pulled into town to get your residency and register your vehicle.

Thanks for any information.  I know i could look his up, but I was hoping somebody could speak from personal experience on what town, where the DMV is, and what you did.  Maybe the names of people and places to contact. I'll be coming from Louisiana.

Thanks for any help


RE: Updated information on South Dakota residency - MrNoodly - 06-10-2019

"Heading north into the state" from where? Eastern US? Western US? Texas? Sioux Falls is in the southeast corner and Rapid City is in the southwest corner.

First off, you're going to need a South Dakota address. Unless you have an actual place there, you'll need a mail forwarder and use that address. Google "mail forwarding, South Dakota" and take your pick. The mail forwarder will walk you through the whole license and registration process.

You need to book at least one night (per person) in the state and bring that receipt, plus the contract from the mail forwarder, plus sufficient ID to the local DMV (or is it MVD there?). You show them the documents, take the eye test, surrender your current license, sign an affidavit stating you will someday come to live in SD, smile for the camera and walk out with your new driver license, an official SD "resident."

As for vehicle registration, the process isn't as fast, but it's not complicated. You just need the same type of documents you'd need anywhere else, including insurance that's valid in SD. Most people have the mail forwarder deal with that. They'll send the new plates and registration when they arrive.


RE: Updated information on South Dakota residency - Glynb - 06-10-2019

Thanks for replying.  I'm coming up from Louisiana.  Any idea on a town that the DMV is in that would be close to where Ill be entering the state.


RE: Updated information on South Dakota residency - MrNoodly - 06-10-2019

Like I said, you'll need a mail forwarder first, so the closest DMV to where you enter SD (I'm guessing I-29) is kind of irrelevant.

There will be a DMV in the same city as the mail forwarder you choose.


RE: Updated information on South Dakota residency - B and C - 06-10-2019

Here is a Google Map with directions from Shreveport to Sioux Falls: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Shreveport/Sioux+Falls,+SD/@34.2284806,-94.0045859,7.57z/data=!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x86312a8d1798e91f:0x2ebd2c1687a49cdd!2m2!1d-93.7501789!2d32.5251516!1m5!1m1!1s0x878eb498e0bdacd7:0xde95ff3aa8b2fccf!2m2!1d-96.728333!2d43.5473028!3e0

Sioux Falls is almost directly north of all of Louisiana. South Dakota is only about 200 miles across from East to West.


RE: Updated information on South Dakota residency - Glynb - 06-10-2019

Thanks for all of the help.  Im calling a mail provider tomorrow.


RE: Updated information on South Dakota residency - skyl4rk - 06-11-2019

I would rather be a resident of Rapid City than Sioux Falls.

Rapid City: cattle and grassland, lots of National Forest, a western city.

Sioux Falls: corn and tilled farms everywhere, a midwest city.


RE: Updated information on South Dakota residency - Matildas mate - 06-11-2019

Having previously set up a South Dakota address through Escapees (in Box Elder just outside of Rapid City), I got a campsite at the fairgrounds in Rapid City for two nights last month. 

On the first day I got my SD driver license thru the state and on the second day got my vehicle registration and paid the tax thru Pennington County office. 

Extremely simple and quick and all the people at both offices were very familiar with the process. 

Escapees provided all the information and forms I needed. 

After completing the registration, I went to the Rapid City AAA office to change my road service to SD as well. After doing that I decided to check their vehicle insurance rates. I walked out paying about a two thirds what I was paying in Californiaand better coverage. AAA also recognized my van as an RV and insured my personal property as well. Note: Ioutfitted the van myself with a bed, toilet, stove, and ice chest. I also have solar. 

A very good experience.


RE: Updated information on South Dakota residency - MrNoodly - 06-11-2019

(06-11-2019, 07:18 AM)skyl4rk Wrote:  Rapid City: cattle and grassland, lots of National Forest, a western city.


Rapid City is a gateway to the Black Hills — Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Deadwood, Spearfish, Sturgis, Badlands NP, Wounded Knee...

However, near Sioux Falls is the Porter Sculpture Park — http://portersculpturepark.com/


RE: Updated information on South Dakota residency - B and C - 06-11-2019

I thought we were talking about registering for domicile, not actually living there. I could spend about 2 days anywhere whether there is something to see or not. Once registered, free to roam. If coming back for full time residency, take your pick.