South Dakota Boat Registration

South Dakota Boat Registration HIN Check

Example where to find the Boat Registration Number and title Decal sticker
Example where to find the Boat State Registration Number and title Decal sticker. State letters differ.

South Dakota boat registration FAQs are found below and can be downloaded as PDF. We have written this page to inform the boating community about registration requirements, recording methods, and title search guidelines for the State of South Dakota. We also cover the titling fees if applicable.

We will cover information about the Boat Registration Agency in this state and if you are wondering about Registration and marking requirements we have an overview of that as well. We also talk about Registration Requirements for boats in South Dakota along with things you need to know about boat Ownership and Liens so you can better perform Boat Title Searches or boat history lookups in SD.

Where are South Dakota Boats Registered?

Remember, some states have titling for boats and others do not. South Dakota issues both registrations and titles for all non-exempt boats operating within its jurisdiction. These are administered by the SD STATE Motor Vehicle Division part of the department of revenue (DOR). Outboard boat motors are not subject to titling and registration in South Dakota. Boat trailer registration and titling are required in this state.

Does South Dakota have clean titles? Boat titles are always “clean” unless a state has enacted UCOTVA. All other states will not have any indication on the title that the boat has a salvage or total loss brand like cars have on their titles.

Did you know that 60,000 boats registered in the State of South Dakota make up 0.6% of all USA vessel registrations?

Chart: South Dakota Recreational Vessel Registration Counts by year
Chart: South Dakota Recreational Vessel Registration Counts by year

For more boating statistics see: Volume of Recreational boating vessels in the U.S.

Podcast: South Dakota boat registration

South Dakota Boat Registration Numbers

South Dakota boat registration numbers begin with a “SD”. The SD designation is followed by four numbers and then two letters like in most states. You will have to display these as shown above, if your boat is not documented at the USCG. Put the SD boat registration sticker tab next to it. The state reg. number should not be confused with the 12 character Hull ID (HIN).

All boats manufactured after 1972 are required to have a 12 digit hull identification number affixed to the vessel by the manufacturer. State assigned hull numbers prefixed with the letters “SDZ” are available for home made boats and those without factory designations. Hull number inspections are not required in South Dakota unless there is a discrepancy. (use to validate your HIN formatting is good)

Order engraved HIN Tag ID Plate from ebay here.

Sample HIN Tag ID Plate
Sample HIN Tag ID Plate

Exceptionally, a Coast Guard documented vessel does not need to display the state registration number but instead they would display the state registration tabs, an owner designated vessel name, and a hailing port. The USCG Official documentation number must also be affixed on other locations on the boat: interior location in the hull itself or an integral part of the hull.

Boat Liens Database In South Dakota

Security interests in state titled boats are recorded with the Motor Vehicle Division part of the department of revenue (DOR) in SD. These will be shown on both the registration and title certificates if there are any. Security interests in boats that are neither titled or USCG documented are recorded with the Secretary of State as Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings. If the vessel is USCG documented, a lender’s security interests will be recorded with the National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) and are indexed on the boat’s abstract of title. This is different from state registration lookups and can be ordered at

Tax liens may be flagged on boat registration records, recorded as UCC filings, shown on state revenue records, or filed with a county clerk’s office. There are no provisions for recording mechanic’s liens or other non-secured claims against state titled boats. Uniform Commercial Code searches are available online from the Secretary of State.

Boat title and registration records in South Dakota are maintained by the Motor Vehicle Division part of the department of revenue (DOR). This agency does not facilitate online searches on their website but you can search the database.

South Dakota Boat Registration Lookup

The database combines 72+ nationwide databases into a single place so you can search in a matter of minutes. These include records for stolen boats, marine lien claims, boating accidents, pollution incidents, auctioned boats, factory recalls, and boat manufacturers.

Search a Boat Hull ID history report with
Click to Order a HIN Search

Titling & Registration Requirements in South Dakota

    • REQUIRED: Yes EFFECTIVE DATE : 7/1/1993
    • VESSEL TYPES: Large boats, South Dakota law defines a large boat as any boat over twelve feet in length or a motorboat, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, except canoes, inflatable boats, kayaks, sailboards and seaplanes.
    • EXEMPTIONS: canoes, inflatable boats, kayaks, sailboards and seaplanes and Documented Coast Guard boats
    • FEES: $10
    • DUPLICATE FEE: $10
    • TRANSFER FEE: $10
    • VESSEL TYPES: Large boats, South Dakota law defines a large boat as any boat over twelve feet in length or a motorboat, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water. AND Canoes, inflatable boats, kayaks, sailboards over 12 feet.
    • EXEMPTIONS: non-motorized boats under 12 feet
    • NUMBER OF DAYS BEFORE REGISTRATION REQUIRED: A boat must be registered if it is in South Dakota for more than 60 days or is berthed in a marina facility controlled by the state for a contract period of more than 60 days. Same for documented boats.
    • FEES: Non-motorized Boats Over 12′ and Boats Propelled by Electric Motors $15 Motorboats Under 19′ (includes ski jets) $25 Motorboats 19′ and Over $45
    • LATE FEE: If late it transferring title, yes. If late in renewing registration, no.
Infographic: South Dakota Boat Registration
Infographic: South Dakota Boat Registration

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Categories: To learn more about History Reports for used boats and boats registration visit:

Boat Alert History Reports© exists to aggregate boat databases so that shoppers can search and buy a used boat safely while saving time and money researching a used boat's history. We began in 2015 and constantly adding more boat history report free search data for USA and Canada to ensure that your boat has a clean history. We are happy to offer a 60-day money back guarantee and proud to have served more than 15,000 customers with their boat HIN Search History needs. boat registration number lookup ©. Two percent of all proceeds go to charity. We value fair treatment of employees, customer satisfaction, having the most databases possible, and fast customer service at the core of our brand. View our LinkTree.