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Haggars, Hunhoffs, Ottens Can Get Break on License Plate Tags This Month!

South Dakota license plate tags, issued 2015
This year’s South Dakota license plate tags are red. Starting April 1, they will cost 20% more.

I rode my bike to the courthouse to get my license plate tags yesterday.

(Pause. Enjoy.)

My renewal isn’t due until the end of May, as is the case for all South Dakotans with last names ending in H, I, or O, but South Dakotans are allowed to renew their noncommercial vehicle registrations any time within 90 days of the renewal deadline.

Expect a lot of Hansons, Iversons, and Olsens in line at the courthouse during the next couple weeks. Senate Bill 1, the big road tax-and-spend bill passed by our Republican Legislature (I’m not saying that’s bad; I’m just reminding you who did it) raises vehicle registration fees 20% starting April 1. Register your Ford F-150 now, and you’ll save $18. HI-O!

Governor Dennis Daugaard almost didn’t let that loophole happen but apparently changed his position when county treasurers said their lives were hard enough preparing for a tax hike with two weeks’ notice.

There was a little confusion in the Capitol on the last day of the session as to when the tax and fee hikes would take effect. But read the bill, and the language of the emergency enactment clause is clear: “This Act shall be in full force and effect on and after April 1, 2015.” Governor Daugaard has signed SB 1 into law, but its provisions have no force until April Fools’ Day. Citizens registering vehicles in March pay the fees on the books in March.

The bean count I’d like to see this summer is a comparison of early registrations in past years and early registrations this month. When the dust has settled at the courthouse, I’ll bike over and ask for that data.


  1. Grandma 2015-03-20 11:48

    We saved about $97 by getting them today. Sorry but that money is as good in my pocket as it would be “somewhere else”. Nothing wrong with that is there?

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-03-20 11:55

    If legislators wanted to make sure they got your $97, they could have crafted the bill to take effect immediately. They could have imposed a fairness charge on next year’s registrations for A–G and J to make sure everyone paid the same increase.

    By the way, the Brown County treasurer’s office tells me we get shiny new plates next year. Who’s working on the design?

  3. grudznick 2015-03-20 12:14

    I wonder if you called the license plate office if you could get a peek at the new licenses. I have good ideas if they haven’t picked it yet.

  4. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-20 19:18

    I bet you do have good ideas Grudz. Tell us about them or include a link to your illustrations.

  5. grudznick 2015-03-20 21:36

    Ms Geelsdottir that is a swell idea. Mr. H should make it on this blog that we can sent pictures. You are a brilliant woman with more endearments than most.

  6. Jon Holmdal 2015-03-21 14:57

    Holmdal—thanks Cory

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