Rear Plate Only Requirement Change in South Dakota

    At least we're getting somewhere...

    If you’re like me, government, committees, and regulations tend to confuse you. They always make decisions behind closed doors that they claim benefit the people, but do they really? Do they really have our best interest in heart? What I’m referring to, of course, is the front license plate requirement.

    Why are front license plates required in the first place? They force auto engineers to shoehorn in a spot to bolt a plate on the front bumper, making every car on the road uglier and less aerodynamic. Not to mention the cost and environmental effects of making double the amount of plates! Luckily there is a (small) way around this inconvenience in South Dakota.

    For an annual fee of $25.00 (plus $5.00 shipping), a SD resident may fill out “Rear Plate Only” application. According to the Department of Revenue’s website, here is the eligibility as of 4/3/2018:

    A rear plate only is available for vehicles with an annual mileage of less than 6,000 miles that are not used for general or commercial use. Applicants will be required to supply a current odometer reading at the time of annual registration.

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    So if you drive your classic, sporty, or collectible car less than 6000 miles a year, you’re home clear. But what if some of us like to enjoy our vehicles a little more than the occasional cruise to B&G Milky Way? You may be in luck.

    A new bill (HB 1116) was proposed on 1/22/2018 that asked to increase the 6000 mile restriction to 9000 miles. Through an extensive timeline (which you can view here) the bill has been read, scheduled for hearings, amended, and signed multiple times.

    The current version of HB 1116 (which you can view here) looks like congress has agreed to increase the yearly restriction up to 7,500 miles.

    As of today (4/3/2018) I’m not sure where the bill stands. The timeline says HB 1116 was signed by the Governor on March 21, 2018 (H.J. 795) but the DoR website has not updated its mileage requirement to reflect the change.

    I can’t find any information of when the new mileage restriction will take place, but with any luck it will be in 2018. If you have any more information on HB 1116, please email us via the contact page!

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    Update: According to StateScape, bills in South Dakota go into effect on July 1st. Here’s a snippet from their site:

    The state Constitution provides that no law can take effect sooner than 90 days following the legislative session. In addition, existing state law sets the effective date of bills passed during the regular session at July 1, unless the new law itself lists a later effective date. The exception to this is a law that contains an emergency clause

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    Chris Berke
    Chris Berke
    I am the founder and editor of Short Shift. My obsession with wanting to drive every car ever made me build a website so I could share my experiences with the world. I love cars, traveling, and my cats, Henry and Winston.



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