SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Drivers from all over the United States are sporting South Dakota license plates after discovering how easy and cheap it is to register vehicles in the state.

South Dakota has more than 58,000 vehicles registered belonging to people with out-of-state addresses, possibly generating millions of dollars in revenue. It makes up 4 percent of the more than 1.5 million registered vehicles in South Dakota, the Rapid City Journal reported.

Some drivers have registered their cars in South Dakota to avoid their own state’s higher fees or having to show up for emission tests or safety inspections, which are not required in South Dakota. Others may value the ease of registering online or through the mail.

In South Dakota, Pennington County has the most vehicle registrations from outside the state. More than 19,600 registrations from out of state comprise 11 percent of the total registered vehicles in the county. Clay County has the second highest number of out-of-state registrations, amounting to more than 7,000. It makes up 28 percent of the county’s total registered vehicles.

Pennington County Treasurer Janet Sayler suspects out-of-state drivers register in the county because it doesn’t have a wheel tax, which adds up to $60 additional cost.

She said her large staff’s ability to handle and process large amounts of registrations from out of state could attract more drivers to the county, where others resist them because of their shortage of employees.

Sayler said state and county officials appreciate the extra revenue and likely won’t jeopardize it by changing the law.

She said, “You can go on vacation in any state and see a set of South Dakota plates, and they’re people who’ve never even been here and have never driven on our roads.”


Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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