November 14, 2022
WATERTOWN, S.D.–The South Dakota Department of Revenue’s Motor Vehicle Division will not print paper titles, effective immediately, due to paper supply issues.
The department will not print paper titles until mid-February 2023, unless a person makes a request online that is approved by the department. Reasons for requesting a printed paper title include the titled owner moving out of the state or the vehicle ownership needing to be transferred.
While the shortage hasn’t spelled trouble for dealerships or their customers yet, it could soon, according to Troy Engels, general manager at Sharp Automotive.
The Watertown dealership runs through about 80 to 90 titles for used vehicles a month. By the time February 2023 rolls around, that’s potentially affecting 270 transactions for Sharp Automotive alone.
“Dealerships are required to have a title or proof that the title is on the way to sell vehicles,” Engels said. “That’s where it’s going to get hairy.”
Used car dealerships will pay money for trade-ins, but they can’t make money until they sell that vehicle. That requires a title in hand. New vehicles have a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin.