South Dakota Auto Transport

Home of the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore, South Dakota is a road trip paradise with its more than 167,000 miles of interstates, county highways, and country roads. From iconic monuments to vast national parks to diverse landscapes, the Mount Rushmore State is a nature lover’s dream.

The Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway, considered one of the Top 10 best byways in the United States, leads you on adventure after adventure, from Custer State Park to the Black Elk National Wilderness Area. Want to explore local tribal culture & history, along with stunning views of the Missouri River and more? The Native American Scenic Byway opens up visitors to the lands of several tribes, diverse landscapes, and gorgeous vistas. The Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway offers 19 miles of towering limestone, waterfalls, lush foliage, and more while following Spearfish Creek.

Whether you’re headed up for the pristine nature, peace & quiet, or opportunity in one of the state’s growing cities, South Dakota affords a dream list of road trips and weekend getaways. But you’ll need a car, especially in such a sparse state. That’s where Caravan Auto Transport comes in. We make it super simple to compare, select, and save on top auto delivery services to the Mount Rushmore State or anywhere else in the country. And along with expert service, you’ll benefit from our free estimates. Find the right fit, and start writing your new chapter in no time. Request your free SD quotes today!

Find out how much it costs to ship your car!

Things to Know About Driving in the Mount Rushmore State

  • Miles of Roadway: 167,838
  • Major Interstates: 
    • North-South: I-29 stretches from the Iowa state line in Dakota Dunes to the North Dakota state line near Victor; I-229 travels for a little over 11 miles in the city of Sioux Falls; I-190 is an auxiliary interstate highway that goes for less than 2 miles in Rapid City
    • East-West: I-90 runs from the WY state line near North Spearfish to the MN state line near Valley Springs
  • Average Commute Time: Fastest commute in the US at only 17 minutes
  • Most Popular Car: Chevy Impala

Steps to Take After Shipping Your Vehicle to South Dakota

Once your vehicle ships, it’s tempting to jump in and explore the beautiful & rugged nature of South Dakota! But wait one sec. Before you head out, make sure you’ve got all your bases covered with the following steps:

1. Understand South Dakota Residency

This step only applies to those relocating to the state of South Dakota who plan to establish their permanent and principal residence here (i.e., this does not apply to college students living here temporarily). South Dakota legally requires new residents to take specific steps regarding insurance, car registration, and more based upon the date of residency. It may be challenging to establish an exact date of residency, but here are a few indicators that you’re a bonafide resident of South Dakota:

  • Acquire physical address in SD
  • Obtain an SD driver license
  • Title and register your vehicle in the state
  • Set up a bank account here
  • Get medical and/or auto insurance
  • Register to vote in South Dakota (and vote)
  • File state income taxes

Note: Keep the date you establish residency in mind as you review the remaining steps.

2. Update Your Insurance to Comply with SD Laws

Each state sets its own laws regarding auto insurance minimums. In South Dakota, you must purchase an insurance policy from a licensed SD insurance agent with the following coverage amounts:

  • $25,000 property damage liability per accident: Property liability coverage pays for any damage done to another car or property in an accident in which you are the at-fault driver.
  • $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person/$50,000 per accident: Bodily injury liability coverage helps to cover another person’s injuries for which you are at fault.
  • $25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person/$50,000 per accident: Covers your medical bills and cost of repair/replacement of your vehicle when hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Note: You must have proof of liability insurance coverage to title and register your vehicle in SD.

3. Title and Register Your Vehicle

If you bring a car into South Dakota from out of state, you must apply for title and registration within 90 days of establishing residency. Visit your local county treasurer’s office and provide the following:

  • Current South Dakota driver license
  • Current out-of-state title
  • Proof of vehicle insurance
  • Tax payment verification
  • Lienholder’s info (if applicable)
  • Forms for a car owned less than six months
  • Completed Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration
  • Titling and registration fees

4. Obtain a Valid South Dakota Driver License

You must obtain a South Dakota license within 90 days of establishing residency. You must apply for your license in-person at a Driving Licensing location. During the application process, you must:

  • Establish a physical mailing address
  • Complete the application form
  • Provide proof: out-of-state driver license or ID, lawful status, social security card, SD residency documents (two proofs showing mailing address),and legal name change (if applicable)
  • Pass vision screening
  • Have photo taken
  • Pay applicable licensing fees

5. Car Care Tips in SD

The state of South Dakota is no stranger to extremely intense winters. Though the state is split into two distinct zones – these zones are East River and West River, separated by the Missouri River – wintertime is frigid and snowy in both regions. Seeing an overall average of nearly 40 inches of snowfall each year, driving in the Rushmore State can be dicey.

To stay safe on the roads of South Dakota, the South Dakota City Council offers several suggestions. These recommendations include the following:

  • Tune-up & winterize (tires, brakes, fluids, exhaust, heating system, battery, wiper blades, and so on)
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Avoid using cruise control
  • Keep a generous gap between you and other vehicles
  • Refrain from sudden movements
  • Keep your smart phone charged
  • Drive slowly
  • Let someone there where you’re going.

Also, it’s advisable to keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Items should include:

  • Flares
  • Jumper cables
  • A flashlight (with fresh batteries)
  • A tow chain
  • A tool kit
  • A blanket
  • Warm clothing
  • Matches or a lighter
  • A small metal bucket or can
  • Bright colored cloth
  • First aid kit
  • Large plastic bag
  • Sand or kitty litter (to help get traction when stuck in snow or ice)
  • Bottled water and non-perishable food
Get Trusted Transporters Now

Top 3 Places to Go for a Drive (After Shipping Your Car) in South Dakota

South Dakota is a wondrous place filled with natural splendor, dynamic cities, and epic monuments. To handpick your first adventure, here are the top three scenic drives to explore (and possibly fall in love with) in the Mount Rushmore State:

1. Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway

Dubbed one of the best scenic byways in America, the Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway certainly lives up to all the hype! Composed of 70 miles of curvy road and bridges, the acclaimed scenic route takes visitors through Custer State Park, Black Elk National Wilderness Area, and more. The byway is also close to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, offering an excellent side trip option. Check out the following highlights while enjoying an unforgettable ride along the Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway:

  • Custer State Park: Set amongst the Black Hills, Custer State Park is the state’s first (and biggest) state park. It sits on 71,000 acres and offers an assortment of outdoor adventures that include camping, biking, hiking, fishing, swimming, birdwatching, boating, canoeing, and kayaking.
  • Black Elk National Wilderness Area: Named after Black Elk, an Oglala Lakota medicine man, Black Elk National Wilderness Area is a sacred spot for indigenous people. The wilderness area sits in the middle of Norbeck Wildlife Preserve and has rugged terrain, groomed hiking trails, and magnificent views. The area offers ideal trails for hiking and horseback riding.
  • Sylvan Lake Lodge: Looking for the perfect lodging accommodations? Sylvan Lake Lodge is incredible! Located in a hillside forest filled with gorgeous spruce and pine trees, the lodge’s location was a suggestion by none other than the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

2. Native American National and State Scenic Byway

Want to explore the rich culture and history of the many local tribes of South Dakota? The Native American National & State Scenic Byway offers the ultimate quest through the tribal country of the Standing Rock Sioux, Cheyenne River, Lower Brule, Crow Creek, and Yankton. Along with opportunities to learn more about the region’s local indigenous people, the scenic route delights with fantastic views of the Missouri River, rolling hills, limestone cliffs, glistening rivers, grassy prairie, and much more. Be sure to stop by and explore the following points of interest while taking in all the culture, history, and natural beauty along the Native American National & State Scenic Byway:

  • Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center: Meaning “to honor the people,” Akta Lakota Museum opened in 1991 to celebrate the deep culture of the Lakota people. It houses 14,000 square feet of art, displays, and artifacts in an octagon-shaped building.
  • Cultural Heritage Center: Located in Pierre, the Cultural Heritage Center is South Dakota’s official state historical society. The society focuses on five programs – Historic Preservation, Archeology, Archives, Research & Publishing, and the Museum.
  • H.V. Johnston Lakota Cultural Center: Situated in Eagle Butte, the H.V. Johnston Lakota Cultural Center is home to paintings, photographs, murals, artifacts, and beadwork displays.
  • Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center: Dedicated to the legacy of South Dakota’s rodeo history, the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center has a two-level historical museum and multi-purpose conference center.
  • West Whitlock Recreation Area: Having been a popular area for the Mandan and Arikara people to camp, West Whitlock Recreation Area continues to draw many visitors for its fantastic fishing and camping opportunities.
  • Klein Museum: Founded in 1975, the Klein Museum honors the history and heritage of Mobridge and the surrounding area. It’s home to many artifacts acquired from the Klein family collection.
  • Sacagawea & Sitting Bull Monuments: Located approximately two miles of Mobridge, the Sacagawea & Sitting Bull Monuments sit where the Native American icon, Sitting Bull, was purportedly laid to rest.

3. Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway

At a length of only 19 miles, the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway might seem like a short drive. But it’s big on awe-inspiring scenic beauty! Just north of Rapid City, the scenic drive is home to waterfalls, towering limestone walls, dense forest, and much more. Check out the following highlights while experiencing the sheer awesomeness of South Dakota along the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway:

  • Split Rock: Created by blasting into a rock outcropping, Split Rock allowed the railroad to make its way through the local canyon.
  • Bridal Veil Falls: Cascading from about 60 feet, Bridal Veil Falls is a highly accessible waterfall. It has the highest flow during the spring months.
  • Homestake Hydroplant No.2: Opened in 1917 by the Homestake Mining Company, Homestake Hydroplant No. 2 utilized Spearfish Creek’s movement to produce electricity for a gigantic gold mine situated in Lead.
  • Dances with Wolves Winter Film Site: Fan of the acclaimed film starring Kevin Costner? Located just north of Roughlock Falls in the Black Hills National Forest, the Dances with Wolves Winter Film Site is a must-see for film buffs and admirers of the classic movie.

Car Shipping to and from South Dakota

Are you looking to ship your vehicle to South Dakota from another part of the country? Caravan Auto Transport’s network of vetted, licensed, and insured auto transporters offers safe, efficient transport of your automobile to its destination without running up the miles on the odometer. These reputable South Dakota car shipping companies provide the following services:

Open Car Transport

The most common method of car transportation, open transport carriers are ideal if you’re looking for an affordable shipping option with speedy delivery. As the name suggests, your car is loaded onto an open-air trailer along with several other vehicles headed to the same destination.

Enclosed Auto Transport

If you desire enhanced security or protection for your vehicle, you may wish to arrange enclosed carrier shipping. Inside a covered trailer, your car enjoys protection from harsh weather conditions and road hazards like dust and dirt. Shipping your vehicle in a closed carrier also enhances its safety during transit by keeping the car concealed.

Door-to-Door Car Shipping

With a door-to-door car shipping service, you choose the desired pick-up and drop-off locations rather than having to arrange getting your vehicle to or from a transport terminal. Door-to-door shipping is the most convenient choice for shipping your car to or from South Dakota, saving you time and effort.

Expedited Shipping

In a hurry to get your car from one location to the next? Upgrading to expedited shipping ensures seamless pick-up and drop-off of your vehicle on your schedule. As a priority customer, you receive fast, timely service, so you can get back to driving that much quicker.

Classic and Antique Car Transport

When it comes to transporting a classic car, you want an auto transport company that can deliver your vehicle without a single dent or scratch. From vintage Mustangs to antique DeVaux Sports Coupes, our network of classic auto transporters has the expertise and equipment to transport your classic car safely, so it arrives in pristine condition.

High End and Luxury Auto Shipping

Exotic car transporters use specialty equipment, like hydraulic lifts and sophisticated tie-downs, along with enclosed trucks, to keep your valuable car safe during every mile of transit. An enclosed car hauler ensures the ultimate protection for your high-end or luxury vehicle, protecting it from dirt, dust, and debris along the way.

We Take Care of Your SD Auto Shipping Needs

From moving off to college to building your career, there are numerous reasons you may be interested in shipping a car to South Dakota or somewhere outside of the Mount Rushmore State. Caravan Auto Transport’s network of auto shippers streamlines the car hauling process no matter your reason for transporting your vehicle to or from SD.

Moving and Relocation

When moving cross-country or out-of-state, many people choose to ship their cars rather than add a long road trip to an already stressful and exhausting relocation experience. Leave the logistics of moving your vehicle in the hands of professionals with either open or enclosed vehicle shipping services.


South Dakota is home to six military bases. Via Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, many military personnel call the Mount Rushmore State home. If you are one of the brave men and women serving our country, we’re happy to serve you with top-notch car transportation to or from South Dakota.

Online Car Buyers

Whether you’ve found the perfect vehicle on Craigslist, eBay, or AutoTrader, you may need some assistance getting it home, especially if it’s sitting on the other side of the country. Instead of flying out to pick it up and putting hundreds or thousands of miles on the odometer just to get it to your driveway, arrange for a hauler to transport your new car for you.

College Students

From the notable University of South Dakota to the more intimate Augusta University, South Dakota has no shortage of top-tier colleges and universities for those seeking to further their education. If you have a college student moving to South Dakota from out-of-state (or vice versa), have their vehicle shipped straight to campus with a fast, affordable auto transport service.

How Much Does it Cost to Ship a Car to South Dakota?

On average, it costs between $500-$1500 to ship a car to South Dakota. Anticipate paying around $1 per mile for the first 1-500 miles, then approximately $.75 for every mile after that. Several factors influence the final cost of shipping your vehicle, including the origin and destination zip codes, the method of transport (open vs. enclosed), the speed of shipment, the type of vehicle, and the time of year. The best way to get an accurate estimate of car shipping costs is by requesting free quotes from our network of auto transport companies.

Get shipping estimates now.