South Dakota Electronic Liens & Titles (ELT)

ELT in South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Revenue Motor Vehicles Division (MVD) implemented their Electronic Lien and Title Program (ELT) on October 1, 2012. The program is optional - the MVD does not require lienholders to participate in order to file liens or release liens - but the MVD will not be printing titles with liens. Lenders who wish to receive an electronic title must enroll in the ELT program with a service provider.

Decision Dynamics, Inc. began working with the South Dakota Motor Vehicle Division in 2011, providing input based on experience with 17 other ELT states (see for details on the recommendations DDI gives to states).

Decision Dynamics, Inc. (DDI) works with all state ELT programs by providing a web application called Premier eTitleLien™. Premier eTitleLien™ allows lenders to maintain control of their vehicle collateral while enjoying the benefits of electronic processing and communication.


More about ELT in South Dakota

What is the Electronic Lien and Title Program?

The Electronic Lien and Title Program is a method by which the South Dakota DMV and lending institutions (lienholders) can exchange vehicle and title information electronically. The SD DMV transmits essential identifying information electronically to the lienholder which eliminates the need to print and mail paper titles. Once the loan has been satisfied, the lienholder sends an electronic message releasing the title at which point the DMV prints and mails a paper title to the vehicle owner.

This process eliminates most of the paper handling involved in the vehicle titling process. Both the lending organizations and the MVD benefits from lower costs associated with processing, mailing, filing and retrieving paper titles.

How does this work?

Very simple:

  1. A security interest agreement and clear title is presented to the county treasurer of the owner’s county of record. If a lien is recorded on the title, the lienholder must also include a lien release document from the previous lienholder.
  2. The county treasurer records the lien and the SD MVD sends DDI an electronic message with titling information as appears on a paper title. This information includes a description of the vehicle and the name and address of the vehicle owner.
  3. DDI receives the message from SD MVD, formats it, and makes it available to the lender in Premier eTitleLien™.
  4. The lender works with Premier eTitleLien™ to validate the lien information.
  5. Once the loan is satisfied, the lender uses Premier eTitleLien™ to release the lien.
  6. The South Dakota MVD then mails a clear title (no lien) to the vehicle's owner.

The South Dakota ELT program also has provisions for requesting paper titles (with lien) and specifying an alternate recipient for the clear title (such as a dealer). Premier eTitleLien™ supports these features, making them simple and as foolproof as possible, and supplements them with additional tools.

What are the benefits of the Electronic Lien and Title System?

The electronic lien and title system allows lienholders to reduce the handling, storage and mailing costs associated with paper titles by replacing them with electronic titles. Lienholders who join the program no longer have to:

  • Retrieve a title from a conventional file when the lien has been satisfied.
  • Physically satisfy (sign off) a lien on a title.
  • Mail the title to the owner.
  • Apply for a duplicate title when the original title has been lost.

Other Benefits:

  • Reduction in title fraud.
  • Reduction of title paper usage.
  • Faster notification of lien satisfactions.
  • Reduction in storage of title documents.
  • Consolidated, itemized monthly billing for title services.
  • Better customer service.
  • Overall reduced costs.

Additionally, electronic lienholder customers who have satisfied their loan obligations will receive clear paper titles faster, after the lienholder has electronically notified the DMV that the lien has been released.

For more information on Premier eTitleLien™ or participating in the South Dakota ELT program, please visit

Premier eTitleLien® Decision Dynamics, Inc.