#NEVERIDLE JOURNAL   //   Roadtrip Travel

Why do so many RVs have Montana and South Dakota license plates?

Are you curious about RV license plates? If you are observant, you may have noticed a particularly large number of RVers with Montana and South Dakota license plates. However, if you were to talk to any of the people in those vehicles, you’d quickly learn that the vast majority of them rarely step foot in those states. Why then, do so many register their RV in another state? And why these two states? In short, the answer is to save money. RV registration fees by state vary, and so do RV taxes. RV Let’s take a closer look and learn a bit more about RV registration in Montana and South Dakota.


Montana RV registration charges no sales tax. Montana RV registration fees are also relatively small, making registering your vehicle in Montana a tempting option — especially for large ticket items like motorhomes or top-of-the-line fifth-wheel trailers.
So how are you allowed to register your RV in Montana if you don’t live there? Many RV buyers make this work by establishing an LLC in Montana and registering their RV as a business vehicle. Most people go through a law office in order to do this. With all tax issues, it’s crucial that RV owners find good legal counsel to help them make the right decision.

South Dakota

South Dakota license plates

Like in Montana, maybe RVers chose South Dakota RV registration for tax reasons. However, there are a few differences to consider. For starters, South Dakota charges a 4% excise tax. That said, this RV tax is still much lower than in most states. The RV registration fee is also very reasonable. While the cost to register an RV in South Dakota might come out to be a bit more expensive, there are other things that draw people to South Dakota. For instance, they have no state income tax, very low sales tax, and — due to a number of mail forwarding services — it is easy to establish residency in South Dakota. Therefore, many full-time RVers choose to register their RV in South Dakota.

South Dakota license plates

So when it comes to the best state to register your RV in, many chose these two, which is why there are so many Montana and South Dakota license plates out there. Now the next time you see one drive by, you’ll have a bit of trivia to share with the family.

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