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South Dakota License Plates
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©2017 by Eric N. Tanner
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    SOUTH DAKOTA
     
    Highest 1905-13 prestate plate known:  #16688
     
    1913-15 plates are undated.  1913 numbers have serifs on "1" and "4",
    1914 numbers have round corners, 1915 numbers have square corners.
    Truck began 1920.
    Distribution from county treasurers began 1920 for passenger only.
     
    1913     146  -  14048
    1914     231  -  20749
    1915       1  -  28628
    1916     106  -  42688
    1917       1  -  66598
    1918     305  -  83497
    1919     165  - 104632  (*13* also seen)
    1920   30842  - 138700  (Numbers began at 30000)
    1921   33070  - 154085*
    1922   30210  - 149930*
    1923   31-745 - 152-816
    1924   26-443 - 151-045 (Numbers began at 20-001)
     
    1920 BLOCKS
    "dollars numbers"     1 -  1299
    Motorcycle         1300 -  2299
    Truck              2300 - 22999
    US/State Vehicle     01 - 01000
     
     
    FORMATS 1925-38, 1945-49        1-1000 -  9-9999
                                   A1-1000 - A1-9999
                                   10-1000 - 64-9999
     
    1925-55 county codes on County Code page.
     
    (For detailed A1/A7 analysis, see Misc. 2)
     
    A1 = Minnehaha overflow after 1-9999.  May have switched to
         county residents sometime by 1931, as a 11/5/1931 Huron
         news article mentions that A1 is already used for county
         residents.  Same-number run includes 1933-36 #1-1888,
         1938 #A1-1888,
    1940 #1A1888, 1941-42 #1:11888 and 1945-56
         #1-1888, indicating a 1938 city/county code switch.
     
    A7 = Aberdeen city residents 1934-42.
         Brown overflow expected 1949 (A7-1579).
     
    A51 = Pennington overflow expected 1949 (A51-869).
     
    FORMATS 1939-40
     
    OUTSIDE CITY LIMITS        INSIDE CITY LIMITS
      1-1000 -  9-9999          1A1000 -  9B9999
     10-1000 - 64-9999         10A1000 - 64B9999
     
    1939:  City resident series issued in counties 1, 3, 6, 7, 15,
           18, 40, 41, 51, 63 for parking priveleges in cities of
           5,000 or more.
    1940:  City resident series issued only in counties 1 and 7.
     
    FORMATS 1941-44
     
    OUTSIDE CITY LIMITS        INSIDE CITY LIMITS
      1-1000 - 9-99999          1:1000 - 9:99999
     10-1000 - 64-9999         10:1000 - 64:9999
     
    City resident series same as 1939 except County 41 dropped;
    two-star plates issued in specific number blocks of regular series.
    Cities assigned lowest number blocks 1941 except counties 1 and 7.
    Counties assigned lowest number blocks initially in 1942.
     
    1943 TAB   178 - 178113
     
    (For 1939-42 city/county analysis, see Misc. 3)
     
     
    FORMATS 1950-52                           Letters not seen:  I,O,Q.
     
    COUNTIES 1 - 9  (Capacity)          COUNTIES 10 - 64, A1 (Capacity)
    1-1000 - 1-9999    (9,000)            10-100 - 10-999         (900)
    1-A000 - 1-Z999   (23,000)            10-A00 - 10-Z99       (2,300)
                                          10-0A0 - 10-9Z9       (2,300)
                                          10-00A - 10-99Z       (2,300)
                                          A51-00 - Z51-99       (2,300)
                                          51-0AA - 51-9ZZ       (5,290)
     
    (For highest number expected per county and format, see Misc. 1)
     
     
    FORMATS 1953-55                 Letters not seen:  I,K,O,Q,U,X,Y,Z.
     1-1000 -  9-9999,  1-A000 -  7-Z999
    10-1000 - 64-9999, 51-A000 - 51-Z999
     
    Unknown type:  1954   70-1040
     
    LETTER SERIES - HIGHEST NUMBER EXPECTED PER REGISTRATION FIGURES
    Not taking into account A1 series.  Assuming no I,O,Q used.
    *Observed plate above registrations.
     
    1953   1-T897   7-B955   51-F926      (24,781)     11%
    1954   1-V054   7-C168   51-H025      (27,250)     12%
    1955   1-X613   7-C674*  51-J125*     (31,415)     13%
     
     
    FORMATS 1956-75
     1-1000 - 9-99999 (1-10000 1957-75)
    A1-1000 - B1-9999
    10-1000 - 67-9999
     
    1956-75 county codes on County Code page.  Counties 1-9 assigned by
    population rank:  1 =  1   3 = 7   5 - 15   7 = 63   9 = 41
                      2 = 51   4 = 3   6 =  6   8 = 18
     
    A1/B1    = Minnehaha county outside of Sioux Falls
    65/66/67 = Unorganized counties (earliest known 1961)
    77       = Special Dealer (earliest known 1956 #77-1943)
    88       = Truck Dealer (reportedly began 1966; 1969 #88-1002 known)
     
    TABS   1958   119557 - 352270   Passenger   (orange/maroon)
                  426893 - 454423   Truck       (light blue/maroon)
                  615439 - 646342   Trailer?    (light yellow/maroon)
     
           1959   105835 - 354099   Passenger   (black/red)
                  418904 - 425945   Truck       (black/yellow)
                  900252 -          State Veh.  (black/orange)
     
    1976-80 BICENTENNIAL BASE         County codes on County Code page.
    1976                     AU:1000 - ZB:9999
     
    Original assignment on file (419,058 P).  No I,Q used.
    Trucks use same codes as suffixes.
    Non-Passenger prefixes:  AH, CF, HM, IM.
    Unknown or additional codes seen 1980:
    BB:2734                MB:4871 (Minnehaha)      MK      (McCook)
    HG:2629                MF:8464                  MM      (Minnehaha)
    LC      (Lincoln)      MG:1996                  UO      (Union)

    Replaced 1981.
     
    1981-86 COUNTY NAME BASE            Trucks issued passenger plates.
    1981 Type 1              AAA:001 - BRP:599              (668,930 P)
    1983 Type 1a             CAB:001 - KAS:888              (613,275 P)
                                                    (TOTAL 1,282,205 P)
    Type 1:  No D,I,O,Q,S,U used.
    Type 1a:  No A,E,I,O,Q,U used in 1st or 3rd position,
              only A,E,I,O,U used in 2nd position.
    County assignments AAA-BPA on file (637,362 P).
    Original assignment AAA-BLP (589,410 P).
    Order same as 1956-75 except Shannon after Fall River, Todd after
    Tripp, Washabaugh omitted.  Washabaugh absorbed by Jackson 7/1/1981.
    Omitted prefixes:  ATE, BAG, BAH.
    BRA prefix withdrawn after 450 issued.  DAM-435 seen.
    Replaced 1987.
     
    1987-91 CENTENNIAL BASE                             No I,O,Q* used.
    1987                1AA 001 - 9JZ 999
                        10A 001 - 67Z 999
     
    *Q used for overflow in counties 19,27,62 only.
    1987-2006:  County codes same as 1956-75 exceept A1/B1, 66 dropped.
    Optional "Celebrate the Century" decal issued 1989.
    Highest number ordered by county on file (998,650 P).
    Replaced during 1991.
     
    1991-96 GREAT FACES BASE                             No I,O,Q used.
    Nov.90  "03-91"     1A 0001 - 9W 9999
                        10 C001 - 67 Z999, 10 AA01 - 67 PZ99
     
    Counties 10-67 start beyond where 1987-91 base ended; list on file.
    Highest number ordered by county on file (1,232,177 P).
    Replaced during 1996.
     
    1996-2000 LARGE FACES BASE
    Jan.96  "06-96"     1A00001 - 9B99999
                        10A0001 - 67D9999
     
    Highest number ordered by county on file (1,074,278 P).
    Replaced during 2000.

    2000-06 SMALL FACES BASE                 N.D. dies.  No I,O,Q used.
    Jan.00?  "5-00"     1AA 001 - 9MZ 999
                        10A 001 - 67Z 999, 10A A00 - 67R Z99

    Based on starting number of 2007-   base (1,513,080 P).
    Replaced during 2006.

    2007-16 LARGE FACES BASE                      Flat.  No I,O,Q used.
    Jan.06  "01-07"     1BL 001 - 9ZZ 999 (1AF B62 seen)
                        10E 001 - 67Z 999, 10A A01 - 67Z Z99
                                          (44A BC9 reported 8/10/06)
                                          (44H ZE8 seen)
    All counties start beyond where 2000-06 base ended; list on file.

    Replaced during 2016.

    2016-17 NEW LARGE FACES BASE                  Flat.  No I,O,Q used.

    Jan.16  "7-16"      1A0 001 - 9Z9 999

                        10A 001 - 67Z 999