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South Dakota State Benefits

Purple Heart Plate
For resident veterans who served on active duty and were awarded the Purple Heart. At the time of application, the veteran must provide verification of eligibility. A copy of the veteran’s DD-214 will suffice if it reflects that the veteran was awarded the Purple Heart. The annual fee for the Disabled Veteran, Prisoner of War and Pearl Harbor Survivor plate is $10.00 per set per year. Once the distinctive plates have been issued, the veteran will not be required to pay the regular annual vehicle registration fees.


For the Purple Heart plate, the veteran is required to pay the regular annual vehicle registration fees but no fee is assessed for the distinctive plate.


Hunting and Fishing Cards for Disabled Veterans

Certain resident veterans may receive a hunting and fishing card which is valid for four years. Upon purchase of an annual basic game and fish license, the card becomes the equivalency of a resident fishing license, small game stamp and habitat stamp until the expiration of the basic game and fish license. To qualify the veteran must: be rated as totally disabled from service connected injuries OR, be in receipt of the VA "K" award OR, have been held as a Prisoner of War OR, be in receipt of Social Security benefits because of a total disability. Application forms are available from the Game, Fish and Parks Regional Office. The application, along with verification of eligibility, are submitted to:












Game, Fish and Parks
412 West Missouri
Pierre, SD 57501


Free Admission and Reduced Camping Fees for Veterans

Certain resident veterans may obtain free admission to any South Dakota state park and are eligible for a fifty percent discount on any camping fee or associated electrical fee. To qualify the veteran must: be totally disabled from service connected disabilities or, be in receipt of the VA "K" award OR, have been held as a Prisoner of War. Application forms may be obtained from the local park manager or through the Game, Fish and Parks office in Pierre.


Special Provisions for Handicapped Hunters

Individuals who are missing an upper limb, or are physically incapable of using an upper limb or who are confined to a wheelchair may use a crossbow to take game birds and animals once they have obtained a disabled hunter permit.                                                 


A legally blind, legally licensed individual who possesses a disabled hunter permit and who is physically present and participating in the hunt may claim game birds and animals taken by a designated hunter in accordance with the license or licenses possessed by the handicapped hunter.                                   


Applications are obtained from the Game, Fish and Parks office in Pierre or from a game warden.


Property Tax Exemption for Veterans and Their Widow or Widower

Dwellings or parts of multiple family dwellings which are specifically designed for use by paraplegics as wheelchair homes and which are owned and occupied by veterans with the loss, or loss of use, of both lower extremities, or by the unremarried widow or widower of such veteran, are exempt from taxation.                                   


The dwelling must be owned and occupied by the veteran for one full calendar year before the exemption becomes effective. For purposes of this statute, the term "dwelling" generally means real estate in an amount not to exceed one acre upon which the building is located.













Property Tax Refund for Aged and Disabled Persons

Certain low income property owners are eligible for a property tax refund and should check with their county treasurer for details and assistance in making application. To qualify the following conditions must be met:

  • The head of the household must be sixty-five years of age, or older, or shall be disabled prior to January first of the year in which taxes are levied; The applicant must have owned the property for at least three years or, have been a resident of this state at least five years if not qualified under the three year ownership criteria.                                                           


Sales Tax Refund for Certain Elderly and Disabled Persons

Certain low income persons who are sixty-five, or older, or who are disabled, may qualify for a sales tax refund. Applicants should check with their county treasurer for details and assistance.


NOTE: No individual may receive both a property tax and sales tax refund in the same year


South Dakota State Bonus

South Dakota offers a bonus to members of the Armed Forces who were legal residents of the state for no less than six months immediately preceding their period of active duty and who served on active duty during one or more of the following periods:

  • August 2, 1990 – March 3, 1991: all active duty service members qualify for payment
  • March 4, 1991 – December 31, 1992: service must have been a hostile area which qualified for the Southwest Asia Service Medal qualifies for bonus payment
  • January 1, 1993 – September 10, 2001: service must have been in a hostile area which qualified for any US campaign or service medal awarded for combat operations against hostile forces qualifies for the bonus payment.
  • September 11, 2001 – (end date to be determined) – all active duty service members qualify for the bonus payment.


Also, any veteran with qualifying service before December 31, 1992, during Desert Storm and after January 1, 1993, during Operation Iraqi Freedom may be entitled to receive two separate $500 bonus payments. Veterans who have a service-connected disability rated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as 10% or more disability will receive the maximum payment of $500. A verification of disability must be provided from the VA along with a valid application.                              

Any veteran interested in applying for the South Dakota veterans bonus must provide the branch of the military along with dates of service on a completed application. Certification of the application must be completed by local County or Tribal Veteran Service Officer. For applicants in other states, a certification must be completed by a Post Service Officer from one of the recognized veterans service organizations. All applications must be accompanied by a copy of veterans DD Form 214, which shows proof of military service and character of service.


Interested veterans can obtain an application via online at the State of South Dakota website. Additionally, applications may be requested by calling 605-773-7251 or via mail by corresponding to:


South Dakota Veterans Bonus
425 E. Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501