South Dakota
Mechanics Lien & Notice FAQs

It’s easy to file South Dakota mechanics liens with zlien, the web’s leading all-in-one mechanics lien compliance manager and security platform. Plus, the zlien platform can help you prepare and file mechanics lien cancellations, preliminary notices, and more. To learn more about South Dakota’s mechanics lien law, read the frequently asked questions below.

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South Dakota

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
30 Days

Optional notice of project commencement due 30 days after commencement. Location Notice must be displayed at jobsite.

South Dakota

Mechanics Lien Deadlines
120 Days

Lien must be filed w/in 120 days after last labor or materials furnished, and enforced w/in 6 years after last labor or materials furnished, unless owner gives request to have lawsuit initiated sooner - then required within 30 days of receipt of request.

File your South Dakota lien online now.

South Dakota

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
60 Days

If general contractor filed and posted Notice of Commencement, sub-subcontractors and suppliers to subcontractors must give Preliminary Notice (to owner and general contractor) within 60 days of last furnishing labor or materials.

South Dakota

Mechanics Lien Deadlines
120 Days

Lien must be filed w/in 120 days after last labor or materials furnished, and enforced w/in 6 years after last labor or materials furnished, unless owner gives request to have lawsuit initiated sooner - then required within 30 days of receipt of request.

File your South Dakota lien online now.

South Dakota

Preliminary Notice Deadlines
60 Days

If general contractor filed and posted Notice of Commencement, sub-subcontractors and suppliers to subcontractors must give Preliminary Notice (to owner and general contractor) within 60 days of last furnishing labor or materials.

South Dakota

Mechanics Lien Deadlines
120 Days

Lien must be filed w/in 120 days after last labor or materials furnished, and enforced w/in 6 years after last labor or materials furnished, unless owner gives request to have lawsuit initiated sooner - then required within 30 days of receipt of request.

File your South Dakota lien online now.

Calculate your deadline with the Payment Rights Advisor >

5 Things About South Dakota Mechanics Liens

1) South Dakota Allows Most Any Party to File a Mechanics Lien

Any party– including general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, and laborers– who furnishes labor or materials for the improvement or development of property has South Dakota mechanics lien rights. South Dakota also allows lien rights to parties that furnish light, power, or water to a construction project. Most states require all mechanics lien claims be filed with the county recorder or clerk of court. In South Dakota, however, there are at least 2 offices where mechanics lien claims can be filed, and the lien claimant must make certain they file their lien claim in the right office. Generally speaking, like all other states, mechanics liens in South Dakota must be filed with the county recorder (the Register of Deeds) of the county where the construction project is located. However, the mechanics lien claim must be filed with the Secretary of State (and not the Register of Deeds) if the claim is for materials or services furnished for construction on power, electric, light, telephone or telegraph lines, or on railways.

2) The Deadline to File a South Dakota Mechanics Lien is Un-Specific

The deadline to file a mechanics lien in South Dakota is 120 days from last furnishing labor or materials to a project. However, it is unclear whether the 120 day period begins from the last date the claimant furnished to the project, or 120 days from the last furnishing date on the project as a whole by any party. Because of this confusion, it is best practice to file within 120 days of your last date of furnishing to the project. HOWEVER, a Mechanics Lien’s Effectiveness Can Be Drastically Limited. South Dakota has one of the longest mechanics lien claim periods in the United States.  After a mechanics lien is filed in the state, it is effective against the property for a total of six years!  This is almost as long as standard judgments in many states. However, there is an exception.  At any time, a property owner can deliver a written demand to the lien claimant requiring the lien claimant to commence suit to enforce the mechanics lien claim.  This demand is referred to as a “Notice to Commence Suit to Enforce Mechanics Lien.” The mechanics lien claimant must start its lawsuit to enforce the lien claim within 30 days of receiving this notice, and if the lawsuit is not commenced, the mechanics lien claim will be rendered null and void.

3) Only Sub-subcontractors and Material Suppliers Are Required to Send Preliminary Notice

General contractor and subcontractors are never required to send a preliminary notice. Sub-subcontractors and material suppliers need to send a Notice of Furnishing Labor or Materials within 60 days of first furnishing labor and materials to the project to the property owner and general contractor if the general contractor filed and posted a Notice of Commencement at the jobsite within 30 days of commencement of the project. If this Notice of Commencement was not filed and posted, there are no preliminary notice requirements for sub-subcontractors and material suppliers.

General contractors may file (and post) a notice of commencement to provide some protection against the liens of sub-subcontractors and suppliers to subs, but this notice is not necessary.

4) A License is Not Specifically Required by Statute

South Dakota does not require a party to be licensed in order to have lien rights and file a claim, although it is never recommended to perform work without a license if a license is required.

5) An Owners Demand for Lien Account May Affect the Deadline to File

Those owed money on a project in South Dakota must file their mechanics lien within 120 days from last furnishing labor or materials to a project.  However, a property owner can delay this process for at least 10 days by service an “Owners Demand for Lien Account” upon any potential lien claimant.

This “Owners Demand” must be within 15 days from the completion of the construction contract.  If it is timely made, the lien claimant may not file a mechanics lien for at least 10 days after the lien account is furnished to the property owner.

While this may seem like a small delay or inconvenience, it can turn out to be much more, especially if the property owner were to make the demand for lien account near the end of a claimant’s deadline to file a mechanics lien. Theoretically, if a request was made at this time, the lien claimant could be forced out of its mechanics lien rights because the 10 day waiting period is not cause to extend a mechanics lien deadline.


South Dakota Sub-Subs and Suppliers are required to send a Preliminary Notice

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South Dakota Frequently Asked Questions

South Dakota Mechanics Lien FAQs

In South Dakota, any party who furnishes labor and/or materials for the improvement or development of property is entitled to lien rights. This generally means general contractors, subcontractors, laborers, and material suppliers. In South Dakota, lien rights also apply to companies that furnish light, power, and/or water to a construction project.

In South Dakota, a mechanics lien must be filed no later than 120 days after the last date labor and/or materials were furnished. However, there is some confusion as to whether this means 120 days from the last work on the project as a whole, or 120 days form the last work by the claimant to fulfill his duties under his contract. To be safe, it may be best practice to file the lien within 120 days from the completion of the claimant’s work on the project, whether or not the project is ongoing.

Further, lien claimants should note that the lien must be mailed to the property owner prior to the recordation of the lien, and a post-office receipt of mailing must be attached to the filed lien claim.

Notice is required, but technically, it is not notice that the lien was recorded. Rather it is notice that the lien will be recorded. South Dakota requires that a copy of the lien must be mailed to the property owner prior to the lien being filed with the Register of Deeds. A post office receipt of mailing must be attached to the lien filed with the register of deeds for proof of mailing to the property owner.

Attorney’s fees and collection costs are not allowable in the lien claim itself, but interest and attorney’s fees may be awarded to the prevailing party in an action to enforce the lien. Interest is mandated to be set at the highest legal amount by statute.

In South Dakota, an action to enforce a mechanics lien must be initiated within 6 years from the date of last furnishing labor or materials to the project. However, if the property owner makes a written demand on the lien claimant to commence the action to enforce the lien, the lien claimant must initiate the action within 30 days from receipt of the written demand – or the lien will be extinguished.

It depends. In South Dakota, a mechanics lien has priority over all other liens or encumbrances on the property except liens of the United States, South Dakota, or liens that were previously recorded or of which the mechanics lien claimant had actual knowledge. For priority purposes, a mechanics lien attaches to the property from the first date of visible construction on the property. However, there is a very complicated provision of South Dakota mechanics lien law that provides a mechanism for filing a Notice of Contract with the Register of Deeds which, if filed, may give the mechanics lien priority over a construction lender.

Yes. A mechanics lien in South Dakota must be notarized in order to be valid.

South Dakota imposes no additional licensing requirements in order to file a mechanics lien. However, it is never a good idea to perform work for which a license is required if you do not have the required license.

Yes. A mechanics lien may be filed against a condominium project in South Dakota to the extent you are a party otherwise allowed to file a mechanics lien.

South Dakota lien law provides that when a recorded lien is satisfied by payment, foreclosure, compromise, or any other method, the lien claimant must execute and deliver a Satisfaction with Mechanics Lien to the property owner. The satisfaction must be executed before two witnesses and filed with the Register of Deeds. This requirement is strict; if the lien claimant doesn’t execute and deliver the satisfaction within 10 days from the written demand of the property owner or other interested party, the lien claimant will be liable for damages, attorney’s fees, and an additional penalty of $100.

South Dakota does not have statutory lien waiver forms; therefore, you can use any lien waiver form. Since lien waivers are unregulated, be careful when reviewing and signing lien waivers.

South Dakota state law is unclear or silent about whether contractors and suppliers can waive their lien rights before any work on the project begins. Accordingly, you want to proceed with caution on this subject.

To learn more about lien waivers, see our South Dakota Lien Waiver FAQs and Resources.

South Dakota Preliminary Notice FAQs

It depends. General contractors may file a Notice of Project Commencement to help protect themselves from mechanics liens of sub-subcontractors and suppliers to subcontractors. The Notice of Project Commencement must be filed within 30 days of the commencement of work, and a location notice must be posted on the jobsite indicating that Notice of Commencement has been filed with the Register of Deeds.

If the general contractor has filed a Notice of Project Commencement and posted the location notice on the jobsite, no sub-subcontractor or supplier to a subcontractor has lien rights unless he gives Notice of Furnishing Labor or Materials within 60 days of last furnishing labor and or materials to the project. This notice is only required if the general contractor filed a Notice of Project Commencement and posted the location notice on the jobsite, and is only required of sub-subcontractors and suppliers to subcontractors.

In order to have effect, the Notice of Commencement (if elected to be filed by the general contractor) must be filed with the Register of Deeds within 30 days from the commencement of the project. The Location Notice must also be posted on the jobsite, and although there is no specific time requirement for posting the location notice on the jobsite, it is advisable to post it as soon as possible after the Notice of Commencement is recorded as the notice is ineffective until the location notice is posted.

If required, the Notice of Furnishing Labor or Materials must be given no later than 60 days after the last date on which the sub-subcontractor or supplier to a subcontractor furnished labor and/or materials to the project.

The Notice of Commencement is a voluntary filing. If it is filed after the 30-day deadline, the result is that sub-subcontractors and suppliers to subcontractors do not need to file Notices of Furnishing Labor or Materials in order to preserve their lien rights.

If a Notice of Furnishing is required, any sub-subcontractor or supplier to subcontractor who fails to provide the notice within the mandated 60-day period no longer has lien rights.

The general contractor’s Notice of Commencement must be filed with the Register of Deeds for the county in which the project is located. Additionally, a Location Notice must be posted on the jobsite.

The Notice of Furnishing should be served by registered or certified mail.

The general contractor’s Notice of Commencement must be filed with the Register of Deeds for the county in which the project is located, and a Location Notice posted on the jobsite.

Notice of Furnishing must be provided to the general contractor as well as the property owner.

The Notice of Commencement is effective when filed with the Register of Deeds and the location notice is posted at the jobsite.

The Notice of Furnishing is considered delivered when sent by registered or certified mail.

A Property Owner may serve an “Owner’s Demand for Lien Account” to any potential lien holders, requesting the lien holder to furnish the owner with an itemized and verified account of any lien claim. The owner must make this request within 15 days after contract completion. Any potential lien holder who receives this demand may not commence an action to enforce a mechanics lien until 10 days after furnishing the demanded statement.