South Dakota Abstracter Bond

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South Dakota Abstracter Bond: A Comprehensive Guide

This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a South Dakota Abstracter bond.

At a Glance:

  • Lowest Cost: $100 per year or $10 a month
  • Bond Amount: Determined on a case-by-case basis (more on this later)
  • Who Needs It: All abstracters operating in South Dakota
  • Purpose: To protect the public from financial harm if the abstracter commits fraud or engages in unfair business practices
  • Who Regulates Abstracters in South Dakota: The South Dakota Abstracters Board of Examiners
South Dakota Abstracter Bond Form
South Dakota Abstracter Bond Form


South Dakota Statute 36-13-8 requires all abstracters operating in the state to obtain a license from the Abstracters Board of Examiners. The South Dakota Legislature enacted the licensing requirement to ensure that abstracters do not engage in unethical business practices. To provide financial security for the enforcement of the licensing law, abstracters must purchase and maintain a surety bond to be eligible for licensure.

What Is the Purpose of the South Dakota Abstracter Bond?

South Dakota requires all abstracters to purchase a surety bond as part of the application process to obtain a license. The bond ensures that restitution is available to any damaged party should the abstracter fail to abide by the regulations outlined in the South Dakota Statutes Chapter 36-13. Specifically, the bond protects claimants if the abstracter commits fraud or engages in unfair business practices. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the abstracter violates the terms of their license.

How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a South Dakota Abstracter Bond?

BondExchange makes obtaining a South Dakota Abstracter bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “abstracter” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email, or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.

At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.

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How Is the Bond Amount Determined?

According to South Dakota Statute 36-13-15, the limit of the Abstracter bond is based on the population of each county the abstracter provides services. For counties with a population of 15,000 or less, a $25,000 bond limit is needed. For counties with a population over 15,000, a $50,000 bond amount is required. A separate bond is required for each county in which the applicant seeks to work as an abstracter.

Is a Credit Check Required for the South Dakota Abstracter Bond?

Surety companies will run a credit check on the abstracter to determine eligibility and pricing for the South Dakota Abstracter bond. Abstracters with excellent credit and work experience can expect to receive the best rates. While abstracters with poor credit may be declined by some surety companies or have to pay higher rates. The credit check is a “soft hit”, meaning that the credit check will not affect the applicant’s credit.

How Much Does the South Dakota Abstracter Bond Cost?

The South Dakota Abstracter bond can cost between $100 to $1,500 per year or $10 to $150 per month. Insurance companies determine the rate based on several factors including your customer’s credit score and experience. The chart below briefly references the approximate bond cost on the $25,000 bond requirement.

$25,000 South Dakota Abstracter Bond Cost

Credit Score* Bond Cost (1 Year) Bond Cost (1 month)
720+ $100 $10
680 – 719 $113 $12
660 – 679 $175 $18
649 – 659 $250 $25
629 – 648 $375 $38
600 – 628 $625 $63
580 – 599 $875 $88
550 – 579 $1,000 $100
525 – 549 $1,250 $125
500 – 525 $1,500 $150

*The credit score ranges do not include other factors that may result in a change to the annual premium offered to your customers, including but not limited to, years of experience and underlying credit factors contained within the business owner’s credit report.

How Does South Dakota Define “Abstracter”?

To paraphrase South Dakota Statute 36-13-1.2, an abstractor is a business that compiles and records abstracts of titles issued to specific tracts of land. To put it simply, an abstractor or title agent issues, maintains, and keeps records of property titles for various counties in the state.

South Dakota Abstracter Bond

BondExchange now offers monthly pay-as-you-go subscriptions for surety bonds. Your customers are able to purchase their bonds on a monthly basis and cancel them anytime. Learn more here.

How Do Abstracters Become Licensed in South Dakota?

Abstracters in South Dakota must navigate several steps to obtain a license. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the Abstracters Board of Examiners Licensure Requirements webpage for details on the process.

License PeriodAbstracter licenses must be renewed with the South Dakota Abstracters Board of Examiners biennially.

Step 1 – Purchase a Surety Bond

South Dakota abstracters must purchase and maintain a surety bond.

Step 2 – Fulfill Following Requirements

To apply for a license, applicants must complete the requirements listed below:

How Do Abstracters in South Dakota Renew Their Licenses?

Abstracter licenses must be renewed with the South Dakota Abstracters Board of Examiners biennially. A license may be renewed beginning 30 days prior to the expiration of the license. A completed license renewal application and appropriate fee are required.

What Are the Insurance Requirements for Abstracters in South Dakota?

South Dakota does not require abstracters to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a license. Abstracters must purchase and maintain a surety bond.

How Do South Dakota Abstracters File Their Bonds?

Abstracters should submit their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney when submitting their license applications to the South Dakota Abstracters Board of Examiners (see the mailing address listed below).

          Abstracters Board of Examiners
          810 N. Main Street, Suite 298
          Spearfish, SD 57783

The surety bond requires signatures from the surety company, as well as the abstracter. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:

  • The legal name of the individual buying the bond
  • Surety company’s name 
  • Date the bond is signed

What Can South Dakota Abstracters Do to Avoid a Claim Against Their Surety Bond?

To avoid claims against their bonds, abstracters in South Dakota must follow all license regulations in the state, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:

  • Negligence
  • Misrepresentation
  • Fraud

What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Abstracters in South Dakota?

Most reputable abstracters will purchase business liability insurance. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any other types of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.

How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Abstracters in South Dakota?

South Dakota conveniently provides a public database to search for active abstracters in the state. The database can be accessed here. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.

South Dakota Abstracter Bond