84th Rally, Aug. 2nd-11th, Begins in


Population: 6,627
Elevation: 3,239 feet
Industries: Tourism, Ranching, VA Medical Center, Gun/Ammunition Manufacturing, Motorcycle Parts Manufacturing

City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally FAQ

What do I need to know if I plan on getting married during the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally?

A: To be married in Sturgis® (Meade County) you must obtain a marriage license at the Register of Deeds office located in the Erskine Building at 1300 Sherman St., Suite 138. (1 block south of Main St.) Both applicants must be present with identification and $40 in cash or travelers’ checks. There is no waiting period, the license is good for (20) days and same day marriages are legal. You are responsible for locating your own wedding official.
Register of Deeds: 605-347-2356

Wedding Officials
Rev. Dean Bartosh, Wisconsin 414-416-2940
Rev. Jodi Olson, Custer 605-673-5059
Brother Jon Swan, Sturgis 605-347-1926
Dale Jones and Dee Clark, Sturgis 605-347-3459
Ward Doering, Deadwood 402-968-7729
Joan Pillen, Sturgis 605-347-5579
Jennifer Johns, Piedmont 605-381-6393
Gael Marie, Lead 800-853-8030 Email Contact
Jerry Dunn, Spearfish 605-641-3534
Bobbi Swenson-Bella, Rapid City 605-430-4858
Elizabeth Stone, Rapid City 605-722-2564
Mary Maisey-Ireland, Rapid City 605-484-8464
Rev. John Roll, Rapid City 605-399-2543
Patann Cisar, Washington 509-665-9525
David Boyd, Missouri 816-805-8488
Renee Endress, Email Contact
Richard Hardesty 916-599-0705
Gael Johnson, Lead 800-853-8030
Randy “Bad Boy” Swenson, Minnesota email                                                                                                                                    Joshua Farmer 970-393-0790




How are the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally dates determined?

A: The first Rally, called the Black Hills Motor Classic, was held August 12-14, 1938. The first weekend in August was selected because it did not interfere with other established events held in surrounding communities such as Belle Fourche (rodeo) and Deadwood (Days of 76). Regional events were extremely important for social and economic reasons in the post depression Mid-west and as a good neighbor, Sturgis did not want to compete for those bodies and dollars. As the event grew the "official" dates grew. The City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally begins with opening ceremonies on the first Friday in August and ends the following weekend.

Are helmets required in South Dakota or neighboring states?

How does Sturgis organize and accommodate an event this size?

A: Sturgis has approximately 6,700 residents, but it doesn't know it's considered a "small town" because each year during the Rally when the population nearly doubles that of the entire state, Sturgis steps up and manages one of the oldest and arguably the largest motorcycle gathering in the world. The community has had 78 years to get it right and is successful because of a combination of factors, number one - cooperation. The year-round planning process is facilitated by the Sturgis Rally Department, a department of the City of Sturgis. However, all city departments to include Police, Fire, Water, Streets, Parks and Finance play a role in making certain the event is managed professionally and competently. Each year is a learning process and part of that process includes changing to meet the needs of the community and our 500,000 visitors and exhibitors, ensuring the event not only continues but continues to flourish. Sturgis also relies on state and local government agencies and civic organizations to provide aid and assistance. But the heart and soul of the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally are the citizens of Sturgis who open their arms, business and homes each August and understand the importance of hospitality and friendship.

How are the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally attendance figures determined?

A: Rally attendance figures are estimated based on a formula that has been used for the last decade, gathering data from different agencies and areas in the Black Hills to arrive at a plausible number. The five sources are: Department of Transportation traffic counts taken throughout the week at the entrances to Sturgis and other Black Hills communities; the number of vendor licenses issued in Sturgis, tons of garbage hauled in Sturgis, Mount Rushmore traffic counts; and South Dakota Department of Revenues sales tax calculations.

Where can I get information on road construction in the Sturgis area?

A: www.safetravelusa.com
This site will give you construction info by clicking on the state you are traveling to and through. You can click on listed communities for up to date road construction (photos are available) and weather info. A great site for two-wheeled travelers, not only in SD, but across the country.

Where can I get concert info and buy tickets during the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally?

Concerts during the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally are hosted by several private venues. See the Official City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Events Schedule www.sturgismotorcyclerally.com<http://www.sturgismotorcyclerally.com> for up to date concert information or contact the venues listed below.
NOTE: It is not uncommon for bands to be booked late in the season and very close to the Rally.
Pappy Hoel Campground & Resort
Buffalo Chip www.buffalochip.com
Full Throttle
Glencoe CampResort: www.glencoecamp.com
The Knuckle
Loud Amercian Road House www.loudamericanroadhouse.com
Iron Horse Saloon www.ihsturgis.com
One Eyed Jacks www.oneeyedjackssaloon.com

How do I protect my motorcycle and belongings during the Rally?

A: DON'T BE A VICTIM Every year, motorcycles are stolen during the Rally. Expensive custom bikes are popular with thieves,  please take some precautions to lower the risk of your bike being stolen:

 Be aware of where you park.
 Avoid dark, poorly lit areas.
 Pay attention to people standing around who seem to take particular interest in your bike.
 Do not leave leathers, cameras, souvenirs, etc. on your bike.
 Factory ignition switch locks are easily overcome by thieves. High-quality disc locks, wheel locks and heavy cable or chain locks are recommended in addition to factory installed devices. Inexpensive locks are generally of poorer quality and are easily broken or cut.
 Determined thieves can steal any motorcycle, but common sense and taking these extra precautions will reduce your chances of being a victim.

Have a safe Rally,
The Sturgis Police Department

Can I fly my drone over downtown for fun or as part of my business?

FAA rules say "no way".  You can't fly a drone or model airplane over people or personal property.  The FAA enforcement is in Sturgis and they are watching for violators.  Fines can go as high as $300,000 if you are caught flying a drone over people.  For more information go to the FAA website: FAA Drone Information

What will bad biker behavior cost you?

City Ordinances

  • Indecent Exposure - $111
  • Open Container In Public -$61
  • Deposit of Filth - $86
  • Disorderly Conduct - $111
  • Careless Driving - $91

  • City Park Violations - $10
  • City trespassing - $111
  • Dog Running at Large - $56
  • Exhibition Driving - $66
  • Parking in Handicapped Zone - $100
  • Reckless Driving - Custody Arrest
  • Truck Routes Violations - $91
  • Use of Sound Amplification Device - Court Appearance Req.
  • Driving on bike path/sidewalk - $111

State Law

  • Cancelled License - $144

  • Violation of Restricted License - $94
  • Revoked Drivers License - Custody Arrest
  • Furnish Alcohol to Minor – Court Appearance Req.
  • Open Container in Motor Vehicle - $94
  • Possess of Controlled Substance - Custody Arrest
  • Possess of Drug Paraphernalia - $244
  • Possess of Marijuana - Custody Arrest
  • Possess of Substances for High Abuse (Distribution) - Custody Arrest

Juvenile Laws

  • Underage Alcohol Poss/Consump – Court Appearance Req.
  • (Continued) in Motor Vehicle - Court Appearance Req.
  • Underage Purchase of Cigarettes - $69

  • State Motorcycle Laws
  • Carrying Loaded or Uncased Gun – Custody Arrest
  • Cyclists Overtaking in Same Ln - $94
  • Eye Protection Required - $20
  • Helmet Required (under age 18) - $94
  • Illegal Handlebar Height - $20
  • Operation W/O Motorcycle Endorse -$94

South Dakota Motorcycle Driving Laws

  • Every motorcycle must be equipped with at least one but no more than two headlamps.
  • The handlebars of a motorcycle must be no higher than the shoulder height of the person operating the motorcycle.
  • All persons under the age of 18 must wear motorcycle safety helmets that are approved by the South Dakota Department of Transportation.
  • A person riding in an enclosed cab attached to a motorcycle does not have to wear a safety helmet.
  • A motorcycle operator must wear an eye protective device unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen of sufficient height and design that protects the motorcycle operator. When headlights are required to be on, a motorcycle operator cannot wear protective eye devices that are tinted or shaded to reduce the light transmission of the device below 35 percent.
  • Motorcycles must have at least one tail lamp, which when lighted emits a red light visible for a distance of 500 feet.
  • Noise Limits: Every motorcycle must at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise.



Biker by Shooter Images

Take a view of the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally stats.

Past Rally Stats


Downtown Sturgis Photo by Shooter Images

Take a view of the City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally stats.

Past DOT Stats