PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The state Department of Transportation is reminding land owners that they now need permits to remove hay bales from highway ditches.

Tuesday was the deadline for removing the bales. Any person wishing to claim ownership of illegal bales must now obtain a permit from the department. The permits are issued on a first-come first-served basis.

Permits are available at DOT offices in Aberdeen, Belle Fourche, Custer, Huron, Mitchell, Mobridge, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown, Winner and Yankton.

The DOT will remove or authorize the removal of any hay bales remaining in the public right of way after Oct. 31.

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