South Dakota Marriage License

If you're getting married in South Dakota, you must first apply for a marriage license.
It'll cost you $40.00, and you'll have to use it within 90 days.

See FAQ Offices

Where to Apply

How do I get married in South Dakota?

In order to get married in South Dakota, you must first apply for a marriage license at any county register of deeds office.

Am I married when I get my marriage license?

Your marriage license gives you permission to marry. It must be followed by solemnization.


Does my residency affect the application process?

There are no residency requirements. You do not have to live in South Dakota to marry in the state.

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to marry in South Dakota?

Foreigners are welcome to marry in South Dakota. Marriage licensing requirements are equivalent for all applicants.


How much is a marriage license?

The South Dakota marriage license fee is $40 in every county.

Does my marriage license come with a marriage certificate?

The marriage license fee covers just the license. A certified copy of your eventual marriage certificate costs $15 extra.


Where can I use my marriage license?

Your South Dakota marriage license can be used to get married anywhere in the state. It can only be used in South Dakota.

Can I use a marriage license from another state or country?

You may only lawfully marry in South Dakota using a South Dakota marriage license.


What information will I have to fill out?

The marriage license application asks for your name, birthdate, birthplace, residence, gender, Hispanic ethnicity, race, phone number, social security number, and marital status.

Can I pick up an application worksheet in advance?

You may pick up a blank marriage license application in advance at the register of deeds office. However, it must be signed in person.


Do I have to apply in person?

You must apply for a marriage license in person, alongside your co-applicant. You cannot employ a power of attorney.

What if I'm active duty military or in prison?

Applying for a marriage license in person is compulsory. Military, disabled, or incarcerated applicants are not excluded from this rule.

Age Requirements

What are the age requirements to marry?

Aged 18 and over?

If you're 18 years old or older, you can marry without parental consent.

Aged 16 and 17?

If you're 16 or 17 years old, either a parent or guardian must consent to your marriage.

Aged 15 and under?

If you're 15 years old or younger, you will not be issued a marriage license.

What is the parental consent to marry requirements?

Which parent grants consent?

Either parent may grant consent to marry. Noncustodial parents too.

How must parental consent be granted?

Consent to marry from a parent or guardian may either be granted in person or with a notarized consent statement.

Are there readymade consent forms available?

You may pick up a blank parental consent form at your local register of deeds office.

What if a parent or guardian refuses to grant consent?

If you're underage and fail to obtain parental consent to marry, there is no judicial option available to override their objection.

Premarital Education

Is there a premarital counseling reduced fee option?

South Dakota does not have a program that reduces the marriage license fee in exchange for completing premarital counseling.

Waiting Period

When will I get my marriage license?

Your marriage license will be issued without delay. You can then marry immediately.


How long will my marriage license remain valid?

Your marriage license will expire 90 days after issuance, after which it is void.


Do I have to show ID?

Bring proof of age, such as a certified copy of your birth certificate, driver's license, passport, state-issued ID card, or military ID card.

Do I have to show my birth record?

If you're 16 or 17 years old, bring an original or certified copy of your birth certificate. It will be reviewed, not kept.

Do I have to show my social security card?

Your social security card is not required. However, your social security number is required on the application.

What ID must consenting parents and guardians show?

Parents or guardians granting in person consent to their child or ward to marry must furnish photo ID.

Blood Test

Is a blood test required?

You do not have to get a premarital blood test. However, you will be given information on HIV counseling, testing, and treatment.


Do I have to show my divorce record?

If divorced, you do not need to bring your divorce decree.


Do I have to show proof of being widowed?

If widowed, you do not need to bring your late spouse's death certificate.

Name Change

How do I change my name post-marriage?

Use your marriage certificate to change your name with the SSA, MVD, among others. Name change forms are available online.

What name change options are available to me?

You may take your spouse's surname, hyphenate surnames, and/or replace your middle name with your maiden name.


Are witnesses required at my ceremony?

Two witnesses must attend your marriage ceremony. Afterward, their names and residences must be printed on the license.

Must ceremony witnesses be of a certain age?

South Dakota law does not set a minimum age or competency requirement for witnesses.

The Ceremony

Who can perform our marriage?

Your marriage may be solemnized by a judge, justice, magistrate, mayor, or authorized official of any church, denomination, or sect.

Is identification required at the ceremony?

Your officiant must confirm your age, identity, and residence through personal knowledge or photo identification.

Can we perform a self-solemnized marriage ceremony?

Self-solemnized marriage is lawful if permitted by your denomination or sect.

Do clergypersons have to be registered to solemnize marriages?

South Dakota law does not require anyone who solemnizes marriages to be registered with any city, county, or state agency.

License Return

When must my marriage license be returned?

Are you self-solemnizing?

If you're having a self-solemnized ceremony, return the license to the register of deeds within 30 days after marriage.

Is a third-party solemnizing?

If a third-party is officiating, they must return the license to the register of deeds within 10 days after marriage.

Marriage Certificate

How do I get a copy of my marriage record?

Certified copies of South Dakota marriage certificates may be obtained from any register of deeds or the state's vital records office.

How do I obtain other vital records?

The state maintains birth, death, divorce, and marriage records. Register of deeds maintain all except divorce records.

How much are certified copies?

Certified copies of South Dakota vital records cost $15 apiece. Expedited service is extra.

Proxy Marriage

Can I have a proxy marriage?

Proxy marriage, where someone acts as your stand-in during the marriage ceremony, is not permitted in South Dakota.

Prohibited Marriage

Can I marry a cousin?

You cannot marry a first cousin, whether related by the whole or half blood.

Can I marry a family member?

You cannot marry an ascendant, descendant, sibling, half-sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or first cousin.

Can I marry a family member if not related by blood?

Intermarriage prohibitions extend to family members related by adoption or marriage (i.e., stepparents, stepchildren).

Will my out-of-state marriage be recognized in South Dakota?

Your out-of-state marriage will be recognized in South Dakota as long as it was lawfully established.

Common-law Marriage

Can I enter into a common-law marriage?

South Dakota only recognizes common-law marriages established before July 1, 1959.

Office Locations

Where will you apply?


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  1. Hi I got married 2 years ago in aberdeen sd court house. But we never turned in the south Dakota marraige license I still have it so are we married or no ?

    Because we are separated right now an I'm trying to find out an get child custody between us an find out thanks

    1. But we never turned in the south Dakota marraige license

      If you were married in the courthouse by a civil celebrant, your marriage license should have been turned in for you.

      I still have it so are we married or no ?

      If your marriage license hasn't been recorded, your marriage doesn't officially exist as far as the state is concerned.

      Contact the county register of deeds that issued your marriage license to determine if your marriage has been recorded. If it hasn't, inquire about registering a delayed marriage license.

  2. Are there specific hours each day that you can be married at the courthouse by a judge immediately after obtaining the marriage license or do you need to set up an appointment time for that?

    1. Hi Trish. It varies per courthouse, especially availability. You'll have to contact them about availability and expedience.

  3. My soon to be wife is a non resident who will be returning to her home country after the marriage to wait on visa approval. She has no Social Security number. Will this be a problem in SD?

    1. Will this be a problem in SD?

      No problem. She doesn't need a SSN to get married, as she's a noncitizen.

  4. Gay marriage of a foreigner

    1. Hi Thawn. Gay marriage is legal in South Dakota, as in every other state. Residency and citizenship is a non-factor.

  5. We would like to get married at Mount Rushmore and June 2022 can anyone tell me how to go bad lighting this up?

  6. Hi!

    I want to get married in a courthouse but I would like my grandpa to speak for the ceremony. Is that possible?

    1. Hi Alex. There's nothing stopping your grandfather from officiating your ceremony on courthouse grounds. The location of solemnization doesn't matter.

      But having him officiate in the register of deeds office or another judge's office is another matter. That might require preclearance.

  7. On here it says you only have 20 days after applying to get married, but on the SD Department of Health website, it says 90 days. Which one is it?

  8. Is it a must to have a witness on the ceremony? If so, can we have only one witness? Minimum age of the witness is what?

    1. Hi Cataleya. Two witnesses are required. There's no minimum age.

  9. Hello, just curious if you need an appointment to come and get your marriage license? And what all material do we need to bring? We live in Iowa but are getting married in the Dakota Dunes.

    1. And what all material do we need to bring?

      Identification and money.

  10. Do you have to get the license in the county where marriage is being officiated or can you get it from county you live as long as it is in the state of SD?

    1. Hi Casey. You can get your SD marriage license from any county, and then marry anywhere in the state.

  11. We are coming from ND, both divorced, so we just need our Drivers License as Identification and some money to pay for the license, No other forms of ID are needed? No divorce decrees?

    1. Hi Jenn. Correct. Yet if you're 16 or 17 years old, you'll need to bring a certified copy of your birth certificate.

  12. Hello, We are planning on having my uncle marry us on my parent's farm this fall. What steps besides obtaining a marriage license do we nee to do for this? Thank you!

    1. Hi MW. Your uncle must be authorized to officiate by a church, denomination, or sect. But South Dakota doesn't attempt to authenticate this.

  13. How can I get someone to officiate the wedding? my partner and I just wanna sign the papers, nothing big and fancy. just the papers and a name change

    1. Hi Grace. You must hire your own officiant. They needn't be registered with any local or statewide entity to officiate.

    1. Hi Brandon. Yes, your ceremony witnesses may be family relations.

  14. Does South Dakota allow self solemnization? And do I still need 2 witnesses?

    1. Hi Joseph. Yes, you can self-solemnize your marriage in South Dakota. And, yes, you do still need two witnesses.

  15. How and where to hire someone to officiate a wedding? We don't have any relative in SD

    1. Hi Aldryan. You may either contact the county register of deeds for a referral, or search out a commercial, third-party professional.

  16. Am I able to marry an inmate at the Pennington County jail while he's incarcerated? If I get all the paperwork in order and fee paid for?

    1. Hi Krys. The inmate can marry while incarcerated. They must make a written request to the warden, or their designated official, 60 days prior to the proposed date of marriage. The warden will then make the arrangements.

  17. I have a few questions

    1. I am an adult over 18 but my dad is my legal guardian and my payee. Does that effect anything?
    2. My wife to be and I both get SSI. Will us getting married effect that even if we are not living together?
    3. What if I don’t know my full SSN?
    1. I am an adult over 18 but my dad is my legal guardian and my payee.

      Guardianship approval only applies to applicants below age 18.

      My wife to be and I both get SSI. Will us getting married effect that even if we are not living together?

      Yes, marriage can affect your SSI benefits. A maximum couple’s benefit would apply, which would be less than both your SSI amounts combined.

      What if I don’t know my full SSN?

      That could be a problem. You can contact the register of deeds in advance to inquire if that would be a roadblock.

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