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 20 days.

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Where to go

Where can I get a marriage license?

South Dakota marriage licenses are issued on the county level, at the Register of Deeds, by the Register of Deeds Clerk.

Where can I use it once I get it?

Your marriage license can be used throughout the state, regardless of which Register of Deeds you get it from.

Your license is only valid within the borders of South Dakota. For instance, you can't get a marriage license from the neighboring state of Wyoming, then use it here—and vice versa.

Costs

How much is a marriage license in South Dakota?

A marriage license costs exactly $40.00 USD. This price is established by state law and doesn't change no matter where you buy your license.

I've changed my mind; can I get my money back?

Register of Deeds will not issue refunds for unused marriage licenses.

Attendance

Must we both be present when applying?

Both parties to the marriage must appear together when applying for a marriage license.

Waiting periods

Is there a waiting period to get a marriage license?

There is no waiting period to get a South Dakota marriage license. You'll get your license the same day you apply for it.

How soon can I get married after getting a license?

You can get married immediately after you receive your marriage license. There is no post-issuance waiting period to abide by before you can have your marriage ceremony.

Expiration dates

When will my marriage license expire?

Your South Dakota marriage license will expire 20 days after it's been issued. If you don't get married before time runs out, you'll have to start over and apply for a brand new license.

I need more time; can I get an extension on my license?

Extensions are not provided for expired (or near expiring) marriage licenses. If your license completely expires you must reapply and repay the same $40.00 application fee, wherein you'll be given 20 more days.

Residency requirements

What are the rules for residents and non-residents?

Whether you're a resident or non-resident of South Dakota, the rules are the same; you can apply for a marriage license anywhere in the state. You can then get married anywhere within the state.

Age requirements

How old must I be to get married?

You must be 18 years old (or above) to get married in South Dakota without parental consent.

16 to 17 years old

You must obtain the consent of at least one parent or legal guardian. Even if one parent/guardian objects, you can still obtain a marriage license (over their objection) as long as the other provides consent.

Identification requirements

What forms of ID must I bring?

There are multiple types of identification to consider bringing when applying for a marriage license at your local Register of Deeds. They are as follows:

Provide one of the following:

  • Driver's License
    • Issued by any U.S. state or territory
  • State-issued Identification
    • Issued by any U.S. state or territory
  • Passport
    • Issued by any U.S. or foreign government body
  • Military Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces
  • Military Dependent Identification Card
    • Issued by U.S. Armed Forces
  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy
  • Tribal Identification Card

Provide the following:

  • Social Security Number
    • Issued by the SSA
    • You don't need to bring you card; just know your number
    • It's understood that non-U.S. citizens are unlikely to have a SSN
    • Submitted to child support enforcement agencies; within South Dakota and out-of-state

16 to 17 years old

Provide the following:

  • Birth Certificate
    • Original or certified copy

Name Change

How do I go about changing my name due to marriage?

Undergoing a marriage-related name change in the state of South Dakota (or any other state) involves notifying various government and non-government institutions. You'll typically start with updating your Social Security Card, driver's license, passport, and other federal/state/non-governmental institutions.

Keep in mind, your name does not automatically and legally change just because you get married or obtain a marriage license or marriage certificate; you must go through the steps of updating your identification documents, whether it's through an online name change service, or contacting the SSA, State Dept. and SD DMV directly.

Blood Tests

Am I required to get a blood test?

No, South Dakota does not require you, nor your partner, to get a blood test as a condition for getting a marriage license.

Divorced

What if I've been previously divorced?

You are not required to provide any documentation, dates, or knowledge of any previous marriage, annulment, or dissolution. Having said that, if you are divorced, it must be final (or absolute).

What if I'm separated from my spouse, but not yet divorced?

South Dakota law forbids a marriage license be granted to anyone who is currently married or separated from their spouse. You must have your divorce finalized, or marriage annulled, before getting married again.

Widowed

What if I'm currently a widow or widower?

You will not be asked to provide details (e.g., date, location, proof) of your prior spouse's death.

Solemnization

Who's allowed to marry me?

South Dakota law recognizes several types of officiants who may legally officiate (i.e., preside over) your marriage. They are as follows:

Clergymen

The following clergyman, who is part of any church or congregation within the state of South Dakota, can preside over your marriage.

  • Ordained Clergyman

Nonreligious officials

Finally, the following secular officiants can solemnize the rights of matrimonial contract.

  • Supreme Court Justice
    • Current
  • Circuit Court Judge
    • Current
  • Magistrate
    • Current
  • Mayor
    • Current

Witnesses

Are witnesses required to attend my marriage ceremony?

South Dakota statutes require at least two (2) witnesses be present at your marriage ceremony.

Whomever officiates your marriage must log the contact information (typically name and address) and signature of each witness.

Note: The officiant does not count as a valid witness.

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