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Social Media links WEBSITE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Doneen Hollingsworth, Secretary of Health
South Dakota Department of Health

Genealogy Resources

When ordering records for genealogy purposes, please place your order through the mail. The mail order process is designed to allow flexibility with possible different spellings or dates and will ensure a more accurate search with a greater chance of the record being found.

Register of Deeds for South Dakota's 64 counties provided the information included in the County Resources section of this site. An address, phone number and e-mail, if available, is listed for each Register of Deeds.

South Dakota's Vital Records System
The law implementing South Dakota's Vital Records System took effect in July 1905. This system contains birth, death, fetal death, marriage, divorc e /annulment and burial records. The Vital Records System, led by the Department of Health, has 64 local Registers of Deeds, which have helped to build and maintain the system. The State and County offices each hold a set of standard birth, death and marriage records. In some instances however, County offices have records filed prior to 1905. These exceptions are listed on each county page.

Determining What Kind of Record Copy Is Needed
The Office of Vital Records often receives questions from genealogists requesting assistance on what type of copy they need. The following tips can help:

  • A PHOTOSTATIC copy is a photocopy of the original record. It is intended for genealogy use and generally provides the most information.
  • Copies can be requested either CERTIFIED or INFORMATIONAL. If you are not using the certificate for legal or DAR purposes, you will want to request an INFORMATIONAL PHOTOSTATIC.

Contents: | Birth Records | Death Records | Marriage Records |

Birth Records

Standard Birth Records

  • The State and County offices have all birth records filed after 1905. Records were also allowed to be filed for births that occurred prior to the creation of the Vital Records System. All copies of birth records filed after 1905 are issued from a central database maintained by the state. Each county has access to this database.

Access to Birth Records

  • All birth records with dates of birth more than 100 old are available online.
  • Records less than 100 years old are provided in the form of an informational or a certified copy. Please see eligibility requirements and ordering methods.

Death Records

Standard Death Records

  • The State and County offices have death records that were filed after 1905. It is standard for each county to have a copy of death records for deaths that occurred in their county while the Department of Health has the original records of all events that occurred in the State after 1905.

Access to Death Records

  • Records are provided in the form of an informational or a certified copy. Please see eligibility requirements and ordering methods.
  • Counties are allowed to make available an index of death certificates to conduct genealogical research provided that you are a member of the South Dakota Genealogical Society. Please contact Anna Duncan at (605) 997-2786.
  • Because the State’s indexing system is more complex and requires technical assistance in order to successfully search for a record, the State performs all searches for the record for a fee of $15.

Marriage Records

Standard Marriage Records

  • The State and County offices have marriage records for events which occurred after 1905. It is standard for each county to have the records of marriage where the marriage license was purchased or where the marriage license was solemnized while the Department of Health has records of all marriages that occurred in the State after 1905.

Access to Marriage Records

  • Records are provided in the form of an informational or a certified copy. Please see eligibility requirements and ordering methods.
  • Counties are allowed to make available an index of marriage records to conduct genealogical research provided that you are a member of the South Dakota Genealogical Society. Please contact Anna Duncan at (605) 997-2786.
  • Because the State’s indexing system is more complex and requires technical assistance to successfully search for a record, the State performs all searches for the record for a fee of $15.
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