South Dakota Wedding Laws
Drafted and last reviewed for accuracy by the South Dakota marriage law team at the Universal Life Church Ministries on
South Dakota is a picturesque state that is home to such local treasures as Mt. Rushmore, the Black Hills and the Badlands. Whether you’re taking advantage of these scenic views as a backdrop for your wedding or simply call the state home, it is important to know the laws and regulations surrounding marriage. The Universal Life Church Ministries has compiled all of the information on marriage laws in South Dakota that you may require. Learn how to produce a union that is legally binding with these tips.
How to Become a Wedding Officiant in South Dakota
The state of South Dakota allows marriages to be conducted by a range of individuals. Marriages can be solemnized by local officiants like judges or magistrates. Additionally, any members of the clergy can tackle this task. This means that ministers of the Universal Life Church are qualified for the job of helping couples tie the knot. Naturally, it may be asked of the officiant to produce official documentation proving his or her status within the ULC.
To make your life much less complicated, the ULC offers a Classic Wedding Package to cover all of your bases. All proper documentation is included within this package, giving you all of the papers and certificates you may need to showcase to local officials.
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S.D. Codified Laws § 25-1-30. Persons authorized to solemnize marriages.
Marriage may be solemnized by a justice of the Supreme Court, a judge of the circuit court, a magistrate, a mayor, either within or without the corporate limits of the municipality from which the mayor was elected, or any person authorized by a church to solemnize marriages.
Getting Married in South Dakota
There are a few minor regulations that dictate what a couple can and cannot do while conducting a ceremony. For one, South Dakota law states that any sanctioned ceremony be carried out with the authorized officiant and both members of the couple present together physically in the same location. Additionally, the officiant must verify the names of all participants, including the witnesses. There must be a public declaration of consent within the ceremony, as well.
While these restrictions are specific, they are in place to make sure all parties are in agreement to the arrangement. Outside of these small factors, the couple can conduct a ceremony in a way befitting of their relationship and faith.
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S.D. Codified Laws § 25-1-32. Identity and ages of parties to be established before solemnization of marriage.
Before performing the marriage ceremony, the person solemnizing a marriage shall ascertain by personal knowledge or by requesting a photographic identification:
(1) The identity of the parties;
(2) Their real and full names and places of residence; and
(3) The names and places of residence of the two witnesses.
How to Get a South Dakota Marriage License
As with the regulations in many states, couples interesting in tying the knot in South Dakota must fill out the application for a marriage license. South Dakota regulations require that both members of the couple be present in front of the county registrar and produce valid identification to prove the information listed on the application. The license application typically costs about $40, with a special law in the state funneling a portion of the fee into a fund for victims of domestic abuse. It is not legal to use a power of attorney to obtain a license in South Dakota.
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S.D. Codified Laws § 25-1-10. License required for marriage--Fee--Disposition of fees--Form--Certified copies--Fee.
Previous to any marriage within this state, a license shall be obtained from the county register of deeds of any county, the fee for which is forty dollars. Ten dollars of the marriage license fee shall be retained by the county in which the fee is collected and placed in the county general fund. Thirty dollars of the marriage license fee shall be deposited in the county domestic abuse program fund. The license and record of marriage form shall be prescribed and furnished by the Department of Health. Certified copies of the marriage record shall be furnished by the county register of deeds for a fee established pursuant to § 34-25-52 and such fee shall be retained by the county in which the fee is collected and placed in the county general fund.
S.D. Codified Laws § 25-1-10.1. Application for marriage license--Proof of age required.
To obtain a marriage license, each applicant shall sign the application in person in the presence of the register of deeds or in the presence of a person duly appointed by the register to act in the register's behalf. Each applicant shall provide proof of age prior to issuance of the marriage license. Proof of age may be satisfied by providing a certified copy of a birth certificate or any photographic identification which includes the applicant's name and date of birth. No person may use a power of attorney to obtain a marriage license.
Applying For a Marriage License in South Dakota
Couples must adhere to a waiting period of 24 hours after being given a marriage license. After the period has passed and a license is issued, the state of South Dakota requires that couples marry within 20 days. The officiant is given an additional ten days to turn the paperwork and completed license into the registrar’s office where the license was acquired. Failing to adhere to these timelines can invalidate a union and cause further legal complications down the line, so it is important that officiants and couples alike understand the process.
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S.D. Codified Laws § 25-1-24. Time allowed after license for solemnization of marriage.
Marriage licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter shall become void and of no effect unless the marriage be solemnized within twenty days following the issuance thereof.
S.D. Codified Laws § 25-1-35. Certificate delivered to parties--Return to register of deeds.
After performing the ceremony, the person solemnizing the marriage shall deliver the marriage certificate to the persons married and return, within ten days, the license and record of marriage to the county register of deeds.
South Dakota Marriage Requirements
In South Dakota, only adults who are at least 18 years of age are allowed to marry. There is an exception for those between the ages of 16 and 18 if they can produce and deliver a notarized statement of consent from a parent or guardian. Same-sex marriage is legal in the state, as has been mandated by federal law. Additionally, all forms of familial unions are illegal. This is true even in the case where a member of the family shares no blood connection with his or her kin.
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S.D. Codified Laws § 25-1-6. Incestuous marriages void.
Marriages between parents and children, ancestors and descendants of every degree, and between brothers and sisters of the half as well as the whole blood, and between uncles and nieces, or aunts and nephews, and between cousins of the half as well as of the whole blood, are null and void from the beginning, whether the relationship is legitimate or illegitimate. The relationships provided for in this section include such relationships that arise through adoption.
S.D. Codified Laws § 25-1-9. Age of consent to marriage with and without parental consent.
Any unmarried applicant for a marriage license who is eighteen years old or older, and who is not otherwise disqualified, is capable of consenting to and consummating a marriage. If either applicant for a marriage license is between the age of sixteen and eighteen, that applicant shall submit to the register of deeds a notarized statement of consent to marry from one parent or legal guardian of the applicant.
Finalizing the Union
After the wedding has ended, responsibilities shift to the officiant. The minister must fill out the rest of the certificate. Information required includes the personal data on the officiant, including the name of the church represented. Once the officiant has completed this, the paperwork must be completed and turned into the county clerk within ten days of the ceremony.
Though there are a few regulations of which to stay mindful, tying the knot in South Dakota is a straightforward experience for the most part. Provide yourself with ample time to procure and fill out the required paperwork. Getting started early can help the couple and officiant stay prepared for whatever is asked of them by local officials during the application process.