Starting today (July 1, 2005), people wanting copies of many South Dakota public records will have to show IDs before they can get them. The 2005 state Legislature passed a law requiring identification be shown in light of growing national concerns about security and the use of vital records for fraudulent purposes, according to a press release for the state's Department of Health.
People who want copies of birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates will need to not only show a driver's license or other type of photo ID, but also fill out an application.
Birth, death and marriage certificates are available at local register of deeds' offices. Divorce records are available at local clerk of courts' offices.
Two different types of the records are available: certified and information copies. Certified copies are used for legal purposes such as passport and Social Security applications, enrolling in school or obtaining a driver's license. To obtain one, an individual must be:
- Listed on the record,
- The spouse, child or guardian of the person on the record,
- Next of kin (grandparent or sibling) or the individual on the record,
- An authorized agenda such as an attorney, physician or funeral director acting on behalf of the family,
- Designated by someone with the authority to get the record on that person's behalf, or
- Have a personal or property right to the record not included in the above categories.
Information copies are available to the public. These are not legal documents but are popular with people interested in genealogy. These information copies contain the statement: "For informational purposes only. Not for legal proof of identification."
Either certified or informational copies of the documents cost $10 each.