Requirements for the Couple
- Min. Age of Couple:
- Age 18 or Age 16 with Guardian Consent
- Not Required
- Min. Distance of Kin Allowed:
- Second Cousins
- Marriage Equality:
Only adults 18 years and older are legally capable of consenting to and consummating a marriage in South Dakota. Otherwise, a notarized statement produced from either a parent or legal guardian consenting to a union between minors between 16 and 18 must be submitted to the register of deeds in the state. That is the only exception.
Non-state residents and foreigners are welcome to wed in South Dakota, as are same-sex couples. The only marriages considered illegal in the state – regardless of whether the relationships are legitimate or not – are incestuous unions between parents and children, ancestors and descendants and both siblings and cousins of the half and whole blood, even in cases where those relationships are forged through adoption.
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.
Marriage License Requirements
- Min. Age of Witnesses:
- Couple's Consent Required:
- Pronouncement Required:
Couples in South Dakota must fill out and sign an application form for a marriage license, in person, at the county register of deeds of their choosing, producing either photo ID or a birth certificate in order to prove their ages and identities.
Using a power of attorney to obtain said marriage license is against the law.
A marriage license will run a couple $40; $10 of which will be retained in the county’s general fund, the remainder of which will be deposited into the county’s domestic abuse program fund. It is actually South Dakota’s Department of Health that ultimately furnishes both the marriage license and the record of marriage form.
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.
Marriage License Facts
- ULC-Officiated Ceremony Type:
- Mandatory Waiting Period:
- 24 Hours
- License Valid For:
- 20 Days
- License Must Be Submitted:
- Within 10 Days of Ceremony
Once the marriage license has been issued, the couple has 20 days to perform the ceremony, having made sure to wait the mandated 24 hours required by the state.
The minister charged with solemnizing the marriage will have ten days to ensure the marriage certificate is properly filled out and returned, along with the original license, to the same county register of deeds where both were issued.
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.
Requirements for the Minister
- Min. Age of Minister:
- Age 18
- Not Required
- Document(s) Required:
- Varies by County
- Online Ordination Recognized:
- Relevant Office of Registration:
- County Register
- Latest Document(s) Submission Date Allowed:
- After Ceremony
- Minister I.D. # Issued:
In South Dakota, marriages may be performed by judges, justices, magistrates and mayors, as well as any person authorized by a church to solemnize marriages, including any minister ordained online by the Universal Life Church Ministries, provided they are at least 18 years old. A minister’s state or country of residence, gender and belief system should never affect their standing in the eyes of the law.
That being said, the ULC does advise its ministers to carry proper documentation throughout the registration and marriage process, in order to avoid any red tape. Legal proof of ordination can be found in the Classic Wedding Package, which we recommend all South Dakota ministers order, as it is likely the county clerk's office will want to see your ministerial documents.
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.
Wedding Ceremony Requirements
- Marriage By Proxy Allowed:
- Minister Required to be Present:
The state of South Dakota requires that any legal and sanctioned wedding ceremony carried out on its soil be held in-person with both members of the couple present, as well as the authorized minister and two witnesses of any age.
Before the ceremony begins, the minister must verify the names and addresses of the couple, as well as those of the witnesses. Also, at some point in the ceremony, each party in the couple must consent to marrying the other (the famous 'I Do' moment), and the minister must then pronounce the couple married.
Aside from those two specific requirements, couples are free to determine the ebb and flow of their ceremony in the manner of their choosing.
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.
- Officiant's Title on Marriage License:
- Church/Ordaining Body:
- Universal Life Church Ministries
- Address of Church:
- Minister's Home Address
Once the ceremony is over, ministers will be tasked with filling out the remainder of the marriage certificate, identifying their title and the relevant church they represent (the Universal Life Church Ministries), all while making sure to include their own home address in those cases where the state asks for an address of ministry.
Finally, both the original license and the completed marriage certificate must be returned to the county register of deeds within the mandated 10-day period.