State South Dakota Getting Married Inback to States


South Dakota recognizes only straight unions.

Current Legislation:

The current legislation in place is a constitutional ban against same-sex marriages.


Do I have to reside in South Dakota to get married there?

You do not have to be a resident of South Dakota to get married there.

How can I apply for a marriage license?

Gay and Lesbian Couples: Currently, the state government does not recognize same-sex marriages, so unfortunately licenses are not available to lesbian and gay couples.

Straight Couples: Both parties must appear at the county register of deeds anywhere in the state.

What are the fees?

The cost for a marriage license is $40.

Is there a waiting period?

There is no waiting period but the license will expire 20 days after it is issued.

What documentation do I need?

Both parties must present proof of age with a driver’s license or a certified copy of a birth certificate. Per South Dakota law, the marriage license must have the following statement:

“The laws of this state affirm your right to enter into this marriage and at the same time to live within the marriage free from violence and abuse. Neither of you is the property of the other. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, battery, and assault of a spouse or other family member, as well as other provisions of the criminal laws of this state, are applicable to spouses and other family members and violations thereof are punishable by law.”

Is a blood test required?


Who can marry us and are witnesses required?

Supreme Court justices, circuit court judges, magistrates, mayors or any church officials may officiate. Two witnesses are required. The marriage license must be returned to the registrar of deeds by the officiant within 10 days of the ceremony.

How can I change my name?

With a marriage license: Obtain several certified copies from the county clerk’s office where your license was filed, as you will need these throughout the name changing process. Fill out an application for a new Social Security card (which can be found here) and go to your local Social Security Administration office (be sure to get there before it opens) with a certified copy of your marriage license, photo proof of identity such as a driver’s license and original proof of citizenship, such as a passport or birth certificate. Be sure to change it with the DMV, your employer, your bank, etc.

Any adult South Dakota resident can formally change their name without a marriage license, but it must be done in your county of residence. To do so, you must file a notarized Verified Petition for an Adult Name Change form (available here) with the clerk of court’s office in the county where you have resided for more than six months. You must also submit a completed Civil Case Filing Statement form (UJS-233, available here) to the clerk of court’s office. The case name should appear “In the Matter of” caption. For example, if John Smith is requesting to change his legal name to John Johnson it would read “John Smith’s Petition for Adult Name Change to John Johnson.” The court clerk will then schedule a hearing date.

You must then publish a Notice of Hearing (available here) each week for four successive weeks in any legal newspaper of your county of residence. After successful publication you must receive an Affidavit of Publication from the newspaper. Attend your court hearing date with copies of all of your forms and the judge will review your application. If s/he approves, you will be given a Name Change Decree which you will use as proof when submitting name changes to the DMV, employer, the Social Security Administration, etc.

**Disclaimer: Requirements and protocols are subject change. Please regard the above information as a guide only, not professional legal advice. It is important to confirm the information with your specific county and state of residence before the wedding.