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Who can Solemnize Marriage in South Dakota

The law(s) below are the relevant statutes relating to who can solemnize marriage and officiant registration in South Dakota (where applicable).

§ 25-1-30Persons 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.

SDC 1939, § 14.0110; SL 1959, ch 50, § 2; SL 1976, ch 30, § 2; SL 2003, ch 143, § 1.

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List of All 26 South Dakota Marriage Laws

Below you can read through our curated list of all South Dakota laws related to marriage, weddings, officiants, and marriage licenses. If it is in any way marriage related, you will find it here.

§ 25-1-35Certificate 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.

SDC 1939, §§ 14.0117, 14.9904; SL 1978, ch 187, § 6; SL 1980, ch 186; SL 1988, ch 202, § 7; SL 1993, ch 191, § 6.

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§ 25-1-37Record Maintained By Department Of Health Entry As Evidence Of Marriage Local Registrar To File Records With Department.

The Department of Health shall maintain marriage licenses issued and records of marriages solemnized in South Dakota. A duly certified copy of the recorded marriage license shall be received as competent evidence of the marriage. The local registrar shall file monthly, or more frequently if required by the department, a record of all marriages occurring in the local registrar's county with the Department of Health by electronic means, if available. If electronic means are not available, the registrar shall file such record of all marriages on a form prescribed by the department.

SDC 1939, § 14.0122; SL 1974, ch 55, § 29; SL 1988, ch 202, § 9; SL 1993, ch 191, § 7; SL 2001, ch 129, § 1.

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§ 25-1-30Persons 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.

SDC 1939, § 14.0110; SL 1959, ch 50, § 2; SL 1976, ch 30, § 2; SL 2003, ch 143, § 1.

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§ 25-1-10.1Application For Marriage License Proof Of Age Required.

25-1-10.1. Application for marriage license -- Proof of age and identification 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 valid personal identification and provide proof of age prior to issuance of the marriage license. Proof of age and personal identification shall be satisfied by providing a valid: (1) Passport; (2) Federal, state, military, or tribal photo identification; (3) Certified birth certificate, along with a current school or employment photo ID; or (4) Certified birth certificate, along with a U.S. Department of the Treasury Form 4029 that is completed. On the marriage license application, each applicant shall provide the surname the applicant shall be known by after the solemnization of the marriage. This choice shall be indicated on the certificate of marriage and serve as a legal means for a name change. A first name may not be changed under this section. A middle name may only be changed if an applicant is changing the applicant's surname to become a middle name. A surname may only be changed to adopt the spouse's surname or the applicants' hyphenated surnames. No person may use a power of attorney to obtain a marriage license.

SL 1993, ch 191, § 1; SL 2021, ch 115, § 1.; 2022 HB 1268

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§ 25-1-1Marriage Defined Consent And Solemnization Required.

Marriage is a personal relation, between a man and a woman, arising out of a civil contract to which the consent of parties capable of making it is necessary. Consent alone does not constitute a marriage; it must be followed by a solemnization.

SDC 1939, § 14.0101; SL 1959, ch 50, § 1; SL 1996, ch 161.

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§ 25-1-2Present Consent To Marriage Required.

The consent to a marriage must be to one commencing instantly, and not an agreement to marry afterwards.

SDC 1939, § 14.0104.

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§ 25-1-5Manifestation And Proof Of Consent And Consummation Of Marriage.

Consent to and subsequent consummation of marriage may be manifested in any form and may be proved under the same general rules of evidence as facts in other cases.

SDC 1939, § 14.0105.

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§ 25-1-6Incestuous 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.

SDC 1939, § 14.0106 (1); SL 1994, ch 165, § 1.

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§ 25-1-7Marriage With Stepchild Void.

Every marriage of a stepfather with a stepdaughter or a stepmother with a stepson is null and void from the beginning.

SDC 1939, § 14.0106 (2).

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§ 25-1-8Bigamous Marriage Void Former Spouse Absent Or Believed Dead.

A subsequent marriage contracted by any person during the life of a former husband or wife of such person with any person other than such former husband or wife, is null and void from the beginning, unless the former marriage has been annulled or dissolved, or unless such former husband or wife was absent and not known to such person to be living for the space of five successive years immediately preceding such subsequent marriage, or was generally reputed and was believed by such person to be dead at the time such subsequent marriage was contracted, in either of which cases the subsequent marriage is valid until its nullity is adjudged by a competent tribunal.

SDC 1939, § 14.0106 (3)

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§ 25-1-9Age 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.

SDC 1939, § 14.0109; SL 1961, ch 52; SL 1975, ch 178, § 1; SL 1993, ch 191, § 2.

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§ 25-1-10License 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.

SDC 1939, §§ 12.1406, 14.0111; SL 1957, ch 39; SDCL, § 16-10-8 (37), (38); SL 1968, ch 15; SL 1974, ch 55, § 25; SL 1978, ch 187, § 1; SL 1983, ch 202; SL 1983, ch 204, § 4; SL 1988, ch 202, § 1; SL 1993, ch 192, § 1; SL 1996, ch 162; SL 2003, ch 142, § 1.

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§ 25-1-36Return Of Marriage Performed Without Person Authorized To Perform Failure As Petty Offense.

Persons married in accordance with the creed or custom of any sect or denomination to which they belong which dispenses with the services of any minister or other person authorized to perform marriages by § 25-1-30 are themselves required to make return of such marriage within thirty days thereafter to the county register of deeds. It is a petty offense for a husband and wife to fail to make the return of a certificate of a marriage made under this section.

SDC 1939, §§ 14.0119, 14.9905; SL 1984, ch 12, § 27; SL 1988, ch 202, § 8.

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§ 25-1-11Issuance Of License To Unqualified Persons Prohibited.

Such license must not in any case be granted where either party is under the age necessary to render the marriage absolutely valid nor where the condition of either party is such as to disqualify him from making any other civil contract nor in any case where the marriage would be void under the provisions of §§ 25-1-6 to 25-1-8, inclusive.

SDC 1939, § 14.0112.

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§ 25-1-13Consent Of Parent Or Guardian Required For Marriage Of Minor Memorandum In Record Book.

If either party is a minor, no marriage license shall be granted unless the written consent of the parent or guardian, duly acknowledged by the parent or guardian, or proved to be genuine, is filed in the office of the county register of deeds prior to issuing the license, and a memorandum of the facts shall be entered in the marriage record book with the other records of the marriage license.

SDC 1939, § 14.0113; SL 1988, ch 202, § 3.

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§ 25-1-15Unlawful Issuance Of License As Misdemeanor.

Any register of deeds who grants a marriage license contrary to the provisions of this title is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

SDC 1939, § 14.9902; SL 1974, ch 55, § 26; SL 1988, ch 202, § 5.

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§ 25-1-24Time Allowed After License For Solemnization Of Marriage.

Any marriage license issued under the provisions of this chapter shall become void unless the marriage is solemnized within ninety days following issuance.

SDC 1939, § 14.0123 (7) as enacted by SL 1939, ch 36; SL 2020, ch 104, § 1.

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§ 25-1-28.1Distribution Of Hiv Educational Material Before License Issued.

At the time the application for a marriage license is filed, the register of deeds shall distribute to each applicant educational materials prepared and provided at no cost to the counties by the Department of Health on topics related to sexually transmitted disease, HIV transmission, and prenatal care. The information shall include a list of locations where counseling and testing services are available.

SL 1993, ch 193.

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§ 25-1-29Solemnization And Recording Of Marriages Required Common Law Marriages Prior To 1959 Not Invalidated.

Marriage must be solemnized, authenticated, and recorded as provided in this chapter provided, however, that noncompliance with its provisions does not invalidate any lawful marriage consented to and subsequently consummated prior to July 1, 1959.

SDC 1939, § 14.0110; SL 1959, ch 50, § 2.

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§ 25-1-31Solemnization Of Marriage Without License As Misdemeanor.

If any marriage is solemnized without the license required by this title being procured, the parties so married and all persons aiding in such marriage are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

SDC 1939, § 14.9903.

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§ 25-1-32Identity 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.

SDC 1939, § 14.0116; SL 1993, ch 191, § 5.

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§ 25-1-33Solemnization Of Marriage Between Unauthorized Persons As Misdemeanor.

A person who solemnizes any marriage where either of the parties is known to him to be under the age of legal consent and without the consent of his or her parents or guardian or persons having charge of him or her, or where either of the parties is known to him to be of unsound mind, or any marriage to which, within his knowledge, any legal impediment exists, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

SDC 1939, § 14.9906; SL 1984, ch 12, § 26.

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§ 25-1-38Validity Of Marriages Contracted Outside State Same Sex Marriages Excluded.

Any marriage contracted outside the jurisdiction of this state, except a marriage contracted between two persons of the same gender, which is valid by the laws of the jurisdiction in which such marriage was contracted, is valid in this state.

SDC 1939, § 14.0103; SL 2000, ch 115, § 1.

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§ 25-1-39Marriage Voidable If Party Physically Incapable Or Consent Obtained By Fraud Or Force.

If either party to a marriage be incapable from physical causes of entering into the marriage state or if the consent of either be obtained by fraud or force, the marriage is voidable.

SDC 1939, § 14.0107.

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§ 25-1-40Marital Rights Not Restored By Pardon From Life Sentence.

No pardon granted to any person sentenced to imprisonment for life in this state restores such person to the rights of any previous marriage or to the guardianship of any issue of such marriage.

SDC 1939, § 14.0108.

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§ 25-1-10.2Application For Marriage License Required Statement.

The application for a marriage license shall contain 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." The application shall contain a separate line for the signatures of the applicants verifying that the applicants have read and understand the statement.

SL 1998, ch 155, § 1.

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