South Dakota death records have been collected by the State since 1905, though the material can be incomplete until closer to 1932. Some county Register of Deeds offices may have their own archives that go farther back than that, but you have to contact them to find out. There is a complete list of Register offices on the state website (http://doh.sd.gov/vitalrecords/County/default.aspx), and you'll need to contact the one for the county where the death occurred if you are looking for pre-1905 material. More recent deaths can be accessed at any office, regardless of where the event took place.
Rather than contacting the county office, you can also submit a request to the main state Vital Records office in Pierre. Their address is: Vital Records, 207 E Missouri Ave, Suite 1A, Pierre SD, 57501 USA. They accept walk-in requests as well as mailed -in forms. You need to fill out the request form and submit along with the current fee for a South Dakota death record.
Whether or not you are eligible to make such a request will partly depend on what type of document you are seeking. There are actually 4 variations, some of which are available to anyone and some that are only given out to direct members of the deceased's family.
You can get a computer-generated transcript, either in certified or non-certified form. The certified copy will have the official seal and can be used as a piece of identification for most purposes. This can only be ordered by an immediate relative or a legal official. An alternative is an actual photocopy of the original death certificate, also as a certified copy. The same restrictions apply.
If you are not an immediate family member, then you will have to order the informational document that does not have the seal and is not considered an official piece of identification. These South Dakota death records are available to anyone, and come in either transcript or photocopy form as well.
The form for putting in a records request is online (http://doh.sd.gov/vitalrecords/Forms/DeathRecordApp.pdf) and needs to be filled in with information about the deceased, including their full name, date and place of death. You also have to provide your own information even if you are not requesting a certified copy. Your signature must be notarized or you have to include a photocopy of one piece of your own photo identification (such as a driver's license).
Once completed, either send the forms and fees to the Vital Records address listed above or drop it off at the public service counter. When using the counter, you can usually get while-you-wait service, though if you are getting a pre-1960 record you can only get same-day service if you are at the state office.
Currently, the cost to get a copy of a South Dakota death record is $15 USD regardless of which type of document you order. You can pay with either a check or money order, made out to "South Dakota Department of Health".
These are the steps that you will need to follow to order South Dakota death certificates by mail:
You will need to complete a South Dakota Death Certificate to accompany your request.
It is also mandatory to include a copy of a government-issued photo ID. State, federal, and tribal government IDs are all accepted.
Return the above information to the address listed below. You will also need to include a check or money order covering the $15 fee.
If you have more questions regarding the access of South Dakota death records, you can contact:
South Dakota Department of Health
207 E Missouri Ave, Ste 1A
Pierre, SD 57501
Placing an Order for South Dakota Death Records
If you need a copy of South Dakota death records, then you will need to contact the South Dakota Department of Health. Records are on hand from 1905 to the present day.
Options Available For Ordering
To place an order for South Dakota death records, there are a few different methods that are available. You can place an order in person at the Department of Health or at any Registrar of Deeds. You can also make a request by mail. Telephone and internet orders are also a possibility, though there are additional fees associated with those requests.
Limited Access To Records
Certified South Dakota death records are considered private information and are only accessible to certain individuals. To receive a certified copy, you must be the surviving spouse or immediate relative of the deceased or a legal representative. All others must be able to demonstrate a legal need for the record.