State announces process for obtaining records

State announces process for obtaining records Effective July 1, South Dakotans requesting copies of birth, death, marriage, and divorce records will need to fill out an application and provide proof of identification.

The 2005 Legislature made the change in response to growing national concerns about security and the use of vital records for fraudulent purposes.

Applications and instructions are available at the state vital records office in Pierre and at county register of deeds offices and records can be requested at either location. Individuals completing the application should be prepared to provide a state, tribal or federal issued photo ID.

Certified copies of records can be requested for legal purposes such as passport applications, social security applications, enrolling in school, or obtaining a drivers license. To obtain a certified copy of a record an individual must be:

? listed on the record;

? the spouse, child, parent or guardian of the individual on the record;

? the next of kin (grandparent or sibling of the individual on the record);

? an authorized agent such as attorney, physician, or funeral director acting on behalf of the family;

? designated by someone with the authority to get the record to act on their behalf;

? or have a personal or property right to the record not included in the above categories.

Informational copies of records are also available for those not needing legal documentation, for example, genealogists. Informational records contain the statement, �For informational purposes only. Not for legal proof of identification.�

The fee for either a certified or informational copy of a birth, death, marriage or divorce record is $10.

More information about obtaining vital records in South Dakota can be found on the Web at www. state.sd.us/doh/VitalRec.

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