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South Dakota Public Records

South Dakota Public Records

South Dakota Public Records - The Worst Public Records Transparency in the Country

All states are required to maintain and provide public records. The idea is that government transparency is better for the people of the state. In order to judge the ability of states to achieve that goal, an association known as the "Better Government Association" ranks each state according to how well it has conformed to that idea.

Of all 50 states, South Dakota public records have received the worst possible score. What's more, South Dakota public records have received the worst possible score each year the association has completed its analysis.

  • 2002: BGA gave South Dakota an F, and gave it 50/50 for worst possible grade.
  • 2007: BGA gave South Dakota 0 out of 100 points, for a grade of an F, and the worst score in the US.
  • 2008: BGA rated South Dakota 32.40% on the integrity index, giving it the worst score in the US
  • How Does This Affect You?

    Although South Dakota public records may not yet conform to BGA standards, most individuals looking for information in public records will not be affected. The government still collects the data and makes it public. Unless you are looking for something specific that is not commonly requested, you should still be able to receive most of the data you are looking for, if not all of it, within South Dakota public records.

    South Dakota Birth Records

    South Dakota birth records can be ordered through the mail or through their Internet site. They no longer offer a walk in service. South Dakota birth records are on file from 1905 to present and are available to only those who are listed on the record, or an immediate family member of the listed person. Some County’s have listings prior to 1905 and can be searched through their online database. Additionally, South Dakota offers informational birth records for genealogy purposes for those that seek them.The best way to request a South Dakota birth record is through the mail, and they ask that you be patient and give them a couple weeks to process your request.

    South Dakota Death Records

    The South Dakota Department of Health is home to their vital records. These records include marriage, birth and death records. Death records in South Dakota can be obtained at one of their offices of Register of Deeds. A signed application will be required. A death certificate can also be obtained requests by phone, online, or by standard mail. The application will still be required, and phone requests will require a higher fee. If you are attempting to get a death record predating 1960 you will only be able to find it at the county in which it happened.

    South Dakota requires that you be an eligible party to request a record. Eligibility is determined by the relationship to the situation. For instance, if you are the current spouse or the child of the deceased you will be able to obtain certified copies, also a parent or guardian has a right to request a certified copy of the death records. Next of kin may be determined as either a grandparent, or siblings. Other people who are eligible to request certified copies of death are legal representation, doctors or funeral directors, as long as they are abiding the family’s wishes. Any of the above may request another individual to go in and acquire the death certificate for them, however they must complete the designated agents portion of the application.

    South Dakota views vital records as a form of public information, though you must meet the requirements listed above to obtain a certified copy, anyone willing to fill out an application and pay the appropriate fee is entitled to request an informational copy. Those copies will contain a mark to define them as informational only insuring that they cannot be used for improper purposes. The information copy will not contain a embossed seal nor a signature.