South Dakota | National Center for Transgender Equality

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South Dakota

Welcome to our one-stop hub for name and gender change information. Find out how to update your name and gender on state and federal IDs and records. 

COVID-19 disruptions: Due to the current COVID-19 public health crisis, many courts and government offices are temporarily closed or operating for emergency business only; contact the office nearest you for details. You may unfortunately experience delays in getting a response from state or federal government agencies or in the processing of your name or gender marker change requests as a result. For your safety and the safety of others you should not travel to any government office at this time. You should keep dated copies of any materials you submit by mail or electronically. We understand this is a hardship for many, and we encourage you to reach out for support if you are distressed.

Not sure where to start? Here's a quick overview.

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Last updated May 2020

Name Change, Driver's License & Birth Certificate Policies in:

Federal IDs and Records:

South Dakota Name Change Laws

To obtain a legal name change in South Dakota, an applicant must submit a petition to the court. The applicant must publish notice of the hearing and petition details in a legal newspaper once a week for four weeks. (S.D. Codified Laws §§ 21-37-1 to 21-37-10)

For instructions on legal name changes for minors under 18 in South Dakota, see NCTE's Name Changes for Minors in South Dakota resource.

South Dakota Drivers License Policy & Procedures

In order to update name and/or gender on a South Dakota ID, the applicant must submit in person (1) a document demonstrating the name change, such as a birth certificate, passport, or court order (if applicable) and/or (2a) a court order certifying the gender change or (2b) a signed affidavit from a licensed physician certifying that the applicant’s gender has been medically altered. The South Dakota Department of Public Safety addresses name change here.

South Dakota Birth Certificate Laws

South Dakota does not have a specific gender correction provision, but the general statute governing amendments to birth certificates is S.D. Admin. R. 44:09:05:02.

To apply for an amended birth certificate the applicant should submit:

  • An Application for Birth Record
  • A copy of applicant's photo ID
  • A certified copy of a court order changing the legal name and/or gender of the applicant. The court order should specify that a new birth certificate should be issued.
  • Payment of the applicable fees to the Department of Health

Applications should be sent to:

Vital Records
207 E Missouri Ave, Ste 1A
Pierre, SD 57501

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