South Dakota Public Records – A Complete Guide

Are you struggling to find a copy of background screening or want to have a quick look at the criminal records of South Dakota but don’t know where to go? South Dakota Public Records are accessible via the residents. 

South Dakota Public Records
South Dakota Public Records

You can get them through online search from the agencies that keep criminal records, background screening, vital, judicial, and court records.

What is the law on Public Records in South Dakota?

In 2009, the Public Records Law of South Dakota was revised to incorporate several of the federal FIA’s (Freedom of Information Act) recommendations.

To get your hands on public records from South Dakota, you don’t necessarily have to be a citizen of the state.

Although the judicial system is exempted from the Open Records Law of South Dakota, you can request records from both legislation and judicial branches.

You have to pay the actual cost of copying records. But, if the records are released, there is a chance of getting off on the waiver.

In case of non-approval of the request, you have a timeline of 30-days to submit an appeal in the examiner’s office of hearing.

There is a chance of concealing the information in the documents if it poses any threat to the security of the public or invades privacy. 

For further assistance, you can visit

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How do I access Public Records in South Dakota?

Public Records in South Dakota are either in the public domain accessible online, but some require submitting an application request in written form to gain access.

You can request the documents via several ways, directly calling the holding department or posting and emailing them.

But, you should strictly adhere to the rules and regulations if you are trying to gain access via multiple resources as every department aren’t alike.

But generally, application for public record requires:

  • Name the applicant and their personal information (email, mailing address, and phone number).
  • Comprehensive details of the document you want to gain access to.
  • Time duration by which you would need the resource material.
  • Method of delivery either via post or email.

PS, since the outbreak of Covid-19, there are restrictions on the operational hours of the offices, so requesting online would work great.

Otherwise, it’s better to call before coming for in-person requests.

Criminal Records

Background screening plays a vital role in assisting businesses to filter out individuals who may potentially put their finances at risk. They can do so by gaining access to criminal records. 

What information can I get from Criminal Records?

Background checks in South Dakota provide the following data:

  • Their Names.
  • Birthdate.
  • Physical description.
  • Case number (if any).
  • Charges
  • Information on the sentencing.
  • Date of the release.
  • Present Status.
  • Status of Conviction.

Where can I find Criminal Records in South Dakota?

South Dakota has a system of criminal history showing a record of anyone arrested for a crime or any wrongdoing. This is one way you can do background checks for employment.

To have access to jail records, criminals, bails, convictions, etc., you will have to pay a fee of $26.57 along with the waiver. The system of background screening uses fingerprint recognition.

You can get a fingerprint for free by calling 605 773 3331. But, the card must include the following information, applicant’s name, gender, social security number, and birth date.

Individuals seeking to gain access must take the card to the local law enforcement agency for printing with a fee of $26.57. 

Besides, South Dakota doesn’t hold any information on whether in county jails or on probation.

Inmate Records

South Dakota, with the state penitentiary, has six primary prisons. These primary prisons have more than 3800 inmates.

What does the Inmate Record say?

The department of corrections inmate locator offers the following data that throws light on the inmate’s situation of imprisonment.

  • Names or any fake alias.
  • DOC no.
  • Age.
  • Gender.
  • Ethnicity.
  • Facility.
  • Physical Description.
  • Office of payroll
  • Current Status.

Where do I find Inmate Records?

The department of correction is responsible for maintaining the inmate records you can get online access.

You have to enter the first & last name along with the DOC # to find the prisoner’s information.

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Court Records

South Dakota court system is vast and has courts for almost everything including, Mental Health, Small Claim Courts, Circuit Courts, etc.

It is not trickier to find a record file once you know which court does belong to the file. 

Trials of felony, criminal and civil cases are all heard in Circuit Courts of South Dakota. A civil case worth more than $10 thousand also takes place here.

The Small Claim Court is set up so anyone can sue for both monetary and property losses. They are limited to $12,000 or less in value.

You can request for any record cases, including criminal and civil but unless they are shut.

Civil cases are available from 2003, and criminal ones are available from 1989 to date. Judgment of civil money is also found here from 19th April 2004 to date.

What does the Court Record show?

Documents of record are quite lengthy that again depending on the time duration of the case.

They usually include:

  • Minutes.
  • Docket.
  • Documents about cases.
  • Court’s order.
  • Document of the decision.
  • Documentation of witnesses.
  • Files and Record of the Jury.

Where do I find Court Records?

To look for court records in the database, you should visit the system using a credit card as a guest. You must pay a fee of $20 even if you don’t get any results.

One can find the Judgments of Civil Money by entering a name into the judicial system of South Dakota.

They are included from 19th April 2004 to date. Searches are usually done via names, also showing the range of dates.

To access the docket, you will have to pay a fee of $1 along with the search fee of $4. 

Public civil and criminal records are obtained via an email to the court’s records email of South Dakota and filling out the application. Each name will cost $20.

Vital Records

South Dakota has information on vital records since 1905. You can request vital records via mailing, email, or phone calls, including birth, death, marriage, and divorce.

What information is required to obtain a Vital Record?

To have access to a vital record, you must show an ID card with a photo. It can be done by providing car registration, utility bills, current bank statements, or social security numbers.

Where do I get the Vital Records?

VitalCheck is your go-to place to gain access to public records. You can get birth, death, divorce, and marriage certificates from the department of health. 

But you will have to pay a fee of $15 for the certificate along with a cost of $6.5 for VitalCheck. You can pay the fee using a card. 

You can request a copy of your vital records by filling out the application of VitalCheck and mailing it in.

It must have a notary along with a clear and legible copy of your photo ID. Send a $15.00 money order or check to the State Office in Pierre, South Dakota.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does South Dakota have an Open Records Act?

Public records are available and open to all. Anyone can have access to the same.

Are South Dakota criminal records public?

South Dakota State Records contain the information about criminal records, court records, and vital records; including over 8 million transparent public records. …

This allows South Dakota citizens to abide by the commitment of the United States of America to remain a fair and just society for all.

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