South Dakota Background Checks and Public Records

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State of South Dakota

South Dakota, also known as the Mount Rushmore State, is located in the Midwest part of the United States. It may be the 17th largest state in terms of area, but it’s the 5th least populated state. It shares borders with North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota.

South Dakota’s economy initially relied solely on agriculture. Eventually, other huge industries sprouted within the state including tourism, manufacturing, banking, and other financial services.

South Dakota may be sparsely populated, but the population amount is constantly changing. Hence, be sure to check out neighboring states when conducting record searches.

Counties in South Dakota

AuroraCorsonHamlinLincolnRoberts
BeadleCusterHandLymanSanborn
BennettDavisonHansonMarshallShannon
Bon HommeDayHardingMcCookSpink
BrookingsDeuelHughesMcPhersonStanley
BrownDeweyHutchinsonMeadeSully
BruleDouglasHydeMelletteTodd
BuffaloEdmundsJacksonMoodyTripp
ButteFall RiverJerauldMinnehahaTurner
CampbellFaulkJonesMoodyUnion
Charles MixGrantKingsburyPenningtonWalworth
ClarkGregoryLakePerkinsYankton
ClayHaakonLawrencePotterZiebach
Codington

Where To Get Public Records In South Dakota

Like in most states, South Dakota doesn’t maintain a central repository of its records. Though the Office of Hearing Examiners manages administrative appeals for public records decisions, the state doesn’t have a single records custodian. So, be sure to check out which agency to reach out to depending on the information you need.

For vital records, coordinate with the South Dakota Division of Administration. They keep records of life’s significant milestones like birth, marriage, divorce, and death.

The Division of Criminal Investigation Identification Department handles criminal history records. They keep records of all interactions with any law enforcement agency. Criminal reports include a person’s arrest and conviction details.   

For inmate records, the South Dakota Department of Corrections manages these. They handle information of each inmate housed within the state’s six main prisons. Reports entail personal information, physical description, DOC number, status, parole office, and more.

Should you need court records, navigate through the Public Action Records Search (PARS), an online-based database maintained by the Unified Judicial System. It stores various court-related data, including dockets, witness documentation, case files, court orders, jury files, and more.

In South Dakota, property records are also available to the general public. You can search through the BLM Database to access land records. If you need property tax records, coordinate with the South Dakota Property Tax Division. For deed records, these are kept at a county level so you would need to reach out to the Register of Deeds of the county where the property is situated.

Accessing and Acquiring Public Records in South Dakota

When the South Dakota Open Meetings Law and the South Dakota Sunshine Law are taken together, these state laws determine how the general public can access government meetings and records in South Dakota. As per these laws, one doesn’t need to be a resident or citizen of South Dakota to acquire such records. 

Though the judicial system is not covered by the Open Records Law, you still can access documents from executive and legislative branches. Note, however, that these laws do not grant you access to ALL records as there are certain exceptions. Government agencies are allowed to redact information or completely restrict access should the inclusive data fall under the invasion of privacy or threat to public safety. 

For the fees, you are only charged for the actual copying or reproduction costs. There are even instances when such fees can be waived. Depending on the department, you may request online, over the phone, in-person, via mail, or through email. Should the request get denied, you’re free to file an appeal to the Office of the Hearing Examiner within 30 days.

You may also opt to utilize a reliable and trusted people search engine for faster and smoother access to such records.

South Dakota Background Check Reports

South Dakota criminal and standard background checks may be requested for various reasons like license issuance, property leasing, child adoption, and the like. Most criminal background checks, however, are requested by employers. This is because the state mandates checks for a variety of jobs including school employees, daycare workers, and direct-care positions for the elderly or disabled.

The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation Identification Department handles state or national fingerprint-based records checks. To initiate the process, you only need to fill out the authorization form along with a copy of the subject’s fingerprint kits or fingerprint cards, and a check or money order for $26.75. For a more thorough and in-depth checking, reach out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). For a hassle-free experience, utilize a third-party site offering background checking services.

Though South Dakota does not implement a ban-the-box, the state adheres to federal laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). These laws are meant to promote accuracy, ensure privacy, and prevent discrimination.

South Dakota Official Websites

Frequently Asked Questions About South Dakota Background Checks

How far back does a background check go in South Dakota?

South Dakota criminal and standard background checks can go back 7 years, following the standard timeline set by most federal laws like the FCRA.

What disqualifies you in a background check?

You can be disqualified for a background check due to a variety of reasons, including a failed drug test, discrepancies in education and employment history, false or inaccurate declared data, poor credit history, and damaged driving record.

Which states follow the 7-year rule background checks?

Aside from South Dakota, several other states follow the seven-year limit, including California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New York, Texas, Washington.

What shows up on a state background check?

In most cases and states, a background check report includes personal information like name, aliases, contact details, home addresses, physical body description, and known relatives. It can also show one’s complete criminal history including felony and misdemeanor convictions, arrests, incarcerations, and pending criminal cases.