Register of Deeds

Elected Official:  Laurie A. Schwans

Mailing Address:
McCook County Register of Deeds
130 West Essex Ave, PO Box 338
Salem SD  57058-0338

Phone:  605-425-2701


Vital Records Application(s):

Office Hours:
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Monday - Friday (excluding Holidays)

Payment Methods:

The Register of Deeds' Office provides many services to the county and is the primary county record-keeping and archival office concerning vital statistics (marriage, birth and death records), land records (such as plats, deeds, mortgages, satisfactions, assignments, etc.), military discharge records, hospital liens, mechanics liens, county, state and federal tax liens, powers of attorney, fictitious name filings, UCC filings, etc.

The office is also responsible for the issuance of marriage licenses, as well as certified copies of birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage licenses.

Many of the records held at the McCook County Register of Deeds' Office date back to the early 1870's and provide a wealth of information for those persons wanting to research or trace area history.

Vital Records

The Register of Deeds’ Vital Records Department maintains birth, death, marriage, and burial record information. The Office works directly with the South Dakota Department of Health and Vital Records. Birth, death, and marriage records are also on file with the SD Dept. of Health.


South Dakota Birth records officially date back to approximately 1905. Effective July 1, 2005, in order to obtain a copy of a birth record, a person must complete the necessary application form and provide proof of identity. If an authorized representative is designated for the registrant, the authorization section of the application must also be completed and submitted along with a $15.00 fee for each copy requested. The $15.00 fee is required, by law, regardless of whether the record is found. The $15.00 fee may be waived if an applicant qualifies under certain circumstances.

Birth records that are over 100 years old may be found on the following web site:


South Dakota Death records for deaths that have occurred after January 1, 1960, anywhere in the State of South Dakota, are now available through any Register of Deeds Office in the state. A certified death certificate can be issued from the Register of Deeds Office upon receipt of the required $15.00 fee. If the death occurred prior to January 1, 1960, a certified copy must be obtained from the county in which the death occurred.

In order to obtain a certified copy of a death certificate, an application form must be completed and proof of identity provided. The decedent’ s name must be provided, along with their date of death and other relevant information requested on the application. If we find the record, you are issued a copy of the death certificate and, if we do not find the record, you will receive a no-record letter from the State Department of Health.


Burial Permits are records concerning a person buried. This record is only issued by the local Register of Deeds and the permit is filed in the county in which the deceased is buried. The burial permit may give the date of death, the person's name, and location of burial. Some records will provide more information depending on the year. These records can be copied for you in an uncertified format with a cost of $1.00 per document. There are no restrictions for searching these records. If we do not find a record, we do not have to charge you a fee. (The burial permit records date back to the 1920s.)


South Dakota Marriage records in McCook County date back to 1872, before statehood, when we were known as Dakota Territory. Some of the marriage records include marriages performed outside of McCook County. Marriage records from 1970 to the present can now be issued from any Register of Deeds Office in the State. At the present time anyone married prior to 1970 should contact the county in which they were married or the State Department of Health. (See state website The cost of a certified copy of the marriage certificate is $15.00. If you wish to purchase a certified copy of the marriage license, please complete the necessary application form and provide proof of identity. If we find the record, you are issued a certified copy of the marriage certificate, however, if we do not find the record in our county, the Department of Health will issue, a "no record letter.” If you do not know where a marriage license is filed, but you know the marriage occurred prior to 1970, please contact the State Department of Health, for assistance.

Marriage License Requirements

The requirements for obtaining a marriage license are as follows:

1. The bride and groom must be 18 years of age or older.

2. Both the bride and groom need to come into the office together to sign their marriage license application in our presence, at which time both of their signatures will be captured electronically.

3. Identification is required in order to apply for a marriage license. A valid driver's license, or other acceptable form of photo identification which also states a birth date, will be required. If a marriage license applicant is from a foreign country and does not have a valid driver's license, they will be required to provide their passport as an acceptable form of identification.

4. The applicants' Social Security numbers are also required; however, the Social Security card does not need to be provided.

5. The marriage license must be used within 90 days of purchase, or it will expire.

6. After the marriage is performed, the license must be returned to a South Dakota Register of Deeds office within 10 days or there will be no legal record of the marriage.

7. If a marriage license is purchased in the State of South Dakota, it must be used within the Sate of South Dakota and cannot be used in any other state. However, the marriage license may be purchased in any county in the state and the marriage solemnized in any county within the state.

8. The cost of the marriage license is $40.00.

If you are between the ages of 16 or 17:
You must have a parent or guardian's written notarized consent. This form is available at our office. The parent or guardian can either come with the bride and groom and sign the form when the couples apply for the marriage license, or the couple will need to bring a written notarized consent with them at the time of application. All of the above requirements also apply in this case.