South Dakota ID requirements for voting by mail

COVID-19 Advisory: Between April 17-24, the South Dakota Secretary of State's office will mail absentee ballot applications to all South Dakotans registered in the statewide voter registration file, with the exception of voters who have already applied for the 2020 election cycle or voters in counties sending applications on their own. South Dakota’s primary election will be held June 2, 2020. Voters who do not receive a requested ballot can download the form at or call their county auditor.

Who is eligible to request an absentee ballot and vote by mail?

Any registered South Dakota voter can vote absentee. No excuse is necessary.

Voter Registration

First-time voters who have not voted in a previous federal election, or who have never voted in their county of residence in a federal election, AND who did not provide either a driver’s license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number at the time of registration, must present documentation proving their identity in order to complete their voter registration. First time voters who are voting in person must present this documentation at the polls. First time voters who are voting by mail/absentee ballot must enclose a copy of such documentation with their ballot request or ballot. This is required under the federal Help America Vote Act, enacted in 2002.

Do you need to submit ID with your absentee ballot request?

No ID required if an absentee voter application can be notarized.

If it CANNOT be notarized, then ID is required. Choose from one of the following:

  • A South Dakota driver’s license
  • A South Dakota non-driver identification card
  • A passport or other picture ID issued by the U.S. government
  • A tribal photo ID
  • Current student photo ID issued by a South Dakota high school or postsecondary education institution

First-time voters may need to submit ID – see Voter Registration section above.

Do you need to submit ID with your ballot?

No, but the signature on your mail ballot must match your voter registration signature.

Last update: May 5, 2020

Hannah Piercey