South Dakota ID requirements for voting by mail

COVID-19 Advisory: 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. Voters who do not receive a requested ballot can download the form at or call their county auditor.

The deadline for voter registration for the August 11 Run-Off election is July 27 at 5 pm. August 10 is the last day to request an absentee ballot by 5 pm local time. Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time. No applications for absentee ballots, using an authorized messenger, may be honored by the county auditor after 3:00 p.m. on election day (and authorized messengers are only allowed for voters who are confined due to illness). Absentee ballots have to be returned to the county auditor in time for them to be delivered to the correct polling location by the time the polls close.

If you need a photocopy of your ID to accompany your absentee/vote-by-mail ballot application and do not have access to a copier or printer, click here to learn how we can help.


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

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

First-time voters

When you register to vote or vote for the first time in a federal election in your state, you must prove who you are:
  • If you register to vote in person, you must show a driver’s license, state ID, or provide the last 4 digits of your social security number (SSN), if you have one.
  • If you registered by mail and did not include your state’s driver’s license number or the last 4 digits of your SSN, you must show an acceptable form of ID (see below) at your polling place.
  • If you apply for an absentee/vote by mail ballot and did not include your state’s driver’s license number or the last 4 digits of your SSN when you registered by mail, you must include a copy of an acceptable ID (see below).

Here is a list of acceptable IDs: Documents that prove who you are

Your state may have other ID requirements for voting in person or for absentee/vote by mail ballot.

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 other signatures on file.

Last update: June 3, 2020

Hannah Piercey