Replacing Important Papers/Documents

Adoption Papers

  • To open a file, contact your local Department of Social Services Office using the following link.
  • Adoptees may also file a petition by contacting the Division of Child Protection Services’ Adoption Unit at (605) 773-3227.
  • Only the adoptee and the adoptive parents can open sealed adoption files according to South Dakota law SDCL 25-6-15.

Birth, Death, Marriage, & Divorce Records

  • Birth, death, marriage, and divorce records can be replaced by visiting your County Register of Deeds office. Valid photo ID (Federal, State, or Tribal) and fee are required.
  • If you were not born in South Dakota, you can visit the National Center for Health Statistics website for contact information for other states.
  • Tribal marriage and divorces can only be obtained directly from the affiliated tribe.

Credit Cards

  • Most credit card companies will require your name, address, and Social Security Number to obtain a new card.
  • For American Express call (800) 528-4800 or go online.
  • For Discover call (800) 347-2683 or go online
  • For MasterCard call (800) 627-8372.
  • For Visa call (800) 847-2911or go online.

Driver Licenses (New Driver)

  • Visit any DMV office with your acceptable identification and proof of address. New drivers must pass written knowledge exam and road skills test. Fee is required.
  • You will need proof of your date of birth, identity, and legal status (Passport, Birth Certificate, or Certificate of Naturalization).
  • You will need proof of your Social Security Number (Social Security Card, 1099 form, W-2 form, pay stub with full name and full SSN).
  • You will need two proofs of state residency that are less than one year old (utility bill, pay stub, rent receipt, bank statement, transcript from accredited school, mortgage document).

Drivers Licenses (Renewal)

  • To renew your license, you may need to pass a vision screening test, have your photograph taken, and pay a service fee.
  • You must also present an existing license, proof of Social Security Number (Social Security Card, 1099 form, W-2 form, pay stub with full name and full SSN), and two proofs of residency (utility bill, pay stub, rent receipt, bank statement, transcript from accredited school, mortgage document).

Immigration Documents

  • For citizenship, immigration, permanent resident card (green card), employment authorization, re-entry permit and more, go to the S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website at or visit your local office.
  • Find your local office using the following website.

 Insurance Policies

  • Contact the insurance company for replacement papers.

Medicaid Card

  • Contact your state Medicaid agency (in South Dakota, that is the Department of Social Services Economic Assistance)

Medicare Card

  • Request a replacement Medicare card via your online my Social Security account at and click the “Replacement Documents” tab.   You can use this site even if you aren’t currently receiving Social Security benefits. You can create a My Social Security Account online. The replacement card will arrive in the mail in 30 days. If you can’t, or prefer not to, use the online service call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), 7:00am – 7:00pm, Monday – Friday or Contact your local Social Security office.

Military Records

  • Veterans or next-of-kin of deceased veterans can request military records from the Veterans Administration at: Other options include the American Legion, VFW or Red Cross, County Veteran Service Officer, and the County Register of Deeds.

Mortgage Papers

  • Contact your lending institution.


  • To apply for or renew your passport, visit your local post office or complete form at
  • Visit the following website to find passport offices in your area Many post offices require an appointment, so book ahead to confirm.
  • The application process, including expedited orders, can take several weeks, so plan ahead.

 Property Deeds

  • Contact the recorder’s office in the county where the property is located.

 Savings Bonds/Notes

 Social Security Card

  • Go to a Social Security Administration office or request a copy of your Social Security statement online
  • Two separate documents that prove citizenship and identity are required, such as a passport, birth certificate, or driver’s license.
  • Use the following website to find a social security office near you.

Transcript of Your Tax Return

Vehicle Registration & Title Application

  • Contact your local DMV office.
  • To register a vehicle, you will need an application, proof of identity, evidence of the vehicle purchase, and proof of auto insurance for the vehicle. Fees administered by county.
  • To obtain a title, you will have to fill out an application, provide details about the vehicle, and pay a fee. All applications must be submitted at the local county treasurer’s office.
    • You must provide a driver’s license, copy of application, and an auto insurance card.

For more information on how to replace important documents, call 211 or search our online database:

  • Enter your zip code
      • Select Government category


 Disclaimer: This HelpSheet is developed by the Helpline Center. Helpsheets provide a brief overview of the designated topic. For more information, call 211 or text your zip code to 898211.

Updated: June 2023