A drivers license name change in South Dakota must take place in a timely manner after a legal name change occurs. Obtaining a change of name on driving license records is actually the second step in the name change process, because the state requires drivers to change their names with the Social Security Administration (SSA) before they attempt to make the update on any of their DMV documentation.

Those applying to update their names on their records at the DMV must apply in person at their nearest DMV driver licensing location. Learn more about how to change the name on a drivers license record in South Dakota, as well as where to do so, when you review the sections below.

Instances Where You Must Change Your Name on Your South Dakota Drivers License

The need to update your name on important DMV documents like a driver’s license can arise after many different life-changing events. It can also arise simply due to personal preference. Marriage and divorce are behind the majority of South Dakota DMV name change applications, because one or both spouses usually change their surnames after marital unions, requiring them to update their important documents accordingly.

Likewise, many of these drivers then revert back to their previous name after a marriage dissolves. Adults and teenagers who are licensed drivers can also need a change of name on driving license and other legal records if they happen to be adopted after childhood.

Other name change requests happen after someone converts to a new religion or when drivers want to be known by a different name for any of several valid reasons. Whatever the reason for requesting a name change, you must be able to provide the DMV with proof that your name change has been legally finalized. Additionally, your SSA and your name change documents must exactly match the spelling of the name you chose to use across all your legal matters.

South Dakota Drivers License Name Change Time Limits

The State of South Dakota does not outline a specific time limit for changing your name on driving license records following a legal name change. There are also no direct penalties for failing to complete your name change within a certain time frame. However, having mismatched information on legal documents can cause problems later on.

For example, you can receive a citation for not having an updated license if a law enforcement officer stops you for a traffic violation and discovers that you did not obtain a change of name on driving license records after you get a Social Security card with your new name.

How to Change Your Name with the Social Security Administration

Do not apply for an SD drivers license name change until you have filed your new name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA will provide you with an updated Social Security card, which you will need later for DMV name changes and other government transactions. You can update your name with the SSA free of charge through the mail or in person at your local SSA office. As with a name change on any of your DMV documents, it can actually be more convenient to conduct transactions face to face instead of having to wait for your vital documents to be returned by mail.

You must prove your identity when updating your name by showing your South Dakota drivers license, a photo ID card or valid U.S. passport and provide two proofs of state residency, such as a utility bill, bank statement or rental receipt. The SSA will also need to view one of the following as proof of your legal name change:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree
  • Court order approving the name change
  • Certificate of Naturalization printed with the new name

Some applicants will have to show proof of citizenship or legal immigration status during both the drivers license name change and the SSA application processes. It can take a day or two for SSA changes to show up in the system, so wait to apply for your name update after enough business days have passed. Within a few days of your SSA name change, you should receive your new Social Security card in the mail.

Online Drivers License Name Changes

Changing your name on your driving license records in SD is not possible online. This is because you must relinquish the license bearing your old name and verify your identity in person.

How to Change Your Name on Your Drivers License in Person

You can alter or change your name on driving license documents by appearing in person at your local SD DMV location. You must complete the official application and submit it to an examiner along with your current South Dakota drivers license and legal documentation of your name change. This can be a marriage certificate, divorce decree or any other type of court document that authorizes your legal name change.

After processing your application and paying the fee, the agent will dispose of your old card and issue a replacement license that features your new photo and signature. Although your drivers license name change is immediately registered into the system, you will be given a temporary paper license that is valid for a certain amount of time before your replacement license arrives. Use this document as evidence of your name change while you wait for your permanent license to arrive in the mail.

South Dakota DMV Name Change Fees

SD DMV name change fees are the same as all other drivers license replacement fees in the state. Currently, you must pay a $15 fee to obtain a duplicate credential. If you need to renew your license around the time that you are updating your name, you may need to wait for your replacement license to arrive in the mail first.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 3 2020.