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.

The Lake County Clerk of Courts Office located in the Courthouse no longer performs marriage ceremonies

Many of the records held at the Lake 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.


Shirley Ebsen

Register of Deeds Send an Email

Paula Ullom

Deputy Register of Deeds Send an Email

Useful Information

  • Fee Schedule

    Click here to view the fee schedule for real estate, liens, mineral records, miscellaneous filings, UCC, vital records, copy fees, and search fees.

  • 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.

  • Birth Records

    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 Certificate application forms and instructions are available at the Register of Deeds’ Office. Birth records that are over 100 years old may be found on the following website: Birth Record Search Site

  • Marriage Records

    South Dakota Marriage records in Lake County date back to 1872, before statehood, when we were known as Dakota Territory. Some of the marriage records include marriages performed outside of Lake County. 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.”

  • Death Records

    A certified death certificate can be issued from the Register of Deeds Office upon receipt of the required $15.00 fee.

    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

    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.)

  • Marriage License Requirements

    Marriage Application Fact Sheet

    The Lake County Clerk of Courts Office located in the Courthouse no longer performs marriage ceremonies.

    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 20 days of purchase, or it will expire.
    6. 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.
    7. The cost of the marriage license is $40.00 cash only. We do not accept checks or credit cards or debit cards.

      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.

Contact Information

Main Office

Lake County Register of Deeds
200 E Center St
Madison SD 57042


Office Hours:
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Monday – Friday (excluding Holidays)


County Offices Closed
Monday, May 18, 2020

County offices will be closed on Monday, May 25, 2020, in observance of Memorial Day.

Primary Election Notices
Friday, May 15, 2020

Click here to view the Notice of Primary Election, Notice of Testing Automatic Tabulating Equipment, and Instructions to the Voters.

Sample Ballots
Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Sample ballots are available for the June 2nd Municipal Election, School Board Election, and Primary Election.
Municipal Election and School Board Election Sample Ballots
Primary Election Sample Ballots

County Response to COVID-19 Public Health Emergency - Updated 5/5/2020
Wednesday, May 6, 2020

The Commission has updated its plan for continuity of county operations in response to the COVID-19. Please review the release for specific details: 5-5-2020 Release.

May - License Plate Renewal H/I/O
Friday, May 1, 2020

Vehicle License plate renewal for vehicle owners with the FIRST letter in their LAST NAME that begins with H or I or O.

Absentee Ballot Application (Photo ID)
Monday, April 27, 2020

State law requires completed absentee ballot applications to be notarized or include a photocopy of an acceptable photo ID card. Voters may take a photo of their ID (driver's license or non-driver ID card, tribal photo ID, passport, or other picture lD issued by the US government, or a current student photo lD issued by a SD high school or postsecondary education institution) and email it to the Auditor at:

Auditor's Press Release - 4/27/2020
Monday, April 27, 2020

Auditor Roberta "Bobbi" Janke has issued a press release related to the Primary Election. To view the press release, please click here.

Resolution 2020-06 Designating Polling Places and Secretary of State Press Release Dated 4/10/2020
Wednesday, April 15, 2020

On 4/14/2020, the Lake County Commission passed Resolution 2020-06 Designating Polling Places for the June 2, 2020 Primary Election. The Secretary of State also issued a press release on 4/10/2020 advising his office will mail absentee ballots to all South Dakotans registered in the statewide voter registration file. Click here to view both the resolution and the press release.

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