State Bar Membership Renewal

Dues notices for membership renewal are sent out at the beginning of November, yearly. You can begin your renewal process online by clicking the "Renew Now" button below. (You will be directed to the State Bar's secure AffiniPay payment portal upon completion of the renewal form.) Or, you can review Frequently Asked Questions (below the form) for more information on how you can pay your state bar dues for the 2021 year. If you have questions that cannot be answered by reading the FAQ please email nicole.ogan@sdbar.net. 

State Bar Dues - Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know what to pay for my dues?
There are differences in the amount you pay based on years in practice or if you elect to go on "inactive status." Here is a breakdown of each amount, and please keep in mind the SD Bar Foundation Assessment is an elective contribution:

  • Active Members whose first admission in any jurisdiction occurred in 2017-2020: $290 + $75 (SD Bar Foundation Assessment) = $365.00
    *If your invoice displays Not Eligible next to this choice, it is because you were admitted in a jurisdiction prior to 2017 and you are not eligible to pay this amount. Your invoice shows your date(s) of admission in red in the upper right.
  • Active Members whose first admission in any jurisdiction occurred in 2016 or earlier: $415 + $75 (SD Bar Foundation Assessment) = $490.00
  • Inactive Membership: $100 + $75 (SD Bar Foundation Assessment) = $175.00

What is inactive status?
For those who have been admitted as active members, but who no longer wish to practice, there is an inactive membership with lower dues. Inactive members receive state bar publications and notices, and may participate in the social functions at the Annual Meeting or attend CLE programs upon payment of a fee, but the practice of law is forbidden and the inactive member cannot vote on matters or elections at the Annual Meeting.

What is the difference between inactive status and emeritus status?
Inactive Status is membership designed for those who are not currently practicing law in South Dakota, but which to maintain their license. Emeritus Status is membership status for those looking to retire from the practice of law or judiciary but looking to continue pro bono work in South Dakota. Those who elect Emeritus Status must complete an application indicating they are retiring, they will not represent private clients on Emeritus Status, but will accept at least ONE case annually from an approved legal services organization. The cost for Emeritus Status is the same as Inactive Status ($100).

How can I pay for my state bar dues?
Dues can be paid by check, e-check or credit card. If you elect to pay by check, please mail your completed dues invoice and payment to 111 W. Capitol Ave. #1, Pierre, SD 57501, along with your dues invoice.

Are there any fees associated with paying by credit card or e-check?
Yes. There is a fee of $10.00 when paying by credit card or e-check.

What happens if I pay an incorrect amount for my dues?
Payments with incorrect amounts and/or lack of bar number will be refunded to the payee and that person will be notified by bar staff - no exceptions.

Are my dues payments tax-deductible as a charitable contribution?
No. Dues paid to The State Bar of South Dakota are not tax deductible as charitable contributions. However, they may be tax deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses. The Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization and donations qualify as charitable contributions.

What if my employer pays my bar dues, but I wish to make a separate contribution to the SD Bar Foundation?
We are happy you asked. You are welcome to contribute to the work and efforts of the SD Bar Foundation at any time. Lawyers, who have employers that tender their bar dues but decline to pay for the SD Bar Foundation assessment, are encouraged to submit a personal check with their bar dues payment or send a contribution in a separate mailing, or online. Please make such contribution payable to the SD Bar Foundation.

Why would I support the SD Bar Foundation?
The SD Bar Foundation helps to fund legal services for the poor, law-related education, and many other charitable and educational programs related to our profession. Every dollar received goes back to support programming and legal assistance in our communities and we appreciate anything our members can give.

What happens if I send my dues payment in late? 
A 10% late fee will be assessed on all dues not postmarked by the state bar office on or before January 1, 2021. Dues sent by mail in an envelope appropriately addressed to the State Bar of South Dakota and postmarked on or before January 1, 2021 will be considered received on the date postmarked.

Can I send in my Certificate of Compliance with my dues payment?
No. Please renew your membership dues separately from submission of your Certificate of Compliance. Your Certificate of Compliance (Required by the Supreme Court for All Active Members) should be received by the state bar office before January 30th to report on compliance for the previous year in its entirety.  Your dues payment should be received in the state bar office by January 1st. In other words, your dues payment must be received before you are able to send in your Certificate of Compliance.

When will I receive my Bar Card after I submit my dues?
Our staff works diligently to get Bar Cards out to members once dues are processed. Due to how COVID-19, we appreciate your patience as mailing out Bar Cards may take longer than expected due to staff working remotely.

Who can I contact if I have other questions?
Please contact the state bar office by phone, email, fax, or mail, should you have any questions. Our office contact information is located on the bottom banner of our website.