South Dakota businesses must accept tribal IDs, state Senate says

Capitol News Bureau
KELO pierre capitol building

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Identification cards issued by tribal governments would be valid at South Dakota businesses under a measure unanimously approved Thursday by the state Senate.

“This is strictly about acts of commerce using tribal ID cards,” Senate Democratic leader Troy Heinert of Mission said. He is a Rosebud Sioux tribal member.

He asked why tribal IDs are recognized by governments but aren’t uniformly recognized by businesses.

Senator Jordan Youngberg, a Madison Republican, asked how tribes validate dates of birth.

Heinert said tribal members must use their state-issued birth certificates and prove, by blood, four generations of tribal heritage.

“So we have a very distinct track of who we are,” Heinert said.

Youngberg asked for other senators to support the bill. The vote was 31-0.

SB 146 now goes to the House of Representatives for further action.

The bill includes this statement: “Reasonable reliance upon a tribal identification card as proof of age of the purchaser or the recipient of an age-restricted product is a complete defense to any action brought against a person for the sale or distribution of a product that is subject to state or federal age-related purchase and possession restrictions.”

That would cover activities such as purchasing or possessing alcohol and tobacco and various forms of legal gambling.

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