Get to know your government

Who looks after vital records in S.D.?

Mariah Pokorny — S.D. State Registrar and Office of Vital Records Administrator

Mariah Pokorny

Mariah Pokorny

What exactly do you do?

“As State Registrar, I oversee the collection and issuance of all birth and death records as well as marriage and divorce certificates. The job of the State Registrar is unique within state and territorial governments — there are only 57 persons in these positions in the United States at any given time.”

What are your responsibilities?

“As the office administrator, my responsibilities include customer service, policy development, information technology, security, and identity protection. Our office works with local Registers of Deeds in issuing identity documents, and with over 1,400 data partners in collecting vital records data.”

What is one of the more fun aspects of your job?

“The most intriguing part of this job is helping customers find the documents needed for researching their family history. Every customer has an interesting and engaging story, and being able to provide the documents to help them learn more about their families is extremely satisfying.”

What is one of the ‘worst’ aspects of your job?

“The most challenging part of my job is ensuring the appropriate and timely release of records to over 14,000 customers, while working to register 20,000 new birth and death records each year.”