South St. Paul is classified under Minnesota law as a home rule charter city. A home rule charter city receives its enabling authority through the adoption of a city charter. The South St. Paul City Charter (PDF) is the city's constitution, which provides for the type of government and may outline the functions, structure, and procedures of city government.
The City Charter Commission meets periodically to review the charter and suggests updates as deemed necessary. Amendments to the city charter requires council approval or voter approval.