Instant Access to State, County and Municipal Records

Are Wisconsin Vital Records Open to the Public?

Most vital records are considered public records in compliance with Wisconsin General Statutes. Vital records typically include records of life events that have occurred within the state, such as marriage records, divorce records, birth records, death records, and other related documents.

 

What Information Do I Need to Search for Wisconsin Vital Records Online?

To obtain Wisconsin vital records, requesters may be required to provide:

  • The relationship of the requestor to the named party in the record (father, mother, son, daughter, husband, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent, legal guardian, etc)
  • The reason for record request (personal use, insurance proceeds, authentication, death benefits, and other legal purposes)
  • The date the event occured
  • The gender of the named party on the record (if applicable)
  • The age of the named party on the record at the time the event took place (if applicable)
  • The name of the city the event was recorded
  • Father’s name and mother’s maiden name (for birth certificates only)
  • Scope of search required (statewide or county limited)
  • Where certified copies are also needed, requestors are required to provide proof of identification showing that they are the named registrants on the record or persons with “direct and tangible interest”.

 

Publicly available vital records may ve managed and disseminated by some third-party aggregate sites. These websites are generally not being limited by geographical record availability and may serve as an adequate starting point when researching specific or multiple records. However, third-party sites are not government-sponsored. As such, record availability may differ from official channels. To find a record using the search engines on these sites, the requesting party will be required to provide:

  • The location of the record in question including city, county, or state where the case was filed.
  • The name of someone involved provided it is not a juvenile.

 

What Do I Need to Obtain Wisconsin Vital Records?

Documents revealing identity are typically not required for viewing and inspecting these Wisconsin public records. However, pursuant to the Wisconsin General Statutes § 69.20, certified copies of vital records are typically restricted to eligible persons after proper proof of identification has been shown. Eligible persons include the named persons in the record, immediate family members, authorized legal personnel, and persons permitted by a court order.

 

What’s the difference between a Certified Record and Uncertified Copy?

Although certified and uncertified copies of a vital record contain similar information, uncertified copies are printed on plain white papers with the mark “Uncertified” clearly written in bold letters. As the name suggests, they are typically restricted for informational use and thus cannot be used to establish identity. Essentially, uncertified copies are readily available to members of the public upon request. Conversely, certified copies of vital records bear a raised seal and a hand-on-paper signature by the chief custodian. Certified records are usually printed on security papers and can be used for legal and official purposes. As such, they are primarily released to designated parties with the legal authority to do so. Furthermore, some sensitive information may be withdrawn from uncertified copies of vital records. For instance, uncertified copies of death records not older than 50 years from the time of death usually do not include the cause of death, manner of death, final autopsy findings (if applicable), and other extended facts of death.

Are Wisconsin Marriage Records Public Information?

Marriage records are generally considered public records in the state of Wisconsin. However, pursuant to Wisconsin General Statutes § 69.20, certified copies of marriage records are restricted to legally permitted persons such as the couple themselves, immediate family members, legal representatives, and persons with a certified court order.

 

How Do I Find Marriage Records In Wisconsin?

Marriage records in Wisconsin can be found by first locating the office tasked with maintaining marriage records. The Wisconsin Division of Public Health keeps records of marriages occurring from October 1907 to the present. At the county level, the Register of Deeds (ROD) handles marriage records for all marriage licenses issued within the state. Querying parties are required to visit the particular office of interest with the basic facts of the marriage such as the full name of both the bride and groom at the time of marriage, the date of marriage, and the location of marriage (county, city, village/township).

To obtain vital records from the State Vital Records Office by USPS mail, interested persons are required to download, print, and complete the WI Marriage Application Form. Persons visiting the office can also fulfill this form to facilitate the office wait time. Upon completion, interested persons may then proceed to attach a photocopy of appropriate ID (if applicable) and proof of payment to:

Wisconsin Vital Records Office
PO Box 309
Madison, WI 53701

The appropriate fee is $20 for the first copy of a marriage record (includes search fee) and $3 for each additional copy of the same record ordered at the same time. Featured payment methods include check and money order payable to the State of Wisconsin Vital Records.

Additionally, marriage records may be obtained over the internet via independent third-party research services.

Are Wisconsin Divorce Records Public Information?

Most divorce records in the state of Wisconsin are public information that can be requested by any member of the general public. Available information may, however, exclude delicate details such as financial account information, financial agreements, as well as parts and portions of the record revealing the identity of minors, witnesses, and victims of domestic violence.

 

How Do I Find Divorce Records In Wisconsin?

The availability of divorce records varies depending on the date of the event. Records of divorces occurring from 1907 to date are available at the state vital records office. Earlier than this date, interested parties may check the county court where the divorce was finalized. Given the public record rule, divorce records can be obtained by persons able to provide the basic facts of the record of interest. Such basic facts include the personal information of the ex-couple, the place of the divorce, estimated date of the event, and the case file number, if applicable. Divorce records can be found online by utilizing the service of independent third-party companies over the internet. These records can also be obtained in person or by mail by either presenting or sending a Divorce Application Form to the State Vital Records Office respectively. The location and mailing address include:

Wisconsin Vital Records Office
PO Box 309
Madison, WI 53701

Additionally, the form should be accompanied by the appropriate fee, government-issued ID number, and a self-addressed stamped envelope. The total amount to be paid depends on the requested search period and the number of copies required. As such, a single year indexed search through 1936 to 1964 costs $20 per five year period. Prior to or later than this date, the multi- or single- year searches of five years attract a fee of $20.

Are Wisconsin Birth Records Public Information?

Birth records in the state of Wisconsin are considered public documents and are therefore available to members of the public upon request. However, sensitive information in a record may be restricted to authorized persons including the registrants, first degree relations, legal representatives, and authorized governmental personnel. Generally, statewide birth records from 1907 to present are maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Public Health via the Vital Records Division. Statewide birth records may also be obtained at the county or city level via the county Register of Deed Office as well as from Milwaukee Health Department and West Allis City Health Office.

 

How Do I Find Wisconsin Birth Records?

In addition to online searches, birth records can also be found in person or by mail by providing the basic facts of the record such as the name at birth, the date of birth, and the county/city of birth. The requesting party is required to submit a completed Birth Application Form in person or by mail to the applicable office location. The fee schedule includes $20 for the first document and $3 for each additional copy of the same document ordered at the same time. Requests for certified copies must include a government-issued photo ID. The mailing address/location is:

Wisconsin Vital Records Office
PO Box 309
Madison, WI 53701

Are Wisconsin Death Records Public Information?

Death records in the state of Wisconsin are generally presumed public documents and are therefore available to members of the public upon request. However, sensitive information in a record may be restricted to authorized persons including the registrants, first degree relations, legal representatives, and authorized governmental personnel. Typically, the extended facts of death such as the cause of death, manner of death, autopsy findings, and final disposition are only accessible by these named eligible persons for a period of 50years; after which it becomes public information.

Generally, statewide death records from 1907 to present are maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Public Health via the Vital Records Division. Similarly, statewide birth records may also be obtained at the county or city level via the county Register of Deed Office as well as from Milwaukee Health Department and West Allis City Health Office.

 

How Do I Find Wisconsin Death Records?

In addition to online searches, death records can also be found in person or by mail by providing the basic facts of the record such as the name of the deceased, the date of death, and the place of death.

The requesting party is then required to submit a completed Death Application Form in person or by mail to the applicable office location. The fee schedule includes $20 for the first document and $3 for each additional copy of the same document ordered at the same time. Requests for certified copies must include a government-issued photo ID. The office location/mailing address is:

Wisconsin Vital Records Office
PO Box 309
Madison, WI 53701

How Do I Find Sealed Vital Records in Wisconsin?

Vital records in the state of Wisconsin may be sealed by the owner(s) of the record. To unseal these records, the requesting party must first petition the court for a certified court order authorizing access. Generally speaking, adoption records are sealed by the time the adoption process is finalized. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is tasked with filing, managing, and disseminating these records to legally authorized persons. Pursuant to Wisconsin Gen. Statutes § 49, adoption certificates are not available to even persons named on the record unless a certified court order is obtained. However, the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families maintains an Adoption Records search program that furnishes adult adoptees, children of an adult adoptee, adoptive parents, birth parents, and individuals whose birth parents relinquished their paternity rights with no identifying information about themselves and their biological relatives.

Wisconsin State Archives

State Archives

Contact: (608) 216-2494

Results Include

Full State Record Report:

  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Birth Records
  • Criminal Records
  • Assets
  • Property Ownership
  • Bankruptcies
  • Judgments
  • Liens
  • Public Records
  • Addresses
  • Phone Numbers
  • Relatives & Associates

Results are based upon available information from state, county and municipal databases, and may not include some or all of the above details.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

  • State archives hold over 100,000 cubic feet of records.
  • There are 2 levels of courts – trial and appellate.
  • The Wisconsin Court of Appeals is an intermediate appellate court which reviews contested decisions of the Wisconsin circuit courts. 
  • The Circuit courts are the general trial courts in the state of Wisconsin. Circuit court judges hear and decide both civil and criminal cases.
  • There are currently 69 circuit courts in the state, divided into 10 judicial administrative districts.
  • The highest court in Wisconsin is the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

SUPPORT YOUR NON-PROFITS AND CAUSES

NOT AFFILIATED WITH
WISCONSIN.STATERECORDS.ORG