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Wisconsin Public Records

Wisconsin Public RecordsWisconsin offers a long and illustrious history as the 30th state to join the U.S. in 1848.  Wisconsin is a medium-sized state with an estimated population of just over 5.7 million in 2011. Finding facts about the people who have lived and died in the state often involves a Wisconsin public records search.  The initiation of a Wisconsin vital records search begins with a basic overview of where these public records are located. Most marriage, divorce, birth and death records for Wisconsin residents are filed in a single location at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to make research on this information as fast and easy as possible. In addition, the Wisconsin Historical Society offers statistics that date back to earlier years, providing a more thorough look at the state’s history throughout its many generations.

To initiate a Wisconsin public records search, use the following tips:

  • Most of the vital records for Wisconsin can be found at the state’s Department of Health Services.
  • The Wisconsin public records found in this collection can be accessed in person, by mail or by fax.
  • Identification for all Wisconsin public records requests is a requirement under state law.
  • Access to certified copies of Wisconsin public records is restricted according to state law.
  • Additional records can be found at the Wisconsin Historical Society.    
  • Public Records Accessibility in Wisconsin

    Like many states across the country, Wisconsin law restricts access to certified copies of birth, death and marriage records. Certified copies, which can be used as identification or for legal purposes, can only be obtained by the individual on the document or immediate family members of that individual. Legal representatives, or those that can show legal cause for requiring the document, may also be granted access. This is true for birth, marriage, divorce and death records in Wisconsin.

    Uncertified copies may be requested by any member of the general public. Uncertified copies offer similar information in terms of the name on the document, the event, and the date and county where the event took place. However, this document may not be used as identification, nor may it be used for legal reasons. The differentiation is designed to protect those who were born, married or died in the state from identity theft.

    Best Locations for a Wisconsin Public Records Search

    Most Wisconsin vital records can be found at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. This government agency is the central repository for nearly all the birth, death, marriage and divorce records for the state. The agency offers access to documents through a variety of methods, including in person, by mail or by faxed requests. Since a signature is required for document searches and retrievals, there is no way to access these documents by phone, email or through their website. Documents are typically on file since 1907, which is when the first official records were kept for the state. Indexes typically run from 1907 to 1973 and from 1973 to the present.

    Another source for searching public records in Wisconsin is the Wisconsin Historical Society. This source is the perfect choice for those tracing their family trees or conducting research for academic purposes. In fact, the office even provides information specifically for teachers, students and genealogists in the state to ensure their research efforts are successful. Records included in this archive are birth and death certificates, marriage records, war records, obituaries and newspaper publications. The files can be accessed online, or through a visit to the society.

    Searching Public Records Online in Wisconsin

    To make public records in Wisconsin more accessible and convenient, some online resources are available. The application forms to request vital records from the Department of Health Services can be downloaded from the agency’s website. However, once the application is completed, it must be submitted in person, by mail or by fax, so a signature and identification can be included. There are no online Wisconsin public records search options available through this agency at this time. Searches may be conducted online by the Wisconsin Historical Society, although access to files through this method is still somewhat limited.



     
    State of Wisconsin Resources & Statistics
    Separator Line

    Population:
    5,967,627

     
    Under 18:
    1,279,321

     
    Over 65:
    736,301

     
    Employed:
    3,453,611

     
    Land in Square Miles:
    54,310.10

     
    Acres of Farms:
    15,552,741

     
    Births:
    70,984

     
    Deaths:
    46,709

     
    Infant Deaths:
    376

     
     
    Murder:
    146

     
    Forcible Rape:
    1,120

     
    Robbery:
    5,126

     
    Assault:
    9,029

     
    Total Violent Crime:
    15,421

     
    Burglary:
    27,479

     
    Larceny \ Theft:
    116,128

     
    Motor Vehicle Theft:
    11,520

     
    Total Property Crime:
    155,127

     
    Wisconsin Public Records Locations
    DOT- Qualifications and Issuance
    Accident Records Unit
    PO Box 7919
    Madison, WI 53707-7919
    Phone:
    608-266-8753

    Fax:
    608-261-8201










    Attorney General's Office
    Justice Department
    PO Box 7857
    Madison, WI 53707-7857
    Phone:
    608-266-1221

    Fax:
    608-267-2779










     
    Bureau of Health Information and Policy
    Vital Records
    PO Box 309
    Madison, WI 53701-0309
    Phone:
    608-266-1373

    Fax:
    608-255-2035










    Division of Corporate & Consumer Services
    Corporation Record Requests
    PO Box 7846
    Madison, WI 53707-7846
    Phone:
    608-261-7577

    Fax:
    608-267-6813










     
    Wisconsin Department of Justice
    Crime Information Bureau, Record Check Unit
    PO Box 2688
    Madison, WI 53701-2688
    Phone:
    608-266-5764

    Fax:
    608-267-4558










    Bureau of Health Information and Policy
    Vital Records
    PO Box 309
    Madison, WI 53701-0309
    Phone:
    608-266-1373

    Fax:
    608-255-2035










     
    Bureau of Health Information and Policy
    Vital Records
    PO Box 309
    Madison, WI 53701-0309
    Phone:
    608-266-1373

    Fax:
    608-255-2035










    Division of Motor Vehicles
    Driver Records
    PO Box 7995
    Madison, WI 53707-7995
    Phone:
    608-266-2353

    Fax:
    608-267-1873










     
    Department of Public Instruction
    GED Program
    PO Box 7841
    Madison, WI 53707-7841
    Phone:
    608-267-2275

     
    800-768-8886

    Fax:
    608-267-9275










    Governor's Office
    PO Box 7863
    Madison, WI 53707-7863
    Phone:
    608-266-1212

    Fax:
    608-267-8983










     
    Fish & Game Licensing Division
    Records Manager - CS/G3
    PO Box 7924
    Madison, WI 53707
    Phone:
    608-267-9576

    Fax:
    608-264-6130










    Wisconsin Department of Corrections
    Attn: Records
    PO Box 7925
    Madison, WI 53707-1921
    Fax:
    608-240-3306

    Records:
    OFFICE608-240-3750










     
    Wisconsin Legislation
    Legislative Reference Bureau
    PO Box 2037
    Madison, WI 53701-2037
    Phone:
    608-266-0341

    Fax:
    608-266-5648










    Bureau of Health Information and Policy
    Vital Records
    PO Box 309
    Madison, WI 53701-0309
    Phone:
    608-266-1373

    Fax:
    608-255-2035










     
    Department of Corrections
    Sex Offender Registry Program
    PO Box 7925
    Madison, WI 53707-7925
    Phone:
    608-240-5830

    Fax:
    608-240-3355










    Historical Society
    Archives Division
    816 State St
    Madison, WI 53706
    Phone:
    608-264-6460

    Fax:
    608-264-6486










     
    Director of State Courts
    Supreme Court
    PO Box 1688
    Madison, WI 53701-1688
    Phone:
    608-266-6828

    Fax:
    608-267-0980










    Department of Financial Institutions
    CCS/UCC
    PO Box 7847
    Madison, WI 53707-7847
    Phone:
    608-261-9548

    Fax:
    608-264-7965










     
    Department of Transportation
    Vehicle Records Section
    PO Box 7911
    Madison, WI 53707-7911
    Phone:
    608-266-3666

    Fax:
    608-267-6966










    State Elections Board
    PO Box 2973
    Madison, WI 53701
    Phone:
    608-266-8005

    Fax:
    608-267-0500










     
    Dept of Workforce Development
    Worker's Compensation Division
    PO Box 7901
    Madison, WI 53707-7901
    Phone:
    608-266-3280

    Fax:
    608-260-2503