Wisconsin Vital Records

Wisconsin Vital Records

Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services

Division of Health
Center for Health Statistics

1 West Wilson, Room 159
Madison, WI

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 309, Madison, WI 53701

Phone: (608) 267-7820

WI Vital Records Link



  1. Advance appointments are required. Since space is limited, an appointrnent must be made for each person in the group. cancellations are allowed; "no-shows" may be restricted from future searches. Note: It takes several months to get in. Appointments should be made six months in advance.
  2. The hours for searching are 8:00 - 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Tuesday and Thursday search hours are 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. This office reserves the right to alter the hours of searching if emergency situations arise. No appointments will be taken for the day after Thanksgiving and the week between Christmas and New Year.
  3. One-hour time blocks are available. A person may schedule up to a maximum of 6 hours per month and may not schedule future appointments until the 6 hours have been used or cancelled.
  4. Two persons are allowed in the search area at one time. This will allow us to accomodate out-of towners who may need immediate service. This office reserves the right to alter the number of searchers allowed in the area if emergency situations arise. Consideration may be given to out of-town drop-ins, but not to the detriment of persons with appointments or to the normal operation of business.
  5. First-time searchers or those persons needing considerable staff assistance are asked to identify that need at the time the appointment is made. We will attempt to schedule these individuals for the first hour of each session.
  6. Children under 12 are not allowed in the search area. Children over 12 must have an appointment to enter the area.
  7. Every searcher must register each day as he/she enters the search area. The searcher must be prepared to show proper identification. The acceptable forms of identification are:
    One of These: Drivers License - State I.D - Charge Card - Health Insurance Card;
    Two of These: Check - Bank Book - Tyme Card - Bill with Address - Traffic Ticket - Library Card - Lease
  8. At the time of registration, the searcher will be given a list of State Regulations and Office Policies regarding the lawful use of the state's vital records. The searcher is expected to read and follow theses rules and policies. Failure to comply may result in loss of searching privileges.
  9. The State Statutes specifically identify to whom we may issue certified copies of vital records. The searcher will be asked to state his/her relationship to the subject of the record when asking for a copy of the record. The staff will determine whether a certified or non certified copy of the record will be issued.

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Statewide Rules for Vital Statistics Offices

Users of vital records files must do the following:

  1. Register the following information before entering the vital records area: Name, address, telephone number (optional) and general identification of records being searched - family name or subject and time period of research.
  2. Present satisfactory proof of identity to the registrar.
  3. Read the rules and sign an agreement to abide by them.
  4. Bring no children under 12 into the office.
  5. Bring no food or beverages into the vital records area.
  6. Bring no coats, purses, briefcases or bags into the vital records area.
  7. Bring no private copy machines or cameras into the vital records area. Users will not be admitted to the vital records files unless they comply with rules 1 to 7.
  8. Refrain from smoking, loud talking, laughing and noise making.
  9. Bring only pencils, no pens, into the work area. Users will be given one verbal warning concerning violations of rules 8 and 9 and, if violation continues, users will be asked to leave the office.
  10. Make use of paper records (not including indexes) only as a last resort to find specified records. a. indicate which record(s) are being searched b. use other alternatives first. Users will be given one verbal warning not to use records that have not been specified and, if violation continues will be asked to leave the office.
  11. Respect prior right of staff to the use of indexes and records to conduct everyday business.
  12. Must not write on or otherwise alter, mutilate or destroy a record.
  13. Observe rules of access or non-access relative to: - legally confidential material - paper records that are in poor physical condition. Users who violate rules 12 and 13 will be immediately expelled from the office and will not be permitted to return for 2 months. A second violation within a year will result in expulsion from the office for 6 months. A third violation within a year will result in an additional expulsion for 6 months and a notice of this violation to the vital records offices throughout the state.
  14. Must not ask staff to perform tasks which are contrary to statute or administrative rule. A user who violates this rule will be immediately expelled from the office and will not be permitted to return for 2 months. A second violation within a year will result in expulsion from the office for one year. Each succeeding offense will result in a one year expulsion from the office.
  15. Observe office specific rules for the physical handling of books and materials. Violators will receive one verbal warning and on second violation will be asked to leave the office.

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Katy Hestand

County Coordinator

Copyright 2005. All Rights Reserved. All materials contained on these pages are furnished for the free use of those individuals researching their family origins. ANY COMMERCIAL USE, PUBLICATION, OR POSTING OF THIS MATERIAL ON ANY OTHER WEBSITE, WITHOUT THE WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE CO-COORDINATOR/ AUTHOR/SUBMITTER OF THE MATERIAL/PAGE, IS PROHIBITED. All images used on these pages were obtained from sources permitting free distribution, or generated by the author, and are subject to the same restrictions/permissions. All persons contributing material for posting on these pages do so in recognition of their free, non-commercial distribution, and furthermore, are responsible to assure that no copyright is violated by their submission.

Created for the ILGenWeb Project by Cecelia Yeruski.
This page was last updated .