The government agency in Wisconsin responsible for responding to public requests for Wisconsin Marriage Records is the Vital Records Office. It is one of the Programs and Services available at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The other records categories maintained at the office are Birth, Death and Divorce. Any member of the public can request copies of Wisconsin Marriage Certificates that were issued in the state from April 1836 to the present there. However, state law restricts that certified copies can only be released to persons named on the record and their immediate family members, legal representatives authorized in writing or someone who can demonstrate that the record is required for the protection of personal or property right. Uncertified copies contain the same information but will not be accepted for legal purposes such as insurance benefits.
Applications for copies of marriage at the Wisconsin Vital Records Office must be signed off on the appropriate form and be accompanied by the required fees and an approved form of identification. No free searches or verifications will be provided by the Wisconsin Vital Records Office, such as confirming that a certificate is on file or verifying the date of an event. The information on a marriage certificate varies from year to year. For example, a Wisconsin Marriage Certificate from 1907 will include the name and birthplace of the husband and wife, and the date and place of marriage and those from later years may include additional information such as the occupations and addresses of the husband and wife. Applications for copies of marriage certificates can be made in three ways: in person, by mail, or by fax at $7 per copy by check or money order to the Office of Vital Records. Each additional copy of the same record costs $2. The fee is established by statute and is for the search. In the event that no certificate is found, it is not refundable since the search has been conducted. Expedited service is available for in-person and fax requests for an additional $20.00 for per copy.