Your Comprehensive Guide to Wisconsin Public Records
Wisconsin Public Records
Public records in Wisconsin are documents and information maintained by government agencies accessible to the public per the Wisconsin Public Records Law. This law, codified in Wisconsin Statutes § 19.31-19.39, guides the availability and accessibility of records from state and local government bodies. To thoroughly understand Wisconsin's Public Records Law, visit the Wisconsin State Legislature website.
Are Wisconsin Records Public?
Yes, records in Wisconsin are public. The Wisconsin Public Records Law ensures public access to records held by state and local government entities, subject to specific privacy and sensitive information exemptions. Additional details on public record access can be found at the Wisconsin Department of Justice - https://www.doj.state.wi.us/office-open-government.
What do Wisconsin Public Records Include?
Wisconsin public records encompass a variety of documents:
- Vital Records: Birth, death, marriage, and divorce records, available through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
- Property Records: Information on property ownership and taxes, accessible through the County Treasurer's offices, like the Dane County Treasurer.
- Criminal Records: Managed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice for criminal background checks.
- Court Records: This includes civil and criminal court case records in the Wisconsin Court System.
- Business Records: Handled by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions for business entity searches.
How to Find Public Records in Wisconsin
To find public records in Wisconsin, adhere to the following steps:
- Determine the Record Type: Identify the specific record needed, such as a vital or property record.
- Locate the Custodian Agency: Different records are managed by different agencies. For instance, vital records are held by the Department of Health Services.
- Submit a Request: Most agencies have a process for requesting records, which can be completed online, in person, or via mail.
- Follow Agency Protocols: Comply with the agency's specific requirements, including any forms and identification needed.
- Address Any Fees: Some records might involve processing or copying fees.
- Wait for Processing: After submission, there may be a waiting period for the records to be processed and made available.
For more guidance, visit the Wisconsin State Law Library.
Lookup Public Records in Wisconsin
To access public records in Wisconsin, explore the following department websites:
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services: For vital records. Visit Wisconsin Vital Records.
- County Treasurer's Offices: For property records, such as the Dane County Treasurer.
- Wisconsin Department of Justice: For criminal records. More information at Wisconsin Criminal Background Checks.
- Wisconsin Court System: For court records. Access Wisconsin Courts.
- Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions: For business records. Check out Wisconsin Business Entity Search.