The Wisconsin Vital Records Office (Wisconsin
Department of Health Services) is
responsible for filing, preserving, protecting,
changing, and issuing copies of birth certificates,
death certificates, marriage certificates, divorce
certificates, and records of declaration of domestic
partnership and termination of domestic partnership
for events that occur in Wisconsin. Registration of
events prior to 1907 was voluntary and vital records
were not filed for most events. It has been
estimated that less than 50% of the records were
prepared and submitted for permanent filing before
that time. Divorce certificates from any county are
not available before October 1907.
Whether you need your birth certificate to enroll
in school or obtain a passport, if your parents did not keep your
birth record, you will have to get it yourself. No two states are
the same in how they store birth records. Here are the steps to
obtaining a birth record.
You must determine where you were born.
Your birth record will often be in the county where you were
Once you determine the county and state,
you have to find out which agency in that area keeps the
records. In many states, the Department of Health is
responsible for keeping the birth records. In some states
births are recorded at local courthouses.
After you find out who has the birth record,
you need to determine the policy for obtaining a copy. Some
larger states will allow you to order a copy of your birth
certificate online. If you order a birth record online, you
have to wait for it to be mailed. Most states however, will
require you to apply in person. Some states have extended
the requirement to allow immediate family members to pick up
the records. Make sure you ask about fees as most states
charge for copies of birth certificates.
You can make the task of searching for birth
records easier. You can eliminate an important step by searching for
birth records online. How does it work?
- Find a reputable online record search company that has
access to birth records.
- Fill out your information. Reputable
companies will keep your information confidential.
Learn about the specific payment plans. In
many cases, if you are just looking for one birth record, it
will cost less than $20. If you need a lot of birth records,
you can sign up for a plan that will give you unlimited
searches for less than $50.
You will not be able to purchase a copy of the
birth record from an online search service, you will be able to find
the birth record faster. An online record search company stores
birth records from across the country in one place. You won’t have
to call agency after agency in different parts of your state or in
different parts of the country. By the time you get ready to request
the birth record of make the drive to health department, you will
know that the record is in that county.