Birth, Death, Marriage, and Domestic Partnership Records

The Vital Records Section of the Register of Deeds Office maintains copies of all birth, death, marriage, and domestic partnership records for events that occur in Dane County. To obtain certified copies of any of these records, you will need to fill out an application form and pay a fee. Information about obtaining certified and uncertified copies is listed below.

How to Apply

You may apply for copies in person, through the mail, or online. There are different fees charged, application requirements, and turnaround times depending on how you apply:

Application Forms (in person and through the mail only)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I change my name?

If you have recently been married, the first step is to apply and pay for certified copies of your marriage certificate, which should have been sent to the Register of Deeds office in the county in which you were married. Marriage certificates are usually available as soon as one week after the date of your wedding. Once you have certified copies of your marriage certificate in hand, please see our document, How to Change Your Name after Marriage.

For all other name changes, see the Clerk of Courts web site.

Who Can Apply for Certified Copies?

Certified copies (legal copies) are printed on security paper and have raised seals in the bottom corners. You can apply for certified copies of your record and that of your spouse/domestic partner, child, grandchild, parent, brother or sister, or your client.

Who Can Apply for Uncertified Copies?

An uncertified copy of a record is not a legal copy; it is a photocopy that is designed to be used for informational purposes only. Anyone can obtain an uncertified copy of a vital record, provided the record is unprotected. Application methods, fees, and turnaround times are the same as for certified copies.

Why is it a Felony to Make a Photocopy of a Birth, Death, Marriage, or Domestic Partnership Certificate?

The Attorney General stated in 78 Op. Att'y Gen. 232,233 (1989), "Section 69.24(1)(a) was enacted in apparent response to a substantial increase in the practice of obtaining and using false identification documents by manipulating the existing system. For example, it was easy for a person to procure a photocopy of a birth certificate from a source other than discussed in chapter 69. This certificate, which might be accurate or already altered, could be altered to provide a new identity or other erroneous identifying information……. The Legislature obviously determined that this evil and its consequences could only be prevented by a strict measure which makes copying per se a criminal violation unless done under the authority of subchapter I of chapter 69."

How Do I Make Changes to an Existing Record?

  • Birth Records
    Changes to existing Dane County birth records must be made through Wisconsin State Vital Records. Possible changes include: spelling and name changes, paternity judgments (adding the father), and numerical changes.
  • Marriage, Domestic Partnership, & Death Records
    Changes to existing Dane County marriage, domestic partnership, or death records made within 365 days of the event may be made through our office. All changes will require a signed amendment letter. Please contact our office at 608-267-8810 for more information.

    Changes to existing Dane County marriage, domestic partnership, or death records made 366 days or more after the event must be made through Wisconsin State Vital Records.

How Do I Locate Vital Records for Events That Occurred Outside of Dane County?

If the event occurred in Wisconsin, you may contact Wisconsin State Vital Records. For events that occurred outside of Wisconsin, you can lookup contact information for the State Vital Records Office you are interested in through the National Center for Health Statistics website at www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm

How to Record your Domestic Partnership Declaration or Termination

IMPORTANT: Your Domestic Partnership Declaration or Termination* only becomes legal once it is recorded in our office -- Dane County Vital Records in the Register of Deeds office. (*Terminations go into effect 90 days later.)

To record your notarized document, you may either mail or bring it to our office.

Mail your notarized document to:   Dane County Vital Records
PO Box 1438
Madison WI 53701-1438

Or, bring your notarized document to Dane County Vital Records in the Register of Deeds office, Room 110 in the City-County building at 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Madison, Wisconsin, between the hours of 7:50 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.

We will usually process your record within 1-2 business days.

Information for Parents, Coaches and Schools

Instead of photocopying a child's birth certificate (see above) please ask the child's coach to use the following form.

Tips for Officiants of Marriage Ceremonies

  • Use black ink and only black ink.
  • Never use liquid white out, white out tape, or typewriter lift-off on an Original Certificate of Marriage.
  • Keep your writing within each box.
  • Do use a standard title in Box 25a (reverend, minister, judge, etc.). "Officiant" will not be accepted.
  • Do not abbreviate your title.
  • Use your best possible handwriting, or an assistant’s good handwriting. Genealogists for centuries to come will be grateful! But please note – officiants must sign the certificate themselves, AFTER the information has been completed!
  • If your handwriting is unclear, you may want to send a letter of “correction” (clarification) along with the Original Certificate of Marriage in order to avoid delaying the groom and bride from obtaining certified copies. See below for a description of a letter of correction.
  • Remember to indicate the type of municipality where the marriage took place (section 20b). Click here for a list of Dane County municipalities.
  • The officiant is responsible for sending the completed Original Certificate of Marriage to the county where the wedding occurred (not the county in which the license was purchased, if different).
  • ANY corrections MUST by accompanied by a letter of correction on the officiant’s letterhead, including the names of the bride and groom, their date of marriage, and a description of the error and how it should be corrected.
  • Please call if you have any questions: 608.267.8810.

Office Address

City County Building Room 110 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Madison, WI 53703

Office Hours

Mon - Fri 7:45 AM - 4:30 PM Vital Records will not be issued after 4:15

Real Estate
Search Line

(608) 266 - 4144 8-11:30 AM

Vital Records

(608) 266 - 4142

General Information

(608) 266 - 4141

TTY

Call Wisconsin Relay 711

Office Fax

(608) 267 - 3110

Mailing Address

PO Box 1438 Madison, WI 53701-1438 Kristi Chlebowski Kristi Chlebowski Register of Deeds Contact Details