How to Search and Obtain Marriage Records in Wisconsin, USA



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How to Search and Obtain Marriage Records in Wisconsin

Marriage Records in Wisconsin

Marriage records contain certain pieces of information about the married couple such as the names of the two individuals, the date of the marriage, and the place of marriage.  Some marriage records will also include the names of the married coupleís mothers and fathers.  Additionally, some records contain the names of the official witnesses to the marriage.  Some governmental marriage records contain the maiden names of the mothers of the bride and groom as well as the place of residence of the married couple.

A marriage record should not be confused with any of the following documents: a marriage license, a marriage announcement, or a marriage index.  The marriage license is the legal document that was issued to the couple that was married.  The marriage announcement is the public listing of the wedding such as a published notice in a public newspaper.

A marriage index is simply a list of the marriages within a specific location.  Typically, such an index includes the names of the bride and groom, the date of the marriage, the name of the county in which the marriage occurred, and either the file number of the license or the volume and page name for a register listing as well as the location of the marriage record. 

In Wisconsin, marriage records can be obtained in one of three ways: in person, by mail, or by fax.  A fee is required for the search and if the results are productive, it will cover the cost of one copy.  Payment is by check or money order and must be written out to the State of Wisconsin Vital Records.  Marriage records prior to 1907 may not be available.

To apply for a copy of a marriage record in person, it is necessary to visit the Department of Health and Family Services located at 1 West Wilson Street, room 158, Madison, Wisconsin during the hours of 8:00 A.M. to 4:15 P.M. on Mondays through Fridays.  You must complete an application that you can obtain in the office or online using the following link:

To complete the form, you will need the following information: your contact information, your relationship to the persons named on the marriage record, and specific information about the couple named on the record.  In particular, you must be able to provide the full name of the groom, the full maiden name of the bride, the city, village, or township of the marriage, the county of marriage, and the date of the marriage.  Additionally, you must sign and date the application. 

Unless the marriage record is mailed to you, you will be required to show proof of your identity at the time you pick up the record.  Such proof must show your current name and address, and it must be current.  Acceptable forms of identification are one of the following: Wisconsin driverís license, Wisconsin photo ID card, or government issued employee ID card with photograph.

To obtain a copy of a marriage record by mail, you must complete the same application that is completed for in person requests.  You may obtain it online by following the same link:  Additionally, you can request the form by sending a request for the marriage certificate application form to the following address:

Marriage Record Application
P.O. Box 309
Madison, WI 53701-0309

Once you have completed the application, it should be mailed to the following address:

State of Wisconsin Vital Records
P.O. Box 309
Madison, WI 53701-0309

To obtain a copy of a marriage record by fax, you must complete a fax marriage application form that can be obtained using the following link:  Additionally, you may call 608-266-1373 to request an application.  Once you have completed the application, you should fax it to the number listed at the top of the form.

Any requests that are received by fax will be charged an additional fee of $10.00 per record in addition to the initial charge of $7.00 for the search.  Additional copies of marriage records requested at the same time, by any method of request, are available at a fee of $3.00.  Fax requests must be paid by credit card.

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