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Request for a Copy of a Declaration of Domestic Partnership


Notice of Office Closure Dates

The Wisconsin Vital Records Office will be closed on the following dates in 2014. No applications for certificates will be accepted on these dates, and no appointments for genealogy services will be available.

2014 Office of Vital Records Closure Dates
Date and Holiday
January 1, Wednesday, New Year's Day November 27, Thursday, Thanksgiving Day  
January 20, Monday, Martin Luther King Day December 24, Wednesday, Christmas Eve Day
May 26, Monday, Memorial Day December 25, Thursday, Christmas Day
July 4,  Friday, Fourth of July December 31, Wednesday, New Year's Eve Day
September 1, Monday, Labor Day  

Effective August 3, 2009, same-sex partners in Wisconsin can establish a Declaration of Domestic Partnership. Contact your local County Clerk's office for information on how to establish or terminate a domestic partnership. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions  (PDF, 34 KB) are available. (Once the declaration or termination of domestic partnership is completed and filed at the County Register of Deeds office, you may obtain a certified copy of the record through the county Register of Deeds office or the State Vital Records Office.)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I request copies of a declaration of domestic partnership?

Wisconsin law requires that applications for copies of a declaration of domestic partnership record include both a signature and the appropriate fees. Therefore, the Wisconsin Vital Records Office cannot accept applications through this Web site, by e-mail, or by telephone.  This applies to both information from and copies of a declaration of domestic partnership.

You can apply for a copy of a declaration of domestic partnership in three ways: in person, by mail, or by fax.

Identification is required to apply for copies of vital records in person, by mail or by fax. The acceptable forms of identification are listed below.

ONE of the following:
Wisconsin driver's license
Wisconsin ID card
Out-of-state driver's license/ID card

OR
TWO of the following:
U.S. government-issued photo ID
Passport
Checkbook/bank statement
Health insurance card
Current, dated, signed lease
Utility bill or traffic ticket
Paycheck or earnings statement

At least one form of identification must show your name and address.  Expired cards or documents will not be accepted. You must have an original ID to apply in person and provide a copy to apply by mail.

There is no additional charge for postage.

If you still have questions after reading the information, please contact us.

In Person:

You can apply in person for a copy of a declaration of domestic partnership at 1 West Wilson Street, Room 158, in Madison, Wisconsin (driving directions/parking).  The office is open from 8:00 A.M. until 4:15 P.M. (C.S.T.), Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays.

Applications are available in our office or you may fill out the declaration of domestic partnership application form (PDF, 2643 KB) and bring it with you. Acceptable identification is required.

Our office provides both regular service and expedited service for in-person requests.

Regular Service:  In-person requests for certified copies of a declaration of domestic partnership are completed within two hours of acceptance at our counter if received by 2:00 p.m.  Requests received at our counter after 2:00 p.m. will be completed by  10:00 a.m. on the next business day.

Because of the high demand for copies of vital records, requests for uncertified copies are not completed on the same schedule as certified copies.  In-person requests for uncertified copies of declaration of domestic partnership may take up to three months to complete.

The cost for the search, which includes one copy of the record, if found, is $20.00. Additional copies of the same record, requested at the same time as the first, are $3.00 each.  The cost is the same whether you request a certified or uncertified copy of the declaration of domestic partnership.

The fees are not refundable if no record is found. Acceptable methods of payment for in-person requests are cash, personal check, or money order.  Credit and debit cards are not accepted for in-person requests.

Expedited Service:

In-person requests for both certified and uncertified copies of  a declaration of domestic partnership can be expedited for an additional fee.

Expedited in-person requests for copies of a declaration of domestic partnership will be completed within 15 to 30 minutes. Expedited in-person requests for uncertified copies of a declaration of domestic partnership will be completed within two hours. Expedited requests will not be processed after 4:00 p.m.

The cost for expedited service is $20.00 per record in addition to the $20.00 declaration of domestic partnership record search fee.  Additional copies of the same record, requested at the same time as the first, are $3.00 each.  The cost is the same whether you request a certified or an uncertified copy of the declaration of domestic partnership.

The fees are not refundable if no record is found.  Acceptable methods of payment for in-person requests are cash, personal check, or money order. Credit and debit cards are not accepted for in-person requests.

By Mail:

Applications for copies of a declaration of domestic partnership should be mailed to:

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

Please use the declaration of domestic partnership application form (PDF, 2643 KB) or request an application by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Declaration of Domestic Partnership Records Application
P.O. Box 309
Madison, WI  53701-0309

Incomplete or unsigned forms will be returned unprocessed. Include a copy of acceptable identification (required).

The cost for the search, which includes one copy of the record, if found, is $20.00. Additional copies of the same record, requested at the same time as the first, are $3.00 each.  The cost is the same whether you request a certified or uncertified copy of the declaration of domestic partnership.

The fee is not refundable if no record is found.  You must enclose a personal check or money order made payable to Wis. Vital Records. Please do not send cash.

Please include a self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope with your request.

Requests for certified copies of a declaration of domestic partnership will be completed within one month. Because of the high demand for copies of vital records, requests for uncertified copies of declaration of domestic partnership are not completed on the same schedule as certified copies and may take up to three months to complete.

Expedited service is not available by mail.  If you require expedited service for a copy of a declaration of domestic partnership, you must apply in person or by fax.

By Fax:

If you require expedited service for a copy of a declaration of domestic partnership and cannot apply in person, you may submit a fax application. The declaration copy can be sent to you by regular mail or overnight United Parcel Service (UPS) Next Day Air.

Please use the fax declaration of domestic partnership application (PDF, 191 KB) or call (608) 266-1373 to have the form faxed to you. Once the application is filled out, please fax it to the number listed on the top of the form. Include a copy of acceptable identification (required).

All requests received by fax will be charged for expedited service.  The cost for expedited service is $20.00 per record in addition to the usual $20.00 declaration of domestic partnership record search fee.  The search fee includes one copy of the record, if found.  Additional copies of the same record, requested at the same time as the first, are $3.00 each.  All costs must be paid by credit card and there is an additional $6.00 fee for credit card processing.

The fees are not refundable if no record is found.

Faxed requests for both certified and uncertified copies to be sent by regular mail will be completed and mailed within five business days.

Faxed requests for copies to be sent by overnight UPS will be completed and shipped within one to two business days. UPS requests are processed until 1:00 p.m. each business day for next business day delivery. The fee for UPS shipping is $19.00 within the continental U.S.

What if I don't have all the information requested in the application?

The Wisconsin Vital Records Office can search for a declaration of domestic partnership record even if you cannot provide all the information requested in the application. For us to search our files for a declaration of domestic partnership record when some information is not available, you must provide the name of one of the partners and a year range to search.

If you are requesting a declaration of domestic partnership record with a common last name such as Anderson, Johnson, or Smith, you must include additional identifying information such as the name of the other partner or the county where the declaration was filed. Please include as much additional information as possible to assist in the search.

What is the difference between a certified and an uncertified copy of a declaration of domestic partnership?

A certified copy of a declaration of domestic partnership issued by our office will have a raised seal, will show the signature of the State Registrar, and will be printed on security paper. A certified copy may be required for many legal purposes.

State law restricts who may obtain a certified copy of a declaration of domestic partnership. A certified copy may be issued to:

  • The persons named on the record,

  • The current spouse of the persons named on the record,

  • The current domestic partner of the persons named on the record,

  • A parent of the persons named on the record,

  • A sibling of the persons named on the record,

  • A child of the persons named on the record,

  • A grandparent of the persons named on the record,

  • A person authorized in writing by one of the above. The written authorization must accompany the request and the relationship of the authorizing party to the subject of the record must be clearly explained.

  • A person who can demonstrate that the record is required to protect a personal or property right.

If you do not meet one of the above criteria, you cannot receive a certified copy of a declaration of domestic partnership.

An uncertified copy of a declaration of domestic partnership is available to anyone who applies. An uncertified copy will contain the same information as a certified copy but will not be acceptable for legal purposes, such as claiming insurance benefits.

What information will be on the declaration of domestic partnership?

An uncertified copy of a declaration of domestic partnership will be a photocopy on plain, white paper of the original document that was filed in our office. A certified copy of a declaration of domestic partnership certificate will be a photocopy on security paper of the original document that was filed in our office.   The information provided on a declaration of domestic partnership may vary from year to year. Typically, a declaration of domestic partnership will include the full names, dates of birth, and parents' names for both partners; the date the declaration of domestic partnership was filed; the county where it was filed; the birthplace of both partners; and the date and place of the declaration of domestic partnership.

How do I obtain an authentication or apostille for a declaration of domestic partnership?

An apostille is a specific authenticating certificate for a declaration of domestic partnership that may be required by other countries. In Wisconsin, an apostille is issued by the Office of the Wisconsin Secretary of State. Information on how to obtain an apostille is available on the Web site of the Office of the Secretary of State at http://www.sos.state.wi.us/apostilles.htm (exit DHS).

If you want our Vital Records office (located in Madison, Wisconsin) to assist you with obtaining a certified copy of a declaration of domestic partnership and submitting the certified copy of the declaration to the Office of the Wisconsin Secretary of State (also located in Madison, Wisconsin), you must do the following:

  1. Request a copy of a certified declaration of domestic partnership from our Vital Records office using the application and procedure shown on the Vital Records Web site at http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/vitalrecords/dpartnership.htm;
  2. Request an apostille from the Wisconsin Secretary of State's office using the order form and procedure shown on their Web site at www.sos.state.wi.us/apostilles.htm (exit DHS), only instead of submitting your request to the Secretary of State,
  3. Submit the required Vital Records application form and fee and the Secretary of State's order form, fee, and prepaid envelope (from the Secretary of State to you) to Vital Records for processing. NOTE: You must submit separate payments and completed application/order forms, one for Vital Records services and one for Secretary of State services, if you want our Vital Records office to assist you with this process.

Once Vital Records has received forms and fees for both agencies from you, we will create a certified copy of the declaration of domestic partnership and will submit the certified declaration of domestic partnership copy, Secretary of State's application, Secretary of State's fees, and prepaid envelope directly to the Office of the Secretary of State. They will complete their process and return the certified copy of the declaration of domestic partnership and apostille directly to you in the envelope you provided for them.

How can I contact the Wisconsin Vital Records Office directly?

If you have a question that is not answered on this Web site, please contact us directly in one of the following ways:

  • E-mail:  DHSVitalRecords@wisconsin.gov.

  • Telephone:  For automated assistance 24 hours a day, please call (608) 266-1371.   To contact our service counter during the hours of 8:00 A.M. to 4:15 P.M. (C.S.T.), Monday through Friday, please call (608) 266-1373.

  • Mail:  Our mailing address is Wisconsin Vital Records Office, P.O. Box 309, Madison, WI   53701-0309.

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Last Revised:  April 04, 2014