Wisconsin Office of the Secretary of State
PUBLIC RECORDS POLICY
The Wisconsin Office of the Secretary of State maintains the official acts of the Legislature and Governor, keeps the Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin and affixes it to all official acts of the Governor, as required by Wisconsin's Constitution. In addition, the Office administers program responsibilities as set forth in some 100 sections of the Wisconsin Statutes, including issuing authentications and apostilles; filing oaths of office; and filing deeds for state lands and buildings.
Procedures for Obtaining Records:
- Requests for access to a public record may be made in writing, and directed to: Records Division Administrator, P.O. Box 7848, Madison, WI 53707-7848, 608-266-8888.
- A request for access to public records must reasonably describe the record sought and be reasonably limited as to the subject matter and/or length of time represented by the record.
- Request for access to, and inspection of, any public records may be made during the Office’s regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., exclusive of legal holidays; B41W State Capitol, Madison WI 53703).
- A request may be denied if the particular document is not on file with this Office or is exempted by state law from the definition of public record.
- No request will be denied for any refusal to be identified or to state the purpose of the request. However, reasonable restrictions may be imposed on the manner of access to an original record if the record is irreplaceable or easily damaged.
- For certified copies of any law, resolution, deed, bond, record, document or paper deposited or kept in the Office of the Secretary of State as required by law, the cost is $0.50 per page and $5.00 per certificate, $10.00 for special certificates. Wis. Stat. § 14.38(9).
- For uncertified copies of any law, resolution, deed, bond, record, document or paper deposited or kept in the Office of the Secretary of State as required by law, the cost is the actual and necessary cost of reproduction and the actual and necessary cost of transcription ($.15/page) or $2.00, whichever is greater. Wis. Stat. § 14.38(9).
- The fee for certificates as to results of searches of the records and files of the Office of the Secretary of State is $5.00 when a printed form is used and $10.00 when a specially prepared form is required. Wis. Stat. § 14.38(9).
- An additional $25.00 will be charged for preparing any record or certificate described in sections 6 through 8 above in an expeditious manner. Wis. Stat. § 14.38(9).
- For copies of records other than records described in sections 6 through 8 above, requesters may be charged $.15/copy for photocopies, and may be charged the actual, necessary and direct costs of photographic or other reproduction. Requesters also may be charged the actual costs of mailing or shipping any requested copies or reproductions. If the actual, necessary and direct cost of locating records responsive to a request exceeds $50.00, the requester also may be charged that location cost. Prepayment may be required if total costs of responding to a request exceed $5.00. Wis. Stat. § 19.35(3).
(Revised May 2011)