A new law aimed at making it easier to obtain vital records, including birth, marriage, death and divorce records is now a reality after the new year.
The law was championed by Green Lake County Register of Deeds Sarah Guenther, who said residents will have access to their records anywhere in the state if the event occurred in Wisconsin.
Before, if a Green Lake County resident was born in Brown County and married in Jefferson County (as an example), he or she would have to go to those counties to obtain those certificates. After January 1, that resident can obtain those records at the Green Lake County Register of Deeds Office in Green Lake in person or use our online services at Official Records Online, https://www.officialrecordsonline.com.
The state vital records office is still working to back-scan all previous records, however. Birth certificates from as far back as 1907 will be available, death records dating back to 2012, marriage certificates back to 2014 and divorce certificates from 2016 will be available when the law goes into effect.
The system will be continuously updated with more records, Guenther said. In the meantime, residents will have to go to the county the event occurred for records that are not yet in the system.
Guenther said advances in technology made it possible for records to be available statewide.
Citizens are going to benefit from this change by having access to their records anywhere in the state. It is going to also benefit title companies, funeral homes, lawyers and banks to obtain records on behalf of their customers.
Gov. Scott Walker signed the vital records bill, co-authored by Representative Ballweg, and supported by Senator Luther Olsen on Feb. 29. It passed the state Assembly and Senate on voice votes.
Anyone with questions about the law should contact the Green Lake County Register of Deeds Office at 920-294-4021.