Public Records Notice, Wis. Stats. s. 19.34
The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) exists under the authority of section 15.18 to section 15.185 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Among other things, the DFI works to ensure the safety and soundness of Wisconsin’s financial institutions, safeguards the investing public, facilitates commerce, and increases financial capability throughout the state. The department administers the Wisconsin Consumer Act and maintains the state’s business and organization filings. The secretary and all appointees of the DFI are state public officials as defined in section 19.42 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
Pursuant to chapter 19 of the Wisconsin Statutes, the secretary is the legal custodian of the DFI’s records. However, to facilitate public access to the records, this authority has been delegated to Matthew R. Lynch, Chief Legal Counsel, Department of Financial Institutions, PO Box 8861, Madison, WI 53708-8861, Matthew.Lynch@dfi.wisconsin.gov.
As provided in section 19.34 of the Wisconsin Statutes, any member of the public has the right to inspect and copy certain records under Wisconsin’s Public Records Law, Wis. Stat. s. 19.31 to s. 19.39.
Instructions for Requesting Records
Requests for records may be emailed to DFIOpenRecords@dfi.wisconsin.gov. Requests for records may also be made in-person or by mail at the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, 4822 Madison Yards Way, North Tower, 4th Floor, Madison, WI 53705. The DFI is open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding these office closure dates.
Law Enforcement, or Local, State or Federal Agencies Requesting Records
For any and all requests from law enforcement, or local, state or federal agencies regarding any department record or filing, including corporate and uniform commercial code filings, email: DFIOpenRecords@dfi.wisconsin.gov.
Download or Purchase Records
Some records are available to download for free from the DFI’s website, while others are available for purchase from the department. Those records available for purchase may not be obtainable through an open records request and include the following:
- For copies of corporate filings, click here.
- For a compilation or list of corporate filings, click here.
- For searching and obtaining copies of uniform commercial code filings, click here.
- For data or images of uniform commercial code filings, click here.
- For securities registrant lists, click here.
- For a list of all active franchise registrations, click here.
- For franchise filing details and disclosure documents, click here.
A request must reasonably describe the records sought. For example, specific documents concerning a specific entity or industry.
Time for Responding
Generally, small and straightforward requests will be completed within 10 business days of receipt whenever it is practicable to do so. If requesting an update on the status of a records request, the DFI will respond within five business days.
When requested and whenever practical, the DFI will provide electronic copies of records that already exist in an electronic format.
The DFI may charge the actual, necessary, and direct cost of producing a record, Wis. Stat. s. 19.35(3)(a). The DFI will not charge for the cost of reviewing records for possible redaction or removal of confidential information.
The DFI may charge the actual, necessary, and direct cost of locating the records if it exceeds $50. If the records are mailed to the requester, the DFI may charge the actual, necessary, and direct shipping costs, Wis. Stats. s. 19.34(3)(c) and (d).
The below fees apply except where a different fee is authorized by law. Pre-payment of fees may be required if the total costs are greater than $5. Fees totaling less than $5 may be waived by the discretion of the department.
Hard Copies: Include any paper records provided by copying a paper record or printing an electronic record. The cost is $0.0135 per page for black and white copies and $0.0632 per page for color copies. The fee calculation is the copy and paper cost. In rare instances, specialized skills, equipment, or technology, may result in additional copy costs.
Electronic Copies: Include any electronic records provided by email, PDF, DVD, flash drive, or other electronic format.
- Paper to Digitial Copies: Includes scanning the physical documents and saving them into a digital format for electronic distribution. The fee is waived. In rare instances, specialized skills, equipment, or technology, may result in copy costs.
- Digital to Physical Copies: Includes copying records already in a digital format onto a physical medium for distribution. The cost of the physical medium: DVD (each): $0.13 (4.7 GB); Flash Drive (each): $5.02 (8 GB), $6.53 (16 GB), $10.08 (32 GB), $18.52 (64 GB), $32.21 (128 GB), $53.81 (500 GB), $60.14 (1 TB), $74.83 (2 TB). The fee calculation is the cost of the physical medium used.
- Digital to Digital Copies: Includes copying records from one digital format to another for distribution (for example: email). The fee is waived. In rare instances, specialized skills, equipment, or technology, may result in copy costs.
Location Fees: May only be imposed if the cost of location alone is $50 or more. Includes searching for and identifying responsive records but does not include redaction. The cost is $22.54 per hour for staff time, which is the lowest possible hourly rate. In rare instances, an employee with special skills may be necessary to conduct a search and a higher hourly rate may be assessed. If necessary, a State Records Center records retrieval fee is charged. The cost is based on the State Records Center rates, which are subject to change, currently set at $3.05 per box. The fee calculation is the staff time and the cost from the State Records Center, if necessary.
The DFI does not release examinations, examination information, or reports filed by a bank or licensee with the department.
The department does not release facts and information obtained in the course of examinations or contained in any report provided by a credit union other than a semiannual or quarterly financial report that is regularly filed with the Office of Credit Unions.
Regarding the Division of Securities, the following records are not public records and are not available for public examination, pursuant to s. 551.607, Stats.:
- Information and records obtained by the administrator in connection with an audit or inspection under s. 551.411 (4) or a pending investigation under s. 551.602.
- A part of a record filed in connection with a registration statement under ss. 551.301 and 551.303 to 551.305 or a record under s. 551.411 (4) that contains trade secrets or confidential information if the person filing the registration statement or record has asserted a claim of confidentiality or privilege that is authorized by law.
- A record that is not required to be provided to the administrator or filed under this chapter and is provided to the administrator only on the condition that the record will not be subject to public examination or disclosure.
- A nonpublic record received from a person specified in s. 551.608 (1).
- Subject to s. 551.406 (6) (a), any social security number, residential address unless used as a business address, and residential telephone number unless used as a business telephone number, contained in a record that is filed.
- A record obtained by the administrator through a designee of the administrator that a rule or order under this chapter determines has been appropriately expunged from the administrator's records by the designee.
- Any information or record received under s. 551.202 (26) (k) relating to payments for securities, the copy of the disclosure statement provided to the administrator under s. 551.202 (26) (f) 2., and any information or record obtained by the division under s. 551.205 (1) (c).
Personnel records, with limited exceptions, shall not be provided, including information regarding personal matters (for example: home address, social security number), current investigations, employment examinations, and staff management planning.
Department records subject to an attorney-client privilege or deemed attorney work product will not be released.
Information redacted from records includes, but may not be limited to, names of any debtor of any bank or licensee, an individual's birth date, social security numbers, personal health and medical information, federal employment identification numbers and account numbers.
Information Not on Record
The DFI is not required to create a new record by extracting and compiling information from existing records into a new format or record.
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
Office of the Secretary
PO Box 8861
Madison, WI 53708-8861
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
Office of the Secretary
4822 Madison Yards Way, North Tower
Madison, WI 53705