Milwaukee County - John LaFave

Office Address: 901 N. 9th Street, Courthouse, Room 103, Milwaukee, WI 53233-1458
Office hours:
   8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

  • Document recording service provides information on fees and formats for recording and submitting real estate transfer returns.

  • Phone calls about document examination are answered between 8:00 and 4:30 PM at 414-278-4005. Document examination questions can also be sent via fax to 414-223-1257 or e-mail to  Standard mail services or in-person delivery of documents and fees are also accepted.

  • The fee for recording a real estate document is $30.00 regardless of the number of pages, excepting plats which are $50. All pages shall be letter or legal size, on white paper and typed or printed in black ink.

  • No personal checks for birth, death, marriage records.

Telephone: 414-278-4021 Vital Records 414-278-4003 Real estate document recording 414-278-4005 Real estate records research 414-278-4000

Online Services
Order Birth, Death and Marriage Records Online

Milwaukee County - John LaFaveAbout John: John La Fave has been the elected Register of Deeds for Milwaukee County since January 2003. Previously he was a member of the Wisconsin legislature for ten years, 1993 - 2003.

Mr. La Fave serves as the Land Information Officer of Milwaukee County and is a member of: Milwaukee County Automated Land and Information System, Wisconsin Register of Deeds Association, Property Records Industry Association and the National Association of County Recorders, Election Officials and Clerks.

In July 2009 Governor Jim Doyle appointed Mr. La Fave to serve a three-year membership on the Electronic Recording Council - Wisconsin (ERC-WI). The Council was created by legislation known as the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act. The Council is charged to develop administrative rules and guidance on implementing electronic recording of land documents by Wisconsin Registers of Deeds.

In July 2008 the Register of Deeds began participation in the Property Fraud Alert service, which notifies participants whenever a document is recorded in their name in this office.

In 2003 the Milwaukee County Register of Deeds department became one of the first counties in the country to begin electronic recording of real estate documents. Electronic recording of documents is faster and more efficient than recording paper documents. On January 8, 2008 this office was the first in Wisconsin to begin eRecording deeds.

During Mr. La Fave's tenure 17 years of microfilm images have been converted to digital format. Document images are available via computer from January 4, 1985 to the present. These documents are available on the Internet through our software vendor for a fee. Plans are to continue the conversion of film images to digital format back to 1962.

John La Fave is a member of the Milwaukee County Democratic Party, Brown Deer Senior Citizens Club, Vagabond Ski and Social Club, Bay View Bicycle Club, Whitefish Bay Tennis Club and the United States Tennis Association. John was born in Milwaukee in 1949 and is a lifelong resident of Milwaukee County. He attended Wauwatosa West High School and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in education. He is active as a Certified Teacher of Transcendental Meditation.

John's involvement in political and community affairs began during his high school years when he was active in civil rights activities and the peace movement. He worked two years as an elementary school teacher, 18 years as a sales representative and ten years as a State Representative. John and his wife Andrea live in the Village of Brown Deer. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. Occasionally John enjoys commuting the 12 miles to the courthouse via bicycle.

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About the Register of Deeds office Real estate-related instruments that affect title to approximately 300,000 parcels of land located in Milwaukee County are recorded here. The following documents and services are available through the Register of Deeds:

  • certified copies of birth, death and marriage records* Event must have taken place in Milwaukee County

  • request to file a military discharge for safe keeping

In addition, the Office of the Register of Deeds records, scans and compiles an index of real estate documents, corporation papers and military discharges; records informal probate instruments; files and keeps an index of financing statements; collects the real estate transfer tax; and performs such other functions as provided, pursuant to Sections 59.51, 69.23 and other pertinent sections of the Wisconsin Statutes.

Mission Statement: The mission of the Milwaukee County Register of Deeds Office is to provide timely, secure, accurate, archival accessible and cost-effective record systems and services that are delivered in a prompt and courteous manner.

Milwaukee County Register of Deeds Office

We make it easy to order your official birth, death or marriage certificate online.

Looking for a certified birth, death or marriage certificate?

VitalChek is your direct connection to:

  • Order certified copies of birth certificates (with government seal) for your immediate family.

  • Obtain information and instructions for ordering birth certificates from state, county and city vital record agencies nationwide.

Note:  Divorce records are available for Milwaukee County online, but is a function of Clerk of Courts.  This link is provided for your convenience.

About Milwaukee County:  A summer in the "City of Festivals" is a passport for a global journey exploring the arts, history, recreation, cuisine and genealogy of a new culture nearly every weekend with festivals throughout the city. From African and Irish to Native American and Polish Milwaukee is a melting pot of ethnic heritage. Experience the Milwaukee County Zoo, Milwaukee's museums, and restaurants, take in a ball game at Miller Park or enjoy activities along the shore of Lake Michigan. We invite you to start your adventure today. See what truly makes Milwaukee a Genuine American City.

Milwaukee County Official Website
Wisconsin Register of Deeds Association - Main Page | Who We Are | Recording Documents | Online Records | Vital Records