Q: Can Customers Maintain a Confidential Address Through a New State Program?

A: Yes. The Wisconsin Department of Justice recently implemented a confidentiality program known as Safe at Home, authorized under sec. 165.68, Wis. Stats. Safe at Home is a statewide address confidentiality program that provides victims of abuse with a legal substitute address to be used for both public and private purposes. Enrollment in Safe at Home allows participants to use and receive mail at an assigned address in lieu of their actual address. Safe at Home then forwards mail from the assigned address to participants’ actual addresses free of charge.

To achieve confidentiality, participants use an assigned address in place of their actual address for all purposes, including banking.

A Safe at Home Participant Authorization card is issued to each program participant. The card bears the participant’s name and unique identification number, the assigned address, and expiration date. The assigned address, which is the same for all participants, is 3902 Milwaukee St., P.O. Box 7188, Madison, WI 53707-7188.

Upon presentation of the authorization card, financial institutions are required to use the assigned address for all purposes, save a single exception discussed below. Correspondence sent to the assigned address will be re-routed to the participant at the participant’s actual address. In most cases, re-routing occurs the same day, but participants are made aware that the process can cause delays. To help avoid delay, it is critical that the participant’s name and program identification number appear in conjunction with the assigned address to ensure mail is re-routed to the correct participant. The number should be listed above the street address, either next to or below the participant's name, and can be listed as an Apt. number, if needed.

For purposes of compliance with the institution’s Customer Identification Program requirements under the USA PATRIOT Act, the DOJ’s address must be used. The address is 17 W. Main St., Madison, WI 53703. Use of DOJ’s address is permitted under FinCEN Ruling 2009-R003.

Currently, the program has approximately 100 participants.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact DOJ’s Erin B. Welsh at 608-266-6613 or safeathome@doj.state.wi.us.