Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Planning & Development

Rural Addresses in Dane County

What is rural addressing?

The Dane County Department of Planning and Development is responsible for assigning and issuing addresses for properties located in the county’s 33 unincorporated towns.

Property owners seeking assignment of a rural address for new or existing parcels should complete the application form.  Proper rural numbering is essential for local delivery of USPS mail, private delivery services, utility providers, and emergency services. Fire, EMS, and Police responders and utility companies rely heavily on the accuracy and predictability of rural addresses.

How are rural addresses assigned?

Dane County uses a grid system to assign addresses, with the grid starting at zero, south to north, and also east to west, at the southeastern corner of the county. As addresses are charted from the zero starting point, numbers increase south to north, and east to west. The grid runs in 20 foot intervals, with each increment of this distance resulting in assignment of the next number. For meandering roads that do not fit neatly to the imaginary grid, the entire length of the road is charted as either north-south, or east-west, with addresses assigned accordingly. In some instances, addresses are charted on a case-by-case basis. To properly chart a new address, several factors are considered. These factors include: existing addresses, provided they are properly charted; the existing grid numbers from county maps; the exact location of the driveway intersection with the named road; and existing addresses using the same driveway.

As noted above, a site plan, drawn to scale, including lot lines and lot dimensions, and any approved Driveway Permit information from the Town, is essential. In subdivisions, previously assigned addresses in adjacent plats must also be considered. There are numerous duplicate road names, including some in the same general geographical area, so care must be taken to avoid confusing number duplication.

All of the above factors are part of the necessary steps to properly assign rural addresses.

More information about rural addressing can be found in Chapter 76 of the Dane County Code of Ordinances. 

Please allow 1-3 weeks to process your request. A nominal fee may be assessed for the address assignment in accordance with sec. 12.05(16), Dane County Code of Ordinances.