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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a copy of any record from the County Records Center?

Where do I get a copy of birth or death certificates?

How do I get a copy of a marriage certificate, or apply for a Marriage License in Clackamas County?

How do I get a copy of my divorce papers, probate record, adoption record, or traffic citation?

Where can I get my property tax record and other information about property taxes?

What is a public record?

Who can make a public records request?

How do I request a public record?

How does Clackamas County calculate its charges for employee time spent working on a request?

I have an ongoing interest in a particular set of records. May I submit one request and be notified whenever there is an update or new records are available?

Can I ask to inspect the records rather than receive copies?

If I make a request for the records of an elected official, do any different rules apply?

In cases of records pertaining to individuals other than elected officials, what recourse do I have if my request for copies or inspection is denied?

Can I get a copy of any record from the County Records Center?

No, not directly. The County Records Center is an internal service provider to county departments and divisions. Record requests must be made through the appropriate department that creates and maintains the record. Typically, only inactive records are stored at the center.

If the record you are looking for is stored at the center, the responsible department requests the retrieval. Please note that some records are exempt from disclosure to the general public, per Oregon law (192.501, 502). Departments will inform you if records are open for public viewing.

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Where do I get a copy of birth or death certificates?

The Clackamas County Health Department maintains certified copies and abstracts of birth and death events, which are available for up to six months after the event. There is a fee for this service. Call 503-742-5300 for more information. There may be restrictions regarding some records.

The state of Oregon maintains birth and death records after six months. Information can be found from:

Oregon Health Division
Center for Health Statistics (and Vital Records)
800 NE Oregon St.
Portland, OR 97232
971-673-1190

If you were born in another state, please contact that state for requesting procedures.

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How do I get a copy of my marriage certificate, or apply for a Marriage License in Clackamas County?

Marriage certificate copies are available from the Recording Division of the County Clerk’s office:

Clackamas County Clerk
Recording Division
1710 Red Soils Court
Oregon City, OR 97045
Marriage Line: 503-655-8659

Please see our Marriage Licenses web page for thorough information on marriage licensing.

The Oregon Health Division, Center for Health Statistics (and Vital Records) can provide you with a summary of a marriage record. (Records go back to 1906).

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How do I get a copy of my divorce papers, probate record, adoption record, or traffic citation?

Please refer to the Clackamas County Circuit Court website to determine if your file is at the Court or needs to be ordered from the County Records Center. Requests for files should be made 48 hours in advance of the date needed to allow for retrieval.

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Where can I get my property tax record and other information about property taxes?

Assessment and tax information can be obtained from the County Assessor's Office:

Clackamas County Assessment & Taxation
150 Beavercreek Road
Oregon City, OR 97045
503-655-8671
503-655-8313 (FAX)

You can also e-mail questions to: propertytaxinfo@clackamas.us

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What is a public record?

A public record “includes any writing that contains information relating to the conduct of the public’s business … prepared, owned, used or retained by a public body regardless of physical form or characteristics,” per 192.410(4)(a). “Writing” as defined by 192.410(6), “means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photographing and every means of recording, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combination thereof, and all papers, maps, files, facsimiles or electronic recordings.

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Who can make a public record request?

Under 192.420, every person has a right to inspect any nonexempt public record. This right extends to any corporation, partnership, firm or association. Generally, the motive and need of the person requesting access to public records are irrelevant. However, the identity and motive of the person seeking disclosure of a particular record may be relevant in determining whether a record is exempt under a conditional exemption.

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How do I request a public record?

See Requesting public records

How does Clackamas County calculate its charges for employee time spent working on a request?

Staff time charges are composed of the employee’s base hourly rate, plus an average tax and benefit cost. The average tax and benefit cost for a fulltime employee is 57% above base hourly pay. The average tax and benefit cost for a part time or temporary worker is 30%. Employee charges will be calculated by adding up the time spent by the employee working on the request, and then multiplying that number by the employee’s hourly rate and tax and benefit percentage.

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I have an ongoing interest in a particular set of records. May I be notified whenever there is an update or new records are available?

No. A new request must be made each time.

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Can I ask to inspect the records rather than receive copies?

Yes, Oregon law not only requires a custodian to furnish copies, but also to furnish a “reasonable opportunity to inspect public records.” It is permissible for a requester to view materials instead of asking for copies, or to first inspect the records to determine what, if any, copies are needed.

However, the right to inspect is subject to reasonable limits:

The right to inspect extends to allowing requesters to use their own equipment to make copies. This right is subject to reasonable restrictions to protect the integrity of the records. Some records can be inspected but not copied, such as voter registration signatures.

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If I make a request for the records of an elected official, do any different rules apply?

Yes. Under 192.465(2), an elected official is required to deny, grant, or deny/grant in part a request to inspect or receive a copy of a public records request within seven days from the day of receipt of the request. The failure to do so is treated as a denial of the request for the purpose of determining whether a person may institute proceedings for injunctive or declaratory relief.

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In cases of records pertaining to individuals other than elected officials, what recourse do I have if my request for copies or inspection is denied?

In any case in which a person is refused an opportunity to inspect or receive copies of a record pertaining to individuals other than elected officials, the requester may file a petition for disclosure with the District Attorney. If the District Attorney's order is adverse to the county, the county can then appeal to the Circuit Court. If the order is adverse to the petitioner, or is not complied with, the petitioner can appeal to the Circuit Court (192.460)

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If you would like additional information about public records, the Oregon Attorney General’s Public Records and Meetings Manual / State of Oregon Department of Justice is available in public libraries or may be ordered from the Attorney General’s Office.

An additional resource is A Quick Reference Guide to Oregon’s Public Records Law.

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Records Management
1810 Red Soils Ct, St 120
Oregon City, OR 97045 map
M – Th 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
F 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Phone: 503-655-8323
Fax: 503-655-8195

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