Addressing and Road Naming
Your property may contain the name of an Incorporated city as part of its address, but may actually be located in Unincorporated Sonoma County.
Determine if your parcel is within Unincorporated Sonoma County:
If your parcel is determined to be within an Incorporated area of Sonoma County, contact your jurisdiction for any addressing or road naming concerns.
Permit Sonoma is charged with the responsibility of assigning new addresses and adjusting existing physical addresses within the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County. The goal of proper address assignment is to bring addressing in Sonoma County to consistent standards and to support emergency response efficiencies, thereby providing for the safety of Sonoma County residents.
Full text of Sonoma County Addressing Policy: Chapter 13 – Sonoma County Fire Safety Ordinance, Article V. Fire Safe Standards, Division C. Signing and Building Numbering
For addressing issues or to request an address review, email us at:
Addressing - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why do I have to change my address?
Primary access to your property may have changed, your address may have been on a previously unnamed road, or out of sequence per addressing standards. Your new address will make it more efficient for fire, emergency medical services, and law enforcement personnel to find your home in the event of an emergency. Additionally, delivery and service providers will be able to find your address more easily.
How are new addresses chosen?
Addresses are determined by a numeric sequence based on the distance from a central point in Sonoma County. This point is the intersection of Hwy 101 and Hwy 12. Numbers are either odd or even, based on the side of the road the residence is located on and the direction of travel away from the addressing center point. To find out more about how addressing is determined, go to the Chapter 13 – Sonoma County Fire Safety Ordinance, Article V. Fire Safe Standards, Division C. Signing and Building Numbering
My parcel is vacant, why doesn’t it have an address?
Vacant parcels are not addressed. Unless there is activity requiring certain permit types, such as building a new residence, your parcel will remain un-addressed. For answers to specific questions about your parcel, email PermitSonoma-Addressing@sonoma-county.org
When does a parcel receive an address assignment?
Certain permits will initiate an address assignment. Some of these permits include a new residence, a new Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU), a permit for electricity for a well, among others. For answers to specific questions about your parcel, email PermitSonoma-Addressing@sonoma-county.org
What are the requirements for posting house numbers on your premises?
New address numbers must be posted where your driveway meets the road and must be visible from both directions of travel on that road. Address numbers must be posted on your house in a place where they will be visible from the road or from your primary driveway. The numbers must be reflective, must contrast with their background, and they must be at least four inches tall. The numbers on your mailbox must be visible and match your address. For a complete listing of County address number specifications go to Chapter 13 – Sonoma County Fire Safety Ordinance, Article V. Fire Safe Standards, Division C. Signing and Building Numbering
Sonoma County is not requiring that our address be changed right now. Can we change it anyway?
Yes. There are limitations and Fire Safe Standards that apply. If your address would be improved and meet these standards, your address can be changed. Email us at PermitSonoma-Addressing@sonoma-county.org
Why do I have to fill out a Change of Mailing Address form for the Assessor if Permit Sonoma has notified the Assessor of my address change?
We will notify the County Property Tax Assessor that the physical street address of your property has changed. Only you, or your authorized agent, are authorized to notify the Assessor of a mailing address change. This is to ensure that your property tax bill is mailed to the correct address. Your mailing address may be different than the property address if you own more than one property, use a post office box, or are out of state/country. Remember, you are responsible for paying your taxes by the due date, even if you do not receive a bill.
Will the title of my property be affected by the address change?
No. An address is not part of the legal description of your property. The legal description is contained in the deed and in the Preliminary Title Report you obtained prior to purchase.
Do I need to notify my lender about this new address?
Yes. You should notify your mortgage holder, property insurer, other creditors, issuers of other types of insurance (life, health, personal property, etc), in addition to service providers, and any others with whom you do business.
When do I begin using my new address?
You may begin using your new address as soon as you receive the official notification letter from Permit Sonoma. It may be a few months before businesses and government agencies update their records. If anyone questions your new address, you may provide them with a copy of the official notification letter.
What happens to mail with my old address on it?
We will notify your local post office of your new address. The postal delivery system will cross reference your old address to your new address. For best service, either complete a Change of Address Packet by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS or use the United States Postal Service website to submit a change of address online.
Permit Sonoma assigns new road names to both public and private roads. Existing roads with conflicting or duplicate names are renamed to ensure public safety standards are followed.
The Sonoma County Fire Safety Ordinance requires all roads providing primary access to two or more residences/businesses be named. Lanes or roads with no name are difficult to find and are easily overlooked during emergency response. As responders are not always familiar with your area, road naming is essential for efficient emergency response.
Road Naming requirements: Chapter 13 – Sonoma County Fire Safety Ordinance, Article V. Fire Safe Standards, Division C. Signing and Building Numbering
For Road Naming requests or issues, email us at:
Road Naming - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Sonoma County is not requiring that our road be named right now. Can we name it anyway?
Yes. Please email FirePrevention@sonoma-county.org for more information to begin the process. A majority of the property owners who use the road for their primary access or have property bordering the road must sign the petition form, agreeing to name the road and the stated choices for the name.
Who is responsible for erecting the new road name sign?
If the owners and users of the road petition the County for an official road name, they are collectively responsible for purchasing, installing, and maintaining an approved road name sign. Email FirePrevenfirstname.lastname@example.org to obtain County road sign specifications. If one property owner was required to submit a Road Name Application, that owner has the primary responsibility for the initial installation of the sign. All owners and users of the road share responsibility for its maintenance. Email FirePrevention@sonoma-county.org to obtain County road sign specifications.
My road name sign was damaged or stolen. What happens now?
Private Road Signs: All property owners along the road are collectively responsible for maintaining or replacing the sign, just as they are responsible for road maintenance. Together, you must replace the sign. Email FirePrevention@sonoma-county.org to obtain Sonoma County private road sign specifications.
County Maintained Road Signs: Contact Sonoma County Transportation and Public Works Department (TPW) Road Maintenance Division by phone at (707) 565-5100 or report online via SoCo Connect.
After my road is named will it be public, not private?
No. If the road was originally private, it will remain private.
After my road is named will the County begin maintaining it?
No. Your access road remains private property and its maintenance is the responsibility of the neighbors who use it for access to their properties.
Will my mailbox be moved onto my newly named road or will it stay where it is at the end of the lane on the primary road?
Mail boxes stay where they are now. Mail delivery routes and the location of mail boxes are determined by the US Postal Service. If you want to change the location of your-mailbox, you must contact your local Postmaster.