Permit Sonoma's Records Section retains and provides public access to permit records for properties located within the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County. Services include:
From Your Own Home:
- Online Tools: Permit History Search and Document Search so you can perform research from the comfort of your own home. Note: Some documents are protected (like construction plans) and are therefore only viewable at the Permit Center.
- Request Paper Records via Email: Records for historic parcel review or to assist you in moving forward on your project.
At the Permit Center:
- Records Counter: View historic records and documents that are not yet available in electronic form. The Records Counter is open for records searches during Permit Center hours and is limited to two customers at a time.
- Kiosks: Self-service public kiosks are available to perform the same research available via our online tools, plus viewing some protected documents not available from home (like construction plans).
Public Records Act: You are formally requesting records through the California Public Records Act (PRA). More Information
Records Search – Things to Know
- Permit Sonoma has jurisdiction for the unincorporated areas of Sonoma County only. Records for properties located within city limits will be found at that city jurisdiction, with the following possible exceptions:
- Well & Septic: Permit Sonoma has jurisdiction for Well & Septic permits for both the unincorporated areas of the County and all cities.
- Annexation: Permits obtained prior to an annexation may be located either at Permit Sonoma or the city that did the annexation.
- Building Permits: Permit Sonoma started issuing Building permits in 1959 for Commercial, Industrial, and some Urban Residential structures. In February of 1963, Uniform Codes were adopted requiring building permits for all Residential structures. Prior to these dates, records of construction (not permits) may be found at the Sonoma County Assessor’s Office.
- Well Permits: Permit Sonoma started issuing Well permits in 1973. Well information prior to 1973 is located with the State of California at the Department of Water Resources.
- All paper Records behind the counter are ultimately stored by the address of record at the time a permit is issued. Permit Sonoma staff can search by parcel, owner, and record number, but only in an effort to cross reference the address. Providing an accurate address will speed up the search.
- You can look up and print a Permit History report from our website using our Permit History Search.
- When conducting a Permit History search, the most accurate result is achieved by searching all known addresses and parcel numbers associated with the property.
- If records are indicated as “Scanned” in the Permit History report, they can be found electronically at the Kiosk computers in our Public Lobby.
- For older permits, the Permit History itself may be the only record Permit Sonoma has of a permit.
- A thorough search will include:
- All paper file locations in our building
- Our offsite storage facility
- The electronic document systems (AlchemyWeb and Accela)
- Microfiche/microfilm cards
- The older microfilm reels located behind the Records desk
If you are having difficulty, please be sure to mention all of these locations to staff.
We are currently undergoing a record digitization effort. When finished, all records will be available electronically and online. We appreciate your patience as we locate just what you are looking for.