Public Disclosure Process and Fees

Snohomish County Public Records Responsibilities

In Washington State, public records are governed by the Public Records Act (RCW 42.56) which pertains to all records prepared, owned, used, or retained by any department or office of Snohomish County government containing information related to the conduct of government or the performance of a governmental function. Snohomish County provides public records in compliance with all applicable laws. For more information about how to submit a request, and what to expect after you do, please review the tabs below.

Snohomish County Court records are not public records and are provided pursuant to Washington State Rule GR 31 for Court Records and GR 31.1 for Administrative Court Records, respectively.

For more information about how to submit a request, and what to expect after you do, please review the tabs below:

  1. Submitting a Request
  2. Public Records Request Process
  3. Public Records Fees
  4. Public Records Resources

If you are interested in obtaining public records from Snohomish County, we first recommend you check the List of Commonly Requested Records to determine if expedited access methods are available. If the records are not listed please review the Department Description Guide (PDF) before submitting a request to identify which departments are likely to hold the records you are seeking. Snohomish County Superior, Juvenile, and District Court case files and administrative records are not available under the Public Records Act (RCW 42.56), and are instead provided pursuant to Washington State Rule GR 31 for court records and GR 31.1 for administrative records, respectively. To obtain these records, please contact the appropriate Court by visiting their Judicial Services website.

Please note that per Snohomish County Code 2.51.050, all requests for public records must be submitted in writing. There are several methods available for submitting a records request:

  1. Requests can be submitted through the Public Records Request Portal
  2. Requests can be mailed to Public Records Officer or to the appropriate departmental Public Records Specialist.

If a request is submitted via email, fax, or by mail, the request will be entered into the Public Request tracking program. Once entered, requests can be tracked through the Public Records Request Portal. When making your request please be as specific as possible so we can conduct a thorough and accurate search. Requests must contain the following information:

  1. Contact information of the person making the request;
  2. Reasonable notice that the request is for the disclosure of public records pursuant to the Public Records Act;
  3. Identification of the requested records by reference to names, title, subject matter, and time frames, or other means adequate for the Public Records Officer, Public Records Specialist, or designee to locate the requested records; and
  4. Whether or not such request is for a list of individuals, if applicable.