County Clerk, Town Clerk, City Clerk… wherever you live in the USA, your local government has someone in charge of paperwork, records & vital statistics. In most counties, the duties required of the County Clerk will vary based on population density. The more populous the location, the more narrow the focus of the County Clerk’s role.
For example, in New York state, the the office of the County Clerk is prescribed by the state constitution. County Clerks in NY are elected officials with responsibility for broad range of regulated activities, including: registrar of deeds, clerk of the court, Chief Notary, Passport Acceptance Agent, Pistol Permit Agent, Registrar of Assumed Business Names, Naturalization Registrar, sporting license agent (hunting and fishing), and motor vehicle agent handling driver licenses and vehicle registrations. With so many responsibilities, it’s no surprise that counties in New York state might also have a Deputy County Clerk and a few Assistant Deputy clerks as well.
In the state of Tennessee, the 95 County Clerks are also elected officials, serving terms of four years. Each TN county clerk serves as the secretary to the County Commission and conducts much of the state’s taxation duties, in addition to licensing of drivers, motor vehicles, marriages, businesses, fish and game, notaries, and pawnbrokers.
Texas is another state in which the County Clerk is elected. In Tarrant County, TX, the office of the county clerk employs 142 employees to serve the 15 courts and 28 cities of the state’s third most highly populated county.
Oregon is an interesting state to consider, given that 29 of the 36 counties elect their clerks, but 7 counties in Oregon appoint the individual filling the County Clerk position based on experience and qualifications. The Oregon Association of County Clerks even offers a certification program.
Clearly in the US, the County Clerk is a role that doesn’t get the visibility of other elected officials, but plays a critical role in the efficient functioning of each state.