Preserving Documents, Issuing Marriage Licenses

Snohomish County Recording, a division of the Auditor’s Office, provides Snohomish County residents with document recording services and issues marriage licenses for couples in Washington State.

The Recording Division plays a central role in all real estate transactions in the county. The division memorializes property transfers and financial interests by recording deeds, deeds of trust, reconveyances and liens. Title companies, lawyers, realtors, and lending institutions depend on the public availability of these property records. Recorded documents also provide an important link to the history of our county, our communities, and our families.


recorded 174,566 documents


issued 4,988 marriage certificates


Helpful and Efficient Licensing Services

Snohomish County Licensing, a division of the Auditor’s Office, and in partnership with the Washington State Department of Licensing, issues and renews vehicle and vessel registrations, processes title transactions, issues license plates, and provides training and oversight to the county’s 16 vehicle licensing subagent offices. We ensure high-quality service delivery and compliance with Department of Licensing standards. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff process transactions for a variety of motorized and non-motorized vehicles and vessels including farm equipment, snowmobiles, mobile homes, motorhomes, and more!

We also process licenses for specific businesses that engage in regulated activities within unincorporated Snohomish County, including pawn shops and adult entertainment businesses.

processed 1.2 million transactions

issued 40,614 titles

processed 30,435 vessel registrations or renewals


Accurate, Transparent, and Accountable Elections

Snohomish County Elections, a division of the Auditor’s Office, conducts secure, accessible, accurate local, state, and federal elections. Elections work includes registering eligible voters and maintaining accurate registration files; designing ballot materials and programing systems to conduct each election; mailing ballots to voters; operating ballot drop boxes and accessible voting sites; processing and tabulating returned voted ballots; and auditing and reporting election results. Snohomish County Elections encourages voters to understand and participate in the voting process through voter education and outreach programs.

maintained records for 508,000 voters

employed 204 seasonal elections workers

certified four elections featuring 94 federal, state, and local contests


Protecting Animals, Protecting People

Snohomish County Animal Services, a division of the Auditor’s Office, protects the health, safety and welfare of animals and people in our community, working closely with local law enforcement, animal advocacy groups, veterinarians, animal shelters and safe havens. Animal control officers and the administrative support staff respond to community concerns through 911, via our non-emergency phone line and by online complaint. Animal Services works to promote responsible animal ownership in unincorporated Snohomish County through education, licensing, investigation, enforcement, and community collaboration.

investigated 2,108 cases

licensed 9,042 cats and dogs


2022 At a Glance

Welcome to our 2022 Auditor’s Office At A Glance! This report provides highlights from the past year and a brief look ahead at 2023 and beyond.

Through direct service as well as partnering with other agencies and organizations, the Auditor’s Office delivers essential services to our county residents and customers through four distinct divisions: Animal Services, Elections, Licensing and Recording.

The Auditor’s Office supports 46 full-time employees spread among each of the divisions. In 2022 the office collected $10.2 million in revenue and expended $8.9 million in general fund dollars.

A word from the County Auditor's Office

A man with brown and gray hair wearing a blue suit standing in front of greenery smiling

What do dogs, elections, cars, property records, and marriages all have in common? The Snohomish County Auditor’s Office provides essential services to our residents and customers related to all of these areas of life. In fact, the Auditor’s Office touches more county residents through its myriad services than any other county office!

Through the dedicated work of 46 employees in four divisions and an administrative support unit, the Auditor’s Office registers voters and conducts elections; issues pet and kennel licenses; responds to animal related incidents and investigates cruelty cases; licenses cars, boats and other vehicles; records property and other legal documents; issues marriage licenses; and performs many other customer-focused functions.

And in 2022 we accomplished several important initiatives to better serve our residents and customers better.

With safe, secure elections at the forefront of both the local and national conversation, we proposed legislation and worked with state legislators to improve the security of our elections statewide. As a result, our ballot counting centers and accessible voting sites are now designated gun-free zones, like our courts and schools. In addition, we secured funding to make significant security improvements in our ballot counting center ahead of the 2024 Presidential election year. This large-scale remodel project will provide enhanced security, improved public observation and process transparency, and live-streaming technology.

We also made investments in improving how we reach our customers. In September we launched new social media accounts, allowing us to connect directly with customers with timely information about elections, licensing, recording and animal services. We continue to increase our followers and grow our social media presence. We also developed a language access plan to guide us as we extend our services and provide information to customers in their preferred language.

Throughout the year we worked to advocate for the needs of our customers by being active participants in federal, state, and local boards. County Auditor Garth Fell serves on the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission’s Local Leadership Council, the Washington State Recording Standard’s Commission and is co-chair of the Washington State Association of County Auditor’s Elections Committee. The Auditor’s Office leadership team is actively involved in cross-county workgroups on election, licensing and recording issues, making sure that the needs of Snohomish County residents and customers are represented on a county and statewide level.

The 2022 At a Glance highlights some of the other work accomplished in the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office last year and provides a glimpse into 2023 and beyond. We hope you take this opportunity to learn more.

It’s a pleasure serving our Snohomish County community!

Animal Services


Animal Control Officers are highly trained in animal care and handling and must graduate from the Washington Animal Control Academy. They enforce state and local laws related to animals, issue civil violation notices and refer criminal investigations to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for charging decisions.

Animal Service Cases by Type

Snohomish County Animal Control Officers investigate complaints regarding animal welfare, dog bites/attacks, nuisance or vicious animals, livestock at large, leash law violations and more. Animal Control Officers also respond to a variety of cases in unincorporated Snohomish County throughout the year and assist Snohomish County Sheriff Deputies on cases involving animals.


Pet Licensing

In unincorporated Snohomish County all dogs and cats must be licensed annually. License fees help us promote responsible pet ownership through education, outreach and enforcement when necessary.



Voter Registration Transactions

Snohomish County Elections updates and maintains the accuracy and timeliness of the voter registration rolls using authorized sources including driver's license and vital statistic records, registration information from other states, and information directly from voters. In 2022, Elections staff processed 123,333 voter registration transactions.


Inbound Ballots

In 2022, Snohomish County Elections administered two Special Elections featuring local ballot measures and a Primary and General Election for federal, state, and local races. A majority of Snohomish County voters returned their ballots using one of our 35 official ballot drop boxes.


Outreach & Engagement

Throughout 2022 Snohomish County Elections increased its voter outreach and community education events. We partnered with the League of Women Voters to host community events and forums, built relationships with local schools and community organizations, and expanded our community reach through our new Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter social media accounts.



Licensing Transactions

In 2022, Snohomish County Licensing and the 16 licensing subagent offices processed over 1 million registration, title, tab renewal and permit transactions for a range of vehicles and vessels.

vehicle licensing transactions

Local Licensing Offices

Snohomish County Licensing oversees 16 local licensing subagent offices located throughout the county. These vehicle licensing offices are contracted through the county auditor and authorized by Washington State Department of Licensing to perform vehicle and vessel title and licensing services for our community.


Training & Certification

The 16 vehicle licensing subagent offices receive training, support and oversight from Snohomish County Licensing to ensure high-quality delivery and compliance with Department of Licensing standards. In 2022, our staff conducted in-person and virtual training with licensing subagents, administered the Department of Licensing Qualification Exam and certified vehicle licensing representatives.



Top 5 Recorded Documents

Property documents recorded by Snohomish County Recording directly reflect the home buying, refinancing, and foreclosure activities in Snohomish County. The top five recorded documents represent more than 60% of all documents recorded by the Auditor’s Office and are used as housing market indicators by the real estate community.


Marriage Certificates Issued

During the pandemic, the number of marriage certificates issued by Snohomish County Recording dropped by 25%. As COVID-19 restrictions eased, the number of marriages increased! In 2022 the number of marriage certificates issued in Snohomish County was the highest it has been in over 5 years.


Total Documents Recorded

Due to historically low interest rates, a record number of real estate related documents were recorded in 2020 and 2021. But rising national interest rates and an uncertain housing market in 2022 meant Snohomish County Recording experienced a noticeable decrease in the number of documents recorded.


2023 & Beyond

The Snohomish County Auditor’s Office is working on several key initiatives to ensure residents and customers are well-served in 2023 and beyond.
These include:

Remodeling elections space


We are adding approximately 20,000 square feet of secure ballot counting space on the county campus. This large-scale remodeling project will provide increased security and safety of ballots, observers, and elections staff; will improve the observation of ballot counting activities through live-streaming and in-person observation corridors; and will increase the daily ballot counting capacity in preparation for anticipated high returns in the 2024 Presidential election year.

Expanding outreach and education


Through social media tools, traditional media, and trusted partnerships, the Auditor’s Office will share timely, accurate information regarding voting, licensing, animal services and recording services. The implementation of our language access plan will ensure that underserved populations are better served.

Adding more recorded documents online


In 2023 the Auditor’s Office will embark on a multi-year project to place our older recorded documents online from the 1860s to 1976. This project will provide the public with online access to our entire history of recorded documents.

Improving the audit processes for licensing subagents


While the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office is currently a leader in monitoring and oversight of its licensing subagents, additional uniform review standards will be implemented to ensure customers are provided with accurate and timely licensing services.

    black and white image of three triangular trees

    The Snohomish County Auditor's Office provides courteous, accurate and efficient services in the areas of elections; animal control; vehicle, vessel, marriage, business, and pet licensing; and document recording.

      3000 Rockefeller Ave
      Admin. West building, 1st floor
      Everett, WA

      (425) 388 - 3693