One area of our website that's been getting considerable activity is Locating Records. Likely due to the nature of the name of our program and our ranking in web search results, we frequently receive calls and emails requests for all sorts of records created within Multnomah County. This not only includes records generated by Multnomah County itself, but also those created and managed by other agencies or by private individuals. The recently updated Locating Records guide helps citizens with locating vital records by providing basic information on what is located where and which agencies to contact to gain access to or obtain copies of these records.

Vital records - including birth, adoption, death, marriage and domestic partnership, and divorce records - are records for which we receive daily inquiries.

Some of these records, such a birth and death certificates and marriage and domestic partnership licenses, are created by Multnomah County but are maintained by the State of Oregon's Center for Health Statistics.

Others, such as divorce decrees or probate records, are created by the Multnomah County Circuit Court, which despite what its name seems to imply is actually an agency of the Oregon Judicial Department.

Some records have no requirement to be filed with a government entity at all, but can still be important, such as wills. (Hint: These are sometimes on file with the deceased's lawyer.) Others are filed in different places depended on certain factors. For example, same sex domestic partnership records are maintained by the State of Oregon's Center for Health Statistics, but different sex domestic partnership records are maintained by Multnomah County Division of Assessment, Taxation and Recording

Access to records can vary as well. Some records are available to the public, others only to family members and other specified individuals, and all of this often depends on how much time has passed since the event that caused the record to be created. 

Sound confusing? It certainly can be, especially when you're trying to find records in a hurry. Please check the Locating Records guide for more information, call us at (503) 988-3741, or send us an email at