The Vernon Town Clerk’s office is a hub of town government activity. If the Clerk’s office can’t help you, they will know where to direct you for assistance or answers. Here’s a rundown on what you can do at the Town Clerk’s office, and what other services the Clerk’s office provides.
CONTACT INFO AND HOURS:
- HOURS: Monday through Thursday: 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- LOCATION AND MAILING ADDRESS: 567 Governor Hunt Rd., Vernon, VT 05354
- Tim Arsenault, Town Clerk — email@example.com
- PHONE (802) 257-0292, Ext. 11
- CELL: (802) 689-0390
- FAX: (802) 254-3561
- Patricia (Padi) Blum (Assistant) — firstname.lastname@example.org
- PHONE (802) 257-0292, Ext. 10
- Volunteer assistants: Philip Nelson, Lynda Starorypinski, Carol Shippee, and other interns
WHAT YOU CAN DO AT THE TOWN CLERK’S OFFICE:
Usually, you can get some free candy at the counter!
Purchase pay-as-you-throw trash bags: Bags are priced at $3.50 per bag for large (33 gallons, will hold approx. 35 pounds), $2.50per bag for small (15 gallons, will hold approximately 20 pounds); $17.50 per roll of large bags and $12.50 per roll for small bags. Bags can also be purchased at the Vernon Library, Vernon Treasurer’s Office, Vernon Recreation Department and Guilford Store.
Purchase a dog license: All dogs six months old or older must have a current rabies certificate and be registered with the Town Clerk’s office by April 1 each year. If your dog has been licensed in another Vermont town we will honor that year’s license and issue you a new one at no charge. If you are a new resident you must register your dogs within 30 days of moving to town. Licenses cost $9 for neutered or spayed dogs, $13 for those not neutered or spayed. An up-to-date rabies vaccination certificate is needed. Dog licenses are due to be renewed annually by the first Monday in April. After this date, an additional late fee will be assessed. The Town Clerk sponsors a rabies shot and licensing clinic each year in March — watch this site for details.
Renew your motor vehicle registration: You can do this at the Town Clerk’s office if you’re too late to renew by mail, aren’t able to renew online via the State website, or you can’t get to the registry office in person. Renewals at the Clerk’s office cost $3 on top of the state fee, which must be paid separately from your check to the Motor Vehicle Department. You must have and bring with you the renewal form you received in the mail, and your registration cannot be expired by more than 2 months. You will be issued a temporary registration and temporary sticker to use until you receive the state registration and sticker in the mail.
Pay your property taxes down the hall at the Treasurer’s office: Property tax bills are sent to property owners once a year, with taxes due in September, January and May. The annual dates are set each year by town meeting. If your taxes are paid by a bank, mortgage company or escrow company, please call the Town Treasurer at 257-0377 to verify that payment has been made prior to the due date.
Get something notarized: Both the Town Clerk and Assistant Town Clerk are Notaries, and will notarize documents for you at no charge. Town Administrator Michelle Pong, Treasurer Cindy Turnley and Assistant Treasurer Kathy Walker are Notaries, as well.
Register to vote: To register to vote through your town or city clerk:
- Note: in addition to the procedures below, you can now also register at the polls on any election day. You will need an approved form of ID as listed below.
- Complete the Vermont Application for Addition to the Checklist (VT Voter Registration Form).
- Bring in of an approved form of ID. Approved ID must be one of the following:
- A driver’s license or U.S. passport
- A bank statement or utility bill
- A government document
- Mail the application or deliver it in person to the Town Clerk’s office (mailing address: Town Clerk, 567 Governor Hunt Rd., Vernon, VT 05354)
- After completing the application, you will be required to take Vermont’s Voter’s Oath―a quick, one-time process. Your application will then be reviewed by your town or city clerk. You’ll be notified within a few days if your voter application was approved.
- You will receive a receipt or a copy of your application from your town clerk by the week of the election. You will NOT receive a voter registration card.
- Alternatively, you can register online or at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Deadline: In order to be eligible to vote, your application must be submitted by 5 p.m. on the Wednesday before an upcoming election to either the Town Clerk or your local DMV office. If you have any voting questions, call the Secretary of State Division of Elections at (800) 439-8683 (in state) and (802) 828-2464 (outside VT).
- If you are out of the state on military assignment (or as a military dependent) or you currently live overseas, you can register to vote using your last address in Vermont. This address must be where you resided immediately before your military assignment or before moving overseas. To register, you can:
- Submit your application by mail to the Town Clerk as described above
- Use the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request Federal Post Card Application (Form 76).
- Submit your application by mail to the Town Clerk as described above
- If you move or change your name, you can update your information using the Online Voter Registration System or by contacting the Town Clerk. It is important to do this as soon as possible to ensure that all voting information remains current.
Get copies of official documents:
- Vital Statistics – certified copies of the following documents are available at the cost of $10 each:
- Birth Certificates
- Death certificates
- Marriage Certificates
- Copies of Land Records or any other document maintained in the vault are available at $1.00 per page
Record deeds and land records:
- Deeds, Land Records and other official paper documents are recorded at a fee of $10 per page, with the exception of the Property Transfer Tax Return (PTTR) that must accompany all deeds; that document is considered a single page for recording fees and the charge is $10 per PTTR, regardless of the number of pages. If you have questions on recording documents or fees, please call the Town Clerk.
- Note that Town Clerk does not perform property/title or genealogical research. You must visit the office in person during working hours and a research fee of $2.00 per hour is charged for using the vault and resources. The fee for the first half hour is generally waived.
Get a marriage license: The cost is $60 for the license (this is a state fee, the town keeps only $10). There is an additional fee of $10 each if you request certified copies.
Get married: Once you have the license, the Town Clerk, as a Justice of the Peace, can perform the marriage ceremony on the spot. There’s no charge, but gratuities are accepted.
Get forms and information: The information rack outside the office has copies of Vermont and U.S. tax forms, Vermont homestead exemption forms, and information about state and federal programs. Copies of the monthly Town Bus calendar are available as well.
Research public information: The Town Clerk’s vault contains a treasure trove of information that open to research by individuals, including land records, town government records, births, deaths, marriages, maps and surveys, and much more. There is a $2 per hour fee for conducting research in the vault. Land records can be accessed via the Lister’s office as well.
Purchase a cemetery plot: You can acquire a plot in any of the town cemeteries by visiting the Town Clerk’s office. The process involves visiting the cemetery with the Town Clerk, who will locate the plot corners where markers will be placed. As of July 1, 2016, the cost for Vernon residents is $150 per grave, plus the cost of the corner markers. For non-residents, the cost is $300 per grave plus the cost of the corner markers. Please call the Town Clerk or the head of the Cemetery Committee to schedule time to choose a site and to do a walk through at the cemetery. Deeds must be reviewed and require approval by the Select Board.
File property transfer tax information: The property transfer tax is a tax on the transfer by deed of title to real property in Vermont. A Property Transfer Tax Return must be filed with the Town Clerk whenever a deed that shows the transfer of title to real property is delivered to a town clerk for recording. The Town Clerk cannot record a deed unless it is accompanied by a completed Property Transfer Tax Return. The town will file this return with the Department of Taxes within 30 days of receipt. Filing the forms and paying the tax is generally handled through lawyers, but can be done by individuals at the Town Clerk’s office. The fee to register a deed is a $10 per page recording fee. Copies of deeds can be purchased at $1 per page.
Driveway permits: Vernon does not have zoning or a building inspector; no construction permits are needed, with the exception of a driveway permit from the town Road Commissioner, if your property is on a town road. Septic and other permits are handled by the State of Vermont.
E911 addresses: To obtain an E911 Address, contact the Road Commissioner for new addresses or the Town Clerk for existing addresses.
Apply for a scholarship: All residents of Vernon (as determined by 16 V.S.A. § 1075) may apply for scholarship assistance from the James Cusick Scholarship Fund for a total of up to four years, reapplying each year. The purpose of the fund is for residents to further their education and training after receiving a high school diploma or the equivalent (as determined by the Vermont Department of Education). Residents may apply for the scholarship anytime within six years after obtaining their high school diploma. The scholarship is for up to $1,000 per year* for two semesters at an institution of higher learning, a certified training center, or a vocational school. For full rules and requirements, please see the Town Report or check with the Town Clerk. *Funding may be subject to approval by the Town Meeting — if funding is insufficient, it will be divided equally among the students selected.
Obtain an overweight vehicle permit: Permits are $10 per year for a fleet or $5 per year per individual truck to use the town roads for overweight vehicle travel. Each permit allows the recipient an unlimited number of trips.
Apply for a liquor license: If you wish to open an establishment selling alcoholic beverages in any form, apply at the Town Clerk’s office.
Purchase a Green Mountain Passport: If you are 62 years old or older and a Vermont resident, or a veteran who has been honorably discharged from active duty in US armed services, you are eligible for a lifetime day entry pass into the Vermont State Parks called the Green Mountain Passport. This is available only at Town Clerk’s offices, and costs $2. Each Passport provides free day use pass for life for one individual.
Sign out keys for meetings: Authorized members of town boards and committees can sign out keys to access the building for meetings.
Post meetings: To be properly warned under the Vermont Open Meetings Law, all board and committee meetings must be posted in three designated places in town, which are the Town Clerk’s office, the bulletin board outside the town office building, and the bulletin board outside the Post Office. Warnings and agendas of meetings to be posted may be emailed or delivered to the Town Clerk’s office for posting.
In addition to all of the above, the Town Clerk:
— Serves as a voting member Board of Tax Abatement, which grants tax abatements in special cases,
— Serves as a voting member of the Board of Civil Authority, which assists with the running of elections, acts as a quasi-judicial board for grievances between taxpayers and listers, and maintains the voter checklist,
— Receives funds and forms for land postings,
— Updates the 911 Addressing system as needed, and
— Serves as the recording officer and clerk of the town’s Liquor Control Board
Finally, the Town Clerk’s office takes care of distributing the mail to town offices on a daily basis, answering phone calls and fielding in-person inquiries of all kinds. In addition to the Clerk and Assistant Clerk, a number of much-appreciated volunteers help out in the Town Clerk’s office, currently including Phil Nelson, Carol Shippee and Lynda Starorypinski.
Please note that while the Sheriff’s office occupies space in the Town Office Building, the local office is not manned 24/7 and you must call them directly (as the situation dictates at one of these numbers):
** EMERGENCIES: DIAL 911 **
Windham County Sheriff’s Office • Vernon Office: 802-254-6962 • Newfane Office: 802-365-4941