The Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Web site has a fresh new look, a new online genealogy search and more tools that make it easier than ever before to order public records.

The redesigned site at, a joint project of the Oakland County Clerk’s Office and the county’s Department of Information Technology, was launched last week.

“We still have the same great online service, but our Web site is cleaner and much easier to navigate,” said Clerk Ruth Johnson. “People are busy these days. We wanted to make our site as efficient and friendly as possible.”

Since 2005, the clerk has tripled the number of online offerings, adding such services as online marriage license applications, access to campaign contribution records for local candidates and political committees, a business name database and an email-based election reminder. One of the most popular online services is Court Explorer, which allows users to access and order legal records.

Each year the Clerk/Register of Deeds Office processes more than 150,000 online orders for copies of legal records, property documents and birth, death and marriage records. The Clerk’s Web site receives about  650,000 “visits” annually from computer users.

“Our mission has been to utilize technology so customers can go online — not wait in line — to get the records they need,” said Johnson. “We are constantly evaluating the way we do business. Can we do it cheaper? Can we do it more efficiently? We have a responsibility to our citizens to provide the best possible service at the lowest possible cost.”

The new Genealogy Search Service will allow users to search marriage and death records by name to find out whether a record exists in the Oakland County archives. Marriage records, for example, will show the name of the bride and groom and the marriage date. For more information, the full record can be ordered online. Death records can be searched by name and year of death. (Note: Birth records are not public records and may only be obtained by the individual named in the record or their parents)

The new genealogy search will offer access to records dating back to 1941. However,  older records will gradually be phased into the system. Normal online order fees will apply.

Users will notice other changes, including a cleaner “wide page” format and large “buttons” for accessing information. In addition to information about ordering public records — legal, property, birth, death and marriage documents — the Web site also offers valuable information and links to other sites on a range of topics. For example, users can find out more information about the clerk’s Absentee Ballot Tracker, watch a video on how to vote, find voting precinct maps, read the Clerk’s Quarterly newsletter and access important contact information.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.


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