Best Practices Awards: Bexar County

Coalition advances local communications; video sustains marriage licenses

By Jody Seaborn

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For the past couple of years, Bexar County residents who want to record, register, buy or request copies of vital documents such as military discharge papers, real property records or marriage licenses have been able to do so without having to drive through downtown San Antonio traffic or pay downtown parking prices.

The convenience comes courtesy of a first-of-its-kind mobile satellite office established as part of County Clerk Lucy Adame-Clark's community outreach efforts. Named "County Clerk's Office Straight to You! Records on the Run," the program earned Bexar County a 2020 County Best Practices Award from the Texas Association of Counties (TAC).

"It is really humbling to be receiving this award with my team who have all contributed to the success of this project," Adame-Clark said. "Records on the Run not only allows the public to record documents or obtain copies, but it also allows us to keep the public informed of the various services our office has to offer."

"Another positive attribute is engaging in economic development by providing services to the community, business owners and real property owners," Adame-Clark said.

Records on the Run began as a pilot program nearly two years ago using existing resources. Working with other county officials, businesses, senior centers, Veterans of Foreign Wars posts and various organizations, Adame-Clark initially planned to provide mobile services twice a month. But the quick success and popularity of Records on the Run allowed her office to buy a customized van and expand the program's schedule to include several outings a month throughout Bexar County. Six stops took place in June, for example.

"We still have our services available at the courthouse. But why not go where the service is needed?"

Adame-Clark told the San Antonio Express News when her office launched the program in mid-October 2019.

"Bexar County's Records on the Run program exemplifies the dedication Texas counties have for serving the public," TAC Executive Director Susan M. Redford said. "We hope this award inspires similar creative efforts to bring important services out into to the community."

Every other year, TAC's County Best Practices Awards Program recognizes noteworthy innovations and solutions that increase efficiency, improve operations or overcome obstacles facing county governments. These innovations and solutions help Texas counties better serve their residents. The best of them also serves as models that other counties can shape to fit their particular needs.

'Records on the Run': Services offered

The Bexar County clerk’s mobile satellite office allows residents to:

  • Record a military discharge record (DD-214). 
  • Register an assumed business name/doing business as (DBA). 
  • Record original real property records. 
  • Research real property records. 
  • Buy a marriage license. 
  • Research or register a cattle brand. 
  • Request certified copies of DD-214s, assumed business names/DBAs, marriage licenses and real property records. 
  • Obtain information on the county clerk’s geographic information system (GIS) foreclosure map and Spanish archives.

Bexar County is one of six Texas counties selected to receive a TAC 2020 County Best Practices Award. Look for more spotlights in future issues of County magazine. Learn more about the County Best Practices Awards Program at www.county.org/bestpractices.