Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a notary at Town Hall?
Yes. The Town Clerk provides notary services. Please bring your drivers license with you and DO NOT sign any papers until you get to the office.
When does my dog need to be licensed?
You need to obtain a license for your dog each between January 2 and April 1st. To obtain a license you must provide proof of a current rabies certificate. Current license fees are altered animal – $9.00 and an unaltered animal – $13.00.
How can I register to vote?
It’s easy to register! All you will need to bring with you is a valid driver’s license.
I can’t make it to the polls. How do I vote?
If you are unable to make it to the polling location during voting hours, you can always sign up to receive an absentee ballot. Simply click on this link to the ABSENTEE APPLICATION, fill out the form, and mail it to:
Shaftsbury Town Clerk
PO Box 409,
Shaftsbury, VT 05262
Your application will be sent to you after the request is received. You can also call and request an absentee ballot as well. The Town Clerk telephone number is (802) 442-4038. Finally, you are always able to vote in person at the town office during regular business hours.
I heard there is a special card called a Green Mountain Passport granting free admittance to State Parks? Is this true?
Yes there is such a card. Stop in the Town Clerk’s Office and fill out a Green Mountain Passport form. You must be 62 years or older or, if you are a veteran, provide a copy of your DD214. You will be issued a card which allows you free admittance to any state park or fully sponsored state event. The initial cost for this is $2. and never expires.
Learn more about the Green Mountain Passports.
I would like to enter into a civil marriage. Do we need a civil marriage license? Do we need blood tests?
Before your ceremony, you must buy a Vermont marriage license. It must be given to the officiant before your marriage is performed. While your license may be bought up to two months before your ceremony, it “becomes void” 60 days from the date of issue if the proposed marriage or union is not solemnized. You do not need a blood test.
Where do we get a marriage license and how much does it cost?
If both parties are Vermont residents, you may go to the town clerk in either of your towns of residence. If just one of you is a resident, you must buy the license in that town. The cost for a license is $60.00. Certified copies are also available for a $10.00 fee.
What information must we provide to get a marriage or civil union license in Vermont?
You must know your legal town of residence and your place and date of birth. You will also need to know your parents’ names, including your mother’s maiden name, and states where your parents were born.
What if either of us has been married before?
If you are a widow or widower, you are free to marry. You will be asked the date your spouse died. If you are divorced, you may remarry after the date on which your previous marriage is dissolved.
Is there a waiting Period?
Who can marry or perform a civil union for us?
A judge, supreme court justice, assistant judge, justice of the peace, or an ordained or licensed minister, rabbi or priest residing in Vermont can perform your ceremony. A priest, rabbi, minister or person from another state can perform your ceremony if he or she first obtains a special authorization from the probate court in the district where the marriage will take place. Vermont law does not require witnesses. If you are planning a religious ceremony, check with your church or synagogue to see if religious tenets require witnesses for your marriage or union. If you would like the names of our JP’s please click Departments on our home page and then click on Justice of the Peace for names and numbers.
I have recently been married. What do I have to do in order to change my maiden name to my married name in the Town Records?
You will need to fill out and record with the Town Clerk a CHANGE OF NAME form. This leaves a trail in the land records of your former and current name for research reference. After the Town Clerk records this document, a copy of this is given to other Town departments so your name can be changed in all records.
If you would like to have your married name on the voter checklist, all you need to do is call the Town Clerk and ask to have it changed.
How often are reappraisals done?
Approximately every ten years, unless real estate values are changing rapidly.
How do I appeal an assessment or reappraisal?
First, contact the listers. You will be able to discuss your situation on the phone, and/or make an appointment to meet with them. They will be happy to explain how the value for your property was derived, and answer other questions you may have.
(NOTE: The town clerk sets dates and times for a meeting of the BCA and/or Board of Abatement. The listers handle grievances and set times for meetings regarding grievances.)
Is there a date and time when grievances are held?
While anyone can “grieve” at any time, there has to be an official “cut-off” date or the Grand List would never be printed. The listers set the date and it is warned in the newspaper, town office, and post office. The reason for the grievance should be submitted to the listers in writing. Any owner not satisfied with the listers’ decision can then meet with the Board of Civil Authority (BCA). This is accomplished by submitting a letter to the town clerk asking for a BCA hearing. She will set the date and time for the BCA hearing.
When do I notify the listers of a change of address?
Anytime your address changes.
Who do I contact if I have questions about my property?
Contact the listers with questions about your assessment card at (802) 442-4038 ext. 4. That card contains the record of ownership transfer, some locally issued permits, and some other information. The listers can assist you with understanding the data on the property assessment card, explain how assessments work, acreage, and buildings affected.
Who do I contact with questions about my property tax bill?
Call the Treasurer directly at (802) 442-4038 ext. 2. He is responsible for printing and mailing the tax bills and records payments and late penalties. He also forwards the list of delinquent taxpayers to the Delinquent Taxpayer Collector.
Who do I contact regarding questions about appraisals and reappraisals?
May I have unregistered vehicles on my property?
In the village residential district, only one unregistered uninspected motor vehicle is permitted. Two unregistered, inoperable vehicles are permitted in rural residential (RR) districts. All unregistered, inoperable vehicles shall be screened from public view.
What building or development activities require a permit?
All structures such as sheds, barns, accessory buildings, homes, porches, lean-to’s, enclosure of porches or breezeways, pools, dormers, fences over 6′ high, garages etc. require a permit.
Do I need a permit for a pond?
Yes, however, a pond must be approved by the Development Review Board at a warned meeting. You will also be asked to have the District Conservationist inspect the area and make recommendations relative to the pond inlets and outlets, and ponds greater than 3000 square feet require State approval.
Do I need a permit for a TV Antenna or dish?
Do I need a permit if my business or commercial/industrial activity needs to be enlarged or have structures added?
Yes; all additional structures or changes in business activity, require approval of the Development Review Board. Any changes in use to an existing operation, such as changing a residence into rental property, require Development Review Board approval.
May I do business in my home?
Yes. However, all “home occupations” must be approved by the Development Review Board. Examples include child care, computer related businesses, a small bakery, etc.
What is the process for sub-dividing my property?
An application for a sub-division must be submitted to the Zoning Administrator. Then, a fifteen-day warning will be published in the newspaper announcing when the Development Review Board will meet to review the application. A site plan must be submitted at this time as well as other State permits, such as wastewater and Act 250 permits. The Zoning Administrator will assist applicants in their efforts to sub-divide property.
What do you have of interest to genealogy researchers?
We have land and vital records beginning in approximately 1779 and continuing through present. We also have books listing veterans who served in wars going back to the war of 1812 that have proven to be most helpful. You are welcome to come in or send someone in during our regular business hours to search these records.