Everyone in the City Clerk's Office is cross-trained to serve customers in each of the areas listed below.

Alcohol Licensing

City of Madison businesses wishing to sell alcohol must apply through the City Clerk's Office. Bartenders and others who will be selling or serving alcohol apply for an operator's license through the Clerk's Office. The City Clerk's Office provides staff support to the Alcohol License Review Committee, which provides the Common Council with recommendations on whether to grant each license.

Claims Against the City

The City Clerk's Office accepts claims against the City (for damages), and accepts service for lawsuits against the City.

Common Council

The City Clerk's Office prepares the agendas and proceedings for the Common Council. Before each Common Council meeting, Clerk's Office personnel assist the public with registering to speak on matters before the Council. The City Clerk's Office impartially records the motions and votes at each Council meeting.


The Clerk's Office administers elections for the City of Madison. This involves registering voters, issuing absentee ballots, hiring and training thousands of poll workers, setting up polling locations, testing election equipment to ensure accurate vote counts, certifying local nomination papers, auditing campaign finance reports, certifying local election results, and managing the quality of data within the state's voter registration system. The City Clerk's Office provides voter outreach through presentations, brochures, voting equipment demonstrations, voter registration drives and mock elections; contact clerk@cityofmadison.com to schedule an event.

Licenses and Permits

The City Clerk's Office is the filing officer for many types of city licenses, including secondhand stores, door-to-door salespersons, taxicab companies, theaters, tobacco sales, and transient merchants. The Clerk's Office also processes license applications for Public Health for Madison & Dane County, including restaurants, hotels, swimming pools, campground sites, temporary food establishments, and tattoo & body piercing establishments.


Lobbyists are required to register with the City Clerk's Office within five working days of their initial lobbying communication. Principals employing lobbyists are required to file expense statements with the City Clerk's Office in January and July. Lobbying complaints are filed with the City Clerk's Office.

Meetings Schedule

City meeting notices are posted on the bulletin board outside of the City Clerk's Office to comply with the state's open meetings law. The Clerk's Office also links these agendas to an online meeting schedule.


The City Clerk's Office offers notary services from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Receipts of Honoraria, Fees, or Expenses

City employees and officials who receive anything of value or have a fee waived or reduced in connection with their official duties are required to file a report with the City Clerk's Office.
Pursuant to Madison General Ordinance 3.35(6)(h): "Whenever an incumbent receives anything of value permitted by this Subsection (6) from or has any fee or expense waived or reduced by a person or entity other than the City in connection with her or his official duties, she or he shall, within 10 days of the occurrence file a report with the City Clerk on forms provided by the Clerk."


The City Clerk's Office prepares an official City Roster to help Madison residents connect with their local government.

Statement of Interests

City committee members, elected officials, employees involved in real estate transactions, employees involved in economic development negotiations, and city employees who are confirmed by the Common Council must file an annual Statement of Interests form with the Clerk's Office to identify potential conflicts of interest.