Frequently Asked Questions

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Top FAQS

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Alternate Public Defender

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What is the difference between the Public Defender's office and the Alternate Public Defender's Office?

The Washoe County Public Defender's Office initially takes every case where a person has been appointed a lawyer. The cases are then screened by staff members to see if there is a conflict of interest. Conflicts of interest can arise if the Public Defender has represented a victim or witness in a case, or if there is more than one defendant charged with the crime. If the Public Defender's Office determines that there is a legal reason it cannot represent a person, then that case is sent to the Alternate Public Defender's Office.

If the Alternate Public Defender’s office also has a conflict of interest, then a private lawyer who contracts with Washoe County will handle the case.



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Who does my attorney work for?

Every attorney employed by the Alternate Public Defender's office is an employee of Washoe County.



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How can I find out who my attorney is and when I go to court?

Once the Alternate Public Defender's Office is appointed to represent you, we will send you a letter giving you your court date and the name of your lawyer. If you have not received the letter, please call the APD office at (775) 328-3955, and ask the receptionist for the information.



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What kind of cases does the APD office handle?

The lawyers in the APD's office practice in several different courts. There are attorneys who defend adults and juveniles charged with every type of crime, from misdemeanor to murder. Some of the lawyers here work in the family court, representing parents whose children have been removed from the home and are in the care and custody of Washoe County. Lawyers also represent clients in District Court, Justice Court, and Specialty Courts.  Specialty Courts include Drug, Diversion, DUI, Mental Health, Veteran's, Young Offender, MAT, CCP, and others.



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Can you help me with my divorce, landlord/tenant issues, or small claims case?

No. Only those who are facing jail or prison time or parents who are facing losing permanent custody of their children through government action are entitled to free legal representation.

If Social Services have removed your children, placing them in the care and custody of Washoe County, you may apply for the legal representation as well. You must make the request at the Family Court, located at One S. Sierra Street, on the second floor, to being the application process.



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Can I fire my lawyer?

No. You are entitled to an attorney, but you are not entitled to the attorney of your choice. Once an attorney in the Alternate Public Defender's Office has been appointed to represent you, that person will remain your attorney until the case is concluded. Your only other option is to hire private counsel, if you can afford to do so, or to try to represent yourself, which is never a wise choice.



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How do I get a lawyer?

If you have been charged with a crime and are facing the potential of a jail sentence, you may apply for legal representation if you cannot afford to hire a lawyer. At the time of your first appearance before the Judge, let the Judge know that you would like an attorney to be appointed to represent you. You will have to meet with an employee of Court Services, who will make the determination on whether or not you qualify.

If you are a parent and Social Services have removed your children, placing them in the care and custody of Washoe County, you may apply for the legal representation as well.  You must make the request at the Family Court located at One S. Sierra Street, on the second floor, to begin the application process.



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Where are you located?

The Alternate Public Defender's Office is located at 350 S. Center Street, on the Sixth Floor, in Reno Nevada. The phone number for the office is (775) 328-3955; the fax number is (775) 328-3998.



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Is my lawyer really a lawyer?

Yes. Every attorney in the Alternate Public Defender`s Office has graduated from law school, and taken and passed the Nevada Bar Exam. In order to be employed as an attorney in the APD office, the lawyer must be licensed in the State of Nevada to practice law, and be in good standing with the Nevada State Bar.



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Alternative Sentencing

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Do I have to tell you where I work

You are required to give DAS permission to contact employers, counselors, friends and family members, to verify and monitor your activities and progress.  



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When can I check in

You will be required to report in person to your DAS Officer according to a specific schedule. You are to report in person, as ordered, to DAS between 9:00am and 3:00pm Monday through Thursday and between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm on Friday. If you are not employed or in school you are required to check in no later than noon.  If you arrive late, you will not be permitted to check in and will be in violation of your probation.  Failure to report in with DAS is a violation of your probation. 



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How do I complete the program

Your DAS Officer may recommend terminating your participation in the program if you fail to comply with the terms of your suspended sentence or cooperate with the DAS Officer.  If DAS recommends your participation to end prior to a successful completion, you will be afforded a hearing to contest that recommendation.  If the recommendation is followed, the Court may enforce the full jail time stipulated in your original sentence or revoke your pretrial release status.

Successful completion of the program shall be achieved when the terms of DAS contract are met.  DAS will then provide the court with a status report and a recommendation for closure of your case.



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What if I don't comply

You must obey all laws.   You must notify DAS immediately if you have contact with any other law enforcement agency or are arrested or citedKeep in mind that all staff members are representative of the courts. Any inappropriate and/or disrespectful behavior will be reported to your supervising officer as well as the Judge assigned to your case.  Failure to follow these conditions or failure to cooperate with DAS can lead to more restrictive supervision, immediate arrest, jail days for contempt, additional community service hours, modification of your court conditions, extended length of time you are on probation, a warrant for your arrest and/or revocation of your suspended sentence or pretrial release. 



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Do I have to go to counseling

You are required to attend and cooperate with all counseling and evaluation per the terms of your sentence. You may be required to undergo a substance abuse or mental health evaluation. You will be required to participate in the level of counseling recommended in the evaluation. DAS can give you a list of counselors that are certified for your requirements.

It is up to you to choose a certified counselor and make arrangements with them. You must give permission for your counselors to report to DAS by signing the necessary release forms. You are required to pay your counselor as agreed. You cannot complete the terms of your court conditions until you have finished your required counseling and paid in full all associated fees.  

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Will I have to have a drug test
If you are subject to drug and/or alcohol testing, it is your responsibility to bring your PBT testing tube with you to every check-in. 

It is your responsibility to prove that you are refraining from the use of alcohol and drugs. If ordered as a condition of your suspended sentence or pretrial release, you must agree to submit to alcohol and drug testing. You may be required to test with a substance abuse counseling program. You must submit yourself to random search and seizure for alcohol and/or controlled substances, by any peace officer, at any time, day or night, without a search warrant.  Failure to appear for scheduled tests or to provide a sample for testing is a violation of your probation.

 If you relapse, use drugs or drink alcohol while in the program, you must report it to DAS.  Relapse is a violation of the terms of your suspended sentence or pretrial release.  In order to continue with the program, you must demonstrate a sincere effort to address drug and alcohol problems through counseling, lifestyle changes, and participation in self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Rational Recovery or church-based programs.



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Will I have to pay fees

As a participant in the DAS program, you will be required to pay monthly supervision fees.  You are required to pay an annual laboratory fee, which covers alcohol and drug testing.  If you lose or forget your PBT testing tube, there will be a $5.00 charge for a new one.  Failure to purchase a tube will be considered a refusal to test and may result in a violation of your probation.  The fee schedule is as follows:

  • $60.00 Annual lab fee for testing (if applicable)
  • $40.00 Monthly supervision fee for formal probation
  • $20.00 Monthly supervision fee for informal probation
  • $10.00 Monthly if you are in specialty court


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Will you come to my house

While on probation, you must submit yourself, your residence, any vehicle, and any property under your control to random search and seizure for alcohol and/or controlled substances, by any peace officer, at any time, day or night, without a search warrant.

If you own a firearm and/or there are any weapons located on the premises where officers may visit, you must notify DAS immediately.  If you fail to do so and a weapon is found during a search of your residence, you may be treated as a possible threat or officer safety hazard.  All persons charged with Domestic Battery or Battery and all persons currently listed as a Defendant (or Respondent) on any type of protection order are not permitted to possess a firearm. 

If you have dogs at your place of residency, you must notify DAS and provide information regarding the dogs.  You may be asked to secure your dogs while officers are visiting.   If you are residing with other people such as family, friends or roommates, it is your responsibility to advise them that the residence is subject to search and seizure whether you are on the lease or not.  

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Can I take prescription medication

If you take any prescription medication, you must have the physician who wrote your prescription complete the MEDICATION VERIFICATION LETTER enclosed in your packet.  You will need to provide proof of prescribed medication. 

 

Taking a prescription that is not intended for you is illegal.

 

If you take over-the-counter medication, it is your responsibility to make sure that won’t produce a positive drug test.   Call the pharmacist for more information.

 

Do not take any medications or other items that may create a positive test for alcohol.  Some of these are mouthwash, cold medicine, cooking sherry, red wine vinegar, binaca, energy drinks, and mini thins.



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What if I miss my check-in
If you are unable to check in on your scheduled date and/or time, you must call the office immediately and bring proof of the reason you missed your check-in to DAS on the next required check in day. 

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Do I have to tell you where I live

You must have a verifiable physical address or be willing to work with your DAS Officer to acquire stable housing in order to participate in the program.  You must have a phone number or contact phone number where DAS can reach you.  You must immediately notify DAS of any change in residence or phone number.  You must obtain permission in advance before considering moving to another county. 



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Do I have to have a job

Employment may be a requirement for your supervision.  If you do not obtain and maintain employment, you may be assigned to serve community service. Employment must be verified by paycheck stub and/or contact with your employer.   It is your responsibility to notify DAS of changes in work location, hours or employer.   If you are disabled or cannot work for any reason or are a full time student, you must inform DAS.



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Can I go on vacation or travel

You must receive written permission from DAS when leaving WWashoe County for any reason.



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General Information
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How do I contact you?

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Assessor

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Business Personal Property
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Where Is The Business Personal Property Page?
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What Is The Difference Between Sales Tax And Personal Property Tax?
Sales tax is a one-time tax, which is collected at the point of sale. Personal property tax is an annual tax, which is based on the current value of the property.


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What If My Office Is In My Home?
When operating a business from your home, report all personal property used for business purposes.


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How Is My Personal Property Valued?

Your original cost x cost index - depreciation = taxable value. The Nevada Department of Taxation provides the replacement cost and depreciation factors, used to determine the taxable values.

Taxable value is assessed at 35%. Taxable Value x .35 = Assessed Value.

EXAMPLE

ASSET ACQUISITION YEAR ORIGINAL COST COST INDEX DEPRECIATION TAXABLE VALUE ASSESSED VALUE
Office Furniture 2011 $663 1.06 51% $344 $120


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How Much Is The Tax?
Tax information is maintained by the Office of the Washoe County Treasurer.

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What If I Disagree With My Assessment?
If, in your opinion, the assessed value of your personal property shown on your bill is incorrect please contact the Assessor`s Office Personal Property division at 775-328-2213 to voice your concern. If, after discussing the matter, a difference of opinion still exists, you may appeal your assessment to the County or State Board of Equalization. You may obtain the forms from the Assessor`s Office.

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What Happens If I Do Not File A Declaration?
If the owner or agent fails to provide a statement of all personal property owned, claimed, possessed, controlled or managed within Washoe County as of July 1 of the current tax year, NRS 361.265 requires the Assessor to estimate the value of the personal property and assess accordingly.  The Washoe County Treasurer is then responsible for the billing and collection of taxes based on that estimate.


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Do I Include Sales Tax?
No.  As of July 1, 1998 the Nevada Administrative Code (NAC 361.134) was changed to exclude sales tax in the determination of original costs for personal property declarations. 


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What If An Item Has No Acquisition Cost? (Home Built, Donated, Borrowed, Etc.)
For Personal Property purposes, donated or borrowed assets should be reported as if they were purchased.  For equipment that does not have an acquisition cost, you may either 1) Report an estimate of the value of the item in the year you acquired it, or 2) Estimate the current value of the item in its present condition, and report the year of acquisition as the current calendar year.


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Do I Need To Notify The Assessor's Office If I Change My Address Or If I'm No Longer In Business?

Yes. Please e-mail or otherwise notify our office of any changes at any time of the year. Please include your new physical location, mailing address or the approximate date the business terminated.

Washoe County Assessor's Office Personal Property

PO Box 11130

Reno NV 89521-0027

775-328-2213

declarations@washoecounty.us



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What Do I Report?
The personal property declaration requires you to report information on any taxable personal property owned, claimed, possessed, controlled or managed by the person, firm, corporation, association or company on July 1st of the current fiscal year. This information includes the location, the cost and year of acquisition of each item of taxable personal property, including any applicable shipping and installation charges and the cost of any improvements of the personal property, such as additions to or renovations of the property other than routine maintenance or repairs.

Items that are exempt from taxation include business inventory held for resale, consumable supplies (to be used within one year), livestock, boats and personal household belongings. The exemption of household goods does not extend to personal property or furnishings rented or leased to another party or rented in conjunction with the rental of a dwelling unit. Motor vehicles required to be registered with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety are exempt from the property tax, though subject to a governmental service tax.


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What If I Have No Personal Property?
If you are in business and/or have a current Reno, Sparks or Washoe County business license, you are required to file yearly personal property declaratoins with the Assessor's office.  If you do not use any furniture, fixtures, equipment, etc. , please indicate this on the declaration and explain why your business has no personal property. 

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What If I Have Used Equipment?
Report used equipment in the same manner as other personal property. If you do not have a record of your acquisition cost, you may either 1) Report an estimate of the value of the item in the year you acquired it, or, 2) Estimate the current value of the item in its present condition, and  report the year of acquisition as the current calendar year.

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What If I Use Someone Else's Equipment?
You will be required to furnish information regarding the name and address of the owner or lessor and a description of the equipment.


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What Is Personal Property Tax?
It is a tax according to value (ad valorem) levied on all property not permanently affixed to land, such as business equipment, building improvements, aircraft , agricultural equipment, possessory interests, billboards, etc. Click here for Personal Property Overview.

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When Do I Pay?
Do not send payment with your declaration. Although a lien for the taxes attaches on July 1st, personal property bills are sent out by the Washoe County Treasurer's office between August and May of each fiscal year. Taxes are due 30 days from the billing date located on the personal property tax bill.
 
There is no provision in the statues for proration. If you are in business on July 1st you are liable for the full tax amount.


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When Do I Report?
Notice to file reminders are sent out in June of each year.  Declarations must be filed online no later than July 31st.  The Assessor may grant one or more filing extensions upon request.

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Which Building Improvements Do I Report?
Report all building improvements you have made in detail, including year of acquisition, description and cost. Our office will determine if they are taxable and ensure they will not be taxed as both personal property and real property.


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Do I Report Depreciation?
No. Report the original acquisition costs, and year of acquisition. The Assessors office will apply depreciation according to a schedule supplied by the Nevada Department of Taxation.

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Who Has To Report?
State statutes require every person, firm, corporation, association or company doing business in Nevada to report annually to the county where the personal property is located.


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Exemptions
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Who Is Considered To Be Qualified For The "Blind" Exemption?
The Blind Persons Exemption is available to residents with visual acuity that does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye when corrected, or whose field of vision subtends an angle of 20 degrees or less. To qualify for this exemption, it is necessary to furnish  doctor`s statement that the above requirements are met and sign an affidavit of bona fide residency*.

*NRS 361.015 "Bona fide resident" defined. "Bona fide resident" means a person who has:

1. Established a residence in the State of Nevada; and

2. Actually resided in this state for at least 6 months or has a valid driver`s license or identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles of this state.


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What Qualifies A Veteran For The "Disabled Veteran" Exemption?
The Disabled Veteran`s Exemption is provided for veterans who have a permanent service connection disability of at least 60%.

To qualify for this exemption, you must be a bona fide resident* of Nevada and furnish copies of your separation papers showing dates of entry and discharge and documentation of the percentage of service connected disability from the Veteran`s Administration. The surviving spouse of a disabled veteran who was eligible for this exemption at the time of his/her death may also be eligible to receive the benefits of this program.

*NRS 361.015 "Bona fide resident" defined. "Bona fide resident" means a person who has:

1. Established a residence in the State of Nevada; and

2. Actually resided in this state for at least 6 months or has a valid driver`s license or identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles of this state.


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Does The State Of Nevada Offer Any Types Of Tax Assistance Or Exemptions To Individual Taxpayers?
Yes, Nevada offers tax exemptions to persons meeting certain requirements such as: Surviving Spouse, Veterans, Disabled Veterans, and Blind Persons. These exemptions can be applied to real property, personal property (mobile homes, etc.) or used to exempt all or part of your vehicle privilege tax. The tax dollar amount of the exemption varies.

Nevada also has special exclusions for pollution control, radioactive fallout shelters, renewable resource heating and cooling systems, and residential construction to remove architectural barriers for handicapped persons.


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How Do I Apply For Tax Exemption For Non-Profit Or Religious Organizations, Low-Income Housing And Charter Schools?
An application must be completed and returned to the Assessor`s office.  Call 775-328-2223 for information and to request the appropriate application.

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Who Is Eligible For A Surviving Spouse And How Do I Make Application?
This exemption applies to surviving spouses who are residents of the State of Nevada.  To receive this exemption a surviving spouse must bring a copy of the death certificate to the Assessor`s office when initially applying for the exemption, and sign an affidavit of bona fide residency*. 

A surviving spouse of a 60% or greater disabled veteran may also qualify to receive an additional exemption, please contact our office for details.

*NRS 361.015 "Bona fide resident" defined. "Bona fide resident" means a person who has:

1. Established a residence in the State of Nevada; and

2. Actually resided in this state for at least 6 months or has a valid driver`s license or identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles of this state.


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What Are The Requirements For A "Veteran's" Exemption
The Veteran`s exemption is applicable to an honorably discharged veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States who is a bona fide resident* of the State of Nevada and:
     
(a) Has served a minimum of 90 continuous days on active duty, who was assigned to active duty at some time between April 21, 1898, and June 15, 1903, or between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, or between December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946, or between June 25, 1950, and May 7, 1975, or between September 26, 1982, and December 1, 1987, or between October 23, 1983, and November 21, 1983, or between December 20, 1989, and January 31, 1990, or between August 2, 1990, and April 11, 1991, or between December 5, 1992, and March 31, 1994, or between November 20, 1995, and December 20, 1996;

(b) Has served on active duty in connection with carrying out the authorization granted to the President of the United States in Public Law 102-1; or

(c) Has served on active duty in connection with a campaign or expedition for service in which a medal has been authorized by the Government of the United States, regardless of the number of days served on active duty,

and who received, upon severance from service, an honorable discharge or certificate of satisfactory service from the Armed Forces of the United States, or who, having so served, is still serving in the Armed Forces of the United States, is exempt from taxation.

When filing for the first time, it is necessary to bring in a copy of your separation papers showing dates of entry and discharge or release from active duty.

*NRS 361.015 "Bona fide resident" defined. "Bona fide resident" means a person who has:

1. Established a residence in the State of Nevada; and

2. Actually resided in this state for at least 6 months or has a valid driver`s license or identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles of this state.


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When Should I Apply For An Exemption?
For an exemption to be used on real property, the application must be made and the real property exemption card signed on or before June 15, prior to the start of the new tax year. If the exemption is to be applied to personal property or a motor vehicle, the personal property exemption card may be signed any time on or before the date such taxes are due.

An initial claim for a tax exemption on real property acquired after June 15 and before July 1 must be filed on or before July 5.


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Map Related FAQs
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I don't know if my property has an access easement. Can someone at the Assessor's Office help me find out?
No, we do not research or determine whether particular parcels have access.  Easements must be researched by the interested party at the Washoe County Recorder's Office.  A title company can help with this also.

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I need to get an elevation certificate for my property.
If you are required to have a topographic survey for a building permit or certificate of occupancy, you must hire a surveyor to do this for you and fill out an elevation certificate. If you need to get a copy of the elevation certificate that was submitted previously by you or the previous owner of a property, contact Washoe County Engineering.

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Can you tell me if my property is within a FEMA floodplain?
We do not keep FEMA Floodplain maps in the Assessor’s Office. For information on whether your property falls within a floodplain, contact Washoe County Engineering.

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Can someone at the Assessor's Office tell me what my property rights are?
No, we do not provide legal advice on property rights or any other subject.  A title company or an attorney who specializes in issues related to real estate should be contacted.

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My neighbor built his fence on my property and now he won't move it. Can you write him a letter telling him he has to move the fence?
No.  We do not have the ability to settle disputes between property owners as to whether an encroachment has occurred with regard to fences, sheds or any other use or structure.

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I need to get a copy of a plot plan for my property. Does your office have this information?
We do not have building plot plans in the Assessor's Office. The Building Departments of Reno, Sparks and Washoe County may have plot plans on file for recent construction.  The Washoe County Building Department has an instructional pamphlet that tells how to draw your own plot plan.

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My neighbor keeps driving across my property without my permission. Can someone at the Assessor's Office help me prove to him that he has no right to do this?
This is a private matter between you and your neighbor.  The Assessor’s Office does not get involved in private disputes over property issues.

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I need to find out what the setback requirements are on my property.
The Assessor’s office does not keep records on building setback requirements. The Building Departments of Reno, Sparks and Washoe County can give you that information for your particular parcel.

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Can I call someone at the Assessor's Office to come out and survey my property or help me locate my property corners?
No, the Assessor's Office staff does not survey property. If you need a surveyor, there are many qualified people listed under "Surveyors" in the yellow pages of the phone book.

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Public Service
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What Is The Function Of The Assessor`s Office?
The role of the Assessor's Office is to estimate property values. We do not collect taxes. But, by law, we must discover all taxable property in the County and appraise its value, then calculate 35% of that appraised value to determine its assessed value.

If your opinion of the value of your property differs from the Assessor's, please contact our office and discuss the matter. We will be glad to answer your questions about the appraisal and explain how to appeal if we cannot come to an agreement.


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How Are Taxes Collected?
Taxes are collected by the County Treasurer based on tax bills sent out in July, and on some new construction, bills sent out in December of each year. All questions on taxes paid or to be paid should be directed to the Treasurer`s Office at 328-2510.


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How Often Can Your Assessed Value Change?
Annually. Each year, all properties will either be reappraised or their previous assessed value will be factored using factors established or approved by the Nevada Tax Commission


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What If You Disagree With Your Assessed Value?
When the real property tax roll is completed each November, value change notices are sent to all taxpayers. If you have a question, you may call the Assessor`s Office or come in and talk to an appraiser. If we are unable to resolve your concern you may appeal to the  County Board of Equalization . If you are still not satisfied, you may appeal to the State Board of Equalization, and, thereafter, through the Court System. Any of theses bodies may adjust your assessed value. Appeals to the County Board of Equalization must be filed at the Assessor`s Office no later than January 15th.

Personal Property is billed at various times during the year.  If, in your opinion, the assessed value of your personal property shown on your bill is incorrect please feel free to contact the Assessor`s Office. If, after discussing the matter, a difference of opinion still exists, you may appeal your assessment to the County or State Board of Equalization. You may obtain the forms from the Assessor`s Office.


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What should I do if my mailing address has changed?

The Treasurer`s Office maintains the mailing address information used by our office. The owner of a property can request a change of mailing address for your property taxes by:

Mail: Washoe County Treasurer P.O. Box 30039 Reno, NV 89520

Be sure to write legibly and include: your name, property address/parcel number, current mailing address, new mailing address, your signature.


Email: tax@washoecounty.us

Fax: (775) 328-2500

Use our online form



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What Causes Your Taxes To Change?
They change when either your tax rate changes or your assessed value changes. Your assessed value can change because of a boundary change, new construction, a change in use, reappraisal or factoring.
  • Boundary changes occur when old parcels are either subdivided or combined.
  • New construction includes new buildings, additions, remodeling, etc.
  • Changes in use are, for example, a change from residential use to office or retail use.
  • Reappraisal or factoring is done to keep values up to date with changes in individual properties, local and neighborhood trends, and inflation or recession.


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What If Something Happens To Your Property?
If your property has been removed, or severely damaged by a disaster such as a landslide, flood, etc. please contact the Assessor’s Office so that we can correct your assessed value.


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What Is The Taxable Value Of Your Property?
The Taxable Value of your land is the Assessor's estimate of its full cash value, taking into account its location, zoning, actual use, etc. The Taxable Value of your buildings is their estimated replacement cost less depreciation. Your taxes will be based on your total assessed value, which is 35% of your total appraised value. For value information on your property assessment data please click here to access the parcel summary page.


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Who Sets The Tax Rate?
Your tax rate is established in the spring of each year by the Nevada Tax Commission from budgets submitted by local governmental entities such as City of Reno, City of Sparks, Washoe County, Fire Protection Districts, School District and others. Services provided by those governmental bodies are a result of these budgets, and questions about governmental services should be directed to those agencies.


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Real Property
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Is This a Tax Bill?
No, tax bills are mailed by the Washoe County Treasurer. Tax bills for the secured  tax roll are mailed in July of each year.  Tax bills for unsecured real property are mailed in November


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How Can I Get Specific Data On Both My Home And Real Commercial Parcels?
Click here for For Real Property Assessment Data.  Data updated nightly and will give you specific information for the parcels.

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What If I Do Not Agree With The Appraisal?
If we are unable to resolve your concerns you can appeal to the County Board of Equalization for a review of  your
property`s  taxable value.  The appeal forms may be obtained by contacting our office or the Nevada Department of Taxation. Your appeal must be filed by January 15th.

Please note:  the burden of proof is on the taxpayer to show that the valuation is in error or that the taxable value exceeds full cash value (market value).

Also note:   the role of the Assessor is property valuations, not property tax rates or taxes.  Questions concerning your tax rates or taxes should be directed to your County Commissioner or locally elected state representative.

The appeal form and additional information can be found on our website on our Assessment Notice/Appeal Information page.


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What Should I Do With The Notice?
This is your first opportunity to review the proposed taxable value of your property.  If you believe that this new value is in error or is above the full cash value for your property, please call  (775) 328-2233 or visit the Assessor`s office at 1001 E Ninth St. and ask to speak to an appraiser.  Upon request, our office will furnish a copy of the most recent appraisal of the property and more often than not your question or concern can be resolved on the initial phone call or visit. Information on your property assessment can also be found through our Property Assessment Data web pages.

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Why Did I Receive A Value Notice?
The Office of the Washoe County Assessor mails assessment notices as a courtesy to the property owners of Washoe County to inform them of the proposed taxable and assessed value of the real property on the tax roll for the next fiscal year. 

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Why Did My Values Change?
The Taxable Value can change because of a boundary change, new construction, a change in use, a mandatory five year reappraisal, factoring in years a reappraisal is not done, or any combination of these factors.
  • Boundary changes occur when old parcels are either divided or combined.
  • New construction includes new buildings, additions, remodeling, etc.
  • Changes in use can include such changes as converting a residence to office or retail use or land from agricultural use to residential use.
  • Reappraisal of property is done annually. Improvements are recalculated to current cost of replacement, less depreciation and land is revalued to reflect the current market.


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Why Didn't I Receive A Value Notice
The Assessor`s Office makes every effort to send each property owner a value notice; however  postal delays cannot be
controlled.  If you would like to verify that this office has the correct mailing address please contact our office at (775) 328-2233. 
You can also verify your mailing address on line by going to Real Property Assessment Data then click on "Go To Search Page".  There you will be able to look up
your parcel using your Parcel Number, Street Address, or Owner Name.

The full secured tax roll will be printed in the newspaper, per NRS 361  , before the first day in January.  Copies will be available at the Washoe County Assessors Office and at Washoe County Libraries.


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Do All Owners Of A Given Property Have To Sign The Letter?
No.  Any owner or legally authorized agent may sign the letter.

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Is My Taxable Value Capped?
No, only the amount of increase on your tax bill is capped.

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Tax Cap
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I Received The 3% Tax Cap, Why Did My Assessed Value Go Up By More Than 3%?
The 3% tax cap is applied to your tax amount, not the assessed value of your property.


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Can I Apply For Or Change My Cap Over The Phone?
No, you must sign the application and, if necessary, the rental questionnaire as the property owner. We will send the documents to you upon request.

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What If I Run A Business In My Primary Residence? Does My Property Still Qualify For The 3% Tax Cap
If your parcel has a land use code (zoning) of residential, your property would still qualify for the 3% tax cap.


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I disagree with the decision on my appeal. What is my next step?
If you disagree with the decision on your appeal you may contact the Assessor`s Office with additional information and/or appeal the decision to the Nevada Tax Commission as outlined in Nevada Revised Statute 361.4734(2)

You have 30 days after receiving notice of the Assessor`s decision to file an appeal with the Nevada Tax Commission.


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Do I Have To Give You This Information?
No, but you will not qualify for the primary residence or residential rental (low income rental) tax cap if you do not, and you must sign the form.

Please note: Incomplete and/or unsigned forms may result in the property not qualifying for the lower tax cap which may result in a higher tax bill.


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If my home is under construction and I am living on the land in a mobile home, can the property qualify as my primary residence (3% "Tax Cap")
Yes, as long as you are not already claiming another property in the State of Nevada as your primary residence.

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How Do I Qualify For A 3% Tax Cap For Rental Property?
Each and every rental unit on the parcel must be rented for equal to or less than the HUD median market rent. All units must qualify.

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What If I Sell My Home Or Purchase A New Home?
The transfer of ownership of property will trigger a new affidavit to be mailed to the new owner to verify the status. The new affidavits will be mailed in April and August.

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Is My Tax Rate Capped?

The Partial Abatement (“Tax Cap”) legislation does not cap the tax rate, however, other legislation does.

The primary statue is Nevada Revised Statute 361.453.  Legislation may allow for some specific rates to be excluded from the limitation.

For more information on Tax Rates please visit the website for the Washoe County Treasurer.



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Is The Land My Manufactured Home Sits On Eligible For The 3% Cap On Taxes?
If you own both the land and the manufactured home, and occupy the manufactured home as your primary residence you are eligible for the 3% tax cap on the land and manufactured home.  This applies even if the manufactured home has not been converted to real property. 

If you own the manufactured home but not the land, the manufactured home is eligible for the 3% tax cap. The cap level for the land would be determined based on the space rent charged.

If you own the land but not the manufactured home you would not be eligible for the 3% tax cap unless the space rent is less than the HUD median market rent.

If you own the land and the manufactured home but they are a rental, you are eligible for the 3% tax cap only if the rent you are charging is equal to or less than the HUD median market rent.


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I Own Many Homes Throughout Nevada, Each Of Which Is Used Only By Me. Can They All Qualify For The 3% Cap?
You can have only one primary residence in Nevada, however, if each home that you own has a family member living in it full time, that does not pay any rent, then that home would qualify for the 3% cap as a rental, renting below HUD median market rent.  (The rent would be $0.00 a month.)

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I Own A Motel That Rents Weekly For Less Than HUD Median Market Rent For The Month. Do I Qualify For The 3% Cap?
No, transient lodging does not qualify.

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I Have Multiple Properties Owned By A Trust That A Trust Beneficiary Live In. Will The 3% Tax Cap Apply To These Properties?
Yes, all properties which a beneficiary of the trust occupies as a primary residence would qualify for the 3% tax cap.


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I Rent My Property Occasionally for about 400 Per Day for a week or so. Does it qualify as Primary Residence since I only made 3300 last year?

No, if you rent by the day, your property would be considered transient lodging, which does not qualify. A better way to do the math would be:  Rent of $400 a day X 30 days in a month = $12,000 a month rent, which is above HUD median market rent, and would not qualify.



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I Own Many Homes, But Only One Home In Nevada. Do I Qualify For The 3% Cap?
The home in Nevada could qualify as your primary residence provided it meets all the previously stated requirements and it is not rented out at any time when you are not occupying the home.

If it is a full time rental and meets the HUD low rental guidelines it may qualify for the 3% residential rental tax cap.


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What If My Primary Residence Is On The Same Parcel As My Business?
If your parcel has a land use code (zoning) of commercial and it also includes your primary residence, the residential portion of your property can qualify for the 3% cap. 

The county assessor may determine the separate portions of your property that are commercial (non-qualifying) and residential (qualifying) and apply to each such portion the appropriate partial abatement from property taxes.


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I received tax cap forms for my rental properties, but I didn't receive one for my primary residence. Should I have received one?
Once we receive a claim form  for an owner occupied primary residence we maintain the 3% cap on the property unless there is an ownership change, mailing address change, or if the owner notifies us of a status change.  At that time we would send out another claim form for verification.  We have to verify rents every year so you'll continue to receive the rental forms.

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What If I Rent Out A Room In My Primary Residence?
If you live in the home you own, it is considered your primary residence and therefore qualifies for the 3% tax cap.


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What If I Rent Out My Guesthouse Or Casita?
The rent you are charging would need to be equal to or less than the HUD median market rent in order to qualify for the 3% cap. The higher cap would apply unless it is a new property for this year, which does not have a cap.

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You Denied My Request For The 3% (Or Higher) Tax Cap, How Do I Appeal Your Decision?
The Assessor`s Office has created a form for you to fill out to appeal the decision made on the tax cap applied to your property. You can obtain that form by calling, writing or coming in to the Assessor`s Office and asking for the Partial Abatement, "tax cap",  appeal form.  It is also available on their web site: 

Jump to Appeal Form Link

Beginning with the 2009/2010 fiscal year the deadline to appeal is June 30th.  So for the 2010/2011 fiscal year appeals must be filed by June 30, 2011. Prior to 2009/2010 the deadline to appeal was January 15th, so for the 2008/2009 fiscal year the appeal deadline was January 15, 2009.

The Assessor has 30 days to respond to your appeal.


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Why did my tax bill increase when my assessed value decreased or did not change?
Because the current year tax bill is calculated based on the prior year tax bill,  changes in assessed value do not have as much impact on a tax bill (up or down) as they did prior to the law change.

The abatement is the amount of additional taxes that would have been owed if not for the tax cap. For a property with a 3% tax cap, if the 2008 tax bill was $1,000 the 2009 tax bill could be no more than $1,030 even if the calculated taxes assessed value x tax rate) were $1,050.

In the example above the $20 difference between the actual tax bill of $1,030 and the calculated tax bill of $1,050 is the abatement.

The abatement amount is identified on the tax bill. A decrease in assessed value will not result in a decrease in taxes until the prior year`s tax bill plus your tax cap percentage is greater than your actual calculated taxes. In an increasing market you may receive abatement for each year. In a declining or stagnant market your tax bill may eventually increase until there is no abatement for a tax year.

For most properties, fiscal year 2004/05 is the base year for applying the tax cap and calculating the abatement. Although values may have increased in succeeding years, the new law limits the increase to a tax bill to 3% or 8%.

Any increase in value (except increases due to improvement to or changes in the actual or authorized use of the property) that would cause a property owners tax bill to increase by more than 3% or 8% results in an abatement of the taxes.

For parcels created after fiscal year 2004/05, which are designated as "new parcels", the base year would be the year the parcel was created and the abatement and tax cap would apply from that year forward.


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Why Did My Bill Go Up By More Than The Prescribed Cap From Last Year's Bill?

The following situations could cause an increase of more than the prescribed cap:

An exemption, which was applied to last years tax bill, was removed for
the current year.

There was a change in use for the property such as a zoning change or mobile home conversion.

There was new construction or improvement to the property.


New, Voter approved, increases were levied or the property was annexed into a district with a higher tax rate.

There are items billed on your tax bill that are not ad valorem taxes.  These are not affected by the tax cap, and could increase more than the prescribed cap.



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How Does The Tax Cap Affect My Exemption?
The exemption will be applied to the tax bill after the cap is applied.


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I Rented My House On July 1st For More Than HUD Median Market Rents, But Now In November Of The Same Year, It Is My Primary Residence. Can I Receive The 3% Cap For The Remainder Of The Fiscal Year?
No, the cap is applied based on the status effective July 1st of that fiscal year ( our fiscal year is July 1 thru June 30).  You can change your property qualification to primary residence effective July 1st of the following year.

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What Does Primary Residence Mean?
A residence which is designated by the owner as the primary residence of the owner in this State, exclusive of any other residence of the owner in this State; AND

Which is not rented, leased or otherwise made available for exclusive occupancy by any person other than the owner of the residence and members of the family of the owner.


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What Is Capped Under The Partial Abatement Statutes?
The statutes provide for a partial abatement of the ad valorem taxes levied on a qualified property. The effect of this partial abatement results in a Tax Cap. The tax cap will limit the increase of your tax bill to 3% over the previous year`s tax amount for your primary residence within Nevada or rental properties where the rent charged does not exceed the fair market rent for the county in which the dwelling is located, as most recently published by HUD.  Most other property will receive a higher "cap", which, for 2011/2012 is 4 % over the previous years tax bill. This higher cap is subject to change yearly.  It does not limit the increase in assessed value.

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What Is The Partial Abatement?
NRS 361.471-361.4735 provides for a partial abatement of taxes by limiting or "capping" the amount a tax bill can increase from year to year. The increase is limited to 3% for an owner occupied primary residence (single-family home, townhouse, condominium or manufactured home) and certain qualified rental properties. Tax bills for all other properties (residences that are not owner occupied, land, commercial buildings, business personal property, aircraft, etc.) are limited to a percentage not to exceed 8%.

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Who Is Eligible For The 3% Tax Cap?
All owner occupied homes (including single-family homes, condos, townhouses and manufactured homes) that are used as primary residences qualify for the 3% tax cap.  Also, rental units may be eligible if all the units are rented for equal to or less than the HUD median market rents.


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Will My Tax Bill Increase By The Amount Of The Corresponding Cap?
Not necessarily, any property where the percentage of tax increase is less than the corresponding cap, and there is no prior abatement,  will only be billed the original increase of the taxes. The corresponding cap will not automatically increase the tax bill.

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Budget

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What is Assembly Bill 104?

AB 104 is a portion of the fees and taxes that gaming operators pay. In 1991, the Nevada Legislature diverted revenue from Clark County to Washoe County as a response to the “Fair Share” issue. In the same year, the Nevada Legislature passed Assembly Bill (AB) 104, which modified Nevada Revised Statute 491 and gave the Washoe County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) the option to implement five “makeup” revenues:  sales tax, motor vehicle privilege tax, property tax, real property transfer tax and a gaming tax. Gaming operators pay the AB104 tax in addition to their annual business licensing fees. 



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How are the taxes calculated?

AB 104 set different formulas for each of the five taxes. The calculation of the annual gaming tax due is based on a percentage of the sum of the AB104 portion of property taxes, sales tax, real property transfer tax, gaming taxes and interest.



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How does Washoe County know their calculations are now correct?

The County retained the audit firm of Grant Thornton to independently review the formula for calculation of the gaming tax, validate the Washoe County Budget Office’s computations, review all billings reports from the County, and review receipts of the gaming tax collected by the County to reconcile these collections to the amount sent to the State. The firm of Grant Thornton was selected based on their experience and independence from the County and its external auditor. The firm validated the County’s calculation of both the amount of under-collection and local agencies’ share of the under-collected amount.  Grant Thornton also compared billings and collections reports from the County to the amounts reported to the State.  



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How much money did local government agencies not receive due to the error?

For some agencies, their portion of the average amount under-collected between the years of 2009-2015 is estimated to be less than $1,000 per year. The average under-collection for the cities of Reno and Sparks is as follows: City of Reno - $100,000; City of Sparks - $50,000



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How much will gaming establishments now have to pay?

AB 104 is a portion of the fees and taxes that gaming operators pay. Gaming operators will continue to pay their annual licensing fees in addition to the gaming tax. The AB 104 gaming taxes paid by gaming establishments and other businesses owing this tax will increase in Fiscal Year 2017 to be compliant with the formula set in State law.  For example, an establishment that currently pays $5 per quarter in AB 104 gaming taxes, the new quarterly amount due would be approximately $150.  



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How was the error in the amount of gaming taxes collected discovered?

As part of Washoe County’s ongoing administrative review of procedures and processes, an error was recently discovered in the amount collected from gaming operators for certain gaming taxes (AB 104 Gaming Taxes). The Washoe County budget team identified a decline, not related to the recession, in the amount of gaming taxes collected each year beginning in Fiscal Year 2009.

The budget team identified a decline in the amount of gaming taxes collected each year beginning in Fiscal Year 2009.The budget staff, verified through reports from the County’s billing system, discovered the amount billed and sent by gaming establishments to Washoe County were reduced during the 2009-2015 time period. Gaming operators in the County now pay a fraction of the gaming tax that was formerly collected prior to Fiscal Year 2009.The budget team verified the formula for the calculation of the tax in state law and re-calculated the amount due each fiscal year. The error was a misapplication of the correct formula.



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What is the timeline of events?
  • November 16, 2015: Washoe County Manager John Slaughter received a memo from the budget manager disclosing a potential under-collection of AB 104 gaming tax revenues.
  • November 30, 2015: County Manager sent a memo to the BCC regarding the issue.
  • December 14, 2015: Engagement letter with audit firm Grant Thornton executed and firm began work.
  • January 15, 2016: Washoe County received Grant Thornton’s final report.
  • January 20, 2016: Budget Manager distributed final report to Washoe County Manager John Slaughter.
  • February 9, 2016: Board of County Commissioners meeting to acknowledge receipt of Grant Thornton’s report.
  • April 12, 2016: Board of County Commissioners voted to bill gaming operators for FY 2015-2016 in the amount of $994,696 for Assembly Bill 104 Gaming Taxes that weren’t collected correctly over the current fiscal year due to an error. However, County Commissioners voted to allow gaming operators to pay the money owed for FY 2015-2016 over the next four quarters of FY 2016-17.


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What is Washoe County’s plan for charging gaming establishments the appropriate amount of the gaming tax?

For Fiscal Year 2017, which starts on July 1, 2016, gaming establishments will receive bills with the correct amount of the gaming tax.  Gaming operators will also receive a supplemental bill in Fiscal Year 2016 for the amount under-collected in the current fiscal year.



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What was the average impact of the amount under-collected on the Washoe County annual budget?

From Fiscal Year 2009 through FY 2015, approximately $4.8 million was under-collected in gaming taxes. The annual average impact on Washoe County during FY 2009-2015 was $460,000, which is approximately less than a quarter of one percent (0.16%)of the Washoe County annual General Fund revenues during that time frame.



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Where do the AB 104 taxes go after collected by Washoe County?

The AB 104 gaming tax receipts, along with other AB 104 revenues, are sent to the State of Nevada on a monthly basis. The State then distributes AB 104 proceeds back to local governments based on their allocation formulas on a monthly basis. 



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Which government entities are impacted by this tax calculation error?

The following local governments and special districts receive AB104 taxes: Washoe County, City of Reno, City of Sparks. Also, three General Improvement Districts: Incline Village GID, Sun Valley GID and Palomino Valley GID; Three Fire Protection Districts: Truckee Meadows, Sierra, and North Lake Tahoe; Two other local districts: Verdi TV District and Carson Truckee Water Conservancy District.



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Who collects the gaming taxes?

Washoe County collects the AB 104 gaming tax from all gaming operators in the County along with other gaming fees (e.g., slot machine and table fees).  Each year, the county calculates the amount and bills gaming operators for the AB104 gaming tax.



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Who made the decision on what to do with gaming taxes that weren’t collected correctly?

County Commissioners voted April 12, 2016 to bill gaming operators for FY 2015-2016 in the amount of $994,696 for Assembly Bill 104 Gaming Taxes that weren’t collected correctly over the current fiscal year due to an error. However, County Commissioners voted to allow gaming operators to pay the money owed for FY 2015-2016 over the next four quarters of FY 2016-17.

Washoe County calculates and collects Gaming Tax from gaming operators each year and then sends those monies to the State of Nevada. The State then distributes the Gaming Tax to eleven local jurisdictions, including Washoe County.

County Commissioners also voted to forego retroactively billing gaming operators for AB 104 gaming taxes that may be due to the County for FY 2009-2015. 



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Building and Safety

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Our Current Days and Hours of Operation?

Why Do I Need To Obtain A Building Permit?

Who May Apply For A Permit?

How Many Sets Of Plans Are Required For Submittal?

What Building Work Would Not Require A Building Permit?

What Electrical Work Would Not Require A Building Permit?

What Mechanical & Gas Work Would Not Require A Building Permit?

What Plumbing Work Would Not Require A Building Permit?

If I Am Located Within An Architectural Committee, Does The Committee Need To Review The Plans Before I Submit Them For A Permit?

What are the Minimum Requirements for a Certificate of Occupancy?

How Long Is A Permit Good For?

How Do I Renew A Permit?

What Forms of Payment Does the Building & Safety Department Accept?

Can I Search for a Building Permit?  Please See Our Permit Search Page. You can search by Address, Assessor Parcel Number or Permit Number

 




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Clerk

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Board of Equalization
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Can I get my hearing date changed?
You may request a hearing date to be changed by sending a letter to the Washoe County Clerk specifying the reason(s) why you need the date changed at least five (5) days prior to your hearing date. The final decision as to whether or not a hearing date can be changed will be at the Board's discretion. All business of the County Board must be concluded by February 28th.

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How long can I expect to be at a hearing?
The Board may ask questions at any time during the hearing. Hearings are scheduled to commence at 9:00am. Hearings are called based on the petitioners present at the hearing in the order they sign in with the Clerk. Any particular petition on the agenda may be heard at any time during the day and may not be heard in the order it appears on the agenda. Hearings can sometimes run into the evening hours.

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What are the Board of Equalization's hearing procedures?

All hearings before the Board of Equalization proceed as follows:

  1. Assessor describes and locates the subject property
  2. Petitioner's (property owner) presentation of value
  3. Assessor's presentation of value
  4. Petitioner's rebuttal

The Board may continue the hearing to a future date. In the event that the Board takes action on the petition, the Board may ask questions at any time. The Board's action may consist of denying the petition, upholding the petitioner's value, or deciding a different value for the property.

Action taken by the Board of Equalization on any appeal may include adding thereto or deducting therefrom a sum from any other property assessed by the County Assessor as is necessary to make it conform to the taxable value of the property on appeal.



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What do I need to bring to my hearing and what do I need to leave with the County Clerk?

For information related to this question, please review the information contained in the Board of Equalization Evidence Exhibits section.



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What if I can't be there for my hearing?

The Board of Equalization may hear a petition with or with out the petitioner present. If you can't attend the hearing, but want the Board to consider your written evidence, please review the information contained in this section.



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When may I file an appeal?
Petitions must be filed with the County Assessor of the county in which the property is located, not later than January 15th.

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Why does the County Clerk need my evidence five (5) days in advance of my hearing date?
The Clerk needs this documentation ahead of time so it can be copied and provided to the Board of Equalization. The Board has requested that they receive the information to review three (3) days prior to the scheduled hearing. If you are unable to provide the documentation to the Clerk five days before your hearing, please bring eight (8) copies of the documentation with you to the hearing and the Board will review it at that time.

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Business
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Does the Fictitious Firm Name Certificate expire?
The certificate will expire five years from the file date.

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Does this information get published in the newspaper?
Publishing is not required in Nevada. Our office does not submit any information to the newspapers regarding fictitious firm name certificates.

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How can I protect my business name?
The filing of this certificate does not prevent someone else from using the same business name. You can file a "Trade Name" with the Nevada Secretary of State. Please call (702) 486-2880.

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When must I refile this certificate?
The certificate must be refiled with each change of legal ownership, change of residence address of any legal owner or at five years from the file date.

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Where do I go next?
You will need to contact the Nevada Department of Taxation, as well as the business license office(s) for their requirements. Any business that is regulated by a State agency must comply with those specific requirements as well.

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Why can't I use a PO Box? Can I use a private mail box?
The statute states a physical address must be used and prohibits the use of a public or private mailbox. We have provided space for an alternate mailing address.

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Why must I file a fictitious firm name certificate?
When the business name is in any way different from the legal name of the owner(s) of the business, or a corporation is doing business under a name different than the legal entity name, a fictitious firm name certificate is required by state law. Please refer to NRS 602.

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Will the Clerk's Office mail anything to my home?
When filing this document, the Clerk's office does not mail anything to your home. You will be notified of the expiration of your certificate at the five-year expiration period.

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Marriage Officiants
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Are faxed copies of the paperwork acceptable?
We are not able to accept faxed copies of any of the forms. We must have the originals.

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Can the certificate be picked up or mailed to a different address from the one on the application?
Yes, just make sure to include the special instructions when you submit your application. Please note that we cannot express or priority mail certificates unless it is through the post office using a self-addressed, pre-paid Express Mail or Priority Mail envelope that is provided to us with your application package.

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How does a minister, church or religious official, or notary public get removed from the database?
Removal of a minister, church or religious official authorized to solemnize marriages is accomplished by an Affidavit of Removal of Authority to Solemnize Marriages which needs to be completed by someone authorized to speak on behalf of the church or religious organization. We will also accept a letter from the minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages if he or she wishes to voluntarily notify us. 

A notary public authorization will be revoked upon notification from the Secretary of State that the notary public is no longer in good standing and/or upon written notification or request from the notary or a court-appointed personal representative on behalf of the notary public.



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How do I become a minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages?
Our office cannot provide instruction to individuals on how to become a minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages. Each of the various churches and/or religious organizations has their own standards and requirements. Our office is only involved with authority to solemnize marriages. If you have any other questions regarding Certificates of Permission to Solemnize Marriages in the State of Nevada, feel free to send us an email.

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How do I change my current certificate to Retired Clergy Status?
All clergy will need to reapply if they change to Retired Status. There is a separate application for a Retired Status Certificate. To obtain a Retired Status Certificate you must have had active charge of a church or religious organization in the State of Nevada for a period of at least (3) three years.  There is no retired status authorized for a notary public.

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How long does it take to process the application and for the certificate to be issued?
The turnaround time for a permanent authorization is 2-3 weeks, depending on the results of the background check. If everything is in order, the certificate will be mailed to the home address of the applicant. If there is a problem with the paperwork, there will be a delay in issuing the certificate until any and all issues are resolved.

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How long is the certificate valid?

MINISTER OR CHURCH OR RELIGIOUS OFFICIAL

According to NRS 122.066, it is valid until:

(a) The county clerk has received an Affidavit of Removal of Authority to Solemnize Marriages stating that the minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages from the church or religious organization is no longer authorized to solemnize marriages for the church or religious organization;

(b) The county clerk has received a written statement that the minister to whom a certificate of permission was granted is no longer a minister;

(c) The county clerk has reason to believe that the minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages is no longer in good standing within his church or religious organization, or that he is no longer a minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages, or that such church or religious organization no longer exists. The clerk may require satisfactory proof of the good standing of such minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages. If such proof is not presented within 15 days, the county clerk shall revoke the Certificate of Authority to Solemnize Marriages; and

(d) If any minister to whom a Certificate of Authority to Solemnize Marriages has been issued servers ties with his church or religious organization or moves from the county in which his certificate was issued, the certificate shall expire immediately upon such severance or move and the church or religious organization shall, within 5 days after the severance or move, file an Affidavit of Revocation of Authority to Solemnize Marriages. If the minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages voluntarily advises the county clerk of the severance with his church or religious organization, or that he has moved from the county, the certificate shall expire immediately upon such severance or move without any notification to the county clerk by the church or religious organization.

Authorization for a Single Ceremony Certificate of Permission to Perform A Marriage is issued for one specific ceremony. The minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages must obtain a separate authorization for each marriage performed, and may not perform more than five marriages in this State in any calendar year.

NOTARY PUBLIC

A Certificate of Permission issued to a notary public expires at the end of the notary’s current notary commission with the Nevada Secretary of State, unless renewed within 90 days of its expiration.



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I am a judge in another state; can I obtain authorization to perform a ceremony in Nevada?

There is no provision in Nevada law allowing for an out-of-state judge to perform a marriage.



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I am a licensed, ordained or appointed minister, or church or religious official; may I obtain permission to perform a specific wedding ceremony in Nevada?
NRS 122.062 states that a licensed, ordained or appointed minister, or church or religious official may be authorized to perform a specific marriage in the county where the ceremony is to take place if he is in good standing with his church or religious organization. The authorization must be in writing and a separate authorization is required for each marriage performed. Such a minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages may perform not more than five marriages in this state in any calendar year. You may apply by completing the application for a Single Ceremony Certificate of Permission to Solemnize Marriages.

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I am a notary public in another state; can I obtain authorization to perform a ceremony in Nevada?

There is no provision in Nevada law allowing for an out-of-state notary public to perform a marriage.



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I am a retired Nevada judge; am I still authorized to perform marriage ceremonies?
Nevada law does not provide for retired judges to perform a marriage. However, a Nevada senior justice or judge may perform routine ministerial acts, including the solemnization of marriages and the administering of oaths, during his/her term as a senior justice or judge. (Nevada Supreme Court Rule 10, Section 9)

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I am an out-of-state licensed, ordained or appointed minister, or church or religious official; may I obtain permission to perform a specific wedding ceremony in Nevada?
NRS 122.062 states that a licensed, ordained or appointed minister, or church or religious official may be authorized to perform a specific marriage in the county where the ceremony is to take place if he is in good standing with his church or religious organization. (There is no residency requirement for this minister or religious official for a single ceremony certificate).  The authorization must be in writing and a separate authorization is required for each marriage performed. Such a minister or other person authorized to solemnize marriages may perform not more than five marriages in this state in any calendar year. You may apply by completing the application for a Single Ceremony Certificate of Permission to Solemnize Marriages.

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If I belong to a church or religious organization that was just started and I am the senior pastor/president of the board, who can complete the Affidavit of Authority to Solemnize Marriages on my behalf?
NRS 122 provides that the form be signed by an individual authorized to speak on behalf of your church or religious organization. It could be someone such as a member of the board, an officer of the organization, or someone else within your organization who has authority to speak for your church or religious organization. You cannot sign on your own behalf.

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Is there a fee for processing an Application for Authority to Solemnize Marriages?
Yes.  Effective October 1, 2013 there is a $25 fee for all Applications.  In addition, background checks are performed on all applicants, with the exception of single ceremony applicants and U.S. Armed Forces Chaplains.  The fee for the background check is $49 which goes to the third-party vendor conducting the investigation.  Details regarding payment of these fees are included in the application instructions.

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The wedding is to take place within a few days. Is it possible to obtain the Certificate of Authority to Solemnize Marriages in time to perform the wedding?
Local ministers, church or religious officials or notary publics should submit their paperwork at least 3-4 weeks in advance of the wedding to allow time for processing and the required background check. Applicants applying for a Single Ceremony Certificate of Permission to Perform A Marriage should submit their applications 3-4 weeks prior to the wedding in case there are delays for corrections to the paperwork. Unfortunately, if the application is not received timely, there is a chance that your application will not be acted upon prior to your intended ceremony.

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What are my responsibilities after the wedding ceremony?
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What if I change my address?
Address changes require completion of the appropriate Change of Address form.  Religious Change of Address or Notary Change of Address.  A Notary Public moving to a different County must reapply in the new County of residence as the Certificate is only valid while they reside in the County of issuance.

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What if I change my church or religious organization or if my church or religious organization moves to a new location?
Address changes for church or religious organization or the minister's home address require completion of a Religious Organization Change of Address form. Please notify us of address changes on the appropriate form and return it to the address listed above. Certificate holders will need to reapply if they change to a new church or religious organization. Applications can be obtained online.

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Where do I send the application?
Send it to Washoe County Clerk's Office, Clerk’s Admin, P. O. Box 11130, Reno, NV 89520. If you are sending it via express mail, send to 1001 E 9th Street, Building A, Reno, NV 89520.

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Why do I have to have a background check?
NRS 122.064, Subsection 3 (c), mandates that "…the county clerk shall, before approving an initial application, satisfy himself that: …the applicant has not been convicted of a felony, released from confinement or completed his parole or probation, whichever occurs later, within 10 years before the date of the application." A background check will be conducted by a third party vendor on all Permanent Applications, Retired Status (local ministers only) Applications and Temporary Replacement Applications. The non-refundable fee for this background check is $49 payable by the applicant. Additional information is contained in the individual Application packets.

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Marriages
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Am I married after I receive my license?

To be legally married, a marriage ceremony must be performed by any person authorized to perform a marriage in the State of Nevada. Your options are:

One witness to the marriage ceremony is required by law. Chapel brochures are available in the courthouse hallway for your selection. You may also call the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitor's Authority at (800) FOR-RENO, (888) 367-7366. The Chamber of Commerce  at (775) 636-9550. To be married at Lake Tahoe you may call the Incline Village/Crystal Bay Chamber of Commerce at (775) 831-4440.

A marriage license issued in the State of Nevada may be used anywhere within Nevada. If a Nevada license is used anywhere other than Nevada, the ceremony and the marriage are not legal. A marriage performed in Nevada with a Nevada license is a legal marriage.

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Do we both need to be present to purchase a marriage license?
Both parties must be present at the time their license is issued unless there are extenuating circumstances. Single signature licenses will only be issued with supervisor / management approval. If you feel you may qualify to be issued a single signature license, please contact our office prior to coming in so that we can discuss the specifics of your situation.

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Do we need a blood test?
Blood tests are not required in Nevada, and there is no waiting period.

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How do I get certified copies of my marriage application/certificate?

You can request a copy of the Marriage Application online. You are not requesting a license to be married. You must be present in our offices to request a Marriage License. By clicking the "online" link above, you will be taken to our secured server. You must use the tab key or your mouse to move from field to field. When you have completed your request, you will need to click on continue to return to our site. If you do not feel comfortable submitting your request online, you may obtain a copy by mail from:

Washoe County Clerk
P.O. Box 11130
Reno, NV 89520-0027

When ordering a certified copy by mail, please remit $.50 per page copy charge and $6.00 for the certification (most documents are one page in which case the fee would be $6.50 for a certified copy). You will be notified if there are additional pages.

Visa, MasterCard, Money Orders or Cashier Checks only, no personal checks. Please include the date of marriage and names of the bride and groom with your request. You may also call us at (775) 784-7260 as we do accept phone orders with a Visa or MasterCard credit card only.

You can obtain a true, legal certified copy of your marriage record (marriage certificate) from the Washoe County Recorder's Office. You can download the request form and mail or fax it to the Recorder's Office. The Recorder's Office is located in the Washoe County Administration Complex, 1001 E 9th Street, Building A, Room 150. The hours of service are Monday through Friday, 8AM to 5PM. The fee per certified copy is $15.00. When requesting certified copies through the mail from the Recorder's Office you will need to allow 10-15 working days for processing. The mailing address is WASHOE COUNTY RECORDER, PO BOX 11130, RENO, NV 89520-0027. It is Nevada State law that within 10 days after you have had a marriage ceremony performed, that the minister must deliver the original marriage certificate to the Washoe County Recorder's Office for official recording. If you need a certified copy of your marriage certificate sooner than 10 days, check with the agency performing your ceremony, as they may be able to help expedite the processing of your certificate.



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What do I need to change my name with Social Security and the DMV?
Social Security and the DMV require a certified copy of your Marriage Certificate, which will be recorded with the County Recorder after your ceremony.

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What if I'm divorced?
You do not need to bring your divorce papers, however, if you have been divorced or your previous marriage has been annulled, the divorce or annulment must be final in the state where granted. You must know the year of the divorce or annulment and where the papers were filed.

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What if I'm not 18?
  • Both the parent/legal guardian and the minor must present a valid government-issued photo identification. See section "What should we bring for identification"
  • Persons at least 16 years of age but less than 18 years of age may marry only if the person has the consent of a parent or legal guardian. A parent or legal guardian is required to have acceptable identification to prove they are the parent on the birth certificate or the legal guardian on the guardianship order. If the parent's last name is different than the child's, you must show proof of how the parent obtained that name. Persons signing as legal guardians must furnish a certified court order showing proof of full legal guardianship to the satisfaction of the Clerk.
  • If the parent or legal guardian cannot be present, a consent form, written in English, stating the name, birth date, age of the minor child, relationship of the person giving consent, and name of prospective spouse; acknowledged before a Notary Public will be accepted. The notary portion of the consent form must state that the parent or guardian "personally appeared before" or that the document was "subscribed and sworn to before" the notary. A facsimile of the consent will be accepted. When a legal guardian is signing and sending a facsimile, a copy of the court order for full guardianship must be attached to the notarized consent. If the parent's last name is different than the child's, you must show proof of how the parent obtained that name.
  • Persons under 16 years of age may marry only if a parent or legal guardian files an action, pays all court fees as provided by law, and presents a court order from the Second Judicial District Court, County of Washoe, State of Nevada, authorizing the Clerk to issue a license.


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What information do we need to purchase a marriage license?

Each applicant must provide government issued photo ID containing the person’s legal name and date of birth (see Marriage FAQs:  What Should I Bring for Identification? and What If I’m Not 18? for more information).  Your name and birth date will appear on your marriage license exactly as they appear on the ID you present.

Nevada Revised Statute 122.040(3) requires each applicant to provide the following information under oath:

  1. Information about applicant:
    1. Place of residence (city and state or, if outside the U.S.A., name of country)
    2. Place of birth (city and state or, if outside the U.S.A., name of country)
    3. Social Security Number (documentation is not required). If a person does not have a Social Security Number, the person must state that fact
    4. Prior marriages (documentation is not required)
      1. Number of this marriage (1st, 2nd, etc.)
      2. How most recent marriage ended (death, divorce or annulment)
      3. Where most recent marriage ended (city and state, if outside U.S.A., name of country)
      4. When most recent marriage ended (month and year)
  2. Parental Information
    1. Father's name
    2. Father's place of birth (state or, if outside the U.S.A., name of country)
    3. Mother's name (maiden)
    4. Mother's place of birth (state or, if outside the U.S.A., name of country)
  3. Mailing address for the couple



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What should we bring for identification?

IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
EFFECTIVE DECEMBER, 2011

NRS 122.040 (2): Before issuing a marriage license, the county clerk shall require each applicant to provide proof of the applicant's name and age.

NRS 122.050: The Marriage License must contain the name of each applicant as shown in the documents presented to prove name and age.


ACCEPTABLE AS PROOF OF AGE & NAME

The following original documents containing the applicant's photo are acceptable. The photo must be a sufficiently recent, clear likeness of the applicant.

  • Driver's License
  • Driver's Instruction Permit
  • ID Card issued by U.S. state or territory
  • Foreign government issued ID Card, including Driver's License (must include birth date)
  • Passport
  • Matricula Consular Card
  • Military ID Card issued by branch of U.S. Armed Forces
  • Military Dependent ID Card issued by branch of U.S. Armed Forces
  • Certificate of Citizenship issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Permanent Resident Card issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Voter Identification Card (must contain birth date)

COMBINATIONS OF POSSIBLE ACCEPTABLE PROOF OF AGE & NAME
(DOCUMENTS TO BE HANDLED ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS)

An original or certified Birth Certificate AND

  • any secondary document that contains the name and photograph of the applicant, or
  • any document for which identification must be verified as a condition of receipt of the document, such as:
    • Gaming Sheriff's Work Card
    • Social Security Card
    • Voter Registration Card
    • Bank issued Debit Card
    • Employee ID Card/Badge
    • Membership Card from establishments requiring ID for membership (Costco, Sam's Club, etc.)
    • Student Identification Card
    • Prison Identification Card
    • Any other document not otherwise mentioned in this policy
    • Temporary Driver's License or Permit (must not have language "Not Valid for ID Purposes")
    • Any other secondary document that contains the name and photograph of applicant;

The County Clerk requires that foreign birth certificates be translated into English. The translation must state that it is a true and correct translation of the birth certificate. The translation must also state that the translator is a qualified translator and include the printed name of the translator. The document must be signed and notarized.

If the Marriage Bureau Clerk determines the applicant clearly appears over the age of 25 years, no proof of age is required. Proof of identity (name) is still required.


EXAMPLES OF UNACCEPTABLE PROOF OF AGE & NAME

  • ID card issued by check cashing companies
  • Debit or Credit Cards (Accepted only if presented with original or certified copy of the birth certificate)
  • Membership cards from businesses or organizations that do not require ID for membership
  • ID card or document indicating "Not Valid for Identification Purposes"
  • Letters or Statements (which may or may not be notarized) stating that the person says he's the person known as "John Doe"
  • Documents that appear to be home-made or lack the appearance of being an official form of identification.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

  • If a parent giving consent to the marriage of a minor pursuant to subsection 5 of NRS 122.020 has a last name different from that of the minor seeking to be married, the county clerk shall accept, as proof that the parent is the legal parent of the minor, a certified copy of the birth certificate of the minor which shows the parent's first and middle name and which matches the first and middle name of the parent on any document listed in subsection 2 or NRS 122.020.
  • Court Orders presented for minors under the age of 16 require acceptable photo identification as listed above in addition to the Court Order
  • Hyphens may not be included in names unless they are on the identification presented

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Your Marriage License and Certificate will be prepared with your legal name exactly as it appears on the identification presented. It is your responsibility to present the proper identification to have your name reflected as you desire. For example, if you want your Marriage License and Certificate to reflect your full middle name, the identification you present must contain your full middle name - not an initial.

Errors discovered after the ceremony may be corrected upon written request to this office. Marriage records WILL NOT be changed after the ceremony to reflect names that are different from the names on the identification presented at the time the license was issued unless extenuating circumstances exist and proof of the correct name is provided. Corrections of marriage records will be approved on a case-by-case basis and will be subject to a fee. No fee will be charged for corrections due to clerical errors made by County Clerk staff.



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Where are you located and how are the road conditions?
For road information, visit http://www.nvroads.com.
Click here for a map of our Reno location.
Click here for a map of our Incline Location.
Click here for a map of our Commissioner of Civil Marriages location.

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Where can I find information related domestic partnerships?
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Who May Marry?

Persons at least 18 years of age, not nearer of kin than second cousins or cousins of the half blood, and not having a living spouse, may be joined in marriage. Both parties must appear at the Marriage License Bureau in either Reno or Incline Village.



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Community Services

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Why is the Washoe County Code (cargo containers) being reviewed for possible change?

The Board of County Commissioners has asked staff to review the Washoe County Code related to cargo containers and the requirement to obtain a permit for those types of storage structures.  The intent of this review is to simplify Washoe County Code.



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What does current Washoe County Code say about cargo containers?

In current Washoe County Code chapter 100 (Building Code), “Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure…”  is required to obtain a building permit, unless that structure is less than 200 square feet in size.  While these types of storage structures do not require a permanent foundation, and are considered personal property, they are not “temporary” structures in terms of the Building Code which defines temporary structures as being in place for no more than 180 days.  



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Why are some cargo containers under different rules?

Containers placed prior to July 3, 2009, follow a somewhat different set of rules for code compliance and are not relevant to changes made on Oct. 27, 2015, for cargo containers.



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What happened that started the discussion?

In October 2015, the Board of County Commissioners amended the Code to relieve some of the requirements specific to temporary use of cargo containers.  Members of the public became concerned that the change required permits for all containers. 

  • Since 2009 cargo containers have required the issuance of a permit for placement on a lot within unincorporated Washoe County if the container was larger than 200 square feet.
  • In the revised code, a separate permit is no longer required to utilize cargo containers for temporary storage at a permitted construction site.
  • Additionally the revised code allows commercial vehicles to be stored outside on properties in conjunction with ongoing construction activities that have a valid building permit. 


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Is a permit required for a permanent cargo container?

Yes, if the container is larger than 200 square feet in size.  Since at least July 3, 2009, a permit has been required for using cargo containers on properties within unincorporated Washoe County. Containers smaller than 200 square feet in size do not require a permit.



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What changes were recently made to the code regarding cargo containers?

On Oct, 27, 2015, the changes to the development code did the following: clarified the organization structure, tied the development code to the current building code, replaced terms for different storage structures to the term cargo container which has a definition in the code, and lessens the requirements related to temporary use of cargo containers within Washoe County.

Code

1.   Organization/structure, name changes, and format changes:

a.   Director of Community Development changed to Director of the Planning and Development Division.

b.   Department of Community Development changed to Planning and Development Division.

c.   Building and Safety Department changed to Building and Safety Division.

d.   District Health Department changed to Health District.

e.   Listing only the number or figure rather than both [e.g., 11 instead of eleven (11)]  No numbers were changed just the way they were listed in the text.

2.   Section 1, WCC Section 110.306.10, Detached Accessory Structures (subsection g, Cargo Containers):

a.   Modified subsection 13 to require a building permit when the cargo container is more than the allowable exempted square footage in WCC Chapter 100, rather than citing 120 square feet.  The 120 square feet was changed to 200 square feet with amendments to WCC Chapter 110 in 2014;  however, this Development Code section was not updated.  Using the term “allowable” rather than a specific square footage will minimize future required Development Code amendments.

3.   Section 2, WCC Section 110.306.35, Outdoor Storage/Outdoor Display:

a.   Subsection (c)(1), Commercial Vehicles Defined.  Modify the definition of Commercial Vehicles to change the term “cement truck” to “concrete truck”, which is a more comprehensive definition for such vehicles.

b.   Subsection (c)(2), Exceptions.  Add subsection iv to exempt commercial vehicles used in conjunction with on-going construction activities having a valid building permit.  This new subsection extends the current general exceptions to outdoor storage in subsection (d)(1) (exception if temporarily stored for the purpose of construction and during the time permitted by a valid building permit) to the outdoor storage of commercial vehicles.

4.   Section 3, WCC Section 110.310.35, Mobile Homes, Manufactured Homes, Travel Trailers, Commercial Coaches and Recreational Vehicles:

a.   Subsection (h), Temporary Contractor or Owner-builder’s Materials or Equipment Trailers and/or Portable Storage Containers.  Replace the terms “trailers”, “portable storage containers”, and “temporary factory built units” with “cargo containers”.  Cargo containers are defined in WCC Section 110.306.10(g) as follows:

(g)        Cargo Containers, to include Sea-land Containers, Cargo Containers or Other Portable Storage Containers not Designed for Independent or “In-tow Trailer” Highway Use.  Cargo containers designed and constructed as a standardized, reusable vessel to be loaded on a truck, rail car or ship may be established as a detached accessory structure for the sole purpose of storage with the following restrictions:

The current codes refer to “trailers” and “portable storage containers”.  Neither term is defined in the Development Code nor are these terms used elsewhere in the Development Code.  Replacing both of these terms with “cargo containers” will allow the public and staff to refer to WCC Section 110.306.10(g) for a definition of “cargo container”. The term “cargo containers” includes portable storage containers as currently written within this subsection (allowing a person to temporarily use a portable on-demand storage container with a valid building permit as currently authorized in Code).  Using a defined term makes it easier for the public and staff to understand and conform to this subsection’s regulations.  



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What’s next regarding cargo containers?

Given Board direction at the Oct. 27, 2015 meeting, staff is currently reviewing the reasoning behind the requirement for a building permit on “structures” that are pre-manufactured and utilized for storage without electrical and plumbing.  A discussion regarding these types of uses is tentatively scheduled to be brought before the Board in February 2016.



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How can I share a positive CSD experience?

Email us at CSDSuperstars@washoecounty.us.  We'd love to hear your story and recognize our staff for their hard work!



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General Information
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TMWA Drought and Water Supply FAQ

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Comptroller

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Accounting
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Where can I find information about Washoe County's finances?
Please review the "Comprehensive Annual Financial Report" located at https://www.washoecounty.us/comptroller/index.php . 

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Collections
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When am I charged a collections fee?
You are charged a $25.00 collections fee when the debt owed has become 90 days late.

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What departments does the Collections Division collect for?
The departments collected include, but are not limited to, the District Court, Public Defender, Eureka Justice Court, Regional Animal Services, Juvenile Services, Sheriff's Office Room and Board, Notice of Civil Penalty, Wadsworth Justice Court, and Community Services Utilities.

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Where are you located?
On the corner of E. 9th Street and Wells Ave. at 1001 E. 9th St., Building D, upstairs from the Treasurer and Assessor offices in the Comptroller's Office, Suite D200.

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What is the interest rate?
Interest on outstanding delinquent balances is 5.50%.

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Purchasing
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How do I get on Washoe County's bidders list?
Washoe County does not maintain bidder's lists. The County utilizes the online services of Onvia-Demandstar to post bids and RFP's. Suppliers and contractors may elect to subscribe to Onvia-Demandstar in order to receive bid notifications for services and supplies that they handle but there is no requirement by Washoe County that vendors do so. A link to the Onvia-Demandstar website showing County bids and RFP's can be found here.

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How do I register to do business with Washoe County?
Washoe County does not pre-register suppliers and contractors. At such time as the County determines to purchase goods or services from a particular supplier or contractor, a new vendor application must be completed in order to establish the supplier or contractor in the County's financial software system as an accounts payable vendor.

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Risk Management
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Where do I find claim forms?

Claim forms can be obtained by calling the Risk Management office at 328-2665.



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District Attorney

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Child Support

For answers to questions concerning child support services or how to make a child support payment, please visit The Division of Welfare and Support Services home page.



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Fraudulent Check Diversion Program

 Fraudulent Check Diversion Program payments can be made with Cashier's Checks, Money Orders or Credit Cards at the following locations:

 Pay by mail with a Cashier's Check or Money Order. Mail payments to:

WCDA, Attn: Fraud Check
P.O. Box 11130
Reno, NV 89520

Pay in person with a Cashier's Check, Money Order or Credit Card at:

 Mills B Lane Justice Center
1 South Sierra St, 4th Floor
Reno, NV 89501       

Pay online with a Credit Card hereCredit Card payments can be made online or in person.  Credit Card payments will not be accepted by mail or by phone.

Victims of Fraudulent Check crimes can find more information here.



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How do I get an attorney for a civil matter? What if I don’t have money for an attorney?

The Nevada State Bar has a list of licensed attorneys in the area and some are listed by specialty.

If you can’t afford an attorney, you can contact Washoe Legal Services.  There is also help available at the Washoe County Law Library located in the Second Judicial District Court building at 75 Court Street, Reno, Nevada.  They have a program called Lawyer in the Library on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings with free legal help.



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How do I get copies of my court papers?

You will need to contact the Court Clerk’s Office for copies of court papers.



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Health

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AIDS/HIV Prevention
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Consequences of STDs.

Some STDs are easily treated and some STDs stay with you for life. Other STDs are more of a nuisance than a health risk. Pubic lice, or 'crabs,' for example, itch a lot but don`t do any permanent damage. If you get an infection and you want to know how serious it could be, talk with your health care provider. There are four serious health consequences of some STDs:

  • Blockage of the fallopian tubes which can lead to infertility and ectopic pregnancy
  • Pregnancy loss and increased newborn deaths caused by transmission of the infection to the infant during pregnancy and childbirth
  • Genital cancers for males and females
  • Enhanced transmission of HIV/AIDS

Social and Psychological Consequences: The psychological impact of having a sexually transmitted disease can be severe. Some persons become depressed or anxious. They fear recurrent outbreaks, transmission to sex partners, and difficulties in developing new relationships. Fortunately, proper treatment and knowledge about the true risks can greatly lessen all these effects.



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Do condoms provide 100% protection from HIV?

Condoms are not 100% effective at preventing HIV transmission. When used correctly and consistently, condoms are highly effective and reliable in reducing the risk of transmitting HIV and most sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Condoms should be used EVERY TIME during sex when transmission of HIV (or other STDs) is possible. When condoms fail to work properly, it is most often because of improper and/or inconsistent use.

Condoms may not work as well against STDs spread through skin-to-skin touching, like herpes and genital warts, because condoms may not cover the infected areas.

Following these basic rules will reduce the already small chance of condom failure: - Experiment with different condoms and practice putting them on before intercourse. - Practice talking with your partner about your desire and intention to use condoms. - Use latex (rubber) or polyurethane (plastic) condoms. Avoid "natural skin" condoms, which have tiny holes, which may allow HIV and other STDs to be transmitted. - When using a male condom choose one that fits. Male condoms come in different sizes, shapes, and styles, but most condoms will fit most men. - Another choice is the Reality condom, which is made of polyurethane and is designed to fit inside the woman`s vagina for vaginal sex, and the anus for anal sex. Use the directions from the manufacturer that come with Reality condoms. - Open and handle condoms carefully. Never use a condom that is in a damaged package or is past its expiration date. Condoms should be stored loosely in a cool, dry place (not in your wallet or the glove compartment of your car) and kept where you can easily get them if you decide to have sex. - To reduce friction that can cause breakage, use plenty of water-based lubricant on the outside of the male latex condom and a small amount on the inside at the tip. With the Reality condom use plenty of lubricant on both the inside and outside. Some condoms come with lubricant, but often there is not enough, so additional lubricant is recommended. Never use oil-based lubricants like Vaseline, hand cream, Crisco, or mineral oil with latex condoms. Oil-based lubricants can rapidly break down latex and allow the virus to pass through. Water-based lubricants include K-Y Jelly, Slippery stuff, ForPlay, Astroglide, ID Lubricants and most contraceptive jellies. These can be found in grocery or drug stores next to the condoms. WARNING: Some lubricants contain nonoxynol 9, which can cause irritation. This irritation may increase the risk of HIV transmission. We do NOT advise the use of nonoxynol 9 or products containing it for STD and HIV prevention!

The male condom should be put on after erection and before any sexual touch. Remember that pre-cum is also infected with HIV. The Reality condom should go in before sex - it can be inserted up to 8 hours before use. Never use the Reality and the male condoms together or two male condoms at the same time. - Some male condoms have a reservoir tip; some don`t. In either case, the tip of the condom should be squeezed while rolling it down onto the penis in order to leave an airless pocket to collect semen. If the penis is natural and has a foreskin, try pulling back the foreskin before unrolling the condom all the way down to the base of the penis. Some men don`t like to pull back the foreskin because they`ve found that the condom slides off when the foreskin is pulled back. If you have trouble with this, consider keeping the foreskin down before putting on the condom or try using a Reality condom with your partner. - After intercourse, withdraw the penis while still erect, holding the base of the condom to prevent it from slipping off or spilling semen. Remove the condom and wash the penis with soap and water. - Use a condom only once and dispose of it in the garbage; do not flush condoms down the toilet. Never reuse a condom. - Use a condom EVERY TIME during sex when transmission or acquisition of HIV is possible.



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HIV is NOT transmitted by:

Casual Contact. HIV is a fragile virus outside the body. It quickly becomes inactive when exposed to air, soap and common disinfectants such as bleach.

There is no risk of getting HIV from: donating blood mosquito bites toilet seats shaking hands hugging sharing eating utensils or drinking containers food or objects handled by people with HIV or AIDS spending time in the same house, business or public place with people who have HIV or AIDS.



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How can HIV transmission from injection drug use be prevented?

The best way to avoid HIV infection (and other blood-borne infections like hepatitis B and C) from injection drug use is to stop injecting drugs. Drug treatment can help. If treatment is not available or you cannot quit on your own, use a brand new sterile syringe and needle every time you inject or divide drugs. Do not share drug using "works" with anyone else. This includes needles, syringes, cookers, cottons, mixing and bleaching water, and all other supplies. If you do not have new clean equipment, thoroughly disinfect all drug use tools with bleach before re-use. It is also important to dispose of used works safely. Discarding needles in the trash, on the street, or flushing them down the toilet is dangerous.

Drug use (including use of alcohol) can impair judgment and decision-making. This can increase risk for HIV, especially if you have sex while high. High or not, you can successfully use condoms and clean injection works. Plan ahead, carry condoms and stick to your prevention plan. *A person does not need a prescription to purchase syringes in Nevada. However, a pharmacist may refuse to sell to people based on their own judgment.



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How can sexual transmission of HIV be prevented?

The only way to completely avoid the sexual transmission of HIV is to abstain from anal, oral and vaginal sexual. If you choose to have sex, it is safest when you practice monogamy with an uninfected partner. Monogamy is when two people have sex only with each other. For those with a new sex partner, both can abstain from sex, or use condoms every time during anal, vaginal and oral sex for at least 3 months and then get tested for HIV and other STDs. At that time, if both partners are HIV negative AND both partners are completely avoiding other risk behaviors (e.g., sharing needles or having other sex partners), then unprotected sex with each other is not a risk for HIV transmission. For someone with an HIV positive partner or a partner who does not know his/her HIV status or multiple sexual partners, touching, dry kissing, body rubbing, and mutual masturbation are the safest sexual activities. However, simple, skin-to-skin touching can spread other STDs. For any penetrative sex acts such as vaginal, anal or oral sex, condoms are highly effective at reducing the risk of HIV transmission when used consistently and correctly - every time, from beginning to end of each sex act. For more information on condom use see the answer to the question, "Do condoms provide 100% protection from HIV?"



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How is HIV transmitted?

HIV can be transmitted when blood, semen (including pre-seminal fluid or pre-cum), vaginal fluids, or breast milk from an infected person enters the body of an uninfected person. HIV must get into the bloodstream or body in order to cause infection. Transmission most often occurs during unprotected sex or during injection drug use when equipment is shared. An infected woman who becomes pregnant can transmit HIV to her baby during pregnancy or during birth, but this risk is significantly less if the woman takes antiretroviral drugs. She can also pass HIV to her newborn if she breastfeeds. Anyone infected with HIV can transmit it, whether or not they appear sick, have an AIDS diagnosis, or are successfully treating their infection with antiretroviral drugs. HIV is spread in the following ways: Unprotected anal, vaginal or oral sex HIV can enter the body during sex through the anus, vagina, opening at the end of the penis or mouth and through cuts, sores and abrasions on the skin. Unprotected anal and vaginal sex have the highest risk of infection. There are a growing number of reported cases where HIV has been transmitted during oral sex (mouth to genital contact), but oral sex is much less risky than anal or vaginal sex.

Anyone having unprotected sex (inserting or receiving partner) with an infected person is at risk of getting HIV. The person most at risk is the receiving partner. Heterosexually, women are at higher risk than men.

Blood exposure. Sharing needles or drug injection equipment can transmit HIV (and other viruses like hepatitis). After use, small amounts of blood can remain in the used needles, syringes, cookers, cottons, and water. This remaining blood can enter the body of the next user when any of these items are shared. If this blood is HIV infected, transmission can easily occur.

There is a very small but real risk of health care workers getting HIV from infected patients as a result of needle stick accidents or when blood gets into a worker`s open cut or a mucous membrane in their eyes, mouth or nose. The risk for health care workers is greatly reduced when universal precautions are carefully followed, such as safe disposal of sharps, wearing latex gloves, etc. Universal precautions also protect patients.

Very rarely in this country is HIV transmitted when receiving a blood transfusion, blood clotting factors, an organ or tissue transplant (the risk of acquiring HIV from a blood transfusion is approximately 1 in a million). Before 1985, there were no tests to screen blood and organ donations for HIV. Now, blood, organ and tissue banks extensively test all specimens for HIV and other blood-borne germs.

Mother to child If a woman is infected with HIV, she can give it to her baby during pregnancy, during birth, or by breastfeeding. Early in the epidemic, 25% (1 out of 4) of babies born to HIV-infected women in this country became infected with HIV. Now, in developed countries where early detection of HIV is possible, treatment with the latest antiretroviral medications can reduce this rate to about 1% (1 out of 100). All pregnant women should see a doctor, be tested for HIV, and if infected, obtain the best treatment.



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Is there a cure for HIV and AIDS?

Not at this time. Medical providers have become much better at identifying, monitoring, and treating HIV infection and AIDS. In 1995, a new class of drugs known as protease inhibitors became available. These new medications, used in combination with other antiretroviral drugs, have dramatically improved the health and quality of life for many people living with HIV/AIDS. While there is not currently a cure or vaccine for HIV/AIDS, there are many things that people living with HIV/AIDS can do to remain healthy and to live longer. The first step for anyone who has HIV infection is to see a knowledgeable, experienced medical provider. This provider will be able to assess and monitor the infection, and, if appropriate, prescribe antiretroviral drugs. People at increased risk for HIV infection need to be tested for HIV antibodies every 3-6 months. This way they can seek medical care at the earliest possible opportunity if they become infected with HIV. Early detection can also reduce the chance of HIV transmission when people are most infectious. Although medical care and drugs are expensive, programs exist to ensure that people with HIV infection and AIDS can get the treatment and care they need.



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What are STDs?

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are diseases that are spread through anal, oral or vaginal intercourse. Sharing drug injection equipment can also transmit some STDs such as HIV and Hepatitis B. Common STDs include: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis A Virus (HAV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), Herpes Simplex Virus (Herpes), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Human Papilloma Virus (Genital Warts), Molluscum Contagiosum, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), Pubic Lice, Scabies, Syphilis, and Trichomoniasis.



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What are the symptoms of a new HIV infection?

Between 50-90% of people with new HIV infections have mild to severe "flu-like" symptoms 2 weeks to 3 months from the time of HIV exposure. Others do not have any symptoms. In general, symptoms are not a reliable way to tell if someone has been infected with HIV; the only way to know for sure is to get tested. Many of the symptoms of early HIV infection are the same as for other, less serious illnesses. People who may have been exposed to HIV should see a doctor promptly if the following symptoms occur within 3 months of the exposure:

  • A persistent fever of over 101 degrees that lasts more than 2 days without a known cause
  • Constant tiredness
  • Night sweats that soak your pajamas or sheets
  • A persistent rash of unknown cause
  • Persistent swollen glands (lumps under the skin) which occur in several places at once (especially the neck, armpits and groin)
  • Sore throat


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What is AIDS?

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a medical condition resulting from HIV infection, usually after many years. By the time a person is given an AIDS diagnosis by a doctor, HIV has seriously damaged the body`s immune system. There are effective treatments to prevent, as well as treat, these serious illnesses.



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What is HIV?

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV kills specific white blood cells (T cells), which are an important part of our immune systems. Without treatment, HIV gradually destroys the body`s defenses against disease (it takes an average of 8-10 years), leaving it vulnerable to many infections and cancers. But treatment with antiretroviral drugs can slow or stop the harmful effects of retroviruses like HIV, so that many people with HIV are living longer, healthier lives.



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What is the HIV Antibody Test?

There are several types of HIV antibody tests used today. All are highly accurate at detecting HIV antibodies (HIV antibodies are specific proteins made in response to an HIV infection). After infection with HIV, however, it can take up to 3 months for enough HIV antibodies to develop to be detected by the test.

A negative HIV antibody test result means that a person does not have detectable HIV antibodies at the time of the test. Since it can take up to 3 months after HIV infection for enough antibodies to develop, a negative test result is reliable only if the person has not had any sexual or needle-sharing risk behavior (or other exposure to infectious body fluids) during the 3 months prior to testing. Some people with recent risk behavior will test HIV antibody negative, yet may have actually been infected during the previous 3 months. These people will be highly contagious and may easily transmit HIV to their sex and needle-sharing partners. A high proportion of HIV transmission may occur when people are unaware of their infection. Finally, a negative test result does not mean that a person is safe from future HIV infection. People who test HIV antibody negative are urged to continue to follow HIV prevention guidelines to avoid becoming infected. People who continue risk behaviors are advised to re-test at least every 6 months.

A positive HIV antibody test result means that HIV antibodies are present because the virus is present - the person is infected with HIV (with the exception of newborn babies who are born with their mothers` antibodies). A positive test does not mean the person has AIDS, although many HIV-positive people may develop AIDS in the future. Anyone who tests HIV-positive can transmit the virus to others, regardless of how long they have been infected, whether they have AIDS or other symptoms, or whether their HIV infection is being treated with antiretroviral drugs. It is extremely important that HIV-positive people follow HIV prevention guidelines, not only to protect their partners from getting HIV infection, but also to protect themselves from other germs that could cause HIV/AIDS-related disease. People at increased risk of HIV infection should NEVER donate blood, plasma, or other organs, or go to such facilities to be tested.



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What is the "window period" for HIV?

It can take up to 3 months after HIV infection for enough antibodies to develop, therefore a negative test result is reliable only if the person has not had any sexual or needle-sharing risk behavior (or other exposure to infectious body fluids) during the 3 months prior to testing. Some people with recent risk behavior will test HIV antibody negative, yet may have actually been infected during the previous 3 months. Every exposure pushes the window period out another months.



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Where else is HIV testing available in the community?

HIV testing is available from a variety of resources in the community:

  • Private health care provider
  • A Rainbow Place - 789-1780
  • Nevada AIDS Foundation - 329-2437
  • Nevada Hispanic Services - 826-1818
  • Planned Parenthood Mar Monte - 688-5560
  • HOPES - 348-1301


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Who is at risk for HIV infection?

Anyone can get HIV if they have unprotected sex or share injection drug equipment with someone who is infected. The virus does not discriminate - it can infect males or females, babies, teens, adults or senior citizens. You cannot look at someone and know they have HIV. In fact, as many as 1 out of 3 people who have HIV (33%) have no idea they are infected.



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Air Quality
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Can I have a wood burning stove or fireplace in Washoe County?
Wood stoves and fireplaces are regulated by the Washoe County Health District because they are major contributors to air pollution in the Truckee Meadows. Therefore before you make a purchase, it is important for you to spend some time researching whether it is legal to put a wood burning appliance in your home. To determine if you can install a wood burning stove or fireplace in your home, you need the following information, then call (775) 784-7200 (AQMD).
  • What is your zip code?
  • What is your land-use zoning?
  • What is the net size of your property?


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How do I know if an air permit is required from the AQMD for my business?

Normally, a business which emits 2 pounds or more per day of criteria air pollutants or 1 pound per day or more of toxic air pollutants will require a permit to operate. Different types of air pollution control devices are also required for different processes depending upon the size of the operation for compliance with the AQMD regulations. Applications may be obtained by downloading from the District Health Department Web site. For further information, please contact one of our environmental engineers at 784-7200 for help with the necessary information for application submittal.



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How do I register an air pollution complaint?

Just call 784-7200 (24 hours per day) and your complaint will be logged onto an official AQMD complaint form. After that, within "normal" hours of operation, an air quality specialist will investigate your concerns and determine if there is a violation of the AQMD regulations. If a violation exists, the person or business will be required to correct the problem. A Notice of Violation may also be issued.



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Is it okay for me to burn wood in my fireplace or woodstove today?

Every year between November 1 and February 28, the Washoe County Health District Air Quality Management Division uses the Green, Yellow, Red Burn Code Program to inform area residents whether or not lighting stoves or fireplaces is allowed, or is advisable.

Washoe County residents can get a daily air quality update by visiting www.OurCleanAir.com or by calling the Air Quality Hotline at (775) 785-4110. They can also get this update by listening to television and radio weather forecasts, or by checking the Reno-Gazette Journal's weather page.



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What are the local asbestos regulations for commercial buildings?

The local asbestos regulations essentially mirrors the federal requirements. If you own a commercial building and want to do some remodeling, an asbestos survey will need to be completed by a certified consultant to determine the presence or absence of any asbestos materials. If present, a certified abatement contractor will need to remove the asbestos before the project can proceed. In addition, the property owner will need to obtain an asbestos acknowledgment form from the AQMD prior to obtaining a building permit from the local building departments. For further information, please call 784-7200.



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When does the Air Pollution Control Hearing Board meet?

The Air Pollution Control Hearing Board (APCHB) hears appeals when a negotiated resolution cannot be achieved. The APCHB meets the first Tuesday of every month (as needed).



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Antimicrobial Resistance
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Do antibacterial products (such as antibacterial soaps) prevent infections better than ordinary soaps?

For household use, antibacterial products are no better than ordinary soap for preventing infections. Hand washing for 15 seconds with ordinary soap and water will reduce the risk of most common infections and does not add to antibiotic resistance.



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Are antibiotic-resistant bacteria a problem?

Yes. It is becoming a major public health concern. Each time you take an antibiotic unnecessarily or improperly, you increase your chance of developing drug-resistant bacteria. We could run out of ways to kill disease-causing bacteria.

You don't know who is carrying anti-biotic resistant bacteria and they may pass that resistant bacteria on to you and make you ill. This could mean stronger, more expensive antibiotics, hospitalization and, sometimes, death.



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Can antibiotics be harmful?

Unnecessary antibiotics can be harmful. Antibiotics only fight bacterial infections. They do nothing to help viral illnesses like colds or influenza (flu). If you take an antibiotic when it is not necessary, such as for a cold, you increase the risk of developing an infection caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antibiotics also destroy good bacteria in your body.



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Do ear infections need antibiotics?

Sometimes. Viruses and bacteria can cause ear infections. Your doctor may wait to see if the ear infection improves by itself before deciding to give antibiotics.



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Does a cold or the flu need an antibiotic?

No. The common cold and the flu (influenza) are caused by viruses, not by bacteria. Antibiotics do not work against viruses. Normal cold symptoms include sore throat, fever, cough, and/or a runny nose. A runny nose often starts out with clear drainage and then turns to a green or yellow color. This is a good sign that the body is fighting the virus. If your runny nose is not getting better after 10-14 days, please talk to your healthcare provider.



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Does bronchitis need an antibiotic?

No. Viruses cause most bronchitis.



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Do people become resistant to antibiotics?

No, this is a common misconception. People may exhibit allergic reactions to antibiotics, but they are not resistant to them. It is the bacteria, not the person, which become resistant.



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Do sinus infections need an antibiotic?

Sometimes. Bacteria or viruses cause sinus infections. Antibiotics are needed for bacterial sinus infections. A bacterial sinus infection may be present if cold symptoms do not improve after 10-14 days.



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Do most sore throats need an antibiotic?

No. Viruses cause most sore throats. Only strep throat needs an antibiotic; it is caused by strep A bacteria.



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How do antibiotics work?

Antibiotics either inhibit the growth of bacteria (bacteriostatic) or actually kill the bacteria (bacteriocidal). By stopping the growth of bacteria, it gives the body time to mount an immune response and allows the body to eliminate the bacteria. Drugs that kill the bacteria are the preferred choice when someone has a weakened immune system and whose body cannot destroy the bacteria on its own. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses.



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How do bacteria become resistant?

Some bacteria are naturally resistant to certain types of antibiotics. Bacteria can also become resistant by a genetic mutation or by acquiring resistance from another bacterium. Because bacteria can collect multiple resistance traits over time, they can become resistant to many different families of antibiotics, which allows the resistant bacteria to continue to live/and multiply even in the presence of antibiotic treatment.



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How do I catch an antibiotic-resistant infection?

There are three ways in which you can get an antibiotic-resistant infection:

  • You can develop antibiotic-resistant infections when you take an antibiotic. The bacteria could figure out how to outsmart the antibiotic and stay alive. In that case, you can transmit these resistant bacteria to others and they too may become ill.
  • You can catch antibiotic resistant-infections from people or objects around you that are infected with resistant bacteria. Not properly washing hands can increase your risk of catching all kinds of infections.
  • You can develop an antibiotic-resistant infection when the bacteria inside your body change; it mutates or acquires genes that allow them to resist antibiotic treatment.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can also develop in pigs, chickens, cattle and other farm animals, which are exposed to low doses of antibiotics in their daily feed. These resistant bacteria can then spread to humans, causing antibiotic-resistant infections. Guidelines are being developed to address this concern.



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What are bacteria?

Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are one-celled organisms visible only through a microscope. There are many types of bacteria, only some of which cause disease. Most are harmless and even some are helpful (good bacteria), by aiding digestion or breaking down rotting material. Bacteria are found almost everywhere.



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What can I do about antimicrobial resistance?
  • Reduce the need for antibiotics.
  • Wash your hands! Wash your hands! And, wash your hands! By washing your hands often and thoroughly with plain soap and water, you are helping to prevent disease and, therefore, the need for antibiotics.
  • Prevent food borne illnesses by properly refrigerating perishable foods, thoroughly cooking all food from animal sources, and avoiding cross-contamination of other foods.
  • Consider pets, even if not ill, as potential sources of infection.
  • Dispose of feces, urine, diapers and contaminated articles properly.

Also, you should take antibiotics only when necessary. Don't insist on an antibiotic when your doctor says, "no". Never take an antibiotic for a viral infection such as cold, cough, or flu. Take an antibiotic exactly as the doctor prescribes. And take the antibiotic until it is gone, even if you are feeling better. Never save the medication to treat yourself or others later.



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What can I do to feel better?

It is very important to have your body help itself. Get plenty of sleep, drink lots of fluids and eat healthy foods. Help decrease the symptoms by using a vaporizer or use over-the-counter medicines like saline nose drops, gargles or throat lozenges. Viral infections simply take time to get better.



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What is an antibiotic?

An antibiotic is a powerful medication designed to kill bacteria or stop them from growing, such as an illness caused by strep throat. They cannot cure illnesses caused by viruses, such as a cold or the flu. Different antibiotics may be used for different types of bacterial infections. Your health care provider will determine what infection you have and if an antibiotic is appropriate to treat it.



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What is antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotic resistance occurs when an antibiotic has lost its ability to effectively control or kill bacterial growth. These bacteria are considered to be resistant to an antibiotic. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics are the main reason for antibiotic resistance.



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Birth and Death Records
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How do I obtain a birth or death record/certificate?

If you are a qualified applicant, you can complete an application form and mail it along with a copy of your valid photo identification and a check or money order, payable to Washoe County Health District, or you can appear in person at the office which is located in the Washoe County Health District, 1001 E. Ninth Street, Reno, Building B, first floor, Birth and Death Records. Our hours are listed on the Vital Statistics Program page.



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Who is a qualified applicant for a birth or death record?

Birth and death certificates are confidential in the State of Nevada and may only be released to a qualified applicant. A qualified applicant is defined as the registrant, or a direct family member by blood or marriage, his or her guardian (Must provide certified original court order appointing guardianship.), or his or her legal representative. For more information, refer to NRS 440.650 and NAC 440.070.



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How much does it cost for a copy of a birth or death record?

The Vital Statistics Office provides certified copies of Washoe County birth and death certificates either at the office or by mail. Fees for certified copies are set by statute and the current prices can be found on the Vital Statistics fee page.



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What are the hours for Vital Statistics?

Our hours are listed on the Vital Statistics Program page.



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Where can I get a copy of a birth or death certificate?

The office is located in the Washoe County Health District, 1001 E. Ninth Street, Reno, Building B, first floor, Birth & Death Records. Our hours are listed on the Vital Statistics Program page. For more information call (775) 328-2456.



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How do I make a correction on a birth or death record?

Fill out the Affidavit For Correction of Record to amend or correct information on a birth or death record. Direct questions and send completed forms to the Nevada State Health Division Office of Vital Statistics. Adding a child's legal father to his or her birth certificate requires filling out a Declaration of Paternity form.



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Commercial Recycling
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Isn’t commercial recycling limited by city franchise agreements?

No. In fact, commercial recycling has been excluded from franchise agreements to allow for private enterprise to expand recycling opportunities.



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How do I prepare my waste for recycling?

Waste that is to be sent for resource recovery or recycling must be separated at the site of generation. For example, if your business generates glass and aluminum cans and you want to recycle it, the glass and aluminum must separated from your other solid waste. Once separated, the recyclable materials (e.g., glass and aluminum cans) must be placed in a container for collection by a waste hauler permitted to collect and transport recyclable materials.



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Is there a cost to recycle?

There is no easy answer to this question. Recyclable materials are subject to the same supply and demand limitations faced by most businesses. Flux in the market for recyclable materials has a major impact on their value. Some recyclable materials have enough value that a permitted waste hauler will collect them for free or even pay for the material. Other recyclable materials may have a low value, requiring the permitted waste hauler to charge you a nominal fee to collect them. As with most resources, collection and transportation costs may offset any profit that could be realized from recycling.



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Where can I get more information if I am interested in establishing a recycling program for my business?

For more detailed information, please contact the Washoe County Health District, Environmental Health Services Division at (775) 328-2434. The staff assigned to the Waste Management Program can answer your questions and provide more information.

Additional materials on waste reduction and proper waste management (including hazardous waste) can be obtained from the University of Nevada, Reno Small Business Development Center, Business Environmental Program.



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What can be recycled?

Any waste material that has an end use or can be re-processed into a usable material, product or item. This includes, but is not limited to, food waste, aluminum, glass, yard debris, plastic, office paper, etc. Additionally, this includes any solid waste that can be processed and used as a feedstock for energy generation. Not all recyclable materials can be recycled in Washoe County due to lack of markets, availability of necessary collection services, etc. Prior to recycling any material, it is important to identify the method of transportation and the final processing location.



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Why recycle if the process will cost my business money?

There are environmental benefits to recycling that are well documented. For example, paper recycling has greatly reduced the need to harvest virgin timber to make paper products. Instead, waste paper is re-processed and used in the manufacturing of new paper. Thus, the act of recycling promotes efficient and cost effective use of solid waste without depleting limited natural resources. This effort also limits environmental degradation that often results when extracting or harvesting virgin raw materials.

Another benefit can be realized by promoting the fact that your business recycles. Sustainability, responsible use of resources and commitment to community can be featured as part of an advertising campaign. Further, many residents are demonstrating a preference for businesses that actively recycle. Finally, by reducing the overall amount of waste that must be disposed, your business may reduce the cost for disposal. For example, if a business currently uses a six (6) yard dumpster, but can divert 20 – 30% of their waste to recycling, a four (4) yard dumpster would be adequate, resulting in lowered cost for service to the dumpster.



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Cottage Food
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Are there production limits for my Cottage Food Business?

The Nevada Legislature (SB 206 77/2013) placed a $35,000.00 per year limit to the amount of money that one can earn in the Cottage Food Industry.



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Can I give out Cottage Food samples?

You can give out samples if they are prepackaged. If the samples are not prepackaged a temporary sampling permit will be needed. Contact the Health District for details on obtaining a temporary sampling permit.



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Can I sell Cottage Foods over the phone or the Internet?

No, you may not sell Cottage Foods over the Internet or the phone. The Cottage Food law disallows this.



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Can I sell my Cottage Foods to a wholesaler, etc.?

No, your foods are not inspected/produced under the required industry standards. The Cottage Food law disallows this.



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Do I need to obtain a Business License for Cottage Foods?

Contact the following Business License Departments:

  • Washoe County (775) 328-3733
  • City of Reno (775) 334-2090
  • City of Sparks (775) 353-2360


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Do I need a Health Permit to sell Cottage Foods?

No, but you need to be registered with the Washoe County Health District to sell in Washoe County. To sell in other Nevada Counties you must be registered with the Health Authority which has jurisdiction in that area.



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Do I need to collect Sales Tax for Cottage Foods?

Please visit the Nevada Department of Taxation for further details.



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How do I file a complaint against a Cottage Food operation?

Contact your local Health District.



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Must I put a label on my Cottage Foods?
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Why can’t I sell Cottage Foods to my favorite restaurant, etc.?

Your foods are not inspected/produced under the required industry standards (USDA, FDA) that are required for routine sales/use to the food service industry. The Cottage Food law disallows this.



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What foods may we not sell as Cottage Foods?

Home canned foods and sauces, pickled items, breads/cakes/pies made with home canned food ingredients, apple cider, dried or dehydrated meats or chicken (jerkies), apple (fruit) butters, pumpkin butter or other fruit butters. Additionally, foods containing cream cheese frosting, uncooked egg, custard or meringue may not be sold.



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What types of Cottage Foods may I produce?

Breads, cakes, pastries, candies, cookies, bread mixes, fruit pies, jams, jellies, preserves, dried fruits, popcorn, popcorn balls, cotton candy, dry herbs, seasonings, cereals, trail-mixes, granolas, coated and un-coated nuts and vinegar and flavored vinegar.



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Where can I find a copy of the Cottage Food Law?
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Where may I sell my Cottage Foods?

In your home, at a roadside stand on your own property, flea market, swap meet, church bazaar, garage sale or craft fair.



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Why are some products not allowed to be sold as Cottage foods?

This is due to the inherent risks that may be associated with these non-allowable foods, since they will not be inspected or regulated by Local/State/Federal health officials. The bill passed by the Nevada Legislature allowed only certain listed foods to be provided.



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E. coli
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How does a person get E. coli?

One way E. coli can be contracted is when a person eats food that has been contaminated with animal waste or unsanitary water.



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How long will it take for me to get well from E. coli?

Symptoms usually resolve within five to 10 days.



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How sick can E. coli make me?

In some people, particularly children under five years of age and the elderly, the infection can also cause a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, in which the red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail. About two to seven percent of infections lead to this complication. In the United States, hemolytic uremic syndrome is the principal cause of acute kidney failure in children, and most cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome are caused by E. coli O157:H7.



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What are the symptoms of E. coli?

The main symptom is diarrhea, which is often bloody, accompanied by abdominal cramps. There also can be a mild fever.



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What is E. coli O157:H7?

E. coli O157:H7 is one of hundreds of strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli. Although most strains are harmless and live in the intestines of healthy humans and animals, this strain produces a powerful toxin and can cause severe illness.



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When should I see a doctor?

If you have severe, prolonged or bloody diarrhea, you should seek medical attention.



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Environmental Health
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Where do I make a complaint if I become sick from eating food at an event or restaurant?

If you believe that you became ill as a result of eating a meal prepared at a food establishment located in Washoe County, please call our office at (775) 328-2434 to report your illness.



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Do I need a permit to drill or recondition an existing well?

A well construction permit must be obtained from the Washoe County Health District to construct, drill, recondition or plug a well. The permit applications are available and are processed at the Health District offices.



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Family Planning Clinic
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Where can I find abortion services in the Reno/Sparks area?

The West End Women's Medical Group provides abortion services. The phone number is 827-0616.



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Does the Family Planning clinic have staff that speak Spanish?

Yes. We have staff that speak Spanish and interpret in the clinic. We also have a telephone interpreting service that can assist with interpretation in many other languages.



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Where is the Family Planning Clinic located?

The Health Department is located at the corner of 9th Street and Wells Ave., just off the freeway and next to the fairgrounds. The address is 1001 East 9th Street, Building B. If you are traveling North on Wells, the entrance to the clinic is the first right (into the parking lot) after passing 9th Street. You can enter the door marked CLINIC SERVICES.



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How do I pay for my Family Planning Clinic visit?

We accept cash, check, money orders and credit cards.



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Is the Family Planning clinic appointment confidential?

Yes. All appointments are confidential.



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Is there a bus stop near the Family Planning clinic?

Yes. There are Citifare bus stops close to the Health Department along routes 2 and 12.



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I'm pregnant and thinking about adoption, where can I go to find out more information?

Social Services has information on adoption.



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I just had sex and didn't use protection. I don't want to get pregnant. What can I do?

If you take an Emergency Contraception (the Plan B pill) within five days of unprotected sex you can reduce your chance of pregnancy by up to 75%. You need to be seen by a nurse to receive this medication. Call the clinic ASAP to make an appointment. For weekend, holiday or evening emergency contraception providers in the local area dial 1-888-NOT-2-LATE.



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I've been sexually assaulted and I am afraid to tell the police. What do I do?

Contact Sexual Assault Support Services Crisis Call Center at 784-8090 or 1-800-992-5757 and they will listen to you as well as give you information about resources in the community that may help.



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What ages of women do you see in the Family Planning clinic?

We see women in their reproductive years, which means during the time in their lives when they are able to have children. When a woman reaches menopause (stops having her period) we refer her to a different clinic for annual exams.



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What is a Pap smear?

A Pap smear is a test that looks for changes of the cells on the cervix. If you would like to know more, please see the Pap Smear information sheet.



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I am pregnant so where do I go to get checked (prenatal care)?
  • We provide pregnancy testing and proof of pregnancy if your test is positive. We do not provide prenatal care services: however, we will tell you where to receive those services.
  • The Washoe Pregnancy Center provides prenatal care services on a sliding scale. Their phone number is (775) 982-5640.


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Immunizations
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Can grandparents bring their grandchildren in for their vaccinations?

A parent or legal guardian must be the person who receives the vaccine information sheet (VIS), HIPAA informational sheet, HIPAA consent form and completes the vaccine administration record for the child receiving shots. Vaccine Information Sheets (VIS).



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Before we moved to Nevada, my doctor said my child's immunizations were up to date. Why is my school now telling me my child needs more shots?

States have different requirements for school entry. The following are required by Nevada State Law:

  1. Tdap - All students entering 7th Grade must have a Tdap.
  2. Varicella - Students new to Nevada schools, who have not had Chicken Pox Disease, must have two (2) Varicella doses. The second dose must be at four (4) years of age or older.
  3. Polio - Students new to Nevada schools must have four (4) doses of Polio. The 4th dose must be at four (4) years of age or older.


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Will the Health District bill my insurance company for immunizations?

The Health District only bills Medicaid, Nevada Check-up, and Cigna. You will be provided a receipt to submit to your insurance company with your claim for reimbursement.



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How will I know when my child needs more shots?

Many shot records indicate when the next vaccinations are due. Parents can check with their physician's office or clinic. Complete childhood and adult immunization schedules are available at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/. Annual influenza (flu) vaccination is recommended for children aged 6 months or older.



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Will I need an appointment for an immunization or can I just come to the Health District?

Appointments are required for immunizations. We make appointments up to one week in advance. Walk in appointments are limited to schedule openings.



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Medical Reserve Corps
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Will I have the opportunity to volunteer for Medical Reserve Corps response efforts outside of the local area?

The primary responsibility of the Washoe County MRC is to respond to local incidents. In the event of a regional or national incident, if a request is made for assistance from our units, members may be deployed elsewhere only when they are not needed locally.



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How do I prepare my family for my possible Medical Reserve Corps deployment to assist in response efforts?

As part of the new member orientation, you will learn how to develop a disaster plan for your family. Family members should be included in planning and decision-making, preparing an emergency kit, and gathering appropriate resources to activate the plan in the event of an emergency.



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How will I be contacted in the event of an incident?

When an incident occurs for which the MRC will be deployed, appropriate members will be contacted via e-mail and telephone. Notices will also be posted on this website.



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How many people are expected to join the Washoe County Medical Reserve Corps? Must I be a healthcare professional to be a member of the Medical Reserve Corps?

Our goal is to build our volunteer membership to over 150; we are always looking to expand our membership.

The MRC welcomes individuals from medical and non-medical professions. Medical practitioners include physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, nurses, mental health professionals, respiratory therapists, and veterinarians are needed to provide emergency services during disasters.

Public Health professionals, including administrators, epidemiologists, health educators, and communicable disease and environmental health specialists are needed to help promote community health during non-emergency situations, as well as during disasters.

Non-medical volunteers are needed to fill many key support roles, including managers, clerical personnel, interpreters, drivers, food service workers, messengers, security staff, and laborers.

Retirees from medical and non-medical careers fill both clinical and support roles in the MRC, as do medical and health professions students.



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As a member of the Medical Reserve Corps, am I required to volunteer during an incident?

Membership is voluntary, and you are not required to assist in any particular response effort. Within a short period after an incident occurs, you may be contacted by MRC staff and asked to assist. Your ability to respond to a request will not affect your continued membership in the MRC.



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What are the potential risks of working in Medical Reserve Corps incident response efforts?

Potential risks depend upon the type, magnitude and duration of the incident. The orientation session, trainings, and exercises prepare MRC members to protect themselves while working in the response efforts. A member always has the opportunity to decline deployment if he or she is uncomfortable with the assignment, without affecting continued membership in the MRC.



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How do I protect myself from losing my job if I am deployed?

Each member is encouraged to have a signed memorandum of understanding with his or her employer to acknowledge that the employee has committed time to the MRC and the employer understands the employee may be unable to fulfill job responsibilities if deployed in response to an incident.



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If I am deployed in response to an incident, what amount of time can I expect to commit as a member of the Medical Reserve Corps?

Depending upon the scope of the incident, you should expect to work one 8 hour shift per each 24 hour period, for three to five days.



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Exclusive of my deployment in response to an incident, what amount of time can I expect to commit as a member of the Medical Reserve Corps?

Members who will fill supervisory roles can expect to spend approximately 28 hours in training the first year. Members who will fill non-supervisory roles can expect to spend approximately 20 hours in training the first year (23 if they need CPR/First Aid training.) Training time in subsequent years will vary, depending upon the member`s role. Additionally, all members will be expected to participate in an eight-hour exercise each year.

Much of the training is in the form of online courses which can be completed on your home computer, at your own pace, at whatever time is convenient for you. All training is provided at no cost to the volunteer.



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What are the vaccination requirements for Washoe County MRC members?

The Washoe County MRC requires members to have current vaccinations for, or immunity to:

  • Influenza (seasonal, Oct. - March)
  • Hepatitis B

Required vaccinations are provided at no cost to volunteers.

Measles, Mumps and Rubella; Varicella (chickenpox); Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis vaccinations and TB Screening are recommended but not required for membership.



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What does the term "just-in-time" training mean?

The concept of just-in-time training is to provide training at the time it is most needed. In emergency management, just-in-time training incorporates information specific to the type and magnitude of the incident. The MRC uses just-in-time training for its members immediately after deployment to issue assignments and equipment necessary for their role in the incident.



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What role can I expect to hold during a Medical Reserve Corps response effort?

A member’s role will depend upon the following factors:

  • Type, magnitude, duration, and severity of the incident
  • Roles identified by incident command staff as necessary for the response effort
  • Member’s skills, interests, and licensure

MRC staff will make role assignments based on resource needs and availability. You can be assured that you will not be asked to perform a role that you are not prepared for.



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Why must I submit to a background check?

Background checks for all members, and licensure verification for healthcare practitioners are completed to protect both MRC members and the public they will be serving.



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Why should I become a member of the Medical Reserve Corps?

In the event of an incident, time and resources are simply not available to process, train and manage spontaneous volunteers. The MRC registers and screens members, verifying medical licenses in advance to ensure a rapid, coordinated response. Spontaneous volunteers often present a hindrance to incident management and may be turned away. If you want to be part of disaster response effort, become a member of the MRC now so you can be deployed quickly when an emergency occurs.



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Salmonellosis
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How common is Salmonellosis?
  • About 40,000 cases are reported in the United States each year (actual number may be significantly higher, as many milder cases are not diagnosed or reported.
  • About 400 people with acute Salmonella die each year.
  • It is more common in the summer than in the winter.
  • Children are the most likely to get Salmonella.


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How is Salmonellosis diagnosed?

Through fecal specimens sent to a testing laboratory.



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How is Salmonellosis transmitted?

Through the feces of people or animals including birds and especially reptiles (this includes turtles) to other people or animals, usually through food that has been contaminated, either though direct contact with infected feces or through unwashed hands of an infected food handler (did not wash hands after using the bathroom).



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How is Salmonellosis treated?
  • Most infected persons recover without treatment unless the person becomes severely dehydrated.
  • Antibiotics usually are not necessary unless the infection spreads beyond the intestines.


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How long does a person infected with Salmonellosis stay ill?

Usually five to seven days.



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How long does the Salmonellosis bacteria survive in the environment?

It depends on environmental conditions.



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How sick can a person infected with Salmonellosis get?
  • Most infected persons recover without treatment.
  • Some develop severe diarrhea, leading to dehydration and hospitalization for rehydration with intravenous fluids.
  • In some cases, the infection can spread from the intestines to the bloodstream, then to other body sites. In these cases, death can result unless the infected person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
  • A small number of people go on to develop Reiter’s syndrome (pains in joints, irritation of the eyes and painful urination), which can last for months or years and can lead to chronic arthritis.
  • Young children, the elderly and the immunocompromised are the most likely to have severe infections.


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What are steps for avoiding disease transmission/getting Salmonellosis?
  • Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent Salmonella.
  • The primary method of prevention is to thoroughly wash your hands
    • After using the bathroom
    • After having contact with animal feces
    • After handling reptiles or birds
  • Avoid cross-contamination by
    • Thoroughly washing your hands before handling any food and between handling different types of food
    • Keeping uncooked meats separate from produce, cooked foods and ready-to-eat foods
    • Thoroughly wash hands and cutting boards, counters, knives and other utensils used to prepare uncooked foods of animal origin.
  • Do not eat or drink raw or undercooked foods of animal origin (e.g., eggs, poultry or meat or unpasteurized milk).
  • Thoroughly wash produce before eating.
  • If you have Salmonella, do not prepare food or pour water for others until you have been shown to no longer be carrying the Salmonella bacterium.


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Is Salmonellosis required to be reported to health authorities?

Yes.



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What are the symptoms of Salmonellosis?

Diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps.



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What is Salmonellosis?

Salmonellosis is an illness with symptoms that usually begin in the intestines. It is caused by a bacterium called Salmonella.



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How long does it take for Salmonellosis test results to be available?

At least 72 hours, as testing involves growing a culture.



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What is the incubation period (the time from exposure to Salmonellosis until the time symptoms occur)?

Symptoms develop within 12 to 72 hours after infection.



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Where can I get more information on Salmonellosis?



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Smoking Ban
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Are businesses in Washoe County complying with the NCIAA?

Staff from the Environmental Health Services Division of the Health District have been conducting smoking ban compliance surveys during routine inspections since December 19, 2006. To date, an average 96.5% of permitted facilities were in compliance with the requirements set forth in the NCIAA during routine Environmental Health Services permit inspections.



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Can a business allow smoking during certain times of the day?

No. The NCIAA states: "Smoking tobacco in any form is prohibited within indoor places of employment including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Child care facilities;
  2. Movie theatres;
  3. Video arcades;
  4. Government buildings and public places;
  5. Malls and retail establishments;
  6. All areas of grocery stores; and
  7. All indoor areas within restaurants."

There are no provisions for allowing smoking, at any time, in any of the above locations.



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Four ways to ask smokers to "take it outside":

Asking strangers, and sometimes even friends and family, to smoke outside can sometimes be stressful. It is important to remember that the vast majority of people are respectful and will abide by the law, if they are aware and reminded of it. Below are 4 ways to ask people who smoke to "take it outside". It may not be easy at first but you have the right and the responsibility to avoid secondhand smoke.

  1. As the business owner/manager to enforce the law: I thought this was a non-smoking business. Would you please ask them to smoke outside?
  2. Remind them of the law: Maybe you didn't know, but Nevada law prohibits smoking in this area/building/business. Smoking is allowed outside.
  3. Be polite: I would like to ask a favor. Would you mind smoking outside? This is a non-smoking area.
  4. It is the smoke, not the smoker that is the problem: Would you not smoke right now? I`d really appreciate it.


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How do I comply with the NCIAA if I am a childcare facility?

Please see the guide for childcare facilities for information on compliance.



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How do I comply with the NCIAA if I am an employer?

Please see the guide for employers for information on compliance.



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I smoke, so how does the NCIAA apply to me?

Smokers play an important role in helping to implement the law. First and foremost, it is now illegal for you to smoke indoors in a facility where smoking has been banned. Even if a "No Smoking" sign is not displayed there, you are still required by law to refrain from smoking. You should also not bring any ashtrays or items used as ashtrays into a facility where smoking is now banned. You may still smoke anywhere outside of a facility where smoking is now banned indoors. You may also still smoke indoors at the following types of businesses:

  1. Areas within casinos where loitering by minors is already prohibited by state law;
  2. Stand-alone bars, taverns, and saloons that do not require a permit to serve food;
  3. Strip clubs and brothels;
  4. Retail tobacco stores;
  5. Private residences, including those which may serve as an office workplace, except if used as a childcare, an adult day care, or a health care facility; and
  6. Hotel and motel rooms, but only if allowed by the facility operator, so please ask the operator first before smoking there.

If you are uncertain about being able to smoke indoors, please ask the owner and/or manager of the facility first before smoking there. Your compliance with the new law helps protect non-smokers and children from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Your compliance also helps merchants meet their responsibilities under the new law. If you are asked by a representative of the business to refrain from smoking inside their facility, please do as they ask. It is the business's responsibility to enforce the new law in their establishment; if you are found smoking indoors at a location where smoking is now banned, then the business itself could be cited and required to pay a fine. You, too, could be found guilty of a misdemeanor, which generally carries a fine imposed by a judge. A person who violates this ban is also liable for a civil penalty of $100 for each violation.



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How have smoking bans in other communities affected business owners?

Banning smoking in indoor spaces has been shown to have a positive impact for business owners in addition to the general community. Studies have shown that banning smoking in restaurants and bars can boost revenues and increase employment. For example, taxable sales receipts for bars and restaurants have increased every year in California since their smoking ban took effect in 2002. In New York City, tax receipts for restaurant and bars increased 8.7 percent, and employment increased by 10,600 jobs since their 2003 smoking ban went into effect; and, in Florida, retail sales for restaurants, lunchrooms, and catering services increased by 7.3 percent after a 2003 smoking ban. Florida's sales and employment in the hotel, restaurant, and tourism industries also were not hurt. Smoking bans in places of employment also have been shown to lower employee sick leave usage, health insurance costs, fire insurance rates, and cleaning costs.

Many studies have been conducted about the business impact of indoor smoking bans. For more information about these studies, please visit: tobacco.ucsf.edu.



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How will the NCIAA be enforced?

Compliance with the ban is the responsibility of the owner, manager or operator of an area where smoking is prohibited. A reasonable effort to prevent smoking should be made by this individual or group of individuals. Health authorities, police officers of cities or towns, sheriffs and their deputies shall, within their respective jurisdictions, enforce the provisions of the ban and shall issue citations for violations of the ban.



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How will the NCIAA improve the health of Washoe County?

Exposure to secondhand smoke has been linked to numerous life-threatening diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and cancer. Eliminating smoking in indoor spaces reduces exposure to secondhand smoke, thereby reducing the occurrence of these chronic illnesses. Research in communities that have implemented indoor smoking bans shows significant improvement to public health after the ban goes into effect. For example, hospital admissions for heart attacks dropped 40 percent in the six months following an indoor smoking ban in Helena, Montana; and, in Pueblo, Colorado, heart attacks declined 30 percent in 18 months after smoking was banned indoors.



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Where can I get information about tobacco and secondhand smoke?

For information about tobacco and secondhand smoke, please visit the Be Tobacco Free page or call (775) 328-2442.



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Where can I get information on quitting smoking?

If you smoke and want to quit, see the list of local stop smoking programs.



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What if I have more questions about the NCIAA?

Please contact Environmental Health Services at 775-328-2434 with any questions you may have about enforcement and compliance.

For questions about the public health impact of the ban, call 775-328-2442.



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What will it cost business owners to comply with the NCIAA?

The cost to comply with the law will vary for each business, but, in general, there are minimal costs. Employers must clearly and conspicuously post "No Smoking" signs in their facilities at every entrance. They also are required to remove all ashtrays and other smoking paraphernalia from any area where smoking is prohibited. For some businesses, additional costs may be associated with the removal of built-in ashtrays or other smoking-related items.



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What are the penalties of violating the NCIAA?

A person who is found to violate the ban is guilty of a misdemeanor, which generally carries a fine imposed by a judge. In addition, a person who violates this ban is liable for a civil penalty of $100 for each violation.



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Whom do I contact to complain about smoking violations?

Please contact Environmental Health Services at 775-328-2434.



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What changes does the NCIAA make?

As a result of the voters' mandate, smoking tobacco in any form now is prohibited within indoor places of employment, including, but not limited to: childcare facilities, movie theatres, video arcades; government buildings and public places; malls and retail establishments; all areas of grocery stores; all indoor areas within restaurants; and within school buildings and on school property.

Smoking tobacco is not prohibited in areas within casinos where loitering by minors is already prohibited by state law; stand-alone bars, taverns, and saloons that do not require a permit to serve food; strip clubs and brothels; retail tobacco stores; private residences, including those which may serve as an office workplace, except if used as a childcare, an adult day care or a health care facility; and hotel and motel rooms, if allowed by the facility operator.

For more information on the smoking and tobacco laws in Nevada, refer to Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 202.2483.



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What is smoking-related paraphernalia?

Ashtrays or any items being used as an ashtray (e.g., beer bottles, coffee mugs, discarded trash, etc.) are considered smoking-related paraphernalia and must be removed from any area where smoking is prohibited. Merchants may still sell tobacco products.



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When did the NCIAA go into effect?

The Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act (NCIAA), became statewide law on December 8, 2006.



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Where can I get a printable no smoking sign?
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If the law refers to "public places," then why is smoking banned in businesses that are privately owned?

Sec. 2 (9) (d) of the new law defines "public places" as "any enclosed areas to which the public is invited or in which the public is permitted." If a business meets this definition, then smoking must be banned there indoors, regardless of how the facility is owned. The law also defines a "place of employment" in Sec. 2 (9) (i) as "any enclosed area under the control of a public or private employer which employees frequent during the course of employment including, but not limited to, work areas, restrooms, hallways, employee lounges, cafeterias, conference and meeting rooms, lobbies and reception areas." Again, if a business meets this definition, then smoking must be banned indoors as described, regardless of how the facility is owned. The law does make an exception in Sec. 2 (3) (e) for private residences that serve as workplaces, except if they are being used as a childcare, adult day care, or health care facility.



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Why is the Health District involved in the NCIAA?

Sec. 2 (7) of the new law states that "Health authorities, police officers of cities or towns, sheriffs and their deputies shall, within their respective jurisdictions, enforce the provisions of this Act and shall issue citations for violations of this Act[.]" The Washoe County Health District is the health authority for Washoe County (per NRS 202.2485). Therefore, the Washoe County Health District is required by law to enforce the smoking ban.



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Why was the NCIAA passed?

The ban was passed in order to protect the public from secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke, also called environmental tobacco smoke, is a combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar or pipe and the smoke exhaled by smokers.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 substances, many of which are known to cause cancer in humans. In 2006, the U.S. Surgeon General released a comprehensive report stating that there is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure.



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Solid Waste Management Plan
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What if I don't understand some of the terms in the Solid Waste Management Plan?

There is a glossary in the beginning of the Plan. The EPA website also has a helpful glossary of terms at http://www.epa.gov/OCEPATERMS/.



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What is solid waste?

Solid waste is anything you would throw away or discard such as garbage or trash.



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Special Events/Temporary Food
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Is there an annual permit to cover a full season for temporary foods?

No. However, there is an annual sampling permit available for vendors who wish to sample, which applies only to sanctioned Farmer's Markets, Craft Fairs, etc. An Annual Sampling Permit and fee has been established for temporary food establishments engaged in the practice of providing food samples only to the public. The permit is valid only for the calendar year in which it was purchased. Temporary food establishments that apply for the Annual Sampling Permit may operate an unlimited number of times during the calendar year provided the permit has not been suspended or revoked. Temporary food establishments that apply for the Annual Sampling Permit must submit a proposed schedule outlining the events and locations at which they will be operating.



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If I turn in a food permit application and pay the fee, have I been approved?

No. The application is subject to review and food service operations must comply with regulations. Incomplete applications may be rejected. Applications may also be rejected based on inability to contact the person in charge of food service, menu item restrictions, or operational concerns. Please call 775-328-2434 to follow up regarding the status of your application.



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I am going to buy bulk muffins and bagels at my local grocery store and sell them individually at an event. Do I need a temporary food permit?

Yes. If food items that are not individually prepackaged and on-site preparation (opening of package and contact with food item) is required, a temporary food establishment permit must be obtained.



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Can I prepare food for a Special Event at home?

Never. No storage, slicing, dicing, marinating, cooking or any process related to food preparation for any food item, dressing, garnish or other is allowed at a private residence for items served to the general public at a Special Event.



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What is a cumulative maximum fee for special events/temporary food establishments?

A temporary food establishment which operates at the same special event, in the same location and serves the same menu for at least three times during a calendar year will be eligible for a cumulative maximum fee for the special event. Therefore, the temporary food establishment will be charged the permit fee for the event multiplied by three. Late fees are equal to the total permit fee up to $100.00. Some examples of temporary food establishments that may qualify for this fee are those who sell food at farmer’s markets, recurring concerts, soccer, baseball, softball and other league games. The operation of the temporary food establishment is limited to 14 days per calendar year. If the 14 day limit is exceeded, the operator must submit application for a permit to operate a permanent food establishment and will be subject to all applicable regulations. Note: The cumulative maximum fee does not apply to sample vendors as sample vendors pay a set fee for the entire year and can operate an unlimited number of times during that year with a minimum of five dates required.



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Do I still need a permit if I am giving away food?
All food distributed at a special event, regardless of charge or other consideration requires a permit. However, food prepared to be given away for charitable or other similar circumstances may be exempt from permitting requirements. Please contact this agency at 775-328-2434 for additional information.


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What food and beverage items are exempt from permit requirements?
The following is a list of temporary food establishment permit exemptions (per regulation):
  • Bottled water, canned soft drinks.
  • Coffee/Tea with powdered non-dairy creamer or ultra-pasteurized creamer packaged in individual servings. (This exemption does not include beverages such as lattés and espressos that are mixed with dairy product by the vendor during preparation).
  • Commercially prepared acidic beverages (orange juice, lemonade, etc.) that are served from the original, properly labeled container without the addition of consumer ice or other regulated food product.
  • Draft beer and other alcoholic beverages (wine) that are served without the addition of consumer ice or the addition of other regulated food product.
  • Hermetically sealed and unopened containers of non-potentially hazardous beverages, which do not require refrigeration (sport drinks, energy drinks, etc.).
  • Hot chocolate prepared without the use of potentially hazardous dairy products.
  • Non-potentially hazardous prepackaged baked goods with proper labeling from an approved source and requiring no on-site preparation (opening of package and contact with food item).
  • Non-potentially hazardous and unopened prepackaged foods from an approved source with proper labeling such as honey, jerked meats, potato chips, popcorn and other similar foods.
  • Produce sold from a produce stand where no sampling or food preparation is done.
  • Commercially prepared, prepackaged, and unopened ice cream that is appropriately labeled as to ingredients and manufacturer. Smoothie products (Jamba Juice and Keva Juice) made and prepackaged at the fixed permitted facility and appropriately labeled with ingredients and manufacturer.
  • Shelled and unshelled nuts, including flavored nuts for sample or sale.
  • Food Supplements that are offered for sample or sale without the addition of regulated food items. These include, but are not limited to vitamins, minerals, protein powder mixes, energy drinks, and herbal mixtures.
  • Foods from an approved source prepared for a “cook-off” or judging contest limited to one (1) gallon maximum of food product per contestant per day.


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Can I sell food made from a private home at my school or church fundraiser?

Yes. A religious, charitable or other nonprofit organization may, without possessing a permit from the Washoe County Health District (WCHD), sell food to raise money, whether or not the food was prepared at a private home, if the sale occurs on the premises of the organization.



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Can I sell food made from a private home at a Washoe County Health District (WCHD) temporary food permitted event?

No. Food that is prepared or stored in a private home must not be sold, or offered or displayed for sale, for compensations or contractual consideration of any kind, unless the person preparing the food possesses a valid permit issued by the WCHD for that purpose. See Cottage Food requirements for additional detail.



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Is there a food permit fee exemption for veterans as in California?

No. County Finance has not passed any such exemptions for purchase of permits.



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I am a grocery store and I would like to barbeque food outside and sell/serve the food inside. Do I need a temporary food permit?

No. In accordance with the Washoe County Health District (WCHD) Barbeque Policy, a fixed facility with a valid WCHD permit does not require a temporary food permit to barbeque food outside provided that food preparation, and service is conducted inside the facility. If food preparation and service is conducted outside the facility, a temporary food establishment permit is required.



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I am a grocery store and I would like to sample food inside my store. Do I need a temporary food permit?

No. If a fixed facility (grocery store, restaurant, etc.) already has a permit through the Washoe County Health District (WCHD) Food Protection Program, and the food will be sampled inside the store, a temporary food permit is not required. If the establishment wishes to sample or sell food outside, a temporary food permit is required.



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How far ahead of time must I purchase a Temporary Food Permit?

There is a late fee that applies if the permit is not purchased at least seven (7) calendar days ahead of time. The Health District discourages late applications and may deny applicants that are chronically late.



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I am an existing food establishment that would like to participate in a special event what do I do?

Existing food establishment permits do not extend outside of an approved facility. Therefore, existing food establishments must obtain an Application for a Temporary Food Permit from the Washoe County Health District when operating outside of the approved facility. Temporary food establishments must operate in accordance with the Regulations of the Washoe County District Board of Health Governing Food Establishments, Section 210.



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I am going to sell food at recurring events such as farmer’s markets, soccer games and concerts. Is there a limit to the amount of days I may operate?
Yes. A temporary food establishment which operates at the same special event, at the same location and serves the same menu is limited to 14 days per calendar year.
An Annual Sampling Permit and fee has been established for temporary food establishments engaged in the practice of providing food samples only to the public. The permit is valid only for the calendar year in which it was purchased. Temporary food establishments that apply for the Annual Sampling Permit may operate an unlimited number of times during the calendar year provided the permit has not been suspended or revoked. Temporary food establishments that apply for the Annual Sampling Permit must submit a proposed schedule outlining the events and locations at which they will be operating.


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I have a mobile food unit and would like to participate in a special event. Do I need a temporary food establishment permit?
If a mobile food unit has a valid Mobile Food Permit issued from the Washoe County Health District (WCHD) Food Protection Program, a temporary food permit is not required if the unit is fully self-contained as permitted and other food preparation or storage equipment is not required; however the mobile food unit must have the permission of the event promoter to participate in the event. If the mobile food unit does not have a valid WCHD Mobile Food Permit, a temporary food establishment permit is required.
NOTE concerning multiple-day special events: A mobile food unit must return to the designated servicing area DAILY as a condition required under the valid mobile permit. A temporary food establishment permit is required if the mobile unit remains in the same location for the duration of a multi-day event.


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Do I need a temporary food permit to sell popcorn, snow cones, or cotton candy at an event?

Yes. If popcorn, snow cones or cotton candy are not prepackaged (i.e., served with a handled scoop from a machine), then a temporary food permit is required.



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I am going to have a wine tasting event where food is donated and sampled by patrons; do I need a temporary food permit?

Yes. If tickets to the wine tasting event are open to the public and food will be served, a temporary food establishment permit must be obtained for each separate food vendor.



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Do I need a temporary food permit to sell food at a church or school fundraiser?

No. As long as the sale occurs on the premises of the organization and the profits of the sale are used to raise money, a temporary food permit is not required.



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Can I prepare the food for a Special Event ahead of time at an approved facility?

Advanced preparation must be approved by the Health District ahead of time as per application. Menu items, storage, transport, time and temperature will all be considered before such approval is granted. Cooking and cooling food items prior to an event is usually not allowed.



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I am a promoter and I would like to organize and put on a special event, what do I need to do?

The promoter must first contact the city or county business licensing department (Washoe County, City of Reno or City of Sparks) in which the event is going to be held to ensure the necessary permits/licenses are obtained in order to operate within the city/county limits. If the event’s daily attendance is equal to or exceeds 5,000 persons per day, or the total attendance over a fourteen (14) day period is equal to or exceeds 10,000 persons, the promoter must obtain an Application for a Special Event Permit from the Washoe County Health District.



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Is there a reduced food permit fee for non-profits?

No. Non-profit fees were removed from the current fee schedule as of July 1, 2016.



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If I already have a permit for my restaurant or mobile food do I need a temporary food permit?

Yes. A permit is not transferable from person to person or place to place and unless the operation is conducted from the mobile and contained within the mobile with a menu approval, a separated temporary food permit is required. Permitting for a mobile food operation may be avoided if operating under all requirements of a current annual mobile permit including returning to the designated servicing area daily.



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I am going to contract with an existing snack bar at a ball park/field to sell food for my league games. Do I need a temporary food permit?

No. A temporary food permit is only necessary when the temporary food establishment will be setup outdoors (i.e., no plumbed sinks, no electricity, etc.). Please note that prior to obtaining a temporary food permit, the applicant should contact representatives of the specific parks in which they wish to operate as many City of Reno and City of Sparks parks do not allow food vending of any kind. If a temporary food establishment wishes to sell food from an existing fixed, Washoe County Health District (WCHD) permitted facility, a temporary food permit is not required; however the temporary food establishment must contact representatives of the WCHD Food Protection Program (328-2434) and inform them of their intentions.



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What is a low risk food?

Examples of low risk food items include, samples given of any food item (including potentially hazardous foods), any beverage served in an open container with consumer ice, coffee drinks blended with dairy products (espresso, lattés), popcorn, pretzels, cotton candy, snow cones/shaved ice, funnel cakes, French fries, fried/cooked vegetables, roasted corn, churros, breads, pastries, nuts, sliced fruit (including melons), candy, fudge/chocolate.



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What is a potentially hazardous food?

Potentially hazardous food includes any animal food (a food of animal origin) that is raw or heat-treated; a food of plant origin that is heat-treated or consists of raw seed sprouts; cut melons; and garlic-in-oil mixtures that are not modified in a way that prevents bacterial growth. Some examples of potentially hazardous food include, meat, poultry, fish, shell fish and crustaceans, milk and dairy products, cooked rice, and cooked beans, baked potatoes, tofu and soy protein foods, eggs (except those treated to eliminate Salmonella), raw sprouts, and sliced melons.



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What is a special event?

A special event is a transitory gathering such as, but not limited to, an activity (including soccer, baseball and softball league games), a celebration, festival or fundraiser which is open to the public not to exceed 14 consecutive days in duration or 14 days per calendar year.



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What is a temporary food establishment?

A temporary food establishment is any food establishment which operates at a fixed location for a temporary period of time, not to exceed 14 consecutive days, in connection with a fair, carnival, circus, public exhibition, celebration or similar transitory gathering.



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Teen Health Mall
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Where can I find abortion services in the Reno/Sparks area?

The West End Women's Medical Group provides abortion services. The phone number is 827-0616.



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Does the Teen Health Mall have staff that speak Spanish?

Yes. We have staff that speak Spanish and interpret in the clinic. We also have a telephone interpreting service that can assist with interpretation in many other languages.



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Is there a bus stop near the Teen Health Mall clinic?

Yes. There are Citifare bus stops close to the Health Department along routes 2 and 12.



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Is the Teen Health Mall appointment confidential?

Yes. All appointments are confidential.



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I'm pregnant and thinking about adoption, where can I go to find out more information?

Social Services has information on adoption.



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I just had sex and didn't use protection. I don't want to get pregnant. What can I do?

If you take an Emergency Contraception (the Plan B pill) within five days of unprotected sex you can reduce your chance of pregnancy by up to 75%. You need to be seen by a nurse to receive this medication. Call the clinic ASAP to make an appointment. For weekend, holiday or evening emergency contraception providers in the local area dial 1-888-NOT-2-LATE.



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I've been sexually assaulted and I am afraid to tell the police. What do I do?

Contact Sexual Assault Support Services Crisis Call Center at 784-8090 or 1-800-992-5757 and they will listen to you as well as give you information about resources in the community that may help.



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Where is the Teen Health Mall Clinic located?

The Health Department is located at the corner of 9th Street and Wells Ave., just off the freeway and next to the fairgrounds. The address is 1001 East 9th Street, Building B. If you are traveling North on Wells, the entrance to the clinic is the first right (into the parking lot) after passing 9th Street. You can enter the door marked clinic services.



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What does it mean to receive family planning services?

The Teen Health Mall offers family planning services to help you plan the size of your family. By using birth control methods a woman has more control over when she has children and how many children she has.



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What do I need to bring to my first Teen Health Mall visit?
  • If it is your first visit, or if your income has changed, please bring proof of family income. Please see Cost of Services.
  • If you are on medications, bring in your medications, or write down the names so a nurse can review them. This would also include any birth control pills that you did not receive from this clinic.


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What is a Pap smear?

A Pap smear is a test that looks for changes of the cells on the cervix. If you would like to know more, please see the Pap Smear information sheet.



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What is the Teen Health Mall phone number?

The number to the office clinic is (775) 328-2470. The phones are answered between the hours of 9 a.m. - noon and 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.



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What will happen at my first Teen Health Mall visit?
  • You will fill out paperwork.
  • An aide will obtain your weight and height, measure your blood pressure, and check your iron level (in some cases).
  • The Advanced Practitioner of Nursing will review your medical history and determine what services you need (birth control, STD testing etc.).
  • If you are interested in birth control you may get it on the day of your visit; however, in some instances you will need to return to receive your method of birth control.
  • You may or may not receive a pelvic exam (having a nurse look and feel inside your vagina) and Pap smear on your first visit. If you receive birth control you will need to have a pelvic exam within 3 months.


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When do I pay for the Teen Health Mall visit?

You can pay for your visit on the day that you receive services, or we can put you on a payment plan.



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I am pregnant so where do I go to get checked (prenatal care)?
  • We provide pregnancy testing and proof of pregnancy if your test is positive. We do not provide prenatal care services: however, we will tell you where to receive those services.
  • The Washoe Pregnancy Center provides prenatal care services on a sliding scale. Their phone number is (775) 982-5640.


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Tuberculosis (TB)
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What if I had Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination for TB?

Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is a vaccine for tuberculosis. It is often given to infants and young children in countries with high rates of tuberculosis. It protects children and babies from developing severe forms of tuberculosis, like meningitis or miliary TB. It is not used routinely in the United States. Your skin test may be positive because of BCG vaccination.

However, a positive skin test is most likely due to infection with TB bacteria if:

  • You recently spent time with a person who has active TB disease
  • You are from an area of the world where active TB is very common (Africa, Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe and Russia)
  • You spend time where TB disease is common (homeless shelters, migrant farm camps, drug treatment centers, health care clinics. jails or prisons)
  • You were vaccinated more than 5-10 years ago
  • Your skin test is greater than 20 mm

Consider a blood test. Blood tests are not affected due to BCG - they will not give a false positive result due to BCG.



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What is the difference between latent TB infection and TB disease?

A Person with Latent TB Infection (LTBI):

  • Usually has a skin test or a blood test result indicating TB infection*
  • Usually has a normal chest x-ray
  • Has TB bacteria in their body that are alive but inactive
  • Has no symptoms
  • Does not feel sick
  • Cannot spread TB to others
  • Can take treatment for LTBI to reduce their risk of developing TB disease

A Person with Active TB Disease:

  • Usually has a skin test or a blood test result indicating TB infection*
  • Usually has an abnormal chest x-ray
  • Has TB bacteria in their body that are active (growing)
  • Usually feels sick and experiences symptoms
  • May spread TB to others
  • Needs treatment to cure the active TB disease

* - A positive tuberculin skin test (TST) or a positive blood test only shows that you have been infected with the TB bacteria. Neither test can tell if you have TB disease, only if the TB bacteria are in your body.



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How is latent TB infection treated?

Treating latent TB infection is essential to controlling and eliminating TB in the United States, because it substantially reduces the risk that the infection will progress to TB disease.

A person with TB infection can take medication called Isoniazid or Rifampin. This will kill the TB bacteria and greatly reduce the risk of TB disease from developing. Your doctor will decide which medicine is best for you. It is important to have health monitoring every month while taking either of these medications to be sure that you are not developing any harmful side effects. Your health care provider may order blood tests during your treatment.

There is now a 12 dose regimen that makes treating latent TB infection easier.

Considered one of the biggest breakthroughs in treatment for latent TB infection (LTBI) since the 1960s, the 12-dose regimen reduces treatment from 270 daily doses over 9 months, to 12 once-weekly doses over 3 months. It is a combination regimen of isoniazid and rifapentine; two of the most effective medications available for TB treatment.

Following the results of a recent large randomized control trial, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released recommendations on the use of the new treatment regimen for LTBI:

  • It is recommended for otherwise healthy people aged 12 and older who are at an increased risk of developing TB disease
  • Close patient monitoring and the utilization of Direct Observed Therapy (DOT) in which a health care worker observes a person taking the treatment and monitors side effects is required for each of the 12 doses
  • It is an additional treatment option for LTBI and is not meant to replace other available treatment regimens

More information: CDC guidelines, Recommendations for Use of an Isoniazid-Rifapentine Regimen with Direct Observation to Treat Latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection (MMWR 2011; 60: 1650-1653).



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How is TB disease treated?

It takes a long time to kill all the TB bacteria. A person with TB disease typically must take 4 different medicines for 2 months:

  • Isoniazid
  • Rifampin
  • Pyrazinamide
  • Ethambutol

Then take Isoniazid and Rifampin for another 4-7 months depending on how much damage the bacteria have caused.

This treatment has been successful in treating TB disease for many years. In recent years, some TB bacteria strains have become resistant, (the medicines no longer kill the TB bacteria) to one or more of these drugs.

Multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB is resistant to the two strongest TB medicines, Rifampin and Isoniazid. The most common cause of drug resistance occurs when TB medications are not taken long enough and/or in the right amounts. Drug resistant TB is much more difficult and expensive to successfully treat. Extremely drug resistant (XDR) TB is a less common form of multi-drug resistant TB. There is resistance to Isoniazid and Rifampin, as well as most of the alternative drugs used against MDR TB. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention urges all health care practitioners to use directly observed therapy (DOT) in the treatment of tuberculosis.



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How is TB spread?

When a person with active TB disease coughs or sneezes tiny droplets that contain TB bacteria are released into the air. If another person breathes air containing these droplets, they may become infected with the TB bacteria. However, not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: Latent TB infection (LTBI) and Active TB disease - both of which are treatable and curable.



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My TB test is positive, now what?

You will need to have a chest x-ray. If your chest x-ray is normal, this means you have been infected with the TB bacteria but your immune system has "walled off" the bacteria and is protecting you from getting sick. Your doctor may recommend that you take medication to kill the bacteria so you will lower your risk of ever developing active TB disease. If your chest x-ray is abnormal and/or you have symptoms of TB disease your doctor will order additional tests to see if you have active disease.



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What are the symptoms of TB disease?

Symptoms of TB disease can include any or all of the following:

  • A cough lasting longer than 3 weeks
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain in the chest
  • Feeling tired all of the time
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Poor appetite
  • Night sweats
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Coughing up blood

See your doctor if you have these symptoms.



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What is directly observed therapy (DOT)?

To increase the success of TB disease treatment and decrease the risk of drug resistance, a health care worker observes each dose of TB medication taken.

Most persons believe they are able to take their medication without help. But 6 - 9 months is a long time to take antibiotics, especially after you start to feel better. Health care workers who provide DOT offer encouragement to complete treatment. People are human and humans are sometimes forgetful. DOT health care providers help people remember to take their medicine. They also check for harmful side effects and make sure the medicines are working as expected.



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What is TB?

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis). TB usually attack the lungs. Sometimes TB bacteria attack other parts of the body such as, the kidney, spine or brain. TB disease is a serious illness, but with proper treatment it can be cured.



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Where can I learn more about TB?

The Washoe County Health District's Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Program staff welcomes questions about tuberculosis. They can be reached at 775-785-4785.

There are many informative websites available:



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Who is most likely to get TB?

Some people are more likely to be infected with the latent form of TB. These include:

  • persons who were born in a foreign country with high rates of TB
  • persons who have lived in a foreign country with high rates of TB
  • persons who have spent time with someone with active TB disease
  • persons who live or spend a lot of time in crowded places

Some people who are infected with latent TB have a greater risk of progressing to active TB disease. These include:

  • persons who became infected with TB in the last 2 years
  • children under 5 years of age
  • new immigrants from countries with high rates of TB - persons who have been in the United States for less than 5 years
  • persons with weakened immune systems
  • persons with certain kinds of lung disease, such as silicosis
  • persons with diabetes
  • persons who have had stomach or bowel surgery
  • persons who take certain medications for arthritis
  • persons who take prednisone or other steroids for extended periods of time
  • persons who have had cancer of the head, neck or leukemia
  • persons with end stage renal disease
  • persons who are extremely underweight (10% or more below ideal body weight)
  • persons with an abnormal chest x-ray suggestive of old healed TB disease
  • persons who had TB disease in the past but did not receive adequate treatment
  • persons with HIV infection. Persons with HIV infection have the greatest risk of progressing to active TB disease.


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Vasectomy
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Can a vasectomy be reversed if I change my mind afterwards?

A vasectomy is a permanent operation. Some doctors try to undo a vasectomy with surgery, but it is expensive and many times does not work. Make sure that you do not want to father any more children before you have a vasectomy.



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How do they do a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is done in a doctor’s office or clinic. The doctor numbs the area and then makes a small cut in the scrotum (skin around the testicles) to get to the tubes that carry the sperm (sperm ducts). The doctor then closes off the sperm ducts so that sperm cannot get into the semen (what comes out during an orgasm). When there are no sperm in the semen, you cannot cause a pregnancy.

Illustration showing the location of the sperm duct (tube), seminal vesicle (where sperm is stored), the closed off tube of a vasectomy, the testicle, and the scrotum.



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Are there other ways to prevent pregnancy besides a vasectomy?

Yes, there are several temporary ways to prevent pregnancy. A man can use a condom or a woman can use methods like birth control pills, the Depo shot, the patch, an IUD as well as others. If you would like more information about these and other temporary ways to prevent pregnancy, talk to your health care provider.



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What are the benefits of a vasectomy?

With a vasectomy you don't have to worry about making a woman pregnant and you don't have to use a temporary method of family planning again (like birth control pills for women, condoms to prevent pregnancy, etc). However, the procedure will not protect you against STDs. A condom is still the best method for STD prevention.



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What are the risks of a vasectomy?

Vasectomy is a safe and simple operation, but there is a small chance you could have problems afterwards. Some of the problems include:

  • You may have temporary swelling around the area of the skin that was cut.
  • You may have bruising that usually goes away on its own.
  • You may get an infection on the skin or inside the scrotum.
  • The operation may not make you sterile. A small number of men who have the operation will still be able to get a woman pregnant. The vasectomy is more than 99% effective.


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What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a sterilization operation for men. This means that after the operation a man cannot get a woman pregnant.</p.



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Will I still be able to have sex after a vasectomy?

Yes. A vasectomy will not alter your sex drive. Your erections and orgasms will be the same. You will have the same amount of ejaculate (semen), but it will not contain sperm.



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Waste Reduction, Recycling, and Disposal
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Can I recycle yard clippings and other "green wastes"?

At this time, there is not a green waste program. However, you can build a compost pile from yard wastes that will provide nourishment and fertilizer for the garden and landscape.

For more information on how to construct a compost pile, consult your local nursery or the Master Gardener Program through the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Office at 784-4848.



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How do I get my recyclables picked up at the curbside in my neighborhood?

The residential recycling program in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County is voluntary. You must contact Waste Management Inc., at 329-8822 to request recycling bins. They will be delivered to your home. Also, don’t forget to request a pickup schedule for recycled items. Your pickup day may be different that the regular garbage pickup.</p.



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How can I dispose of household products containing hazardous materials or chemicals?

The best way to prevent this disposal dilemma is to not purchase products that contain hazardous materials or chemicals. However, if you cannot share the product or donate it for use by others, please solidify the waste with kitty litter, dirt, or coffee grinds and throw it away.



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How do I dispose of old computers?

If you are a homeowner, you should first try to donate the unit or turn it in to one of the used computer retailers in the area. The last and least attractive alternative is to dispose of it in the trash. If you are a business, your computers cannot be landfilled!



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How do I get rid of old paint?

In Washoe County, there are several ways to dispose of household paint. First, remove the lids from the paint cans and let the contents dry to a solid form. If there is more than 1/2 inch of paint, add kitty litter to absorb it. When the material is solidified, you can dispose of it your household trash. Or, secondly, you may pour the paint directly on to plastic tarps being careful not to spill on to the ground; let it harden, and then roll up the tarps and place in your household trash.



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Is there an option for single-stream recycling in Washoe County?
Washoe County and Waste Management agreed to a new Garbage Franchise Agreement for residents in unincorporated Washoe County that includes Single Stream Recycling. See the details here.

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How can I start a waste reduction, recycling and a buy-recycled program in my work place?

Contact the Nevada Small Business Development Center's "Business Environmental Program" at 1-800-882-3233, or 689-6699, or contact EPA for the free "Business Guide for Reducing Solid Waste" at www.epa.gov.



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Where can I dispose of used motor oil?

Most oil recycling centers will accept up to five gallons of used oil free-of-charge. Many of the large auto parts retailers in Washoe County will take motor oil from local residents. Make sure when transporting the oil, that it is in a secured container and is free of contamination by lubricants, gasoline, or antifreeze.

In other Northern Nevada Counties, call the State of Nevada Recycling Hotline at 1-800-597-5865.



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Human Resources

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Benefits-COBRA
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Who administers the program?
CDS Group Health administers our COBRA program for participants in the PPO and the HMO plans.

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Who do I contact if I have any questions on my COBRA election?
The contact person handling COBRA administration at CDS is Heather Woupio. (352-6906 or heather.woupio@uhsinc.com)

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How much does COBRA continuation coverage cost?

Current rates can be found on the Human Resources website with the following link: Washoe County Employee Benefits 

Normally, qualified beneficiaries are required to pay the entire cost of continuation coverage.  The amount a qualified beneficiary may be required to pay may not exceed 102 percent (or, in the case of an extension of continuation coverage due to a disability, 150 percent) of the cost to the group health plan (including both employer and employee contributions).



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How and when will I be notified of continuing my health coverage?
Terminated employees and their dependents (qualified beneficiaries) will be provided an election notice within 14 days of their termination date.

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When is my payment due?
The initial premium payment must be made within 45 days after the date of the COBRA election (This is the date the Election Notice is post-marked, if mailed.) Payments must cover the period of coverage from the date of COBRA election retroactive to the date of the loss of coverage.  Qualified Beneficiaries have 60 days beyond the date they receive their election notice to sign up for their health care coverage.

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When would my coverage start?
The COBRA continued health insurance begins following the date that the health coverage is terminated. The insurance is not activated until payment is received.

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When does my health insurance coverage end?
Your current health insurance coverage ends on your last day of work.

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What is COBRA?
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985 mandates that employers that have with 20 or more employees and offer health coverage continue to offer employees benefits when they quit, are laid off or fired or have their work hours reduced. Additionally, benefits must be offered to the employee’s spouse and dependents. COBRA benefits apply to health care plans, dental plans, vision plans, prescription drug plans, etc. Benefits may continue for up to 18, 24, 29 or 36 months, depending on the cause for the loss of benefits.

If you are separating service with the County you will most likely be entitled to 18 months of continued coverage.

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When and how must payment for COBRA continuation coverage be made?
You will be notified by CDS Group Health on the process utilized to continue your health insurance program. After you make your first payment for continuation coverage, you will be required to make periodic payments for each subsequent coverage period.   The periodic payments can be made on a monthly basis.  Under the Plan, each of these periodic payments for continuation coverage is due on the 1st of the month for that coverage period.  If you make a periodic payment on or before the first day of the coverage period to which it applies, your coverage under the Plan will continue for that coverage period without any break.  The Plan will not send periodic notices of payments due for these coverage periods.  

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Benefits-Deferred Comp
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Where can I get more information and education on saving for my retirement?

Contact your local MassMutual Account Representative, Tom Verducci, at 775-384-7981 or tverducci@massmutual.com . You may also set up a personal account on the MassMutual website to view information on your investments and have access to educational tools: www.retiresmart.com      



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What are the responsibilities of the Deferred Compensation Committee?
The Deferred Compensation Committee has a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of participants with respect to plan administrators, fund offerings, account management, plan review for compliance, best practices and competitiveness, and is responsible for plan revisions and other necessary actions to meet those responsibilities.

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What is the authority of the Washoe County Deferred Compensation Committee?
In accordance with NRS 287.440, the Board of County Commissioners established a Washoe County Deferred Compensation Committee in 1979 to administer the 457 plan. The powers of the Deferred Compensation Committee as established by NRS and conferred upon the Committee as approved by the Board include collecting deferred compensation, transmitting to depositories within the State, payment of deferred compensation to participants and contracting with a private entity for services necessary to the administration of the plan.

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Who is on the Deferred Compensation Committee and who do they represent?

On May 13, 2003, the Board of County Commissioners approved the current resolution regarding the Committee on Deferred Compensation Programs offered to Washoe County Employees under 26 U.S.C. § 401(a) and § 457. This resolution defines the six (6) voting members of the Committee and the group from which they are appointed, including who makes the appointment. Current Committee Members are as follows:

• Two (2) members are appointed by the WCEA Executive Board

        Darrell Craig, Committee Chairman

        Scottie Wallace, Committee Member

• One (1) member is appointed by the County Manager from the confidential/exempt/ management groups of employees

        Mary Solorzano, (interim) Committee Secretary/Treasurer

• One (1) member is appointed by the President of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Deputies Association, such appointment to be from that Association or the Washoe County Sheriff’s Supervisory Deputies Association

        Scott Thomas, Committee Member

• One (1) member is appointed by the President of the Washoe County District Attorney Investigators’ Association from that Association

        Stephanie Shuman, Committee Vice-Chair

• One (1) member is appointed by the Chief Administrative Judge of the Second Judicial District Court from the Judicial/Probation/Other Court or District Attorney groups

        Heather Potts, Committee Member



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What are the enrollment periods for the 457 and 401(a) plans?
Enrollment periods are established by Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Codes. For the 457 plan, eligible employees can enroll at any time. For the 401(a) plan, employees are eligible to participate after one (1) year of employment with the County and then have a 90 day window in which to enroll. After the 90 day period ends, the employee is not eligible to enroll in the 401(a) plan for the remainder of his/her employment with Washoe
County.


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Can I take a loan from my 457 or my 401(a) plan?

Participants are eligible to take loans from the deferred compensation plans. The minimum loan amount is $1,000 and the minimum loan term is 12 months. For more information contact MassMutual at 800-743-5274 or you can apply for a loan online at www.retiresmart.com        



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What is the minimum contribution required for participation in the plans?

Participants in the 457 Plan can start your retirement savings with as little as $10 per pay period, so starting sooner rather than later is easy.  You can start or stop your contributions to the 457 at any time. Participants electing to participate in the 401(a) Plan may select a minimum contribution amount of 2.5%. 401(a) enrollment and contribution elections are irrevocable.



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Why does Washoe County have only one provider for the Deferred Compensation plans?
The Committee has conducted record-keeper and administrator searches in 2005, 2010 and 2015. During these search projects the Committee has not found any compelling evidence that there are any advantages for our employees in adding a second provider. A single provider also minimizes confusion for plan participants and creates pricing advantages due to the economies of scale that are created.

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How is the performance of the offered investment options evaluated?
The Committee adopted a written Statement of Investment Policies and Guidelines at their August 12, 2004 meeting. This Statement establishes criteria for funds offered within the 457 and 401(a) plans as well as the criteria for eliminating investment options. The policy is reviewed annually and assists in meeting the fiduciary responsibility of the Committee to act in the best interest of all plan participants. As stated in the guidelines, “the Committee will evaluate fund performance at least annually. Performance results will be evaluated using comparisons with the guidelines, pertinent market indices and appropriate peer groups of managers. When necessary, fund performance will be reviewed more frequently.” Evaluation is focused on long-term performance, though interim qualitative factors may influence a decision to add or remove a fund.

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What are the participation rates for the 457 and 401(a) plans?
Both the 457 and 401(a) plans are voluntary retirement plans that employees may utilize. Neither plan offers a matching contribution which means each plan is funded solely from employee contributions. The 457 plan has maintained a strong participation rate of nearly 70% for several years. The 401(a) plan is a supplemental plan and is an irrevocable enrollment which make it appealing for a smaller number of employees.

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Can I purchase PERS service credits with my 457 or 401(a) dollars?
Participants in the 457 plan may elect to have any portion of their account balance transferred to a defined benefit governmental plan (PERS) at any time during their employment. However, 401(a) dollars cannot be used to purchase service credits while still actively employed. For more information on purchasing “time” go to the PERS website at www.nvpers.org and contact MassMutual at 800-743-5274 to request the form to transfer the funds.

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What is a Roth 457 plan?
The Roth Provision was added to the 457 Deferred Compensation program in May 2011. This feature enables you to contribute after-tax money from your paycheck to your 457 retirement plan account. The Roth option offers alternative tax benefits. Unlike traditional before-tax contributions, the Roth feature lets you save and invest with after-tax dollars. Because Roth contributions have already been taxed, Roth contributions and earnings can grow tax free.

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Benefits-GAP
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How do I know what my account number is?
In the upper right hand corner of the reimbursement form, there is a place to enter an account number, although account numbers are not assigned until after the first claim is received. This field should be left blank on the first claim submission.

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Who administers the GAP Plan?
The GAP is administered by American Fidelity Assurance (AFA) who also administers our Flexible Spending and Health Savings Accounts.

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How should I submit my Claim Form and supporting documentation to American Fidelity?

Claims can be sent to American Fidelity by fax or by mail. If you fax your claim, a follow up phone call is not required but is welcome to ensure your claim has been received. If faxing, please allow 48 hours for the system to process the fax.

American Fidelity Assurance Company

Medical/Supplement Department

Attn: Benefits Division

P O Box 25160

Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0160

Fax: 1-800-818-3453

After the first claim submission to American Fidelity, you will be able to create an online account to submit future claims.  Visit www.afadvantage.com to create a log on and password. 



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What documentation should accompany the Claim Reimbursement Form for each type of claim?

Dr. Office Visit:

• A copy of the bill, OR

• An EOB (Explanation of Benefits), OR

• Office notes

Note: Routine care is not reimbursable under the GAP Plan.

  Out-Patient Hospital: • A copy of the hospital bill

  In-Patient Hospital:

• A copy of the EOB

• A copy of the hospital bill

Note:  There is no limit to the number of hospitalization benefits payable. Each hospitalization benefit is payable on its own. There is a limit for the out-patient benefit if the treatment is for the same condition within a 90-day period.



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I want to submit a claim for reimbursement. Where can I find these forms?

Forms are available on the Employee Benefit Forms page of the Human Resources website: https://www.washoecounty.us/humanresources/files/hrfiles/GAP_Claim_Form.pdf Forms can also be obtained from your department’s Human Resources representative.

Please note that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act does require that information submitted on this claim form is protected and only disclosed as necessary to process your claim. Employers, plan sponsors and providers are subject to ensuring that your data is private and secure.



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What number do I call should I wish to follow up on the fax, or if I have other questions?
To follow up on a fax (after 48 hours to allow processing time): 1-800-662-1113
  
For any other plan or claim questions, contact the local American Fidelity office at 829-1313.

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What does the GAP cover?

The following out-of-pocket expenses are covered:

Maximum In-Hospital Benefit:

• Up to $1,000 per hospital confinement

Maximum Out-patient Benefit:

• Treatment in a hospital emergency room

• Out-patient surgery in a hospital out-patient facility or free-standing out-patient surgery center

• Diagnostic testing in a hospital out-patient facility or MRI facility

• Up to $200 for treatment of the same or related conditions unless separated by a period of 90 consecutive days (then a new out-patient benefit will be payable)

Physician Out-patient Treatment Benefit:

• Treatment in a hospital out-patient clinic, free-standing emergency care clinic or physician’s office

• Up to $25 per treatment; $125 maximum per family per calendar year (non-routine care excluded)



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How can I cover my dependents through a GAP plan?
If your dependents are covered under your HMO, you may also purchase GAP coverage for them. You may enroll dependents during the annual Open Enrollment period (mid-October through mid-November for a January 1 effective date) by meeting with an American Fidelity representative, or anytime during the year with a qualifying event. Rates can be found on the Human Resources website and premiums are collected pre-tax through payroll deduction. To enroll your dependents outside of the Open Enrollment period (with a qualifying event), contact American Fidelity at 829-1313.

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What if I want to drop a dependent?
Just as with your health plans, dependents can only be dropped during Open Enrollment or with a qualifying event. To delete a dependent, you must contact American Fidelity directly. Dependent GAP coverage is privately purchased insurance and it is the responsibility of the employee to maintain the integrity of that policy. Calling Health Benefits to delete a dependent from your health insurance plan will not automatically delete them from your GAP Plan.

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How can I obtain an EOB (Explanation of Benefits)?
Sign up for “My Hometown Benefits” at www.hometownhealth.com to view all of your claims and print EOBs.

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Can I check my individual account online?
Employees can visit www.afadvantage.com and request an online account once they have submitted their first claim. This is a very useful tool for reviewing flex plans and any outstanding claims, and we encourage all GAP participants to avail themselves of this convenient resource.

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What is the GAP Plan?
This supplement benefit works in conjunction with the HMO Plan and is provided only to HMO participants. The GAP was added as a result of health insurance negotiations to offset plan design changes that helped the County meet budget needs in FY 2010/2011. The cost of the GAP Plan is covered by the County for all employees and retirees, and is available on a voluntary basis for dependents.

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What constitutes a qualifying event?
A list of qualifying events can be found under the “Eligibility Quick Reference” link on the Medical-Dental-Vision page of the Human Resources website:

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Benefits-Health Savings Account
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What is a limited-purpose Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?
This type of plan still allows you to participate in an HSA, and simply limits your FSA reimbursements to dental and vision expenses only (no medical).

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Who is administering our HDHP claims?
CDS Group Health is the claims administrator for the self-funded HDHP. You can go to their secure website to review your claim status and other information: http://www.cdsgrouphealth.com/

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What is a qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)?

In order to obtain an HSA, you must have a qualifying High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). An HDHP has a lower premium than conventional health plans, but has a high deductible that must be reached before the plan starts paying. Prescription drugs must be paid at contract price until the deductible is met.  HSA’s help pay for the medical expenses not covered by your HDHP— tax- free.



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What happens to the money in an HSA after I turn age 65?
You can continue to use your account tax-free for out-of-pocket health expenses. When you enroll in Medicare, you can use your account to pay Medicare premiums, deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance under any part of Medicare. If you have retiree health benefits through your former employer, you can also use your account to pay for your share of retiree medical insurance premiums. The one expense you cannot use your account for is to purchase Medicare supplemental insurance.

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How do I access funds in my HSA?
American Fidelity will send you a debit card to pay for your qualifying expenses. Funds are also accessible by completing a payment request form, requesting a check reimbursement or bank transfer. 

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Can I have and participate in an HSA if I am on Medicare?
No, Medicare participants are not eligible for the HSA. Even if you have waived coverage in Medicare Part B (medical) while you continue to be employed, you are still enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital). If you had an HSA before you enrolled in Medicare, you can keep it; however, you cannot continue to make contributions to an HSA after you enroll in Medicare.

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In what bank will HSA contributions be deposited and will those funds be FDIC insured?
American Fidelity uses First Fidelity Bank, N.A. which has had FDIC insurance since July 1, 1981.

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Who will be the “bookkeeper” for my HSA?
You will be the bookkeeper. While the County will deposit their contribution and any pre-tax payroll deductions you decide to contribute, and American Fidelity is the custodian, it is
your responsibility to keep track of your deposits and expenditures and keep all of your receipts (necessary if the IRS audits you)
. It is also your responsibility to adhere to the regulations governing HSAs and payment of qualified medical expenses. American Fidelity does allow the option to scan receipts into their system and will save them for you should you ever be audited.

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Would dental and vision coverage be the same as they are now?
Yes.  All employees, regardless of which medical plan they are enrolled in, participate in the same self-funded dental and vision insurance plans.  You can pay for your portion of dental (other than cosmetic) and vision services from your HSA or your limited purpose FSA.

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I have a 25 year-old dependent on my health plan. Can I add them to the HSA/HDHP?
In 2010, Health Care Reform Law extended health plan eligibility to children of the covered employee until the child turns 26 years of age, so you can cover your 25 year-old on your HDHP medical plan.  However, the HSA is subject to IRS rules and guidelines, and since their definition of dependent is “up to age 24 if a full-time student,” you are not able to use your HSA funds to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses for that dependent, even though they may be covered on your HDHP for medical expenses.

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Is the network of doctors for the HDHP the same as for the current PPO Plan?
Yes, the plans utilize the same network of providers and hospitals (http://www.uhnppo.com/). You will still receive contract pricing from contracts in place with our prescription benefit provider, network of doctors and other providers, and ancillary services.

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I want to cover my domestic partner on my HDHP. Can I use the HSA funds to pay for out-of-pocket expenses?

You are not able to use your HSA funds to pay expenses for your registered Domestic Partner per IRS rules and guidelines.



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Do I have to contribute to my HSA? Can I change my contribution amount at anytime?
You are not required to contribute to the HSA; however; it is a good way to save pre-tax dollars for medical expenses incurred in the future.  You can change/stop your contribution as often as you like via the Life and Work Events Tab in ESS.

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Can my employer contribute to my HSA?
Although it is not a requirement, Washoe County has agreed to fund a significant portion of the $2,500/individual and $2600/family annual calendar year HDHP deductible ($1,750) in CY 2016 to help encourage participation. This will be a pro-rated amount that will be contributed each pay period ($67.31). This becomes your money and you may keep any County contributions when you change jobs or retire.

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How much does it cost to maintain my bank account with American Fidelity?
The monthly account maintenance fee is $2 per month; however, Washoe County is paying the maintenance costs for employees in CY 2016.  Upon separation from employment or transfer to another Washoe County health plan you will be responsible for the $2 per month fee as applicable.

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Can I use my HSA to pay for medical services provided in other countries?
Yes, if the expenses are qualified medical expenses.

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I have a current FSA for medical and dependent care reimbursements. How will this impact my ability to join the HSA/HDHP plan?
You will need to spend all your FSA money by December 31, 2015 in order to contribute and have contributions made to your HSA account. While you can still enroll in a limited purpose FSA if you are participating in the HDHP/HSA, that FSA is for vision and dental expenses only. You will still be able to have a dependent care reimbursement account.

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What is the difference between an FSA and an HSA?

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) allow you to contribute pre-tax dollars to an account managed by your employer. This money can be used for health care spending, but anything left over at the end of the year is forfeited. 

HSAs allow you to contribute pre-tax dollars into an account that is owned and managed by you, the employee. The money is used for health care expenses, but unlike an FSA, the unspent amount can remain in the account year after year and it stays with you in the event you terminate from your employer.



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How do I know if the HSA is a good choice for me?
You will need to consider your options carefully, and we encourage you to attend one of the many HSA training sessions that will be held throughout the Open Enrollment period.

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Do I have to use the HSA in conjunction with the HDHP?
Yes. In order to qualify for an HSA, the IRS dictates that the employee must be enrolled in a qualified HDHP. IRS regulations for 2016 require the HDHP to have a minimum
deductible of $1,300 for individuals and $2,600 for families. The premium for an HDHP generally costs less than a traditional health care plan, so the money that you save can be put in your HSA. You own and control the money in your HSA and decisions on how to spend the money are made by you.

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My spouse and I both currently work at Washoe County. Can we both have an HSA/HDHP?
Since you are covered as individual employees by Washoe County, you will have a separate $2,500 annual deductible if both enroll in the HDHP/HSA. It may be more cost effective for one spouse to enroll in the HDHP/HSA with the $2,500 deductible (include other eligible dependents if applicable but add another $100.00 to deductible for $2,600) and the other spouse to enroll in the current PPO plan. Monies from the employee with the HSA account can be used for out-of-pocket medical expenses for family members regardless of whether or not they are on the same health plan.

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Can I roll the money from my HSA into an IRA?
No.  However, you are allowed to make a one-time transfer from an IRA to an HSA.  You are also allowed to rollover funds from an Archer MSA or an existing HSA to a new HSA.  We recommend that you seek advice from a financial expert before making any transfers or rollovers.

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Can I purchase long-term care insurance with money from my HSA?
Yes, if you have tax-qualified long-term care insurance.  However, the amount considered a qualified medical expense depends on your age.  See IRS Publication 502 for the amounts deductible by age.

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What is the maximum amount of pre-tax dollars that I can contribute to an HSA?

The IRS has set contribution limits of $3,350 for individuals and $6,750 for families for 2016. The County’s HSA will be administered by American Fidelity, and employees can make pre-tax payroll deductions every pay period. The following are the HDHP employee/employer (EE/ER) contribution limits for CY 2016:

EE/ER total contribution cannot exceed $3,350 per plan year:

ER limit = $1,750

EE limit = $1,600

If EE is 55 years or older they can contribute an additional $1,000 per plan year:

ER limit = $1,750

EE limit = $2,600

If EE plus family, EE/ER limit cannot exceed $6,750 per plan year:

ER limit = $1,750

EE limit = $5,000

If EE plus family and EE is 55 or older, they can contribute an additional $1,000 per plan year:

ER limit = $1,750

EE limit = $6,000



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What happens if I use the money in my HSA for expenses other than medical?
The expenditure will be taxed, and for individuals who are not disabled or over age 65, subject to a 10% tax penalty.  It is your responsibility to report this information on your income taxes.

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What if I contribute more than the employee contribution limit?

If an employee contributes more than the employee contribution limit, the amount over will be deducted from the amount Washoe County will be able to contribute. The deduction limit set is a combination of employee and employer contributions to ensure the employee’s HSA does not exceed the IRS limits. It is the employee’s responsibility to monitor their HSA contributions and their account with American Fidelity to ensure they are eligible to receive the full $1750 contribution from the County.

Employee Only Coverage:

EE/ER total contribution cannot exceed $3,350 per plan year:

ER limit = $1,750

EE limit = $1,600

If EE is 55 years or older they can contribute an additional $1,000 per plan year

ER limit = $1,750

EE limit = $2,600

Employee plus Family Coverage:

If EE plus family, EE/ER limit cannot exceed $6,750 per plan year

ER limit = $1,750

EE limit = $5,000

If EE plus family and EE is 55 or older, they can contribute an additional $1,000 per plan year:

ER limit = $1,750

EE limit = $6,000



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What happens if I spend more than I have in the account?
If you try to use your debit card for an expense that exceeds the available balance, your card will simply be declined at the time of purchase.

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Can I pay my health insurance premiums with an HSA?
In most cases, no. You can only use your HSA to pay health insurance premiums if you are collecting federal or state unemployment benefits, or if you have COBRA continuation coverage through a former employer.

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Who decides whether the money I’m spending from my HSA is for “qualified medical expense?”
You are responsible for that decision, and therefore should familiarize yourself with what qualified medical expenses are (at least as partially defined in IRS publication 502).  Also, keep your receipts in case you need to defend your expenditures or decisions during an audit.

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Can I stay on the HSA/HDHP when I retire from Washoe County?
 Yes. Starting January 1, 2017, the High Deductible Health Plan with a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) is another health plan option available to retirees.

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Do unused funds in an HSA roll over year after year?
Yes. The unused balance in an HSA automatically rolls over year after year.

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My spouse has a Flexible Spending Account or Health Reimbursement Arrangement through their employer. Can I still have an HSA through my employment with Washoe County?
No, the IRS does not allow you to have an HSA if your spouse’s FSA or Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) can pay for any of your medical expenses before your HDHP deductible is met.

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I am an active employee that has access to, but I am not utilizing, veteran’s benefits or Tri- Care. Can I enroll in the HSA/HDHP?

Yes, if you are a veteran who has not retired from the military and is not enrolled in Tricare, you can enroll in the HSA/HDHP. The only exception is for veterans with service-related disabilities. The Internal Revenue Code was amended recently to allow veterans receiving VA medical care for service-related disabilities to fund an HSA.



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What is a Health Savings Account?
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are another option when it comes to conventional health insurance. It is a tax-free savings account that gives you the power to decide how to pay for your medical care. You can pay for qualified medical expenses now or save for future medical expenses—all while earning interest on your money! Tax-free withdrawals can be made by the employee to pay for qualified medical expenses incurred by the employee, spouse, children or other dependents.

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Benefits-Life Insurance
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Can I purchase additional life insurance?

Additional life insurance may be purchased through Western Insurance Specialties and American Fidelity.  Western Insurance Specialties can be reached at 775-826-2333.  American Fidelity can be reached at 775-826-1313.



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Can I name more than one beneficiary to my life insurance?
Yes.  You may name as many primary beneficiaries as you want, as long as you indicate the desired percentage of distribution.  For example, if you name two children, you may want to show that each of them is entitled to 50% of the benefit.  You may also list contingent beneficiaries as well.

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Can only family members be named as the beneficiary to my life insurance?
You can name anyone as your beneficiary, regardless of your relationship.  However, if you name a minor, the life insurance company will typically place the benefit in a Trust until that minor turns 18 years of age.

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Does the County offer life insurance?
The County provides $20,000 of life and accidental death & dismemberment insurance for all benefited-employees, as well as a $1,000 benefit for those beneficiaries who are covered under your health insurance plan.  The $20,000 benefit does drop to $13,000 at age 65, and once again to $7,000 at age 70. 

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How does the $1,000 beneficiary benefit work?
The County provides a $1,000 of life insurance for dependents who are carried on the participant’s health insurance plan. In the event a dependent dies while on the participant’s insurance, the participant would receive $1,000 in life insurance.

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What if I predecease my spouse? Will they still be entitled to any beneficiary benefit?
No, not unless they are eligible to enroll onto the retiree insurance.  In that case, they would have the $1,000 life insurance benefit for as long as they remain on the plan.

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What is the difference between a primary and a contingent beneficiary?
Your contingent beneficiary comes into play only in the event that the primary beneficiary has predeceased them.

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Do I lose my life insurance benefit when I retire?
The County provides this benefit for as long as you are covered under one of our health insurance plans.

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Benefits-Medical Insurance
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How do I add and/or delete a dependent?

You must log onto ESS and submit a Life and Work Event request to add or remove a dependent.  

Please see the “Eligibility Quick Reference” on the Human Resources website for more information on adding or deleting dependents: Eligibility Quick Reference 

Under the new Health Care Reform Bill, you may cover your child/children up to age 26.  They do not have to be a full-time student, living with you, and/or dependent upon your financial support. 

If you are adding a domestic partner, you must do so within 31 days of filing the declaration of domestic partnership, or during the annual Open Enrollment period. 

You may add your new baby within 31 days of the birth by submitting a Life and Work Event request through ESS and providing a copy of the live birth confirmation to Human Resources.



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Where is the Benefits Office? How do I contact them?

Washoe County Employee Benefits is located within the Human Resources Department at the County Administration Complex, 1001 East Ninth Street, Building A, Room A220, and the contact information for the benefits team is as follows:          



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How do I change health insurance plans?
You may change your choice of health plan for any reason during the annual Open Enrollment period by logging on to ESS and completing the online enrollment process. 

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How much does the County contribute toward premiums for me and my dependents?
Washoe County pays 100% of the employee premium. Through collective bargaining, the County has also agreed to pay 50% of the enrolled dependent’s premium.  Employees are responsible for the remaining premium for their enrolled dependents.

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My dependent child just turned 19. Is he/she still covered?
As a result of the Health Care Reform Act, dependent children may now continue on your health insurance until age 26.

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How can I find out how much it will cost to carry my dependents on my insurance?
Current insurance rates are posted on the Washoe County Human Resources public website and can be found under the Benefits section (Washoe County Employee Benefits).

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Do the Washoe County health plans include prescription drug coverage?

Yes.  By visiting one of the websites below, you can identify which drugs are available on your specific plan, how much they cost, and the applicable co-payment:

• Self-funded PPO:  www.caremark.com (or call 1-800-638-5796)

• HMO:  www.hometownhealth.com (or call 775-982-3232)



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What is the GAP Plan?

The GAP Plan was first introduced in FY 10/11 and is available in conjunction with the Hometown Health HMO Plan only.  Washoe County pays the cost of the GAP plan for all employees enrolled in the HMO; however, it is an elective coverage for dependents and employees are responsible for those premiums.  Provided by American Fidelity, the GAP Plan is designed to reimburse the following out-of-pocket expenses up to:

• $1,000 per inpatient hospital confinement

• $200 for certain outpatient services

• $25 for non-routine doctors visits (limit of $125 per family per year)

For more information about the GAP Plan, or to enroll or delete a dependent, you must contact American Fidelity directly at 775-829-1313.  Dependent coverage is not administered through Washoe County Health Benefits.



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When do my health insurance benefits go into effect?
Coverage becomes effective on the 91st day of continuous full-time or permanent part-time employment.  You must log onto Employee Self Service (ESS) and select your health plan within 30 days of your effective date.  If enrollment is not completed on a timely basis, you will be enrolled with employee-only coverage in the Self-funded PPO medical plan as of your effective date and will not be allowed to change plans or add dependents until the ensuing Open Enrollment period.

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What hospitals are associated with each plan?

• Self-funded PPO:  Saint Mary’s, Northern Nevada Medical Center and Carson-Tahoe

• Hometown Health’s HMO:  Renown Regional Medical Center



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I lost my insurance card. How can I obtain a new one?

If you are on the self-funded PPO, you may contact CDS Group Health at 775-352-6900 to request new cards. 

For those on the HMO, you may contact Hometown Health at 775-982-3232.



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What is the Medicare Advantage Plan?
The HMO Medicare Advantage Plan was added to the Washoe County Retiree Health Benefits Program in FY 10/11.  The coverage is provided through Senior Care Plus, and is available only to those retirees and their dependents with both Medicare parts A and B.  This plan is a great option for those retirees who are receiving only a partial premium benefit from Washoe County and/or who are covering dependents. Please note that enrollment occurs only on the first of each month.

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How do I find out more information about the Medicare Advantage Plan?
You may contact the Enrollment Specialist at Senior Care Plus at 775-982-3282.

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What is the “Open Enrollment” period?

Every year, mid-October through mid-November, the County holds an Open Enrollment period during which time you can make any changes to your health insurance plan without qualifying event restrictions.  This is the perfect opportunity to review all your health insurance options to make sure you and your family are appropriately covered.



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What if I do not want to make any changes during Open Enrollment?
With the introduction of online open enrollment in FY 12/13, you must now review and certify your existing benefits via ESS even if you are not making any changes. You are strongly encouraged to attend one of the annual Open Enrollment meetings or review the Open Enrollment data posted on the website to be sure you understand any changes occurring at the beginning of the calendar year (January 1).

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How do I find out more about the plans offered through the Health Benefits Program?

We strongly encourage all employees to attend Open Enrollment meetings which are scheduled each year mid-October through mid-November.  If for some reason you cannot attend one of these informative meetings, you may contact a Benefits Specialist:  Kristie Harmon at 775 328-2079 or Vicki Scott at 775 328-2099 to set up an appointment.



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How do I find out if my doctor is a provider on my plan?

If you are on the Self-funded Plan, go to www.uhnppo.com.  Enter your provider’s name and click search.  Or you may contact Universal Health Care directly at 775-356-1159.

If you are on the HMO, go to www.hometownhealth.com.  Click on provider directory, choose HMO Plan, enter the provider’s name and click search.  Or you may contact Hometown Health Customer Service at 775-982-3232.



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I see preventative and routine medical care is now covered at 100%. What exactly does this include?

For a full description of what services meet the definition of preventative and routine medical care, please refer to your plan summary or contact your plan administrator directly:

• Self-funded PPO participants may contact CDS Customer Service at 775-352-6900.

• HMO participants may contact their Customer Service at 775-982-3232.



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My spouse/partner lost his/her job. Can I add them to my insurance?
Yes, this is considered a “qualifying event” and they must be added within 31 days of the loss of coverage.  You must submit a Life and Work Event request through ESS along with documentation from the previous insurance company that indicates their last day of coverage.

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My spouse/partner has a new job and insurance is being offered. Can I remove them from my insurance?

Yes, this is considered a “qualifying event” and they must be removed within 31 days of the effective date of the new insurance.  You must also submit a Life and Work Event request through ESS along with documentation from your spouse’s new employer that indicates the effective date of his/her coverage.



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Am I required to receive care only from contracted providers?

If you are on the HMO, you must receive care only from the physicians, hospitals and other health care providers that have contracted to provide services for Hometown Health. 

If you are on the Self-funded PPO, you will receive a better rate if you use contracted providers, but you do have flexibility. 



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Benefits-MEDICARE
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I am a pre 97/98 hire. Do I retain the same retiree health benefits when I retire?
Yes, you currently retain the same benefit provided by contract. However, the actual benefit plan design is subject to future changes that may take place during labor negotiations with the bargaining units. Upon retirement, employees hired prior to 97/98 are not required to enroll in Medicare but are strongly encouraged to do so. If Medicare is primary to your Washoe County Health Plan, it helps defray future claims costs, which in turn helps to keep premium rates down. Increased premiums impact plan design which could result in increased out-of-pocket expenses to employees and retirees.

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How do I find out more information about the Medicare Advantage Plan?
You may contact the Enrollment Specialist at Senior Care Plus, at 775-982-3721. Inform them that you are a retiree of Washoe County.

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What is the Medicare Advantage Plan?
The HMO Medicare Advantage Plan was added to the Washoe County Retiree Health Benefits Program in FY 10/11. The coverage is provided through Senior Care Plus, and is available only to those retirees and their dependents with both Medicare parts A and B. This plan is a great option for those retirees who are receiving only a partial premium benefit from Washoe County and/or who are covering dependents. Please note that enrollment occurs only on the first of each month.

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I am over 65 and covered under a COBRA policy. Is COBRA considered creditable coverage?
No. Regardless of your insurance coverage, you must enroll in Medicare within the 8-month Special Enrollment Period immediately following termination of your employment.

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Who do I contact for more information on Medicare?
Information is available on the Medicare website http://www.medicare.gov or you can contact the local Social Security Office at 1-888-808-5481; 1170 Harvard Way, Reno, NV 89502.

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How much does Medicare cost?
Typically, Part A costs nothing, but because Part B can vary from year to year, you should always consult directly with Medicare for your personal premium quotes.

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How do I know if I’m eligible for Medicare?

You are eligible for Medicare if you are 65 or older and you OR your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years. When an individual who has not paid Medicare taxes applies for Medicare (assuming the spouse has), they simply provide their spouse’s information in addition to their own.

Federal employees began paying the Medicare payroll tax in 1983 and all newly hired state and local employees (including Washoe County) began doing so in 1986. Thus, most government employees and retirees are now eligible.



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Can I enroll in Medicare at any time?

If you did not sign up when you were first eligible because you are still working and covered under the County’s group plan, you can enroll anytime. After your employment ends, you can enroll anytime during the 8-month Special Enrollment Period or during Medicare’s regular Open Enrollment Period which runs from January – March each year for a July 1st effective date.

Please note: if your active employment ends and you do not enroll during the Special Enrollment Period you may have to pay a higher premium for late enrollment.



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How does Medicare pay for medical services?

Hospitals and community mental health centers are paid a set amount of money (called the payment rate) to give some outpatient services to people with Medicare. The payment rate includes:

  • Medicare’s payment amount for the service you receive
  • Your yearly Medicare Part B deductible ($147 in 2015), if you haven’t already paid it for the year. This amount can change each year.
  • Your co-payment amount or co-insurance

The payment rate is not the same for all hospitals and community mental health centers. The payment rate for a hospital or community mental health center is a national rate adjusted to reflect what people are paid to work in hospitals in the area where you get services. Each January 1, Medicare updates the payment rates to keep up with changes in the cost of providing services.



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I have a spouse who qualifies for Medicare. If I retire at 66 or older, will I be penalized for not enrolling in Medicare at age 65?
No, because the County’s insurance is creditable coverage. Medicare provides an 8-month Special Enrollment Period in which you can sign up for Parts A and B after your employment ends. If you enroll after the 8-month period, you will face late enrollment penalties.

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Do I need to notify you when I am eligible and enroll in Medicare?
Yes. If you notify us upon receiving your Medicare identification card and providing us with a copy, it may lower your premium rate. In addition, we will notify CDS Group Health or Hometown Health which could alleviate issues relating to the payment of claims.

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Is there another Plan option available if I have Medicare?
Yes. The Medicare Advantage Plan was added to the Washoe County Retiree Health Benefits Program in July, 2010. Coverage is provided through Senior Care Plus and is available to those retirees and their dependents with both Medicare parts A and B. This HMO plan is a great option for those retirees who are receiving only a partial premium benefit from Washoe County or who are covering dependents, as premiums are considerably lower. Please note that enrollment occurs only on the first of each month.

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I am curious about what Medicare Parts A and B will cost me when I retire. Is there some where I can go to research this?
You can either contact the Medicare’s customer service at 800-633-4227, or you can access one of their premium or eligibility tools on their website: www.medicare.gov

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Should I enroll in Medicare Part A at age 65 even if I am still employed?
Yes. Part A is available at no cost, and employees and retirees both should always take advantage of this coverage as soon as you are eligible.

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What are some of the advantages of enrolling in Part B?
• Lowers your monthly premium
• Lowers your out-of-pocket costs over time by eliminating, or greatly reducing, co-insurance/co-payments.

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Should I enroll in Medicare Part B at age 65 even if I am still employed?
No, because the County’s insurance is creditable coverage. Medicare provides an 8-month Special Enrollment Period in which you can sign up for Part B after your employment ends. If you enroll after the 8-month period, you will face late enrollment penalties.

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Do I need to sign up for Medicare Part D (Prescription) coverage?
No, the Washoe County Plans are equal to or better than Medicare Part D.

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Do I need to sign up for Medicare when I turn age 65?
Depending on your original hire date with the County, enrollment in Medicare may or may not be required, and the decision to elect or reject Medicare may impact the way your claims are paid. We strongly encourage all retirees who are eligible for Medicare to take Parts A and B. If you are uncertain about whether or not to elect Medicare coverage, please feel free to contact our office.

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I have a spouse who will eventually qualify for Medicare, but currently is only 62. I am 65 and want to retire. Can I enroll in Medicare now, even though my spouse is not yet eligible?
You are eligible to enroll in Medicare A and B if your spouse has paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years.

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I am already retired from the County and am enrolled in the Retiree Health Benefits Program, but I am still working full-time in the private sector. Do I still need to enroll in Medicare when I turn 65?
If you are covered under your current employer’s group health plan in the private sector, you may want to delay enrollment in Medicare Part B.  If you are only enrolled in the Washoe County Retiree Health Benefits Program, then you should not delay enrolling in Medicare.  Retiree insurance is not considered “creditable” coverage by Medicare, so if you do not enroll in Part B at age 65 and decide to enroll later, you will be subject to a late enrollment fee of 10% for each 12-month period beyond your original Part B eligibility date.

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What is Medicare?

Medicare is a national social insurance program, administered by the federal government since 1965 that guarantees access to health insurance for Americans who are:

• Age 65 years and older

• Under age 65 on Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or diagnosed with certain diseases including End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and Lou Gehrig's Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS) The original program included:

• Part A – Hospital Care. Part A is premium-free for most people.

• Part B – Doctor and Outpatient Care. Part B requires a monthly premium.

In 2006, the program was expanded to include:

• Part D – Prescription Drug Coverage. Part D is optional and requires a monthly premium.



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Benefits-OBRA
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What is a Section 457 deferred compensation plan?
Established under the Internal Revenue Code section 457, deferred compensation plans are tax deferred, supplemental retirement plans.  Contributions to 457 plans are not subject to federal income tax at the time of deferral. 

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What if I become a full-time employee with my employer?
If you become a full-time employee, all contributions to the OBRA account cease.  At this point, you may either transfer the value of your OBRA account to the voluntary 457 plan available to full-time employees, or you may simply leave the funds in your OBRA account.  If you choose to leave the funds in the OBRA, please bear in mind that the funds cannot be withdrawn until you separate employment from Washoe County.

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Aside from my quarterly statement, how else can I check my account balance?

You can call MassMutual’s participant services call center at 1-800-743-5274 or go to MassMutual website at http://www.retiresmart.com



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Are there any fees or charges for participating?
There are no charges or fees for participation in the plan.

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When will I have to pay income tax on my OBRA deferred compensation account?
All distributions will be taxed as “ordinary income.”  Taxes are payable on amounts distributed to you in the year of receipt.

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What happens when I leave County employment?
When you separate employment with Washoe County, you have several options.  You can either leave the funds in the account, accruing interest; you can roll the funds over to another qualified plan; or, you can withdraw the funds in their entirety.  If you choose to withdraw, you will be responsible for the applicable taxes on the earnings.

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Is participation in the OBRA deferred compensation plan mandatory?
Yes.  Your employer will automatically deduct the required 7.5% of gross salary to provide you, as a non-benefited part time, seasonal or temporary employee, with a defined contribution plan in lieu of social security coverage.

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Do I need to notify anyone if I change my name and/or address?
Yes.  Notify MassMutual's customer service center at 1-800-743-5274.

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What are the payout options available to me when I separate from service?
Payout options include lump sum or designated amount on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

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Are there any penalties at withdrawal?
No.  There are no penalties or early withdrawal provisions applicable to the plan.

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Will I receive any account statement?
Quarterly statements will be mailed approximately fifteen days after the end of each quarter.  Statements may also be viewed at http://www.retiresmart.com

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If my contributions are not currently taxable, do I need to make any adjustments to my tax returns each year?
No.  Your employer will make the necessary adjustments on your W-2 form, lowering your gross wages by the amount that you contributed in each tax year.

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What is OBRA?
Established in 1990, OBRA is an acronym for Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.  The primary purpose of this 457 deferred compensation plan is to provide a retirement alternative to Social Security for all non-benefited part-time, seasonal and temporary employees.  In addition, this plan permits those same employees of Washoe County to enter into an agreement which will provide for deferral of payment of a portion of their current compensation until death, retirement, severance from employment, or other event, in accordance with the provisions of Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code.

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When can I withdraw my money?
Assets in the plan may be withdrawn upon termination of employment, regardless of age.

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Where are the contributions invested?
Contributions will be directed to the General Interest (Declared Rate) Account.  The General Interest Account provides safety of principle and a competitive rate of return.

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Why am I required to participate?
OBRA requires that all state and local governmental employees be covered by social security or an employer retirement plan.

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Examination
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How do I request special testing accommodations

If you have a disability which requires special testing accommodations, please contact the Department of Human Resources at careers@washoecounty.us  include the ADA Special Testing Accommodations Request Form with your request.  Special testing accommodations will be provided in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.



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If I do not pass the exam may I take it again?
Washoe County does offer an exam retake policy.  If you choose, you may re-take an exam after sixty days and up to one year after testing.  This option to re-test is only available for a position when it is open for recruitment and the same exam is used.  In this circumstance, you will be emailed with the opportunity to re-take the exam or transfer your previous score.  If a re-test is chosen, the most recent score will be used, whether higher or lower.  If it has been less than 60 days or more than one year, re-testing will not be an option.

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I wasn't notified when my exam date would be or or I did not receive my exam scores.

All correspondence about your application and the position you applied for are sent through email to the email address you provided on your application.  Prior to contacting Washoe County Human Resources, check your email spam folder. Also, please verify your email address is correct by signing in at https://jobs.washoecounty.us/applicant, be sure to use the User ID and password you previously created.



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Are exams given for all positions?

The Department of Human Resources administers examinations to determine which applicants are the most qualified for a particular position.  There is no single exam; examinations are developed to suit duties and responsibilities of each job classification.  The Department of Human Resources uses written and oral examinations, tests of physical ability, and demonstrations of practical skills as testing instruments.  For some positions, the entire examination consists of a rating of education and experience as you describe them in your application.

Some positions are unclassified and outside of the merit system.  Individuals selected for those positions serve at the pleasure of the hiring authority.  A variety of selection instruments may be used in evaluating candidates for these types of positions.



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How are exams scheduled?

Applicants who meet the qualifications are generally scheduled to take the exam once the applications have been through final review, generally a minimum of one week prior to the exam.  The job announcement states the week the exam will occur so applicants are able to plan accordingly when they apply.  Most applicants are scheduled within a single session, however when there is a large number of applicants it may require more than one testing session and applicants will be scheduled in groups.  Also, if the recruitment is open continuously, applicants may be scheduled in groups in the order of the date their applications are received.



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What type of exam might I expect?

The tentative examination content is described in Required Additional Information. Some jobs require a written exam that may consist of short answer, multiple choice, true-false, or essay type questions that are directly related to the job. For example, do not be concerned about taking a spelling exam if you are applying for a maintenance job; you will most likely be asked questions about plumbing, carpentry, painting, etc.

Not all of Washoe County`s positions require written exams. Some jobs may require a performance test where applicants must perform tasks similar to those performed on the job. For example, clerical applicants may take a typing test. For certain jobs, such as a Sheriff`s Deputy, a physical ability test is also required.

Another type of exam is an oral exam, which reviews your qualifications,  experience, education and other knowledge, skills and abilities required for the job. This type of exam is still structured and scored by a panel, but it does give you the opportunity to express yourself, and to discuss what unique qualifications you bring to the position. It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions about the job.

The examination process may consist of one or any combination of these types of exams. Each portion of the examination is required to be taken in order to be considered. The passing score is determined by a statistical evaluation of the exam scores. Applicants are notified of their exam results by email.



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When will I be notified if I am eligible to take the examination?
Review the Required Additional Information which provides an approximate exam date.  After you have submitted your application and the Recruiting Analyst has determined that the minimum qualifications have been met, you will receive an email at the email address you provided on your application.  This email notification is generally sent approximately one week before the examination notifying you of your exam date, time and location.  

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When will I receive my exam scores?
Exam scores will be emailed to you within a few weeks of taking the examination.  Exam scores are not given out over the telephone or in person.

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Where will the examination be held?
You will be provided the location by email.

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What is an examination and why do I have to take one?
The term "examination" refers to the selection method used to rank all candidates for a particular classification. Applicants applying for employment with the Washoe County Merit System are required to go through an "examination" process. Depending upon the position for which you are applying, examinations may consist of written, oral, performance, physical agility tests, involve a rating of past experience and training, or be comprised of a combination of such exams.

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Interview and Selection
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How long do lists of qualified candidates last?
Most lists remain active for at least 1 year, but no longer than 3 years.  If you are on a list that is being replaced before 3 years has passed, you may be notified to reapply and retest.

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Where am I ranked on the eligible list?

Everyone on the list is ranked in score order, based on the number of eligible candidates.  For example, if two people have a score of 86.44 and are ranked at #8 then both are ranked 8.  If the next score on the list is an 87, they would be ranked 7 due to their higher score.  

There is no set number for names on the list.  Any promotional candidates are ranked at the top of the list and open competitive candidates are next to complete the list.  Departments receive an even number of candidates from the Promotional and Open Competitive groups for referral. 



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I didn't get notified about an interview or receive my ranking.

All correspondence about your application, testing and ranking are sent through email to the email address you provided on your application.  Prior to contacting Washoe County Human Resources, be sure to check your email spam folder. Hiring departments have the option to contact you directly to schedule an interview; therefore, you may receive notification either from Human Resources or the hiring department.



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Can my rank ever change?
Yes, there are two ways your rank may change. If the examination is open continuous, new names will be added to the list each time the tests are administered. If another applicant scores higher than you, your rank will be lowered. It is also possible for you to advance higher on the eligible list as others are hired or removed for other reasons such as finding other jobs. 

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When will I be notified for an interview?
As vacancies occur, the Department of Human Resources refers a list of eligible candidates to a hiring department. Interview notices may be emailed to the eligible candidates requesting that they contact the department to schedule an interview. Hiring departments have the option to contact you directly to schedule an interview; therefore, you may receive notification either from Human Resources or the hiring department.  You may receive a phone call or interview notices may be emailed to you requesting you contact the department to schedule an interview. 

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On-line Application
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Can I apply for more than one job at a time?

Yes, once you have completed your online application through our online application system, you can apply for multiple positions that are currently open and on the Job Opportunities web page. Even days or weeks later, all you have to do to apply for another job is to log back on to the online application system and apply--the application you originally submitted will still be in the system available for you to update and/or submit for another job opening.  Use the same User ID and password you created.



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How does the application process work?

Applicants can complete their applications online from any computer with Internet access. After the closing date, applications will be screened by the recruitment staff and all applicants will be notified by email of their results.  Additional information is available at Recruitment and Selection Process.



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How long does it take to complete the online application?

The time it takes depends on several factors including the amount of work experience and education you have to enter, how fast you can type, whether you copy and paste information, etc. You should allow 20-45 minutes for the total process. However, you can speed up the process by collecting important information about previous work experience, education, certifications, etc. before you start creating your application. If you find you are missing a piece of information requested on the application, you may be able to skip the field and go back later to complete it. If you decide to do this, it is important that you return and complete the missing information BEFORE you submit your application for a specific job opening. The information on your application when you apply will be used to evaluate your qualifications for the job opening for which you apply--make sure it is accurate and contains all information requested as well as any specific attachments that are required.



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Can I apply by sending my application via mail?

We do not accept mailed application.  All applications must be completed using the online application system when the position is posted on Job Opportunities.



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This is my first time applying what do I do?
Create a new account by going to https://jobs.washoecounty.us/user/create.html. Click “Create an Account,” an email will be sent to your email address. Then, go to your email to validate your account and create a password. Be sure to create a unique User ID and note it somewhere for future use. You will need it to reset your password should you misplace it at any time.  (IF YOU HAVE PREVIOUSLY APPLIED, PLEASE DO NOT CREATE A NEW ACCOUNT.  USE YOUR PREVIOUSLY CREATED ACCOUNT.)

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Can someone help me complete the online application?

HR staff members are available to help applicants get started and to answer questions about the online application system. Visit the Human Resources Department at the Washoe County Complex,1001 E. Ninth Street, Administration Building A, Room 220,  Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-5:00 pm or call 775-328-2081.



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How do I apply for a job?

The online application process has four steps:

  1. Reviewing the job listing and all documents listed under the title, then selecting "Apply Online" for the position of interest.
  2. Registering by creating a unique User ID and password. This will enable you to come back and apply for additional positions as well as check on the status of a position. 
  3. Creating, completing, reviewing and submitting your online application. 
  4. Application confirmation received in the inbox of your registered email address that will include your Applicant ID number.

It's important that you read and follow all instructions carefully.  Review the Job Opportunities web page to find any open positions that interest you. Once you identify an open position of interest, click on the job title to bring up the Job Announcement, click on the "Required Additional Information" link for exam and specific requirements  for the position. Review the details, if you meet the qualifications and would like to apply to the posting, click on the associated link that says "Apply Online". This will begin the application process. Once the application is completed, you will receive a confirmation number via email. This email confirms that we received your application for this position.

Be sure to remember your User ID and password so you can log back on to the system at a future time. You should make a note of these and keep it handy. Please do NOT create a second account. If you forget your User ID and/or password, please contact careers@washoecounty.us.



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Will a mobile device work with the new online application?

Yes! Your mobile device and all internet browsers will work with the online application.



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Why am I receiving multiple password reset emails?

If your browser caches (saves) the page then you will see the same “welcome back” screen & get the email message to reset your password.  You will need to close all open browsers to allow the screen to refresh.  If you still have issues, please manually clear your cache or restart your device.



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I am a County employee will I continue to use my network logon and ID to apply?

County employees that currently have an online application in the system will use the same network User ID (if that is how they created their application) and password to get started.  Once you do this you will be notified that your password must be reset and will receive an email.  This email will arrive within 15 minutes.  Use the email to get started with the new application.  From this point forward the application will no longer be connected to your network password. If you experience any challenges with your network User ID, please do not create or register a new account. Contact the Human Resources Department at 775-328-2081 or careers@washoecounty.us.



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What if I do not have a computer or access to the web?

There are several ways you can still get access to our online application system:

Public access computers are located in the Human Resources Department`s main lobby (located in the Administration Building A, 2nd floor) at the Washoe County Complex, 1001 East Ninth Street, Suite 220, Reno 89512 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Washoe County Public Libraries - Branch Location and Hours

Nevada Job Connect Centers.

Public community colleges and universities.

Internet cafes.



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Is my previous application still going to be available?

Yes, as long as you use your previously created User ID.  This is the only way to have access to your previous application.  If you do not have this information you may contact the Human Resources Department at 775-328-2081 or careers@washoecounty.us.  You may be asked to come to the Human Resources Office with a valid Photo I.D., in order to obtain assistance with access to your account. Otherwise, you will need to create a new account and start over with a new application.  Be sure to save your User ID and  password in a safe place for future use.



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Will my previous login work even though it was created many years ago?

Yes, you may access your application account with with your previous User ID.  Once you do this you will be notified that your password must be reset and will receive an email.  This email will arrive within 15 minutes.  The email will contain instructions to help you get started with the new online application process.



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Can I save my application before I finish completing it?

No.  The system requires that you complete all of the required fields indicated with a red asterisk in order for the application to be submitted.  It is recommended that you schedule enough time to complete the application in one session as the system will time-out after 45 minutes of inactivity and it does not provide a save option.



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How can I update my address and phone number on the online application?

Sign on to your application history using your previously created User Name and password using this link https://jobs.washoecounty.us/applicant. Once logged in, you are able to view a list of positions you have applied for and the online application; however, you are not able to make any changes to the online application once recruitment is closed or application status has been updated. You can only update contact information, once the changes are made, click “Update my Details.”



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Who will see my application if I use the online application system?

Your application is on a secure web server and will be available to the Human Resources Department and the interviewer(s) for the specific job opening for which you apply. If the same position becomes available in a different department or with a different supervisor, your application may be reviewed for that opening by the responsible supervisor. Washoe County does not share its database with other companies or localities.



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Recruitment
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How do I access my previous application? How do I change personal contact information?

Please log into the online application system using the link listed below. Your login information is the user id and password you created when you applied online.  Once you log in, you may ONLY update your contact information (address, city, state, zip code, phone number and email address). 

Please note:  You will be able to view the list of positions you have previously applied for and your online applications, however, you may not make any changes to the online application if the position you applied for is no longer open online.

https://jobs.washoecounty.us/applicant



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I've been working for the County for a long time. Why do I have to fill out an application?
Applications are required of each person applying for a position. It is likely that you may have acquired additional skills, experience and education since you originally applied that should be considered. In addition, completing an online application ensures your qualifications and personal information will be documented and ensures accurate applicant tracking information for every position.

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Is there a filing deadline for my application?

Most recruitments have a closing date on the announcement, which means that the deadline for filing applications is midnight on the day noted in the job announcement.

This procedure is followed when it is certain that a sufficient number of applications will be received within a specified time. It is important to note this information when applying in order to submit your official application before the deadline. In either case, it is in your best interest to return application materials promptly.

Some recruitments are "open until further notice," meaning official Washoe County employment applications will be taken until further notice as no deadline has been set. Recruitments are announced this way when it is unknown how long it will take to obtain a sufficient number of applications. 



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How do I find out what jobs are available?

Visit our online website to search for jobs that are currently available. A list of available positions can be viewed 24 hours a day at Job Opportunities.

For a full listing of Washoe County job descriptions - see Job Specifications and Salaries 
  
Sign up for Washoe County cMail Email Subscription Service, you will receive email updates on the job openings as they are posted on Washoe County’s Job Opportunities online recruitment page.

To sign up for the cMail Email Subscription Service go to http://www.washoecounty.us/county_news_subscriptions.php and create a new account. You just need an email address and password to get started.



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I missed the deadline - can I still apply?
As with any open position, once a closing date (deadline) has passed, no applications will be accepted. Please continue to visit the Job Opportunities page and apply for new jobs as they become available.

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Who do I contact for further information about the job position or classification?

If you have additional questions after reviewing the job posting, please contact the Recruiting Analyst whose email address and telephone number is listed on the job announcement.

Or view the job specification on the Job Specification web page,



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Will I be notified either way if I have met the training and experience qualifications?

You will be notified via email within a few weeks of the closing date of the job posting notifying you that: A) you have met the qualifications and you are proceeding to the examination, or B) your application did not indicate that you have the necessary qualifications for the job.  The Department of Human Resources generally will not call you.

If you believe that the Department of Human Resources has failed to correctly evaluate your qualifications, you may file a request for review within 5 working days of the notification date.



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Can I obtain a blank application form to fill out although there are no current jobs I want to apply for?
No.  Washoe County only accepts online application for current open vacancies.  There are often supplemental questionnaires, training and experience evaluations, or special instructions that go with specific job postings.  If an application is submitted without these attachments, you may be disqualified from the exam process.

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When will a certain job open?

There is no sure method of knowing when a classification will be opened.  Your best source for up-to-date information is to go to the Job Opportunities web page.

Sign up for Washoe County cMail Email Subscription Service, you will receive email updates on the job openings as they are posted on Washoe County’s Job Opportunities online recruitment page.

To sign up for the cMail Email Subscription Service go to http://www.washoecounty.us/county_news_subscriptions.phpand create a new account. You just need an email address and password to get started.



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What types of jobs are available?

Washoe County has over 300 different classifications of positions performing a wide variety of job duties. The County offers a comprehensive benefit package to full-time employees hired in authorized positions. Washoe County accepts applications only for positions for which we are actively recruiting. 


Sheriff`s Office vacancies are also advertised on the County`s online application system. To learn more about the job requirements for deputy sheriff recruit, visit the Sheriff`s Office.



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The job requires a typing or data entry certificate. Where do I obtain one?
If a typing or data entry certificate is required for a specific job, a typing voucher and a listing of authorized agencies will be provided to you.  You must contact one of the authorized agencies listed to schedule your test. Typing/data entry certificates will only be accepted from the agencies listed.

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Where can I find out information about employment with Washoe County School District?
The Washoe County School District is a separate agency.  Visit the Washoe County School District`s web site at http://www.washoeschools.net/site/default.aspx?PageID=1

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Where can I complete an application?

Applications are accepted via our online application system.  Go to the Job Opportunities page and select "Apply Online". On the login screen select "Create an Account" link and complete the required fields.  You will be creating a unique user ID and password.  Please save your user ID and password for future applications.   

Once you have registered, you may apply for any of the open positions listed on the Job Opportunities page--simply click on `Apply Online`, sign in and apply for the position. 

Kiosks are set up in the Human Resources lobby, 1001 East Ninth St, Reno, NV 89512, County Complex, Building A, 2nd Floor - Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM  for those without Internet access or you may use the computers at any WC Libraries.



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Retirees
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Who issues my retirement checks?
Your retirement checks are issued directly from PERS.  Please contact them at 775-687-4200 if you have any questions or concerns about your monthly retirement checks.  

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Can I continue my AFLAC, American Fidelity and/or Western insurance coverage after I retire?

Yes, but you will need to contact the applicable company directly and tell them you wish to be billed at home:

• AFLAC 775-322-9393

• American Fidelity 775-829-1313

• Western Insurance 775-826-2333



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Do I need to do anything with my Deferred Compensation through MassMutual?
You may have several options available to you in regard to your Deferred Compensation Account.  For more information, please contact their local representative, Tom Verducci, at 775-384-7981.

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Can I utilize the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) after I retire?
This benefit is available up to three months after your retirement date.  You may contact ACI for assistance at 800-932-0034.

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What is the difference between a primary and a contingent beneficiary?
Your contingent beneficiary comes into play only in the event that the primary beneficiary has predeceased them.

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Do I lose my life insurance benefit when I retire?
The County provides $20,000 of life and accidental death & dismemberment insurance for all benefited-employees, as well as a $1,000 benefit for those beneficiaries who are covered under your health insurance plan.  You will retain this benefit as a retiree for as long as you are covered under the County’s Retiree Health Benefit Program.  However, the benefit does drop to $13,000 at age 65, and once again to $7,000 at age 70.

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Can I name more than one beneficiary to my life insurance?
Yes.  You may name as many primary beneficiaries as you want, as long as you indicate the desired percentage of distribution.  For example, if you name two children, you may want to show that each of them is entitled to 50% of the benefit.  You may also list contingent beneficiaries as well.

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How does the $1,000 beneficiary benefit work?
The County provides $1,000 of life insurance for dependents who are carried on the participant’s health insurance plan. In the event a dependent dies while on the participant’s insurance, the participant would receive $1,000 in life insurance.

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Can only family members be named as the beneficiary to my life insurance?
You can name anyone as your beneficiary, regardless of your relationship.  However, if you name a minor, the life insurance company will typically place the benefit in a Trust until that minor turns 18 years of age.

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What if I predecease my spouse? Will they still be entitled to any beneficiary benefit?
No, not unless they are eligible to enroll onto the retiree insurance.  In that case, they would have the $1,000 life insurance benefit for as long as they remain on the plan.

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Can I add and/or delete a dependent when I transfer to a Retiree Health Plan?
You may add or delete a dependent at this time since the Retiree Plans are not subject to the Section 125 Internal Revenue Code restrictions (premiums are now post-tax).

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Can I change my health plan upon retirement?
Yes.  Retirement is considered a qualifying life event so you are able to change health plans at this time.  You may also change plans during any Open Enrollment period (mid-May to mid-June for a July 1 effective date).

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Am I required to receive care only from contracted providers?

If you are on the HMO, you must receive care only from the physicians, hospitals and other health care providers that have contracted to provide services for Hometown Health. 

If you are on the Self-funded PPO, you will receive a better rate if you use contracted providers, but you do have flexibility.  If you permanently reside more than 50 miles from a PPO provider, you may use the doctor of your choice and it will be covered at the usual and customary allowance.



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What if I want to continue my dental insurance when I retire?
Although dental insurance is an optional coverage and not part of your Retiree Health Benefit, you may purchase this coverage for yourself and your dependents at your cost.  The monthly premiums are posted on the Human Resources website and are updated annually.

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How much would it cost to add my dependent?
Current insurance rates can be found under the Benefits section on the Washoe County Retirees webpage.

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Do the Washoe County health plans include prescription drug coverage?

Yes.  By visiting one of the websites below, you can identify which drugs are available on your specific plan, how much they cost, and the applicable co-payment:

• Self-funded PPO:  www.caremark.com (or call 1-800-638-5796)

• Hometown Health HMO:  www.hometownhealth.com (or call 775-982-3232)



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What is the GAP Plan?

The GAP Plan was first introduced in FY 10/11 and is available in conjunction with the Hometown Health HMO Plan only.  Washoe County pays the cost of the GAP plan for all employees enrolled in the HMO; however, it is an elective coverage for dependents and employees are responsible for those premiums.  Provided by American Fidelity, the GAP Plan is designed to reimburse the following out-of-pocket expenses up to:

• $1,000 per inpatient hospital confinement

• $200 for certain outpatient services

• $25 for non-routine doctors visits (limit of $125 per family per year)

 For more information about the GAP Plan including rates or how to enroll/delete a dependent, you must contact American Fidelity directly at 775-829-1313.  Dependent coverage is not administered through Washoe County Health Benefits.



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If I am responsible for any premiums, how will the deductions work with my PERS check?
You will receive your pension check through PERS at the end of each month, and premiums are deducted one month in advance.  So the deduction coming out of January’s PERS check is for February’s premium; February’s deduction pays for March’s premium, etc.  When you first retire, you will be responsible for submitting your portion of the first month’s insurance premium to Human Resources along with the completed Retiree Health Benefits application.  The exact amounts (which are sometimes pro-rated) will be calculated for you by our Benefits Specialist.

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What is the Medicare Advantage Plan?
The HMO Medicare Advantage Plan was added to the Washoe County Retiree Health Benefits Program in FY 10/11.  The coverage is provided through Senior Care Plus, and is available only to those retirees and their dependents with both Medicare parts A and B.  This plan is a great option for those retirees who are receiving only a partial premium benefit from Washoe County and/or who are covering dependents. Please note that enrollment occurs only on the first of each month.

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How do I find out more information about the Medicare Advantage Plan?
You may contact the Enrollment Specialist at Senior Care Plus at 775-982-3282.

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What if I do not want to make any changes to my insurance when I retire?
You will still need to complete a new Retiree Health Benefits Program Application form to enroll in the County’s Retiree Health Benefits Program.  If you do not submit a new application, the assumption will be made that you do not wish to continue your health insurance through Washoe County and your insurance will terminate as of your last day of employment. 

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What if I do not want to make any changes to my insurance during Open Enrollment?
If you do not wish to make any changes to your insurance plan during the annual Open Enrollment period, you do not need to complete a new form. 

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What if I am retiring out of the area?
If you are starting your new life as a retiree outside of Washoe County, you will qualify only for the self-funded PPO plan since the HMO network consists of local providers only. Please update your contact information with Health Benefits any time you change your address, and remember that if you move out of the local area in the future, it may be necessary to change your choice of health plans.

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How do I find out if my doctor is a provider on my plan?

If you are on the Self-funded PPO, go to www.uhnppo.com.  Enter your provider’s name and click search.  Or you may contact Universal Health Care directly at 775-356-1159.

If you are on the Hometown Health HMO, go to www.hometownhealth.com.  Click on provider directory, choose HMO Plan, enter the provider’s name and click search.  Or you may contact Hometown Health Customer Service at 775-982-3232.



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I see preventative and routine medical care is now covered at 100%. What exactly does this include?

For a full description of what services meet the definition of preventative and routine medical care, please refer to your plan summary or contact your plan administrator directly:

• Self-funded PPO participants may contact CDS Customer Service at 775-352-6900.

• Hometown Health HMO participants may contact their Customer Service at 775-982-3232.



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How do I find out more about the plans offered through the Retiree Health Benefits Program?
We strongly encourage all retirees to attend one of the Open Enrollment meetings scheduled each year during the month of May.  If for some reason you cannot attend, you may contact our Benefits Specialist, Kristie Harmon, at  775-328-2079 to set up an appointment. 

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When will I receive my pay-off check and can it be separate from my normal check?
Separate checks are not issued for pay-offs; you will receive your final check on a normal payday.

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Can I do a one-time only deferral into my Mass Mutual account from my last check?
Yes.  You will need to contact the local Mass Mutual Account Representative at 855-553-2177, for the change form which must then be forwarded to Payroll at least ten days prior to your retirement. 

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What if I want to stop a voluntary deduction prior to my last check?
You need to notify the Comptroller’s (Payroll) in writing or by e-mail at least ten days prior to your retirement date to insure your requested changes can be made.

Office of the Comptroller, P O Box 11130, Reno NV  89520-0027; email: payroll@washoecounty.us

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When I receive my vacation, sick and/or compensation payoff, how will it be taxed?
Washoe County is a biweekly payer; all checks are taxed biweekly.  Please consult your tax advisor for advice.

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The Learning Center
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I attended a class not offered by the Learning Center but I want to add it to my transcript. How do I do that? (3rd Party classes)

1. On the Flipside/Intranet http://eww/, enter your User ID and password.

2. Click on the "View your student information" link.

3. Under Additional Pages:  click on the "Add 3rd Party Courses".

4. Fill out the information including checking the "Completed" box.

5. Click the "Process" box.



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How do I see what classes are being offered? Are there classes on the schedule more than 90 days from now?

You do not need to login to the Learning Center to browse classes.  On the Flipside/Intranet http://eww/, mouse over the Training Tab, Learning Center and click on Upcoming Classes or Browse The Catalog.

Upcoming Classes shows classes being offered within the next 90 days.  Select a class to view date, time, location, class description and how many seats are available as well as the option to register for the class.

Browse the Catalog has the options of viewing an alphabetical listing of the classes or classes listed by category.

The alphabetical listing shows all of the classes that may be offered by the Learning Center.  Click on a class and you will be given a description of the class and a listing of the sessions available including the date, time, and how many seats are available as well as the option to register for the class.  If there is no class currently being offered, it will show "No Session".  There are Technology Training classes that will show contact information if you have a specific question.

The "Courses, by Category" lists classes required to fulfill certain certificate programs and classes that will support the development of a particular core competency.



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I've completed all the required classes for a certificate program. What do I need to do to get my EPS completion certificate?

1.  Upon completion of courses listed for each program, you may request your completion certificate by providing a copy of the completed index page from the EPS certificate program binder.  You may email it to hrtraining@washoecounty.us, fax it to 328-6119 or send it interoffice mail to HR Training.

2. You will receive an email invitation to attend the next EPS Certificate Presentation on the 2nd Tuesday of each month BCC meeting.  You will be awarded a certificate by the Washoe County Board of County Commissioners at this public meeting.



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How do I drop a class?

1. On the Flipside/Intranet http://eww/, enter your User ID and password.

2. Click on the "View your student information" link.

3.  Under the Current Courses tab, click on the class you wish to drop. 

4.  Click on the "Drop Me" button.

5.   You will receive an auto generated email confirming you have successfully dropped the class.



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I made mistake on a class I added as a third party class to my transcript. How do I fix it?

1. On the Flipside/Intranet http://eww/, enter your User ID and password.

2. Click on the "View your student information" link.

3. Under Additional Pages:  click on the "Add 3rd Party Courses".

4. Select the class you want to edit from the list above Choose Course.  Make your edits. 

5. Click the "Process" box.



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I've transferred to a new department. How do I update my Learning Center profile?

1. On the Flipside/Intranet http://eww/, enter your User ID and password.

2. Click on the "Edit your settings" link.

3. Update your information.  If you are updating your department and your department has divisions, select the new division under the department from the drop down list and it will update the department as well as the division.  If your department doesn't have division, select the department from the drop down list.

4.  Click the "Process" button.



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How do I enroll in the Learning Center?

1. If you are a Washoe County employee, go to the Flipside/Intranet at http://eww/ - click on the "register online" link - Complete the information.         

TIP:  Your SAP number is your employee/personnel number and can be found on your payroll stub.

2. Click on the Process button.

3. A screen will appear that announces you were successful!



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I need a particular class to complete my certificate program, but I don’t see it on the schedule. How often are the classes offered?

The Learning Center offers all the classes in the certificate programs at least once a year.  Many classes are offered 2 times a year. 

If there is a class you need to complete a certificate program and haven't seen it on the schedule, contact hrtraining@washoecounty.us.



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I forgot my log in and/or password. How do I find my login information?

In the event you have forgotten your User ID and/or Password, there is a login lookup by full email address available on the WC Learning Center login page.  An auto-generated email will be sent with your login information.

If you do not receive an email within 5 minutes, please contact HR Training at 328-2091 or email: hrtraining@washoecounty.us.



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How do I register for a class?

1.  On the Flipside/Intranet http://eww/, enter your User ID and password.

2.  Mouse over the Training Tab, Learning Center and click on Upcoming Classes.

3.  Click on a class from the list, click on the "Register Me" button.

4.  You will receive an auto generated email confirming you have successfully registered for the class.



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How do I get a copy of my Learning Center transcript?

1. On the Flipside/Intranet http://eww/, enter your User ID and password.

2. Click on the "View your student information" link.

3. Click on the "View Transcript".  You may print directly from this page.

4. To create an electronic copy of your transcript, highlight the page and save it in Word. 

5. You may open each class and have the full class description show on your transcript.



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Juvenile Services

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Common Laws
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Certain Penalties for Destruction of Property -Graffiti

Juveniles arrested or cited for Destruction of Property-Graffiti are subject to probation supervision, fines, Driver's License suspension, restitution to the victim, and community service or work crew. For more information please see Nevada Revised Statute 62E.690 and 206.330



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Certain provisions for DUI and Juveniles

Consequences for Driving Under the Influence include probation supervision, driver's license suspensions, fines, community service or work crew, substance abuse evaluation, and DUI school. For more information please see Nevada Revised Statute 62E.640



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Minor in Possession, Consumption of Alcohol

In Nevada, it is against the law for youth under the age of 21 to buy, consume or possess alcohol.  Juveniles arrested or cited for this offense may be subject to probation supervision, driver's license suspensions, fines, community service or work crew, and substance abuse evaluations. For more information please see Nevada Revised Statute 62E.630 and 62E.620



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Certain provisions for Possession of Marijuana

It is against the law to buy, consume or possess marijuana.  Juveniles arrested or cited for this offense may be subject to probation supervision, driver's license suspensions, fines, community service or work crew, and substance abuse evaluations. For more information please see Nevada Revised Statute 62E.620 



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Status Offenses
The charges of Runaway, Incorrigible and CHINS (Child in Need of Supervision) are all considered Status Offenses meaning that they only apply to juveniles.  Federal Law mandates that Status Offenders may not be sheltered with Delinquent Offenders.  For more information regarding services for Status Offenders, please refer to the Intake Unit.

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Truancy Law

If a child habitually is truant from school, he/she may be subject to penalties as stated per Nevada Revised Statute.  Truancy citations may result in fines, community service or work crew and driver's license suspensions.  For more information regarding services for Truants, please refer to Intake Unit and Nevada Revised Statute 62E.430



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What are the curfew rules for juveniles
CITY OF RENO CURFEW SECTION 8.16.010
 
Minor means any person under eighteen (18) years of age:
 
A copy of the City of Reno Curfew Ordinance, which became effective March 15, 1996, is attached for your review.
 
CITY OF SPARKS CURFEW SECTION 9.60.010
 
Minor means any person under eighteen (18) years of age:
 
11:00 p.m. on any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until 6:00 a.m. of the following day; and
 
Friday - Midnight (Violation = 12:01 a.m. - 5:00 a.m. Saturday morning)
 
Saturday - Midnight (Violation = 12:01 a.m. - 5:00 a.m. Sunday morning)
 
WASHOECOUNTY(UNINCORPORATED AREA)
 
 
CURFEW SECTION 50.172:  Minors under sixteen (16) years of age:
 
11:00 p.m.  and 5:00 a.m. any night preceding a school day, and between midnight and 5:00 a.m. on any other day.
 
CURFEW SECTION 50.174:  Minors between sixteen (16) and eighteen (18) years of age:
 
Midnight and 5:00 a.m. any night preceding a school day, and between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. on any other day.
 
CURFEW DRIVING LAW N.R.S. 484.466:  Effective October 1, 2005.
 
Drivers under 18 years of age may not drive between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless they are traveling to or from a scheduled event such as school events or work.  Law enforcement may ask for satisfactory evidence of the event.  This applies to all drivers under the age of 18 years old until they turn 18 years old, regardless of when the license was issued.
 
This curfew offense will require an appearance in Juvenile Traffic Court.


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Courts and Records
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What is the difference between juvenile and adult court process?

The main difference between the Juvenile and Adult systems is the concept of rehabilitation. Washoe County Juvenile Services is committed to helping youthful offenders better themselves by offering a multitude of services and accountability. While community protection is of the utmost importance, youthful offenders are an important part of that community and as such deserve all the resources available to them. 

Learn more about juvenile case processing or JDAI (Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative) within our department.



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Can I request a copy of my juvenile record?

The Department of Juvenile Services, upon completion of a Release of Juvenile Legal History form, can only provide the legal history to the requesting person, if they are 18 years or older.  If the requestor is under the age of 18 the youth's parents or legal guardians need to complete the form.  Forms are available at Jan Evans Juvenile Justice Center.  All forms must be notarized prior to or at time of submission (free notary services are available at Juvenile Services).  Please allow up to two weeks to process these requests. 

If you need more detailed juvenile records, such as police reports you will need to contact the Self Help Center at washoecourts.com to request a court order for release of this information.



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My child was arrested and I would like a copy of the police report?

Due to confidentiality, police reports cannot be released by this department. You may however contact the District Attorney`s office at 328-3200 to request a copy.



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What time and day is court held?

We have several types of court hearings at the Jan Evans Juvenile Justice Center.

Detention Hearings:

If a youth was arrested and detained they are required by law to have a hearing before the Juvenile Court the following business day to determine if they will remain detained in Wittenberg Hall or if they can be released, or released on house arrest or electronic monitoring.  Detention hearings are held:

Monday through Thursday - beginning at 2:00 pm.
Friday's - beginning at 11:00 am.

Juvenile Traffic Court:

If a youth has received a citation for a minor traffic offense, they will be summoned to appear with one or both parents before the Juvenile Traffic Master.  The hearings are held throughout the business week.  The summons sent to you will have the date and time you need to appear at Juvenile Traffic Court.  If you have lost your paperwork, contact our Juvenile Traffic Office at 325-7901.

Juvenile Court Hearing and Trials:

All other court hearings or trails are set by the Juvenile Court.  Court is held every business day. If you have lost your paperwork, contact your assigned probation officer at 325-7800.  It is your responsibility to attend your court hearing. There are no excuses allowed for missing court.



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What happens to my juvenile record?

Most juvenile records are confidential and cannot be accessed by others. Juvenile records can be sealed under certain circumstances. If you would like further information please see visit the Public Defender's  website. 



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Detention
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How much does it cost if my child is detained at Wittenberg Hall?

Once a youth is arrested and detained, the parent/guardian is charged $30.00 a day until the initial detention hearing. Detention hearings occur within 24 hours each day Monday through Friday.  There are no detention hearings on the weekend or Holidays. Once the initial detention hearing has occurred and the youth remains in detention, the parent is no longer responsible for payment.

If your child is arrested and authorized for release, but you refuse custody of your child the cost per day is $100.75.



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Are medical services available to my child while in detention?

Once your child is detained, you will be asked to sign a Health Consent Waiver which authorizes a health assessment by our medical staff. For more information please visit our Wittenberg Medical Page.



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What if I refuse to pick up my child?

Once your child has been authorized for release, it is important that you do so. Wittenberg Hall is designed to house only those juveniles that meet detention criteria. Please be assured, whether cited or arrested, the juvenile will be seen by a Probation Officer or Case Manager. See Juvenile Case Process page. However, if you refuse to pick up your child once he/she has been authorized for release, you will be charged $100.75 per day until the initial detention hearing. If you have questions please call 325-7801.



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Can I bring my child on a tour of Wittenberg?

Due to the confidential nature of our facility, tours are not available for the general public.



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What are the detention center visiting requirements?

Complete visiting requirements can be found on our Visitation page.



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Why do I have to come get my child?

The purpose of detention is to keep the community secure from high risk offenders. It is not to "teach a lesson". National studies have shown that incarceration is not the answer. If you have been told you must pick up your child, it is because your child has not met the risk criteria to stay detained. Please be assured however, that your child's case will be dealt with in a timely fashion by either a Probation Officer or Case Manager.  Visit our Juvenile Case Process page. If you have further question please call 325-7801

Please be aware if your child is arrested and authorized for release, but you refuse custody of your child the cost per day is $100.75.



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Early Intervention
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Can I give up custody of my child?

Giving up custody of your child comes with some serious consequences.  If you would like more information, please call Washoe County Department of Social Services at 785-8600 or visit their website



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What are status offenses?

Status offenses are offenses that would not apply to an adult such as, Runaway, CHINS (Child in Need of Supervision), Incorrigible, Curfew and Truancy.  Please see our Early Intervention page for more information.



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What happens after my child has been arrested or cited?

Please visit our Case Process page.



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Where can I get help with my child

Our Department offers assistance to parents through Early Intervention at 325-7801, or Intake Unit Online Referral form.  



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Emancipation
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What about conflicts with parents?

Young people often have conflicts and disagreements with their parents, but if a minor thinks his/her problem cannot be resolved and has tried every option, emancipation might be a solution. This is a serious undertaking, and the court will look carefully at each petition. The judge considers whether this emancipation is in the minor's "best interest".



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What if minor no longer wants to be emancipated?

Emancipation cannot be canceled, but it may be declared void if it can be proven that the minor cannot support him/herself, or that he/she gave false information in the petition.



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What are the rights and responsibilities of an emancipated minor?
  • minor may enter into contracts such as rental agreements, loans and credit agreements
  • minor can sue or be sued because in the eyes of the law, the minor is an adult
  • minor may go to the doctor of his/her choice and parents will not have to sign for the minor 


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What are other considerations concerning emancipation?

Emancipation has advantages and disadvantages. These must be considered when a minor makes a decision. If possible, the minor should discuss emancipation with his/her parents, guardians, probation officer or social worker before filing a petition with the court.

For more information please call Washoe Legal Services at 329-2727.



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What is emancipation

Most minors, juveniles between the ages of 8 and 18, are under the control of their parents, stepparents or guardian. The parent is responsible for the minor. A minor 16 years or older can request that the court order that he or she be responsible for him/herself. This process is called emancipation. If the court agrees, the minor is emancipated. The minor then has the ability to do some things he/she couldn't do before. However, the emancipated minor also has certain responsibilities minors usually do not have since their parents or guardians no longer are responsible for the minor.



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What is the court process for emancipation?
  • Complete emancipation paperwork and file it with the court clerk
  • Pay filing fees and process service fees
  • Send a notice to parents/guardians and the District Attorney's office


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What is the documentation needed for emancipation?
  • Current school records
  • Work Records (paycheck stubs, letters from employers)
  • Apartment lease or letter from your landlord
  • Budgets showing your income and expenses


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What standards will the court require for emancipation?

Home: the minor must be living apart from parents or legal guardian.  Parents or guardian should agree to the minor living away from home.

Work: the minor must show that he/she has a job that pays enough to live by showing payroll receipts, or other proof of employment.  It helps if the minor has had a job for at least 60-90 days. The court may permit a responsible adult over the age of 18, such as a brother, sister, aunt or uncle to prove they are assisting the minor by contributing to his/her support. The court may also consider other sources of income such as Social Security Child's benefits, insurance proceeds or an inheritance.

Income: the minor must show the court that he/she can live, get around, eat and clothe him/herself. Some examples are having a checking or saving account, paying rent and utilities, having a credit card and making payments on time.



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What things DO NOT change for an emancipated minor?
  • minor cannot buy liquor, beer or wine until the age of 21
  • minor cannot work as a dealer in a casino until the age of 21
  • minor cannot get married without parental consent 
  • minor cannot drop out of school unless 18 years of age or, if under 18, only with written permission from the school board to withdraw
  • if minor commits a crime he/she will be initially treated as a juvenile, unless charged with murder or attempted murder. If that is the case, he/she will be treated as an adult. If the crime is serious, and the court believes he/she cannot be helped by the juvenile system, the minor may be certified for trial as an adult. The same rules apply to emancipated minors and other juveniles. This will be the judge's decision.


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Other
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Where can I get a copy of the Community Service form.

This form is to be used to log your community service ordered by the Court, Probation Office or Case Manager. Please keep in mind that only NON-PROFIT organizations can be used for community service. For clarification, that means the organization has Non-Profit status, not just that you do not get paid for the work.

Community Service form.



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What resources are available for my family
There are many resources available in the community to help families and children. This resource list doesn't list every available resource however it is a good place to start.

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How can my child get a work permit?

Nevada Revised Statutes do not require that youth age fourteen (14) and over to have work permits.  NRS does require that youth under fourteen (14) have permission from the District Court Judge.  Further information regarding juvenile work permits can be located in Nevada Revised Statutes, Chapter 609.  If your child's employer requires a Juvenile Work Permit, please contact the Family Self Help Center at (775)-325-6731.



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When and Where is Work Program
Work Program This is a community service program supervised by Juvenile Services. The program takes place on the weekends during the school year and during the week while youth are on summer break. The program operates from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. Youth are responsible for reporting to 650 Ferrari-McLeod, each and every scheduled day. If there is an emergency, a parent/guardian must call 325-7919, before 7:30 am on every scheduled day. In addition, the Probation Officer/Case Manager must be called to reschedule the missed days.

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Traffic
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Certain provisions for DUI and Juveniles

Consequences for Driving Under the Influence include probation supervision, driver's license suspensions, fines, community service or work crew, substance abuse evaluation, and DUI school. For more information please see Nevada Revised Statute 62E.640



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Can I pay a traffic fine instead of coming to court?

No, you must first appear before the Traffic Master at your scheduled time. At least one parent is required to accompany their child. If a fine is imposed, there are many options for payment. Please see our financial obligations page.



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When and Where is Juvenile Traffic School?

Juvenile Traffic School is held at the Jan Evans Juvenile Justice Center, 650 Ferrari-Mcleod, Reno, NV. It is held on scheduled Wednesdays from 3:15 to 6:30 pm. Please check in at 3 pm. Classes are facilitated by Nevada Highway Patrol. There is no charge for this class. Late comers will not be admitted.



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Library

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About the Library
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Does the library have Accelerated Reader™ or other reading lists for schools in Washoe County?

Accelerated Reader™ (AR) is a reading program used by Washoe County School District (WCSD) to monitor and assess the reading skills of students. Other schools in Washoe County, including private schools, may use the Scholastic Reading Counts! (SRC) or other programs.

Each WCSD school either produces a list of available AR titles, or subscribes to a service allowing students to take a test for any AR title. Some schools’ lists can run 100 pages or more. Students at schools participating in Scholastic’s SRC program will be able to take tests for all titles available through that service.

Washoe County Library System does not provide or maintain AR or SRC lists, but we do have many of the books available for checkout. Please contact your child’s school directly for a copy of that school’s list.

Washoe County School District | Accelerated Reader™ Book Finder | Scholastic Reading Counts! Book Expert



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Does the library offer computer classes?

The library offers free basic classes that can help you to learn to use a computer, email, and the Internet. Get more information about classes and self-guided learning resources here, or call 775-327-8312.



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Can I FAX or scan at the library?

The following Libraries offer free public FAX service to local and toll free numbers only: Downtown Reno, Duncan/Traner, Incline Village, North Valleys, Northwest Reno, Senior Center, Sierra View, South Valleys, Spanish Springs, and Sparks. Long-distance service may be available with a prepaid calling card.

Document scanning is available at the Downtown Reno, Incline Village, North Valleys, Northwest Reno, Senior Center, Sierra View, South Valleys, Spanish Springs, and Sparks Libraries. You should bring a flash drive to store your scanned documents; flash drives may be available for purchase at the library.



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Does the Library offer free wireless Internet access?
Free wireless internet access is available at the Downtown Reno, Incline Village, North Valleys, Northwest Reno, Senior Center, Sierra View, South Valleys, Spanish Springs and Sparks Libraries.

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How do I donate books or other items to the library?
Washoe County Library and the Friends of Washoe County Library welcome donations of books and audiovisual materials. Get more information here.

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How do I get email notification of my holds at the Library?
You may choose to be notified of available holds by phone or email. Set your notification preferences by logging in to your account and selecting the Messaging tab.

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Does the library have a copy of my high school yearbook, or is it available online?

Washoe County Library System does not include local high school yearbooks in our collection, either in physical or electronic form. The library or alumni association for your high school may have copies of yearbooks.

Some subscription-based websites, including classmates.com and e-yearbook.com, may provide electronic access to yearbooks from some local schools, but coverage may be limited and access requires a paid subscription.

Contact information for local public high schools may be found at www.washoeschools.net.



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Can I see a list of all the DVDs/CDs/Books the library owns?

Unfortunately, those types of lists are too long to print, but you can use the online catalog to generate an extensive list that can be narrowed down by criteria of your choosing.

Start at the advanced search page in the library's online catalog. Select one or more item types and click Search.

To view the newest items first, select "Acquisition Date: Newest to oldest" from the sorting menu. To get a list of movies, use the subject search for "Feature Films."



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Can I keep my books longer? What happens if my books are late?

If you keep library materials beyond the end of the lending period, your books will begin to accrue overdue fines. Library items may be returned to any branch of Washoe County Library, regardless of which branch they were checked out from.

Most branches have an after-hours book drop. Books returned when the library is closed will be checked in as if they had been returned on the last open day. Check with your branch for drop slot availability and location.

Materials may be renewed twice after being checked out, unless an item has been placed on hold for another patron. You may renew your items online, in person, or over the phone. You will need your library card, but it is not necessary that you bring the books to be renewed to the library.

Overdue items may be renewed to stop the accrual of fines, but fines will be charged for the number of days that the item is overdue.

Fines accrue at 25 cents per day per item for adults and 10 cents per day per item for patrons under 18.



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What can I do if I lose an item?

Most of the time, you may replace a lost item by purchasing an item from the library's Amazon Wishlist. Once you've purchased an item from the wishlist, it will be automatically delivered to the library. In order to receive credit for the lost item on your account, print and bring the receipt to any branch of Washoe County Library to have your account updated. Visit www.washoecountylibrary.us/about/support.php to get started.



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Where can I get something notarized?
The library does not offer a notary public. Free notary service is available at the City of Reno Clerk's office at City Hall, 1 East First Street. Additionally, your bank may provide free notary service to account holders - contact your bank for more information. Many shipping and copying businesses also offer access to a notary public for a fee.

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What is the PIN for my library account?
Unless you specified otherwise, your PIN is the last four digits of the primary phone number on your library account. When entering your library card number, be sure to enter the entire 14-digit number without any spaces. For further assistance please call or visit any library branch.

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How do I reserve library materials? Is there a waiting list for popular items?

When searching the library catalog, just click the "place hold" link in search results or when viewing an item's details. The next available copy will be sent your specified location and you will be notified when your item is available.

If an item is checked in and you want to pick it up the same day, please call the library with the item and ask that it be held for you at will-call.

You will need your library card number and PIN to place a hold.



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How can I start borrowing from the library?

All you need to get a Washoe County Library card is proof of Nevada residency and a photo ID. There is no charge. Get a card here.

You will need your library card or photo ID to check out. You will be given a receipt showing the due date for each item borrowed.

You may check out as many items as you wish to be responsible for, with the exception of limits on certain smaller collections and audiovisual materials.

The loan period for most books, magazines, and audiobooks is three weeks. Books from the "Lucky Day" collection and items borrowed from other libraries check out for two weeks. Most DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, and music CDs is one week.

Bags are usually available, but it is always helpful to bring your own if you think you will need it!



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What is the law on ... ?

Library staff are prohibited by law from giving any legal advice or interpretations. The Washoe County Law Library is available to the public as a resource for legal research. You may want to consult the Nevada Revised Statutes, Washoe County Code, or the municipal codes of Reno and Sparks.

Many books about legal topics are available in the library's print and electronic collections, including popular legal titles from Nolo Press.



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Genealogy
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How can I arrange a search of Reno telephone books or city directories?

The Downtown Reno Library has current and historical issues of area telephone and city directories. If you are in the area, you may visit us to use these resources.

To request a search, call 775-327-8312 or send us a message. Be sure to include your name and preferred contact information, and give us as much information as you can about your request (names, dates, any part of the address you know, etc.).



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Where can I find genealogy information in the Reno/Sparks area?

The Downtown Reno Library holds limited resources that may be useful for genealogy research. These include local city directories and telephone books, clipping files, and a complete collection of Reno newspapers on microfilm. Please contact us for guidance on your specific need.

The Reno Family History Center is a branch of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The Center provides access to most of the microfilms and microfiche in the Family History Library to help patrons identify their ancestors. Also available are subscription databases, print materials, and trained volunteers to assist in your research.



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How can I find local obituaries?

There are several sources to locate a local obituary, depending on when it was printed.

Newspaper Archive contains full pages of both the Reno Evening Gazette and Nevada State Journal for most years from the 1870's through 1977. This database is available only at the Downtown Reno and Sparks Libraries. This database includes other historical newspapers from around the U.S. and the world.

The library's online catalog includes an index to Reno newspaper obituaries printed from mid-1962 through September 2007. To search for an obituary citations in that index, search the deceased's name as a subject using the advanced search interface. This is an index to help locate an obituary and you will not be able to view the obituary itself in the catalog. When you have a date and page number, you can find the obituary using microfilm, or contact us for assistance. Please note, the index does not include obituaries from the Sparks Tribune.

Obituaries appearing from 1999 to present are available in full-text with your Washoe County Library card in the Proquest Reno Gazette-Journal database. You can usually find it by simply typing the name of the deceased into the search box. If the name is very common, you may want to limit by date if you know approximately when the obituary would have appeared in the newspaper, to avoid too many irrelevant results.

Very recent obituaries are available online through the Reno Gazette-Journal by clicking on "Obits" (provided through Legacy.com, a national obituary listing website).

If none of the options above work for you, the Downtown Reno Library holds a complete collection of Reno newspapers on microfilm. The Sparks Library also holds a significant span of Reno newspapers as well as the Sparks Tribune (1977-2007) on microfilm. These can be used in person any time during normal hours of operation.

If you require assistance using any of these resources or need help retrieving an obituary, please contact us.



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How can I find information about Nevada birth/marriage/death records?

The Downtown Reno Library has microfiche records listing all divorces and marriages reported to the Nevada State Division of Health, beginning in 1968. The records are complete through August, 2005.

To request a search of these records, call 775-327-8312 or send us a message. Be sure to include your name and preferred contact information, plus the name(s) you want searched and if known, the date and location of marriage.

Nevada birth and death certificates are available to qualified applicants from the State of Nevada's Office of Vital Statistics. Please visit their page for more information. For birth and death records in Washoe County, contact the Washoe County Health District.

For information on marriage certificates (aka Proof of Marriage), contact the Washoe County Recorder's Office. You can also search a limited range of marriage records on their website.

For information on obtaining a certified copy of a Decree of Divorce granted in Washoe County, please visit the Washoe County Courts website.

To search or order Clark County (Las Vegas) marriage records, please visit the Clark County Recorder's website.



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Medical Examiner

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Do I Have to Pay for the Autopsy of a Loved One?

No.  Autopsies performed under the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner’s jurisdiction are free of charge.  Cases referred to the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner's Office from other counties incur fees which are the responsibility of the referring county.



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Can I Have a Copy of an Autopsy or Examination Report?

Copies of autopsy and toxicology reports, when completed, are available to legal next-of-kin, attending physicians, any person who (by subpoena) seeks information for use in a judicial proceeding, and law enforcement as may be required to carry our their official duties.  Please complete the form below and send it, and a copy of a photo ID, to the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner's Office.  Requests may be submitted by mail or fax.  Examination reports generally take ten to twelve weeks to complete.

A fee of $25.00 per report is required for all records.  A fee of $50.00 per report is required for archived records stored off-site (10 or more years old). 

Legal next-of-kin may obtain one autopsy and toxicology report at no charge.  

Autopsy and Toxicology Report Request Form



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How Can I Get a Copy of a Death Certificate?

The Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner's Office does not issue Death Certificates.

Death Certificates, when completed, may be obtained through the Washoe County District Health Department, Vital Statistics Section (775-328-2455), or the State of Nevada Office of Vital Statistics (775-684-4242).

Depending on the circumstances of death and type of investigation, Death Certificates may require ten to twelve weeks for completion.



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What is the Difference Between a Medical Examiner and a Coroner?

Medical Examiners and Coroners are distinct titles referring to individuals who complete somewhat similar or overlapping roles, but have very different histories and current-day training and qualifications.

Coroners have existed for centuries, with the term originally referring to the "Crowner", whose job was to ensure that upon death the appropriate taxes were paid to the King (Crown). Modern coroners inquire into the cause and manner of a death, and often complete the death certificate. Across the U.S., coroners are usually elected laypersons who may or may not have medical training, depending on local statutes. Coroners may also be appointed, again depending on statutes, and may also have roles such as law enforcement or prosecuting attorney. Coroners are frequently not pathologists, and therefore must obtain the services of a forensic pathologist, often by contract, for autopsies and medical expertise to support the coroner's investigations.  In this region, the Sheriff and Sheriff’s deputies serve as coroners in the rural California and Nevada counties and refer cases for postmortem examinations at the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner's Office.  Our office serves 13 Nevada and 5 California counties. 

Medical Examiner systems, by contrast, usually do not include a Coroner.  Medical Examiners are generally not elected, but appointed to their positions, and are always physicians, usually forensic pathologists, who have specialized training in death investigation.  Medical Examiners can manage a medicolegal death investigation office, perform death investigations, complete autopsies, interpret toxicology and other laboratory testing results, collect and document evidence, and provide expert testimony.  The Medical Examiner system therefore is considered by many to be a modern, streamlined approach to death investigation, and the likely future trend of death investigation in the U.S.  Over half of the U.S. population is currently served by Medical Examiner systems. 

Washoe County converted its Coroner system to a Medical Examiner system in 2007, by county ordinance.  Nevada Revised Statutes require that each county have a Coroner, but leave the details of the death investigation system to the counties to determine.  The Washoe County Chief Medical Examiner also holds the appointed title of Coroner; however, the office functions as a Medical Examiner office.



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What is the Difference Between Cause of Death and Manner of Death?

Cause of death is what a person died of.

Manner of death is how the death occurred. It can be described by one of five different terms:  natural, accident, suicide, homicide, and undetermined (with the last reserved for cases in which the circumstances are unknown or unclear). 



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What is a Forensic Pathologist and What Certifications are Required?

A Forensic Pathologist is a licensed medical doctor who, following medical school, has completed additional post-graduate residency training in pathology (Anatomic Pathology, or Anatomic and Clinical Pathology) and a post-graduate fellowship training program in Forensic Pathology.  The entire period of education and training for a Forensic Pathologist following high school is currently a minimum of 13 years (4-year college degree, 4-year medical school degree, 4-year residency, 1-year fellowship).  After completion of residency and fellowship training, a pathologist is eligible to sit for examinations offered by the American Board of Pathology.  Following successful completion of the various subject-area exams, the pathologist becomes board-certified in those areas of expertise.  Board certification is a marker of competence and training, and allows the public to be confident in the skills of the physician.

The Chief Medical Examiner and all other full-time or part-time forensic pathologists employed by the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner's Office are certified by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic Pathology and Forensic Pathology.  Many also hold other ABP certifications such as Clinical Pathology.



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What are Your Hours of Operation?
The front office is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm.  The office is closed on all major holidays.

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Where is the Medical Examiner's Office Located?

The Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner's Office is located at 990 East Ninth Street in Reno, Nevada.



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What is the Medical Examiner's role in Organ and Tissue Donation?

A goal of the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner's Office is to facilitate organ and tissue donation for the benefit of the family of the deceased and the community in cases in which the next of kin desires and consents to organ and/or tissue donation.  We have strong community partnerships with organ and tissue procurement agencies, and work collaboratively for the benefit of all.

Organ donation typically occurs in the hospital in those individuals who have suffered a devastating injury or disease process resulting in brain death or immediately following the pronouncement of cardiac death in select cases. 

Tissue donation can occur within the first 24 hours following death, whether death occurs in the hospital or elsewhere.  Tissues that may be donated include heart valves, corneas, skin, bones, and other soft tissues.

When the circumstances of death include injury, violence, or other means falling under the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner's jurisdiction, the Medical Examiner must be contacted prior to donation to approve the donation, and to ensure that any evidence collection or documentation necessary occurs prior to the donation procedure.  The Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner’s mission to preserve evidence, provide documentation of injury or disease, and ultimately, determine cause and manner of death, can be accomplished while still allowing the decedent and his/her family to make the gift of life.



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How Can I Get the Personal Effects or Currency of a Decedent?

Personal effects collected during the investigation of a death are securely store at the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner's Office.  Please contact our office to set up a time to pick up property.  

Currency collected during the investigation of a death is deposited in a special bank account controlled by Washoe County.  Upon request, a check for the full amount will be sent via mail.  This process generally takes three to four weeks.

Only the legal next-of-kin may obtain personal effects and currency of a decedent.  Photo identification must be presented for all personal effects and currency releases.



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What is Toxicology?

Toxicology is laboratory testing to identify what, if any, drugs or poisons are present in the body of a decedent.  The tests are usually performed on blood or other body fluids but can also be performed on hair and tissue.  Comprehensive testing usually requires approximately ten to twelve weeks for completion. 



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Can I view my loved One?

We do not allow viewings of decedents in our care.

To arrange a viewing, you will need to coordinate with the chosen mortuary. 



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What is an Autopsy and Can My Loved One Still Have an Open-Casket Funeral?

An autopsy is a medical examination of the body performed after death.  The term autopsy is derived from the Ancient Greek autopsia, which means “to see for oneself”.  This specialized, detailed surgical procedure allows for an in-depth examination of every organ system in the body, with the goals of documenting disease and injury, collection of evidence and specimens for additional testing, and ultimately, determining the cause of death.  All of the procedures during an autopsy are conducted with great care in order to preserve the appearance of the deceased person, and to minimize alterations of the body.  Following a typical autopsy, the body of the deceased can still be embalmed and viewed during funerary rites.  All incisions made during the autopsy are closed, and can be hidden by clothing and typical casket accoutrements during open-casket funerals. 



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What is a Forensic Pathology?

Forensic Pathology is a subspecialty of pathology focusing on disease and injury, death, and the intersection of medicine and the law. Forensic Pathologists conduct forensic autopsies, interpret the results of toxicology and other ancillary testing, and provide expert testimony in courts of law. Forensic Pathologists contribute to public health and safety through disease surveillance, statistical reporting, product safety reporting, and in aiding the successful prosecution of violent crimes.



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What is a Medical Examiner?

A Medical Examiner is a physician, usually a Forensic Pathologist. The Medical Examiner’s primary responsibility is the certification of the cause and manner of death, based on his/her expert opinion following an investigation.  The investigation may range from a review of medical records, to a complete autopsy with extensive laboratory testing, which often includes toxicology (testing for drugs, alcohol, or poisons). The report of the Medical Examiner documents the findings of the investigation, examination, and laboratory testing, and the final conclusions of the Medical Examiner (usually summed up in an Opinion). The Medical Examiner works with a team of other key individuals who assist in various ways with the investigation, administrative tasks, and autopsies. These individuals include Forensic Autopsy Technicians, Medicolegal Death Investigators, Office Specialists, Transcriptionists, and Administrators.  At the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner's Office, the management team for the office consists of a Chief Medical Examiner, two Medicolegal Death Investigator/Technician Supervisors, and an Administrative Assistant.



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What is a Medicolegal Death Investigator/Technician?

A Medicolegal Death Investigator/Technician, also sometimes referred to as a Forensic Investigator/Technician, is a trained individual who responds to the scene of death for the purpose of performing an investigation into why the person died and collecting any evidence directly related to death (such as prescription medications).  Investigators often have a four-year college degree, and may have other relevant experience in medical fields such as emergency medical technician/paramedic or law enforcement.  Specialized degree programs now exist across the U.S. offering undergraduate and Master’s degrees in forensic sciences, with some beginning to offer focus in biomedical/death investigation areas.  Certification for death investigators is available from the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI).  All of the full-time Investigator/Technicians at the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner's Office have ABMDI registry or fellow level certifications, and many of the part-time Investigators are certified or are working toward certification.  All Investigator/Technicians in the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner's Office are dual-trained as Forensic Autopsy Technicians, and can also assist the Forensic Pathologists during autopsies.



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Under What Circumstances Will an Autopsy be Performed?

The National Association of Medical Examiners’ Forensic Autopsy Performance Standards indicate that a forensic autopsy will be performed when:

  • The death is known or suspected to have been caused by apparent criminal violence.
  • The death is unexpected and unexplained in an infant or child.
  • The death is associated with police action.
  • The death is apparently non-natural and in custody of a local, state, or federal institution.
  • The death is due to acute workplace injury.
  • The death is caused by apparent electrocution.
  • The death is by apparent intoxication by alcohol, drugs, or poison, unless a significant interval has passed (while hospitalized), and the medical findings and absence of trauma are well-documented.
  • The death is caused by unwitnessed or suspected drowning.
  • The body is unidentified and the autopsy may aid in identification.
  • The body is skeletonized.
  • The body is charred.
  • The forensic pathologist deems a forensic autopsy is necessary to determine cause and/or manner of death, or document injuries/disease, or collect evidence.
  • The deceased is involved in a motor vehicle incident and an autopsy is necessary to document injuries and/or determine the cause of death.

An autopsy is not generally necessary when the death is known to be the result of known medical conditions/diseases (ie, natural causes), adequate medical history exists, and there are no signs of foul play.  In some cases, a detailed external examination may be sufficient to document injuries in cases with no pending legal issues associated.  A detailed external examination in lieu of autopsy may also be used to exclude the possibility of injuries in elderly persons who die outside of the care of a physician, with no signs of foul play, and in whom it is unreasonable to perform an autopsy due to age or the objection of the next-of-kin to autopsy. 



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Public Administrator

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What Should I Do If I Want to Name the Public Administrator as Executor In My Will?

If you do not have a family member or close friend who you feel would be able to handle the duties and responsibilities of Executor of your Will, you may give consideration to naming the Washoe County Public Administrator as your Executor.  When preparing the Will, clearly note that you name the Washoe County Public Administrator as the Executor of your Will. It is important that you notify our office in advance if possible so that we are aware of this potential appointment.



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What Fees Are Charged By The Public Administrator?

Fees are charged according to the actions taken by the Public Administrator.

  1. When the Public Administrator's Office takes action prior to Court appointment to protect the estate of an individual who dies in Washoe County, or a part of the estate, until family or a legal representative are able to take possession, he or she is entitled to fair and reasonable compensation pursuant to NRS 253.050(3). 
  2. When the Public Administrator is appointed by the Court, he or she is entitled to fair and reasonable fees and expenses in accordance with NRS 150, and as submitted to and granted by the Court.
  3. Upon payment, all compensation is subsequently paid into the Washoe County General Fund.


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What Is the Public Administrator's Involvement With Funeral Arrangements?

In general, the Washoe County Public Administrator's Office handles the personal and real property of a decedent.  The responsibility and expertise for handling the decedent and the arrangements for the decedent fall to the Washoe County Medical Examiner and/or the Mortuary. 

In situations where the Public Administrator is either appointed to administer the estate of a decedent or files an Affidavit to Administer a Small Estate, the Public Administrator may authorize payment from the estate funds to pay the funeral expenses previously arranged by family or reimburse whoever paid for the funeral arrangements in advance.  When limited funds are available in the estate, the Public Administrator may provide a referral to Washoe County Social Services who will then provide arrangements according to their policies and procedures.  The Public Administrator will reimburse Washoe County Social Services if and when sufficient funding becomes available during the administration of the estate.



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After A Loved One Dies, How Do I Handle Their Property or Estate?

It can seem overwhelming when faced with handling all of the affairs of a loved one, but if you'll take it one step at a time, you'll not only survive the process, but you'll complete the process successfully. 

Since the Washoe County Public Administrator's Office does not have attorneys on staff, we cannot and do not provide legal advice.  We can refer you to various resources who may be of assistance, but we cannot direct you or advise you what to do.

The first and strongest recommendation is to encourage you to seek out proper legal advice from a Nevada licensed probate attorney.

Depending on the gross value of the estate and the ages and relationship of the heirs, the requirements of the estate could vary. There are some resources available that may help provide some direction, links to some of these can be found on the Public Administrator's Useful Tools and Resources  page.



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How Does the Public Administrator Sell Personal Property?

Once the Public Administrator has been appointed by the Court to administer the estate and makes the determination that personal property owned by the estate is to be sold, property is generally submitted to auction, unless when applicable, the unanimous preference of the beneficiaries is otherwise.



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How Does the Public Administrator Sell Estate Real Property?

Once the Public Administrator has been appointed by the Court to administer the estate and makes the determination that real property owned by the estate is to be sold, based on the value of the estate, the administrative costs and debts owed, and when applicable, the preferences of the beneficiaries, a listing agreement is entered into with a licensed realtor to list the property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  Purchase Agreements entered into by the Public Administrator are presented to the Court for approval and remain subject to open bidding at the hearing.

FAQ Answer

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What Does the Public Administrator Do?

In accordance with state law, the Public Administrator may ensure that the property of a decedent is safeguarded when the Coroner or law enforcement agency requests the assistance of the Public Administrator’s Office or when one or more of the following conditions exist: 

  • There are no known heirs or named executor or executrix, and the estate, or any part, is deemed by the Public Administrator to be at risk.
  • The named executor or executrix of a Will fails to act.
  • The Will names the Public Administrator as executor.
  • The Court appoints the Public Administrator to act to protect and/or administer an estate.  


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Where Does The Public Administrator Get His Authority?

The Public Administrator has authority to act to secure property immediately upon the death of a decedent as granted by Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 253. When appointed by Court, the Public Administrator has authority to act as the administrator of an estate subject to Nevada Revised Statute, Title 12 – Wills and Estates of Deceased Persons, and the oversight of the Court.



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Securing The Original Will?

Individuals should secure their Original Will in a safe location.  However, if you place it in a Safe Deposit Box, be certain that a trusted individual either has the authority and ability to access the Safe Deposit Box or has a copy of the will in the event something should happen to you.  If no other party is authorized to access the Safe Deposit Box, a Court Order will be required to open the box.



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Public Defender

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How do I find out the name of my Public Defender?
If the court appoints the Public Defender's Office, you will receive a letter from us. The letter will tell you the name of the attorney who will be assisting you. You may also call our Front Desk at 775-337-4800 to find out this information.


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Como puedo conseguir los servicios de un Defensor Publico?

Para poder recibir los servicios de un Defensor Publico, del Condado de Washoe, usted tiene que ser considerado 'indigente'. La Indigencia es generalmente definida como: no tener suficientes recursos para contratar un abogado privado. Esa decision es tomada por la oficina de los Servicios de Corte y el juez que preside el caso y esta basada en sus circunstancias financieras, incluyendo un examen de los bienes y obligaciones de una persona. La mayor parte de la gente, aunque califiquen como indigentes el Condado les pide que hagan una contribucion financiera al Condado por los servicios de un Defensor Publico, normalmente la contribucion es de $250 a $1000.



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How can I get the services of a Public Defender?
In order to qualify for the services of the Washoe County Public Defender's Office, you have to be considered "indigent". Indigency is generally defined as not having enough resources to hire private counsel. That decision is made by Court Services and the judge presiding over the case and is based upon your current financial circumstances, including an examination of a person's financial assets and liabilities. Most people, even if they qualify as indigent, are asked to make some financial contribution to the County for the services of the Public Defender, normally between $250 and $1000.


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Como me entero del nombre de mi Abogado Defensor Publico?
Si la corte le nombra el Defensor Publico, usted recibira una carta de nosotros. La carta le indicara el nombre del abogado que lo ayudara en su caso. Usted tambien puede llamar a nuestra Oficina al numero 775-337-4800, para informarse.

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I have been told I have a Conflict Attorney, what does that mean?

Public Defenders are licensed attorneys. As such, they are bound by the same rules of ethics, including the rule that you may not represent someone when a conflict of interest arises.

In order to accommodate this situation, Washoe County has created the Alternate Public Defender's Office. Washoe County also has contracted with an outside group of private attorneys in case of conflicts within the APD office. Every case that comes into the WCPD office is immediately screened for conflicts of interest. Whenever such a conflict is detected, the case file is transferred to the APD's office.



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He sido informado que yo tengo un 'Abogado de Conflicto', que significa esto?

Los Defensores Publicos son abogados licenciados.  Como tales ellos siguen las mismas reglas de etica, incluyendo la regla de no poder representarlo (a) si existe algun interes de por medio. Los conflictos de interes normalmente ocurren cuando la Oficina de Defensores Publicos del Condado de Washoe ha representado previamente a un testigo en un caso nuevo. Para acomodar esta situacion, el Condado de Washoe ha creado la Oficina Alternativa de Defensores Publicos.  El Condado de Washoe tambien ha contratado a un grupo privado de abogados en caso de que existan conflictos dentro de la Oficina Alternativa de Defensores Publicos. Cada caso que se presenta en la Oficina de Defensores Publicos es imediatamente examinado para ver si existen conflictos de interes. Cuando un conflicto es detectado, se transfiere el caso a la Oficina Alternativa de Defensores Publicos. 



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How can I contact my conflict attorney?

The conflict attorney group is administered by the Washoe County Alternate Public Defender's Office. Their office number is 775-328-3955.



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Como puede ponerme en contacto con un abogado de conflicto?

El Grupo de Abogados de Conflicto esta administrado por la Oficina Alternativa de Defensores Publicos. Su numero de telefono de la oficina es 775-328-3955.



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If I am arrested for drug possession, is there a way to have my criminal case dismissed?

Yes. Certain drug offenses, excluding trafficking, may allow you to qualify for the Specialty Courts Diversion program. Division court places you under the supervision of the State and Court but allows you, after successful completion of the supervision, to move to have the charges dismissed and the record of the offense sealed. There are different programs available under Nevada law and you should discuss whether you are eligible and which program might be best for you with your attorney.



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What can I expect if I am arrested?

Obviously an arrest involves a tremendous loss of liberty. You will be photographed, fingerprinted and asked to change into jail issue clothes. You should be allowed to make a phone call. Normally, you will be interviewed in order to gather information that will help the detention center determine the best way to house you safely. If you are taking medication or have other issues that might effect your placement at the jail, please notify jail staff or ask your family and friends to contact the detention center. If you have been appointed a Public Defender, you should also advise them of any issues that might effect your classification at the detention center.



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Que puedo esperar si yo soy arrestado?

Obviamente el arresto significa una tremenda perdida de libertad. Usted sera fotografiado, huellas digitales, y le pediran que se ponga ropa que se usa en la carcel. Se le permitira que haga una llamada de telefono. Normalmente, usted sera entrevistado, a modo de obtener informacion que ayudara al centro de detencion a encontrar la mejor forma de mantenerlo a salvo. Si usted esta tomando medicinas o tiene algunos otros motivos que puedan afectar su estadia en la carcel, favor de notificar a los carceleros o pida a sus familiars o amigos que se pongan en contacto con el centro de detencion. Si ya le han asignado un Defensor Publico usted tambien debera hacerles saber de cosas que pueden afectar su clasificacion en el centro de detencion. 



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What is probation and what happens if I violate it?

Probation is a privilege and not a right. Probation is an opportunity to prove that you do not need to be incarcerated. When a person is placed on probation, the court normally enters a jail or prison sentence, but suspends the imposition of the sentence, provided that the defendant complies with certain requirements, such as reporting to a probation officer, not being arrested or convicted of new offenses while on probation, pay restitution, attending counseling or other conditions set out by the court.

If the court finds that a person violated probation, it means that they have not complied with the conditions set out by the court. The court can then impose the previously suspended sentence and place the defendant in jail or prison. It is very important to let your Public Defender know if the reason you were unable to comply was due to financial, substance abuse, or other issues, so that the court can consider the information and, hopefully, reinstate the term of probation.



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Que es libertad vigilada y que sucede si yo violo la libertad vigilada?

La libertad vigilada es un privilegio, y no un derecho. La Libertad vigilada es una oportunidad para probar que usted no necesita estar encarcelado. Cuando una persona es puesta en libertad vigilada, la corte generalmente asienta una sentencia de carcel, o de prision, pero suspende la imposicion de la condena/sentencia, siempre y cuando el defendido cumpla con ciertos requisitos, tales como reportandose a un oficial de probacion/libertad vigilada, no ser arrestado o convicto de nuevas ofensas mientras este en probacion/libertad vigilada, pagar restitucion, participar en consejeria u otras condiciones impuestas por la corte.

Si la corte encuentra que la persona ha violado la probacion, esto significa que la persona no ha cumplido con las condiciones establecidas por la corte. Entonces la corte puede imponer el cumplimiento de la sentencia suspendida y poner al defendido en la carcel o en la prision. Es muy importante hacerle saber al Defensor Publico si las razones por las cuales usted no pudo cumplir las ordenes de la corte fueron razones financieras, abuso de substancias controladas, u otros motivos, para que la corte considere la informacion y re-comienze el termino de la probacion/libertad vigilada. 



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What is bail?

Bail is a security, usually money or property, given to ensure that if an accused person is released from custody they will still attend future court appearances.



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Que es una fianza

La fianza es una seguridad, usualmente dinero, o una propiedad que garantiza que una persona acusada es puesta en libertad, el/ella se presentara en la corte en el futuro. 



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Si yo soy arrestado por posesion de drogas, existe alguna forma de que mi caso criminal sea deshechado?

Si. Algunas ofensas de drogas, excluyendo Traficando, pueden permitirle que usted califique para el Programa de Diversificacion, poniendolo a usted bajo la supervision del Estado y la Corte, pero le permite, despues de completar este programa exitosamente, que los cargos contra usted sean deshechados y el record de la ofensa quede sellado. Existen diferentes programas disponibles bajo las leyes de Nevada, y usted debe conversar con su abogado para saber si usted es elegible, y saber cual seria el mejor programa para usted.



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If I am arrested, should I talk to the police?

If you are arrested, the police will have to let you know that you have a right to an attorney before any questioning begins. If you are given the right to an attorney, it is probably for a good reason. Exercise and invoke your rights. If you want to talk to the police, do so AFTER you speak to an attorney. They will understand.



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Si yo soy arrestado debo hablar con la policia?

Si usted es arrestado, la policia tendra que informarle que usted tiene derechoa un abogado antes del comienzo de cualquier interrogatorio. Si a usted le danel derecho de tener un abogado, es posiblemente por una buena razon. Haga uso einvoque sus derechos. Si usted quiere hablar con la policia hagalo DESPUES dehablar con un abogado. Ellos entenderan. 



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If the police don't read me my rights, can I get my case dismissed?

Not necessarily. The Miranda warning provides notice of the right against self-incrimination and protects a person from having their statements used against them if the statements are the product of a custodial interrogation.

If a court were to rule that such statements were inadmissible in court, that ruling would obviously have some impact on how the case would be resolved. Ultimately, the State would have to pursue the charge based upon other evidence. Unfortunately, the State may have other evidence independent of the inadmissible statement. If you have concerns about statements given to the police, please discuss the events with your attorney.



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Si la polcia no me lee mis derechos, puedo tener mi caso deshechado?

No necesariamente, Las advertencies Miranda proveen informacion acerca de los derechos de auto-incriminacion, y protejen a una persona, de que sus declaraciones sean usadas contra usted, si las declaraciones son el resultado de un interrogatorio al momento de entrar bajo custodia.Si la corte determinaria que las declaraciones no son admisibles en la corte, obviamente esta determinacion tendra impacto en la forma en que el caso sera resulto. Finalmente el Estado tendra que perseguir el cargo basado en otra evidencia. Desafortunadamente el Estado podra tener 'otra evidencia' independiente de las declaraciones inadmisibles. Si usted tiene reservas acerca de las declaraciones hechas a la policia, por favor hable de lo sucedido con su abogado. 



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How can I find out what courtroom my case is being heard in?

The location and time of your hearing should be on the letter you received from the Public Defender's office. If you don't have that information, please contact our office at 775-337-4800. Alternately, you can call the court direct or check for court information on the Washoe County website.



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Como puedo saber en que corte esta mi caso?

La Oficina de Defensores Publicos le mandara una carta indicandole la hora y la ubicacion de su audiencia por medio de una carta. Si usted no tiene esa informacion por favor pongase en contacto con nuestra oficina llamando el telefono 775-337-4800. Tambien hay informacion en linea, en la computadora que le permitira encontrar el caso,(horas y lugares) de todas audiencias de la Corte del Distrito. Vaya a http://www.washoecourts.com/.



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What is an Arraignment?

An arraignment is a hearing where an initial plea is entered to an offense. Normally, a person who is arrested and brought to the jail will have an arraignment conducted by video within 72 hours of their arrest. If a not guilty plea is entered, the court will ask the accused if they can afford private counsel. If the offense qualifies for the appointment for the services of the Public Defender's office, an application can be made.



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Que es la lectura de la acusacion?

La lectura de la acusacion es una audiencia donde se acepta la alegacion inicial. Normalmente una persona que es arrestada y llevada a la carcel tendra una audiencia conducida via video dentro de las 48 horas de su arresto. Si la persona esta declarandose 'no culpable' la corte normalmente le preguntara al acusado si el/ella puede contratar un abogado privado. Si la ofensa califica para obtener los servicios de un Defensor Publico, el acusado podra llenar una aplicacion.



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What is a preliminary hearing?

A preliminary hearing is where the State must prove to a neutral magistrate that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, and that there is probable cause to believe that the accused committed the offense. This burden of proof must be met for the case to continue into District Court. The burden of proof, probable cause, is lower than required at a trial. At trial, the State has the burden of proving every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.



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Que es una audiencia preliminary?

Una audiencia preliminary es aquella donde el Estado debe probar a un magistrado neutral la existencia de una 'causa probable' para creer que se ha cometido un crimen, y que existe 'causa probable' para creer que el acusado ha cometido una ofensa. Este peso de la prueba debe ser encontrado para que el caso sea postergado para la Corte del Distrito. El peso de la prueba, 'causa probable' es, menos que lo que se requiere en un juicio. En un juicio, el Estado tiene el peso de probar cada elemento de la ofensa 'mas alla de toda duda razonable'.



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What if I fail to appear at my hearing?

Failing to appear for a scheduled court appearance is a separate criminal offense and can be the basis for the issuance of a warrant. Failing to appear in court can also lead to the revocation of any bail or own recognizance release. If you fail to appear in court, you should contact your attorney immediately to see what actions can be taken on your behalf.



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Que sucede si no me presento?

No presentarse en la corte para una cita es una ofensa criminal separada y puede tener bases para una orden de arresto. No presentarse en la corte tambien puede causar la revocacion de cualquier fianza, y/o de la libertad bajo palabra de honor. Si usted no se presenta en la corte, usted debera ponerse en contacto con su abogado inmediatamente, para ver que medidas pueden ser adaptadas en su caso.



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What do I do if I know I have a warrant?

Please contact your attorney. Do not hide this information from your attorney. This is important information for counsel to consider when forming a plan to challenge the State's case.



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Que hago si yo se que tengo una orden de arresto?

Por favor pongase en contacto con su abogado. No oculte esta informacion a su abogado. Esta es informacion importante de considerar cuando el abogado este formando un plan de accion contra el Estado. 



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What do I do if I am picked up on a warrant?

If you are arrested on a warrant, you should follow the advice given to any person that is arrested; ask to talk to your attorney. If you are arrested on a warrant for an offense that involves a case where a Public Defender was appointed, please call our office at 775-337-4800.



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Que hago si me arrestan por una orden de arresto?

Si usted es arrestado por una orden de arresto, usted debe seguir la recomendacion otorgada a toda persona que ha sido arrestada; pida hablar con un abogado. Si usted es arrestado bajo una orden de arresto la cual el Defensor Publico fue asignado a su caso, favor de llamar a nuestra oficina 775-337-4800.



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How do I go about getting my records sealed?

The Law Library has information regarding sealing records. You can visit their website at http://www.washoecourts.com/index.cfm?page=lawlib



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Can the Public Defender's office represent me on my traffic ticket?

Remember, the Public Defender's office only represents persons facing a loss of liberty. A citation that only carries the possibility of a fine as punishment would not provide a basis for the court to appoint a Public Defender. However, it is highly recommended that you consult with a private attorney before appearing in court on any legal matter.



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Como encuentro a alguien que esta en la carcel del Condado?

El Centro de Detencion del Condado de Washoe esta ubicado en Parr Boulevard #911, Reno, 89512. El Centro de detencion esta controlado por los Algualices del Condado de Washoe. Para informacion sobre arrestos llame al telefono 775-328-3062. Para obtener informacion sobre visitas llame al telefono 775-328-2952.



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How do I get my case investigated?

The Public Defender's office has a staff of 7 full-time investigators, including a Polygrapher and a Mitigation Specialist. If you are given the services of the Public Defender, the best way to have your case investigate is to communicate with your assigned attorney.



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Como puedo visitar a alguien que esta en la carcel del Condado?

Las visitas son organizadas basadas en el nombre de la persona detenida. Por favor llame al numero de telefono de Visitas que esta anteriormente en esta lista. Por favor comprenda que la visita sera efectuada en un lugar vigilado.

Tambien, si usted desea llamar o aceptar una llamada de alguien que esta detenido en la Carcel del Condado, usted debe saber que la llamada de telefono puede ser controlada y grabada. Por favor tenga cuidado de hablar sobre los detalles de cualquier acusacion, pues la conversacion puede crear evidencia para ser usada contra el acusado. 



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How do I find someone who is in the Washoe County jail?

The Washoe County Detention Center is located at 911 Parr Blvd, Reno, NV. The detention center is managed by the Washoe County Sheriff's office. Booking information can be found by calling 775-328-3062 or online at the Washoe County Sheriff's website. Visiting information can also be found on the website or by calling 775-328-2952.



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Como visito la prision del estado?

Si usted desea visitar o ponerse en contacto con una persona que esta en el Departamento de Correciones de Nevada, primero tiene que saber donde esta esa persona. Nevada tiene varios lugares, que son usados para mantener a los detenidos. Para hablar con Las Oficinas Administrativas del Departamento de Correciones Puede llamar al numero de telefono 775-887-3285. Si usted no esta seguro del lugar donde esta arrestada la persona que usted busca, usted puede buscar en el internet bajo Busqueda de un arrestado/preso.



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How can I visit someone who is in the Washoe County jail?

Visiting is scheduled based upon the name of the detained person. Please call the Washoe County Detention Center Visiting Information at 775-328-2952. Please understand that the visit will likely be done in a secure setting.

Also, if you decide to call or accept a call from someone detained at the Washoe County jail, be aware that the phone call will be monitored and recorded. Please be careful in discussing the details of any accusation, as the conversation may create evidence to be used against the accused.



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How do I visit a state prison?

If you wish to visit or contact a person who is in the Nevada Department of Corrections, you first need to determine where they are being housed. Nevada has several facilities that are used to house inmates. The Nevada Department of Corrections administrative offices can be reached by calling 775-887-3285. If you are unsure of the facility, you can also perform an inmate search on the Department of Corrections website.



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Los Defensores Publicos son abogados?

Si. Este talvez el concepto mas erroneo que tiene el publico. Todos los Defensores Publicos han obtenido un grado universitario y se han graduado de una Escuela de Leyes Acreditada.  Todos los Defensores Publicos han pasado el Examen del Colegio de Abogados de Nevada, y muchos tienen licencias para practicar en ambas cortes, estado y federal.



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Are Public Defenders attorneys?

Yes! This is perhaps the most common misconception of the public. All Public Defenders have obtained a College degree and graduated from an accredited Law School. All Public Defenders have passed the Nevada Bar Exam and many are licensed to practice in both state and federal courts.



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Cual es la diferencia entre un Defensor Publico y un Fiscal del Distrito?

El Fiscal del Distrito es un official elejido. El Fiscal Del Distrito esta encargado del cumplimiento de las leyes del El Condado de Washoe y emplea a delegados de Fiscalia para que lo colaboren en su tarea.El Abogado Defensor Publico es nombrado por el Comite de Comisionados del Condado. Cada comunidad debe tener fondos para proveer abogados a personas indigentes que hayan perdido su libertad. El Defensor Publico emplea auxiliares Defensores Publicos para colaborar en los requerimientos constitucionales dictados por Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos y la Constitucion de los Estados Unidos.

Mientras ambas oficinas son solventadas por el gobierno, ambas oficinas tienen funciones diferentes. 



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Where and how do I pay court ordered fees for the Public Defender?

You can pay your fees at the Washoe County Collections department at 1001 E 9th St, Bldg D, Rm 120, Reno, NV. You can also mail your payment to Washoe County Collections, PO Box 11130, Reno, NV 89520. They accept all payment types including credit cards. You can call or email them for more information at 775-328-2552 or collect@washocounty.us. The Public Defender's office does not accept payments of any kind. All payments need to be paid through the collections department.



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Puedo registrar mi propia peticion en la corte?

Si usted esta representado por un abogado, todas las peticiones y escritos deben ser endosados por un abogado. Las peticiones y los escritos que son mandados a la corte sin ser endosados por el abogado asignado a su caso son generalmente considerados documentos fugitivos y no son tomados en cuenta por la corte. Una persona debe ser muy cuidadosa cuando manda documentos a la corte porque es posible que el Estado acusador podra tener acceso a todos los documentos registrados en la corte y potencialmente puede usarlos contra el acusado. 



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What is the difference between a Public Defender and a District Attorney?

The District Attorney is an elected official. The District Attorney is charged with the enforcement of laws in Washoe County and employs Deputy District Attorneys to assist in that effort.

The Public Defender is appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. Every community must provide and fund attorneys for indigent persons facing a loss of liberty. The Public Defender employs Deputy Public Defenders to assist in the constitutional requirements set out by the United States Supreme Court and the Constitution of the United States.

While both offices are funded by the government, they serve independent functions.



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Donde puedo encontrar la Biblioteca de Leyes del Condado?

El condado de Washoe provee una biblioteca con metodos modernos que es accessible al publico en general. La Biblioteca de Leyes del Condado esta ubicada en el primer piso de la Corte del Distrito en la calle Corte #75, frente al Pioneer Center de Artes Porformados. Para informacion oncerniente a las horas de servicio de la biblioteca, por favor llame al telefono 775-328-3250.



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Can I file my own motions in court?

If you are represented by an attorney, all motions and pleadings must be endorsed by your attorney. Motions and pleadings that are sent without the endorsement of the assigned attorney are generally considered fugitive documents and not considered by the court. A person should be very careful when they send documents to the court, as it is likely that the State prosecutor will be able to gain access to all documents in the court's file and potentially use them against the accused.



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Si yo soy victima de un crimen, puedo ser representado por la Oficina de los Defensores Publicos?

La Oficina de Defensores Publicos no representa a victimas de crimen. Si usted es victima de un crimen, usted debe consultar con la la Oficina del Fiscal de Condado de Washoe llamando al telefono 775-328-3200.



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Where can I find the County Law Library?

Washoe County funds a state-of-the-art law library that is accessible to the general public. The Law Library is located on the first floor of the District Court House at 75 Court Street, across front he Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts. For information concerning the library, or hours of service, call 775-328-3250.



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Cuales servicios de lenguajes son disponibles?

La Oficina de Defensores Publicos del Condado de Washoe mantiene un contrato de servicios de interpretativos. La Oficina tiene servicios de interpretes para la mayoria de los lenguages/idiomas como tambien tiene personal que habla Espanol en la oficina.

La Oficina de Defensores Publicos del Condado de Washoe tambien tiene contrato con La Linea de Idiomas, un servicio que nos permite tener acceso a 150 interpretes de diferentes idiomas telefonicamente. 



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If I am a victim of a crime, can the Public Defender's Office represent me?

The Public Defender's Office does not represent victims of crime. If you are a victim of a crime, you should consult the Washoe County District Attorney's office at 775-328-3200.



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Los Defensores Publicos tienen las mismas obligaciones que los abogados privados?

Si y no. Los Defensores Publicos son abogados licenciados y tienen casi todas las mismas obligaciones de los abogados privados. Porque los servicios de los Defensores Publicos son ofrecidos solo en ciertas circunstancias, los Defensores Publicos no mantienen cuentas de fidecomiso privadas de honorarios legales y estan exemptos de otros ciertos requsitos concernientes al mantenimiento seguro de las propiedades de los clientes. De otra forma, los Defensores Publicos deben actuar en la misma manera que los abogados privados. 



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What language services are available?

The Washoe County Public Defender's office maintains a contract for interpretive services. The office has interpretive services for most languages and has Spanish speaking staff on site. The office also contracts with Language Line, a service that allows us to on-demand access to 150 different language interpreters telephonically.



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Puede la Oficina de Defensores Publicos representarme en una citacion de trafico?

Recuerde, que el Defensor Publico solamente representa a personas que esten perdiendo su libertad. Una comparecencia que solo lleva la posibilidad de una multa como castigo no tendra bases para que la corte le otorgue un Defensor Publico.

Sin embargo se le recomienda que usted consulte con un abogado privado antes de presentarse en la corte para un caso legal.



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Do Public Defenders have the same obligations as private attorneys?

Yes and no. Public Defenders are licensed attorneys and have almost all of the same obligations of private attorneys. Because the services of the Public Defender are offered only in certain circumstances, Public Defenders do not maintain private trust accounts for legal fees and are exempt from certain other requirements regarding the safe-keeping of client assets. Otherwise, Public Defenders must act and perform in the same manner as private attorneys.



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Como consigo que mi caso sea investigado?

La Oficina de Defensores Publicos del Condado tiene un grupo de 7 investigadores a tiempo completo, incluyendo un Especialista en Detector de Mentiras y un Especialista en Circunstancias Atenuantes. Si a usted le han dado los servicios de un Defensor Publico, la mejor forma de tener su caso investigado es comunicandose con el abogado asignado a su caso. 



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What happens if I am charged with a Juvenile offense?

Juvenile offenses are not considered crimes like in the Adult courts. If you are under 18 years old and break the law, you may be charged with a delinquent act.



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What should I do if I am in an abusive situation?

You should not live in fear. There are people you can tell, support groups you can join, and places you can go. There are ways to protect yourself or someone you care about from being scared of getting hurt. Click on the menu under Family and Youth Services for further information and resources.



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Violencia/Abuso/Asalto Sexual -

Usted no debe vivir con miedo. Existen personas que usted puede contarle lo que sucede, existen grupos para ayudarlo y lugares a los que usted puede ir. Hay formas de protjerse a si mismo o de protejer a alguien que usted crea que tiene miedo o pueda ser lastimado/a. Haga click en el menu para mas informacion. 



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What should I do if my family breaks up?

There are many resources to help deal with a family that is breaking up. Click on the menu under Family and Youth Services for more information and resources.



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La familia que se separa o se rompe -

Hay muchos recursos para ayudar a afrontar los problemas de una familia que se esta deshaciendo. Haga click en el menu para mas informacion y lugares donde usted puede obtener ayuda. 

 

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Que sucede si yo tengo un cargo de una Ofensa Juvenil?

Las ofensas juveniles no son crimenes. Si usted tiene menos de 18 anos y rompe la ley, usted puede ser culpado de un acto delinquente. 



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If Juvenile charges are filed against you, you have the right to a lawyer

The law says that you must have an attorney represent you in a Juvenile Court, even if you have already decided to admit to the charges. The Public Defender's office is appointed to represent every kid. You, or your parents, may hire a private attorney to represent you if you wish.



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Si usted es culpado de cargos juveniles usted tiene derecho a un abogado

La ley dice que usted debe tener un abogado que lo/la represente en la Corte Juvenil, aunque usted ya hubiera decidido admitir los cargos. La Oficina de Defensores Publicos esta encargada de representar a cada joven. Usted y sus padres pueden contratar un abogado privado para representarlo a usted. 



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How does a Juvenile case start?

A Juvenile case may start with one of three things: Arrest, Citation, or Referral. If you are arrested, you will be taken to a detention facility for kids. If you receive a citation, the police will issue the citation and call your parents or guardian. A referral may also be made to the Juvenile Services department.



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Como comienza un Caso Juvenil:

Un caso de un joven puede empezar con una de las siguientes tres cosas: Arresto, orden de comparecencia. Si usted es arrestado usted sera llevado al centro de detencion para jovenes. O, la policia puede extender una citacion y llamar a sus padres o personas encargadas de usted.  Tambien puede hacerse un contacto con el Departamento de Servicios de Jovenes.



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What happens if I am arrested (juvenile)?

You may be released to your parents/guardian or you may be detained at the Jan Evans Juvenile Detention Center.



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Si usted es arrestado...

Usted puede ser puesto en libertad y entregado a sus padres/guardianes O usted puede ser detenido en el Centro de Detencion Jan Evans.



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What is a detention hearing (juvenile)?

If you are detained at the juvenile detention center, you will have a hearing within 72 hours. A judge will decide if you will be released and a Public Defender will represent you.



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Audiencias de Detencion -

Si usted esta detenido en el centro de detencion usted tendra una audiencia dentro de las 72 horas de su arresto. Un Juez decidira si usted sera puesto en libertad y un Defensor Publico sera su representante. 



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What should I wear to my hearing?

You must represent yourself in a positive way to the Judge. The Judge is making a decision about your future so your first impression is very important. See the section on Juvenile Hearings



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Lo que usted no debe vestir -

Usted debe presentarse ante el Juez en una forma positiva. El Juez esta tomando una decision acerca de su futuro de manera que la primera impresion que usted la cause al Juez es muy importante. 



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What is a plea hearing (juvenile)?

At this hearing you must answer to the charges against you. If you deny the charges the Judge will set your case for trial.



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Audiencia de declaracion a los cargos -

En esta audiencia usted debe contestar acerca de los cargos contra usted. Si usted niega los cargos el Juez continuara su caso para un juicio. 



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What is a dispositional hearing (juvenile)?

At this hearing the Judge will decide what your consequences will be. It may be a fine, counseling, community service, etc.



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Audiencia de Disposicion

En esta audiencia el Juez decidira cuales seran las consequencias.  Puede ser pagar una multa, conserjeria, servicios a la comunidad, etc. 



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What is emancipation?

Any minor who is at least 16 years old and married, OR living apart from legal guardians, and is a resident of Washoe County may ask the Juvenile Court for a decree of emancipation.



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Emancipacion -

Cualquier menor que tenga por lo menos 16 anos, o este casado o este viviendo separado de sus guardianes legales y sea un residente del Condado de Washoe, puede pedir a la Corte Juvenil un decreto de emancipacion. 



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Public Guardian

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Can I petition WCPG to serve as guardian?

Pursuant to NRS 159.044 anyone may petition the Public Guardian to serve.  If you feel this is necessary, please contact your attorney to file a petition to request that the Public Guardian conduct an investigation pursuant to NRS 159.046.

If you intend to petition this office to conduct an investigation, please forward a copy of the petition, the Acknowledgement of Public Guardian, and all notices of hearings.



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Can the Washoe County Public Guardian help me to become guardian of a loved one or friend?

Although the Washoe County Public Guardian (WCPG) serves as guardian, by court appointment, for vulnerable adults who are unable to manage their personal and/or financial affairs, our office does not facilitate guardianships for others.  Please see "Second Judicial District Court Family Self Help Center" under our Helpful Links section if you need assistance with applying for guardianship of a loved one.

Additionally, WCPG offers quarterly Family Guardianship Training for those who may be interested in learning more about the responsibilities of a guardian.  For more information, please look at our Guardianship Training section.



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Does WCPG accept guardianship referrals for minors?
The Washoe County Public Guardian (WCPG) serves as guardian, by court appointment, for vulnerable adults aged 18 or older who are unable to manage their personal and/or financial affairs.  If a minor will be turning 18, you may submit a referral to the WCPG's Office.  Please see the "Referrals" link on our main page for additional information.

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Where is your guardianship referral form?

If you want to make a referral to WCPG, please see the "Referrals" link on our main page.   If you are looking for assistance in filing a petition for guardianship of a loved one or friend, please see "Second Judicial District Court Self Help Center" under our Helpful Links section.



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How long does the referral-to-guardianship process take?

Referrals are first screened for urgency, based on many factors.  Then a thorough evaluation takes place to determine the need for guardianship.  Finally, if it is determined that a guardianship may be warranted, the referral goes through a court process to determine the appropriateness of a guardianship.  WCPG has no control over the length of time it takes for a referral to process through the legal system.  Due to all of these factors, the guardianship referral process may be lengthy and should not be considered an immediate emergency intervention.



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Does WCPG accept referrals for non-Washoe County residents?

The Washoe County Public Guardian only serves Washoe County residents.  If the Public Guardian receives a referral and determines that the person in question is not a resident of Washoe County, the Public Guardian cannot serve as Guardian.



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Can I come in and talk to someone about a guardianship?

The Washoe County Public Guardian does not accept walk-ins for guardianship discussion.

WCPG offers quarterly Family Guardianship Training for those who may be interested in learning more about the responsibilities of a guardian.  For more information, please look at our Guardianship Training section.

If you wish to contact us, please see the "Contact Us" page for more information.



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What is Guardianship?
Guardianship is a legal process, utilized when a person can no longer make or communicate safe or sound decisions about his/her person and/or property or has become susceptible to fraud or undue influence.  Because establishing a guardianship may remove considerable rights from an individual, it should only be considered after alternatives to guardianship have proven ineffective or are unavailable.

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Who are you? What do you do?
The Washoe County Public Guardian (WCPG) serves as guardian, by court appointment, for vulnerable adults who are unable to manage their personal and/or financial affairs.  WCPG coordinates provision of services; provides informed consents; and protects, preserves, and manages the assets of our wards.

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Who does the WCPG serve?

The Washoe County Public Guardian (WCPG) serves as guardian, by court appointment, for vulnerable adults aged 18 or older who are unable to manage their personal and/or financial affairs.



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Recorder

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Marriages
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How do I get a copy of my marriage application?

Please contact the Washoe County Clerk's Office at 775-784-7287, or online at www.washoecounty.us/clerks  



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Does the Recorder's office only accept money orders as payment for a certified copy of a marriage certificate?
The Recorder's office will accept cash, check (with ID), money order/cashier's check or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover) as payment for recording fees, transfer tax and document copy orders including certified copies of marriage certificates.

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Real Property
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How do I add my child to the title of my property?

You would need to record a Deed document in the Washoe County Recorder's Office to change how title is held to your property. Office stationary stores carry several types of Deed forms.



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How do I remove a deceased joint tenant from the title to my property?
A document will need to be recorded in order to remove the deceased joint tenant.  You can obtain document forms at office stationary stores or seek legal assistance from an attorney or a document preparation service.

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Does the Washoe County Recorder's Office provide Homestead forms?

The Washoe County Recorder's Office provides Homestead and Abandonment of Homestead forms in the office and online.  Click here to download the forms.



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Does the Recorder's office provide searching services?
The Recorder's Office does not provide searching services.  Click here to search our real estate records online.  For documents recorded prior to August 16, 1999, the Recorder's office has a library available for public research.

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Regional Animal Services

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Animal Bites and Reporting
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What happens when a dog or cat bites someone?

When the skin of a human is penetrated or broken by the teeth of a dog or cat, it is required by law to be reported due to the concern for possible exposure to the rabies virus.  Rabies is communicable to humans by the saliva from an infected animal.  Animals with current rabies vaccinations may be approved to be quarantined at home by an Animal Control Officer on a case by case basis.  Animals that are not current on their rabies vaccination must be quarantined at a veterinarian or at WCRAS.  That’s why it’s important to keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date based on the requirements in the rabies compendium published by the CDC.

For additional information click for the CDC website.



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What happens if a wild animal bites a person or a pet?

If the animal that bites is a wild animal, the report is handled by WCRAS in conjunction with the Washoe County Health Department and the person or domestic animal exposed could be placed in quarantine for an extended time depending on if the wild animal is known and available to be tested for the rabies virus.  In some areas of the country the rabies virus is prevalent in raccoons, skunks and bats.  That’s not to say those species are all diseased but it is a very valid reason to always keep a safe distance from wildlife.  Even the cutest ones!



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What is Quarantine?

Quarantine means to be kept in a controlled environment, in isolation from other animals or people, to be observed for signs of illness or abnormal behavior. Dogs and cats who have been identified as causing a break in the skin of a human by its teeth are required to be quarantined for a period not less than 10 days from the date of exposure. Many animals that have current vaccinations, and a secure are to be contained are allowed to be quarantined at home but some may be required to be held at a veterinary hospital or at WCRAS for the quarantine period.



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What happens with my pet's rabies information?

Under state law (Nevada Administrative Code 441A.412) your veterinarian is required to send a copy of the vaccination certificate to the Washoe County Health District.

To read the public service announcement, click here



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Contact Information
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I can’t get through to the Nevada Humane Society/SPCA, can WCRAS help me?

We are separate entities so unfortunately we cannot transfer you. You can contact the Nevada Humane Society at 775-856-2000. They are located at 2825 Longley Lane, Suite B, in Reno, Nevada. 

 You can contact the SPCA of Northern Nevada at 775-324-7773. They are located at 4950 Spectrum Blvd in Reno, Nevada.



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How can I contact someone from WCRAS?

Shelter phone number is 775-353-8900 and is answered Monday through Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm except for holidays.
Dispatch phone number is 775-322-3647 (DOGS) and is answered 7 days a week from 8:00am to 10:00pm including holidays
You can also email us at pets@washoecounty.us



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Field Services
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Do I need to leash my dog on BLM land?

WCRAS does not have jurisdiction over leash law on BLM or Forest Service land. BLM Website  Forest Service Website



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What can I do about all the feral cats living in my neighborhood?

It is the position of Washoe County that Trap, Neuter, Return, Monitor (TNRM) is the preferred method of feral cat management.  It is the policy to rigorously pursue the reduction of feral cats through TNRM in accordance with applicable Washoe County Code 55.475.  For information or help with feral cats or trapping please contact Nevada Humane Society (NHS) at 775-856-2000 ext. 200 or 2825 B Longley Lane.

Additional resources

Nevada Humane Society
The Truth about Feral Cats from the Nevada Humane Society
Alley Cat Allies



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At what temperature is it ok to leave my pet in the car?

In accordance with NRS 574.195 “a person shall not allow a cat or dog to remain unattended in a parked or standing motor vehicle during a period of extreme heat or cold or in any other manner that endangers the health or safety of the cat or dog”

Washoe County Code 55.190 Endangering Animals states that it is unlawful for any person to hold or confine an animal in a pen, house, car, truck, trailer or any other place without a sufficient supply of good and wholesome air, water, food and necessary veterinary care.

According to the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) the temperature inside a vehicle can rise 20⁰ F in 10 minutes, and up to 40⁰ F within an hour. It has also been shown that cracking a window a few inches has little effect on the temperature inside of your vehicle when it is not in motion.  A study performed by the Louisiana Office of Public Health found that the temperatures in a dark sedan as well as a light colored mini van parked out in a hot but overcast day still raised from 96⁰F to 125⁰F in just 20 minutes.

It would be advised to never leave an animal in a vehicle unattended in temperatures over 60⁰F and to always have water and proper air circulation for your pet. Help spread the word with our poster

Hot dog in car



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Is there a leash law in Washoe County?

Within the congested areas of Washoe County, your dog must be properly contained and/or restrained at all times for the exception of designated off-leash areas. Aren't sure if you live in congested or un-congested?

  • Click here to determine if your residence is in congested or uncongested areas.
  • Read more about Chapter 55 Code relative to animals here.


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Can I have livestock or chickens in the city limits?

Animal Services does not regulate livestock zoning within the cities or county. To find zoning regulations in your jurisdiction please contact one of the following departments for guidance dependent on where you reside:

Washoe County Community Services Division (775) 328-6106                  
Washoe County Community Services

Reno Code Enforcement (775) 334-2099                  
renodirect@reno.gov

Sparks Code Enforcement (775) 353-4063
cityofsparks.com   



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What can I do about my neighbor's dog that is always loose?

Call WCRAS dispatch at 322-DOGS (3647) and they will give you the information that you need and may dispatch an officer to the location if the dog is currently at large.  They will need your address and the address where the dog lives. You may also file a complaint online.



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Is it against the law for my dog to bark?

All animals make some noise and that is to be expected. In accordance with Washoe County Code 50.308, it outlines a nuisance as frequent sounds that cause annoyance to or disturbance of the peace or comfort of the neighborhood or a reasonable person of normal sensitivities.  This ordinance is in effect 24 hours a day in Washoe County. 

Noise complaints can be filed online click here.



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How many pets can a person have?

In accordance with Washoe County Code 55.430, within the congested areas of Washoe County, not more than three dogs and seven cats over the age of four months are permitted per household. If you wish to have more than the permissible number of animals, you will need to apply for a Kennel or Cattery Permit. For more information on permits, click here.



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Can you come pick up my pet?

WCRAS does not provide this type of service. If you need to surrender your pet, please contact the Nevada Humane Society at 775-856-2000.



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What can I do about the smell of feces from my neighbor’s yard?

Washoe County Code 55.110 states a person must keep the area that the animal is kept or housed free from animal waste and offensive odors. Animal Services recommends a person to remove feces at least once a day to reduce offensive odors. Animal waste should be bagged and placed within a trash can for disposal. This procedure will assist with the decrease of odors and insect activity.

If you feel that the animal feces is not being properly removed from your neighbor’s yard you may contact Dispatch at 322-DOGS (3647) or file a complaint online and request an officer respond to speak to the animal owner. This ordinance is in effect 24 hours a day in Washoe County. 



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Is it ok to tether a dog up outside? If so, for how long?

A dog can be legally tethered if:

o             The tether is at least 12 feet long

o             The dog has access to water and shelter

o             The dog is not wearing a pinch, prong or choke collar

o             The dog is not tethered for more than 14 hours in a 24 hour period

o             The dog is tethered in such a way as to prevent it from becoming entangled and injured



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Licensing and Microchipping
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Why do I need a license for my dog?

It is required by Washoe County Code 55.340. Failure to have a current dog license may result in a civil fine from $100 - $400 and/or a criminal citation. Dog license revenue helps to provide care and housing for Washoe County pets as well as special community programs that help local pets. You can license here.



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Does my cat need to be licensed

Currently cats do not need to be licensed but they should be microchipped and the microchip registered with Animal Services. This will help the cat get home in the event it gets brought to the shelter. WCRAS microchips pets owned by Washoe County residents for free.



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What is the difference between a dog license and the tag I get at the vet or elsewhere?

A dog license is provided by your WCRAS or your local animal control authority.  In Washoe County, WCRAS supplies dog licenses as required for all dogs over four months of ages, living in the congested areas of Washoe County. The tags that come from your vet or adoption agencies are rabies or ID tags only and are not to be confused with a license. Click here to learn more.



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How do I license my dog?

You can license your dog online, by mail or by coming into the shelter during open hours. A current rabies certificate is required to license your dog. Please see our licensing page for more information.



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My dog never leaves the house. Do I still need to license?

Even if your dog never leaves the house, it must still have a dog license. At some point and time your dog may accidentally get out or there may be a disaster and you get separated from your dog. Having your dog licensed with WCRAS helps Animal Control Officers get your dog back to you.



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What is a microchip and how do they work?

A microchip is a small device implanted between the shoulder blades of an animal that is used for permanent identification.  The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and can be read by a microchip scanner.  Each microchip contains a series of unique numbers similar to a vehicle VIN number.  Most veterinarians and animal shelters have microchip scanners that can be used to read the chip number. 

The microchip is not a GPS locating device for your animal.  The microchip cannot tell us where your animal is located

We can determine ownership and address of each animal by entering the microchip number into our system.  This helps us return many animals in the field because we are able to find out who the owner is right away, and let the owner know that their pet has been found.  Collars and tags can be taken off or fall off, making it almost impossible for us to identify correct ownership.  Microchips are a form of permanent identification. The procedure is quick and safe, similar to a routine vaccine.  Learn more about microchips and how they work.



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Someone gave me their pet and it is microchipped. How do I transfer ownership?

WCRAS database will track the pet information locally and, in order to update the owner information, the previous owner of the pet needs to complete a transfer of ownership form. The new owner will then need to contact WCRAS to update the local registry. If the new pet is a dog and the new owner lives in a congested area, a dog license will need to be purchased. Licenses do not transfer from one owner to another.

In order to update the national registry for a microchip, contact the microchip company for instructions on updating the transfer of ownership.  If you do not know what microchip company, click here and enter the microchip number to discover the microchip company.

If you are unsure if your animal is microchipped or what the microchip number is you can come to Animal Services Monday-Friday between 8-5 and we can scan the pet to get the number.



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How do I submit a picture of my pet for the license or microchip?
We can now add a picture of your dog in our licensing database so that it will show up on your license certificate. We can also add a picture of your pet to their microchip number. All you need to do is email a jpeg picture to pets@washoecounty.us. Enter the license tag or microchip number in the subject line and include the name of your pet as well as your contact information so we can match the picture to the pet. Should your pet become lost, we can quickly upload a picture to our website when you contact us.

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Can I register my pet's microchip with WCRAS?

WCRAS keeps a local database of microchipped pets in order to allow our staff to contact the owner and quickly get pets home. This service is free and only takes a minute. Just email us at pets@washoecounty.us with your name and contact information and complete pet description (breed, color, sex and age) and we will register the microchip with us. You can also attach a picture to go with the registration.



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How do I update information for my licensed/microchipped pet?

To update any contact, owner or pet information, you can email pets@washoecounty.us with the new information. You can also call or come into the shelter during open hours to update the information. Our online licensing service is not able to update any information unless you are renewing a dog license so it is always best to email or phone the shelter to do this.



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Pet Resources
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Can I bury my deceased pet on my property?

It is usually allowed to bury your pet on your property however, there are guidelines set by the Washoe County Environmental Health Department. Click here to read the guidelines.



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I don’t have money and my animal is sick, what can WCRAS do for me?

WCRAS does not have an onsite, full-time veterinarian. You will need to contact the local veterinary hospitals in the area for assistance. Most vets do offer Care Credit (a credit card for veterinary care) when money is an issue. For more information, contact your veterinarian or visit carecredit.com.



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Where can I take my dog off leash to run?

There are a list of dog parks and or multi-use off leash areas on our website: https://www.washoecounty.us/animal/information/dog_parks.php



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What is Parvo and how do I prevent my dog from getting it?

Canine parvovirus (Parvo) is one of the most contagious and serious diseases that dogs are at risk of contracting.  Parvovirus is spread through feces of an infected dog and can remain infectious in contaminated areas for 5 months or longer.  The virus attacks the dog’s stomach, small intestines and large intestines causing severe vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration.  The disease is often fatal if not treated.  Parvovirus is preventable through vaccination.  Puppies should begin receiving vaccines at 6 weeks of age and then every 4 weeks after until the puppy is 18-20 weeks old.  Boosters are recommended for the remainder of the pet’s life. Click for more information at pethealthnetwork.com

Come to our low cost vaccination clinics to keep your pet current on their vaccinations



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Can I get my pet spayed/neutered at WCRAS?

WCRAS recognizes the importance of spaying and neutering and is working on programs to offer spay and neuter resources to our community.  Stay tuned for updates!



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Shelter Animals
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Can I adopt a pet from WCRAS?

WCRAS and Nevada Humane Society (NHS) are partnering agencies that provide respective services to the community.  Through the partnership, NHS facilitates adoptions of the majority of the un-claimed animals that come into our facility.  In addition, WCRAS works with N. Nevada SPCA as well as a multitude of rescue groups to place the remaining adoptable animals.

For more information on adopting a pet through the Nevada Humane Society, please visit the Nevada Humane Society website.

Additional animal adoptions websites: SPCAPet Network



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Does WCRAS euthanize animals upon request of the owner?

Washoe County Regional Animal Services recommends pets be taken to their veterinarian for these services, however, we recognize that in times of hardship this may not be possible. Therefore, WCRAS will accept euthanasia requests in hardship situations with the understanding that our rescue partners, including veterinary staff, will be consulted in order to determine the best outcome for the animal. If our rescue partners, such as Nevada Humane Society, determine the animal can be treated and adopted out to a new home WCRAS will release the animal to the rescue group. If it is your determination that the only outcome for your pet is euthanasia, then you must take the animal to your veterinarian.



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How do I find my missing pet?

You can come into the shelter or look online to see if your pet is here. The shelter is open from 10am to 5pm Monday through Friday except for holidays. It is also open on Saturdays from 11am to 3pm. Our online service is updated every thirty minutes and shows all live animals located at the shelter or that have been reported found.



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How much does it cost to get my pet out of the shelter?

When an animal enters the shelter system, our staff will immediately begin providing care and treatment if necessary.  The fees associated with redeeming your animal varies depending variable factors such as the license status and length of time the animal was in our care.

Click here to review our fee schedule.



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What happens if a pet is not claimed by its owner?

WCRAS holds each stray animal for five days before it becomes available for transfer.  WCRAS partners with Nevada Humane Society, Northern Nevada SPCA, as well as a variety of other approved rescue groups to transfer adoptable animals into their care. 



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Wildlife
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What can I do about pigeons roosting and defecating on my property?

Regional Animal Services receives many calls each year regarding pigeons roosting or nesting in homes or defecating on property. A pigeon is an unregulated wild animal and therefore is outside the scope of authority of Animal Services.

There are several commercial deterrents that can be utilized to discourage pigeons from calling your property their home. You can contact a local pest control company or a home improvement store for assistance with these deterrents.

However, a simple way to keep pigeons from roosting or nesting on your property is to hang a CD in the area you are having problems.  This inexpensive item could save you a lot of heartache.



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Can WCRAS help with wild horse issues?

The wild horse herds in the Virginia range are horses that have been turned loose by their owner or horses that have migrated from other areas.

 These horses are under the jurisdiction of the Nevada Department of Agriculture.  Animal Services will respond to a horse that is injured to verify the injury and then contact the State and work together to remedy the situation. Any wild horse issue such as a horse in your yard or on the medians is referred to the state.

Persons with wild horse questions can get more information here or call the horse hotline at (775) 353-3608 or email horse@agri.nv.gov



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What can I do about local wildlife

Wildlife exist in our area and most of the time, we can coexist peacefully with the proper preparation and knowledge. Nevada Department of Wildlife has safety and prevention tips as well as well as species of wildlife indigenous to our area and informative tips on their website.



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Regional Parks and Open Space

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Arboretum
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Can I bring alcohol to the Arboretum?

For the safety of our plant collection and our visitors, please leave alcohol and glass containers at home.



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Can we have a BBQ?

There are no grills allowed in the Arboretum.



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Who should I call to make a wedding reservation?

Call our parks reservations team at (775) 823-6501.



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Can we have live music at our wedding?

Neither live music or amplified music is permitted in Washoe County Parks picnic, gardens or other outside reservable facilities.  An event held inside a Washoe County Park building facility may have amplified music indoors this music should be played low.



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Are bikes,skateboards, or motorized vehicles allowed?

No. Bikes, skateboards or any motorized vehicles are prohibited.



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Are pets allowed in the Arboretum?

No. Pets are not allowed.



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Can we pick the fruit, flowers, or leaves?

The Arboretum does not allow harvesting of any of their plants, fruits, flowers, or leaves. There are exceptions, and only upon request.



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Is there power in the gardens?

Yes, for most of the larger wedding facilities there is power upon request. These gardens do not have power: Evans Creek Bridge, Columbus Gazebo or Kristen's Garden.



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Can we have our reception in the gardens?

Gardens are available for wedding rentals, but no food or drinks are allowed in the gardens.

For information on garden rentals visit: https://www.washoecounty.us/parks/maycenterhome/arboretum/garden_rentals/garden_wedding_rentals.php

For alternative venues within Washoe County please visit https://www.washoecounty.us/parks/reservable_facilities/index.php



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Are the restrooms in the Arboretum?

Restrooms are available at the Visitor Center by the Ranger's office and adjacent to the Arboretum office.



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Can we smoke in the Arboretum?

The May Arboretum is a smoke-free environment.



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Can I bring a stroller or wheelchair?

The Arboretum has paved garden paths and trails accessible to stroller and wheelchairs.



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Can I book a private tour or school tour?

Contact the Arboretum office for private tours or school tours by emailing Bill Carlos at bcarlos@washoecounty.us.