Frequently Asked Questions

The Socorro County Government entity is comprised of several different departments, which are a blend of both appointed and elected offices. This blend creates a unique web of agencies and departments committed to serving all constituents. Listed below are a few of our most frequently asked questions related to complaints or violations.
Animal & Livestock Control
The Socorro County Sheriff’s Office can cite owners for violation of the County’s Animal Control Ordinance. Socorro County does not have an animal control officer or animal shelter facility available to retrieve and store animals. To report an animal owner, please contact the Sheriff’s office at 575.835.0941.

To report livestock damages or issues, please contact the NM Livestock Board at 505-841-6161 or visit their website to find District 14 contact and inspector information.
Construction Violations
Socorro County does not have a construction, permitting or code enforcement office. All construction within the County and outside of the Village of Magdalena and City of Socorro, is subject to State regulation. If you suspect a construction or permitting violation or suspect that an unlicensed contractor is doing work in your area, you can visit the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department Construction Industries Division at their website at or you can contact them at the following locations: 2550 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, NM 87505, (505) 476-4700.

Surface Water Notice for Construction: For any construction that will disturb one acre or more of land, you must obtain a Construction General Permit from the New Mexico Environment Department's Surface Water Quality Bureau. The Bureau can be contacted at or (505) 222-9500.
Gross Receipts Tax Rate
The gross receipts tax rate for Socorro County is 6.375% in all unincorporated areas Socorro County. The rate in the City of Socorro is 7.4375%; Village of Magdalena is 7.3125%; Socorro Industrial Park is 6.375%

Inspection of Public Records
By law, under the Inspection of Public Records Act, NMSA 1978 Section 14-2-1 et seq., every person hast the right to inspect public records of the County of Socorro.  The Act also makes compliance with requests to inspect public records an integral part of the routine duties of the officers and employees of the County of Socorro.


Requests to inspect public records should be submitted to Michael Hawkes, the Records Custodian, at: Physical Address: 210 Park St., Socorro, NM 87801; Mailing Address: P.O. Box I, Socorro, NM 87801; Phone: (575) 835-0589; Fax: (575) 835-4629 or Website:

A person desiring to inspect public records may submit a request to the Records Custodian orally or in writing.  However, the procedures and penalties prescribed by the Act apply only to written requests.  A written request must contain the name, address and telephone number of the person making the request.  Written requests may be submitted in person or sent via US mail, email or facsimile.  The request must describe the records sought in sufficient detail to enable the Records Custodian to identify and locate the requested records.

The Records Custodian must permit inspection immediately or as soon as practicable, but no later than 15 calendar days after the Records Custodian receives the request.  If inspection is not permitted within 3 business days, the person making the request will receive a written response explaining when the records will be available for inspection or when the County of Socorro will respond to the request. If any of the records sought are not available for public inspection, the person making the request is entitled to a written response from the Records Custodian explaining the reasons inspection has been denied.  The written denial shall be delivered or mailed within 15 calendar days after the Records Custodian received the request for inspection.


If a person requesting inspection would like a copy of a public record, a reasonable fee may be charged. The Records Custodian will request that applicable fees for copying public records be paid in advance, before the copies are made.  A receipt indicating that the fees have been paid for making copies of public records will be provided upon request to the person requesting the copies.

Liquid Waste (Sewer) Violations
All septic tanks in non-incorporated county areas are regulated by the New Mexico Environment Department Liquid Waste (Septic) Program. You can visit their website at or you can contact the following District 5 Staff: Los Lunas Office Phone 505.841.5306 or FAX: 505.841.5284 or the Socorro Office at Phone 575.835.1287.
Livestock Running at Large
New Mexico is a fence-out state in regard to livestock running at large. Therefore, in all unincorporated areas of the County, it is the landowner's responsibilty to fence out unwanted livestock according to fencing specifications outlined in the State's Livestock Code, NMSA Chapter 77. For more information, contact the NM Livestock Board at

Mexican Wolf Recovery Program
To report wolf sightings or livestock attacks, visit, or contact the Mexican Wolf Field Projects Coordinator, John Oakleaf, if you have any questions. John Oakleaf can be reached by email at, or by phone at (505) 761-4782.

Mobile Home Violations
All manufactured home standards are regulated by  the State Manufactured Housing Division. You can contact them at Manufactured Housing Division, Regulation and Licensing Department, 2550 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
(505) 476-4770 or email
Open Burning Violations
Burning of household trash is prohibited in the State of New Mexico. The only open burning allowed is for vegetative material and there are guidelines for this type of burning. For a checklist and guide for open burning of vegetative material, visit If you would like to report a violation of these regulations, please contact the NM Environment Department Air Quality Buruea at 800.224.7009 or 505.955.8038.

Public Nuisance Ordinance Violations
Socorro County does have a public nuisance ordinance related to noise, smell and other similar offenses. To make a complaint, please review the Public Nuisance Ordinance on our Ordinances page. Once you have reviewed the ordinance, you can contact the Sheriff's Office at 575.835.0941 or file a Public Nuisance Violation Report with the manager's office. This form is located on the Manager's Forms page.

Solid Waste (Trash) Violations
The Socorro County Sheriff’s Office can cite owners for violation of the County’s Solid Waste Ordinance. To report an land owner, please contact the Sheriff’s office at 575.835.0941.

Zip Codes for Socorro County
87831 Alamillo
87825 Alamo
87832 Bingham
87011 Claunch
87028 La Joya & Contreras
87062 Las Nutrias
87823 Lemitar
87825 Magdalena
87828 Polvadera
87831 San Acacia
87832 San Antonio
87801 Socorro
87062 Veguita