General Information

Socorro County is one of 33 counties in the State of New Mexico, was established in 1852 and encompasses approximately 6,646 square miles. Socorro County was originally created in 1844 by the Republic of Mexico and designated in 1850 by the territorial government of what was to become New Mexico. The county was named for the County seat, located in Socorro, New Mexico. The 2010 Census estimates our population at 17,866. We share our borders with Sierra, Valencia, Torrance, Cibola, Catron, and Lincoln Counties. Socorro County ranges in elevation from approximately 4,528 ft. on the banks of the Rio Grande to 10,784 ft. at the top of South Baldy Peak in the Magdalena Mountains. Socorro is home to several mountain ranges and sky islands.

Socorro was the name conferred by Don Juan de Oñate upon a Pueblo north of the present town of Socorro, the County seat. In the summer of 1598, a group of Native Americans presented him and his troops with corn, which is why he chose the name "succor" or "help". Once the largest city in New Mexico because of silver strikes nearby. Today, Socorro County is home to New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology, the National Radio Astronomy's Very Large Array, the Magdalena Ridge Observatory, Bosque del Apache and Sevilleta Wildlife refuges, and White Sands Missile Range. The world's first atomic bomb was exploded in the southeast corner of the County on July 16, 1945. The County also has considerable cattle ranching. As a matter of fact, the Board of County Commissioners has even adopted the "Code of the West," which can be found on our Resolutions page. The courthouse, built by New Deal funding in 1940, is a Spanish-pueblo architectural style and replaced an earlier public building on the same site. For more on Socorro County's history, visit our History page.

Socorro County's general mailing address is PO Box I, Socorro NM 87801.

County Offices

Click on the links below for a map to the location:

Socorro County Annex Building, 198 Neel Avenue, Socorro NM

Socorro County Courthouse, 200 Church Street, Socorro NM 

Socorro County DWI/Misdemeanor Compliance & Community Options, 575.838.0998, 106 Center Street, Socorro NM

Socorro County Manager/Commission Office, 575-835-0589, 210 Park Street, Socorro NM

Socorro County Road Department Building, 575-835-2041, 2409 NM Hwy 1, Socorro NM

County Forms

Business Licenses

Socorro County does not require a business license for any business, old or new, to operate in the unincorporated area of the County. However, if your business is located within the City of Socorro or Village of Magdalena, you are required to obtain a license from the applicable entity.

You may be also be required to obtain a license from the relative regulatory authority for your business or the State Regulation and Licensing Department. For more information, you may contact the State RLD at or 505.476.4500.

For your convenience, a form letter with this information is located below.



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 via their website or you can contact them at the following location:

2550 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM 87505

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 via their website or by calling 505-222-9500.

Gross Receipts Tax

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 

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 or you can contact District 5 Staff:

Los Lunas Office
Phone: 505-841-5306
FAX: 505.841.5284 

Socorro Office

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 via their website.

Mexican Wolf Recovery Program

To report wolf sightings or livestock attacks, call 888-459-9653 or 928-339-4329 or contact the Mexican Wolf Field Projects Coordinator, John Oakleaf, with questions. John Oakleaf can be reached by email to, or by phone: 928-245-1910.

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

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 Bureau at 800-224-7009 or 505-476-4300.

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

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


NACo Prescription Discount Program

Introducing the Socorro County Prescription Discount Card

Americans are paying more for prescription drugs than ever before. Without prescription coverage, staying healthy can come at a high price. With the Socorro County Prescription Discount Card Program provided to you in a joint effort with the National Association of Counties (NACo), you can save money on many of your prescription purchases!

Any county resident without prescription coverage can use this program. Even if you have insurance for prescription drugs, you may still benefit from the discount card, since it may save you money on prescription drugs that are not covered by your existing plan.

The Socorro County Prescription Discount Card Program is: 

To print an ID card that can be used immediately at a participating pharmacy, locate a pharmacy, or access other program tools, visit, or call toll free 1-877-321-2652 for more information.

Get your card and start saving today!

Operated by CVS Caremark.

This is NOT insurance. Discounts are only available at any participating pharmacy.

General Questions

How much does the program cost?
Your prescription discount card is provided to you free of charge by the county.

Does everyone in my family need an individual card?
No. Everyone in the family may use the same card if desired.

Can I use this card to get discounts on my pet’s medication(s)?
Yes, if your pet has been prescribed a medication that is also used to treat a human condition, you may receive a discount on the medication by taking the prescription to a participating retail pharmacy.

I just received my card. Can I use it right away?
Yes, just use your card to start saving immediately. Present your prescription discount card at a participating retail pharmacy when you fill or refill your prescriptions.

I’ve lost my card. How can I get a replacement?
Please visit to print a live ID card or call toll free: 1-877-321-2652.

Can I use my card to get discounts on over-the-counter products and non-prescription medications?
Not usually. However, discounts are available for many diabetic supplies.

How is this prescription discount program different from traditional prescription insurance?
This is not insurance; it is a prescription discount program. The card provides immediate discounts at the pharmacy. Upon presenting your card to the pharmacist, you will pay the lower of a discounted price or the pharmacy’s regular retail price. There are no claim forms to fill out and no limit to the number of times you can use the card. These discounts are available only at participating retail pharmacies.

Can I use my prescription discount card with my current insurance benefit to reduce my costs?
Your card cannot be used in conjunction with insurance. However, you are able to use your card to purchase prescriptions that are not covered by these plans.

Can I still use my prescription discount card if I sign up for a Medicare prescription plan?
Yes, you can use your prescription discount card anytime you need to purchase a prescription that is not covered by your Medicare prescription plan or any other insurance.

Should I use my prescription discount card during my deductible and coverage gap periods for covered medications?
No. Only use your prescription discount card to purchase non-covered medications.

Can I use my prescription discount card in addition to my Medicare prescription plan and get additional discounts?
No. You need to present either your Medicare prescription plan card or your prescription discount card. Only use your prescription discount card when purchasing medications not covered by your Medicare prescription plan.

I’m not going to sign-up for a Medicare prescription plan. Can I still use my prescription discount card?

Yes, you can continue to use your prescription discount card just as you do today.

Pharmacy and Pricing Questions

Which pharmacies accept the card?
The prescription discount card is accepted at more than 60,000 retail pharmacies nationwide, including many of the leading chains. Ask your local pharmacy if they participate, visit the “Locate a Pharmacy” page on the NACo website, or call the toll-free number — 1-877-321-2652 — to find out if a specific pharmacy participates in the program.

How much will I save?
While savings on each prescription may vary, you can save an average of 24 percent off of the pharmacy’s regular retail prices for prescriptions. In addition, my may save more by choosing from our list of select medications. This list is comprised of products offering additional savings.

Will I always receive the lowest price?
Yes. You will receive the best price available to you through this program at the pharmacy. On occasion, pharmacies will price a particular medication lower than the discount rate provided by the card. If that occurs, you will receive the lower price.

Can I find out the discounted price of my prescriptions before going to the pharmacy?
Because prices can vary by location, only the actual pharmacy can tell you the exact price of the prescription. However, participants save an average of 30% and up to 75%.

Why did the price of my prescription change since the last time I purchased the prescription?
Drug prices are different from pharmacy to pharmacy. Even chains have different prices in their stores depending on the population they are servicing. Additionally, manufacturers’ drug prices change periodically.

The brochure says I can save an average of 24 percent on my prescription medication. Will I save 24 percent on all my medications?
Because a pharmacy’s retail price or usual and customary charge can differ greatly by pharmacy, your exact percentage of savings may vary depending on the prescription.

Do I have to choose between my prescription discount card and a retail pharmacy flat rate generic pricing plan?
No, always present your prescription discount card at a participating pharmacy so you will receive the lowest price available from the pharmacy for that prescription medicine on that day. You will receive the flat rate price when applicable and the prescription discount card discounted price when it is lower.

Should I still present my prescription discount card at a retail pharmacy when buying generic medicine listed on a flat rate generic pricing plan?
Yes, always present your prescription discount card when buying prescriptions not covered by a prescription drug benefit plan. For medicine on a generic pricing list, you will pay either the flat rate or the prescription discount card price, whichever is lower.

If I show my prescription discount card, can I get an additional discount off a generic medicine listed on the flat rate pricing plan?
No, when presenting your prescription discount card, you will receive either the pharmacy’s regular price for the prescription medicine or the prescription discount card discounted price, whichever is lower. If the flat rate price for select generics is lower than the prescription discount card price, you will pay the flat rate. With the prescription discount card, you will receive the best price available for your prescription medicine on that day from that pharmacy.

About Specialty Pharmacy

What is specialty pharmacy and what kinds of services do they offer?
Specialty pharmacy offers delivery of injectable and select oral specialty medication and supplies to the location of your choice. Services include delivery notification and refill reminder calls to help you stay on your treatment plan. You’ll also receive expert care services including counseling, follow up care calls, informative disease-related materials, and access to health experts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What drugs are offered through specialty pharmacy?
Medications for a variety of chronic conditions including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, infertility, immunologic disorders, Crohn’s disease, Gaucher disease, pulmonary hypertension, Fabry disease, MPS 1, blood dyscrasia, growth hormone deficiency, respiratory syncytial virus, hepatitis C and more are available through specialty pharmacy.

This is NOT insurance. Discounts are only available at any participating pharmacy.