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The King County Records Center is the county's designated storage facility for inactive paper records. Use of the Records Center is governed by Executive Policies INF 15-2-1 (AEP) and INF-15-4-1-EP. Inactive boxes of records are required to be entered and managed in Content Manager.

These instructions are for King County employees to send or retrieve boxes that are still within their legal retention period and are in the legal custody of their agency.

If you want to transfer a box with historical value to the King County Archives that has past its retention period, please complete an Archival Records Transfer Agreement.

If you want to send a box for direct destruction, please complete a Records Center Destruction Form.

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Records Disposition Review Fund

Records and Licensing Services Division (RALS) was authorized in the 2015/2016 budget process, to charge agencies for boxes stored in the Records Center that are past their disposition date and have fulfilled legal retention requirements. Agencies may request reimbursement from the fund for direct labor expenditures associated with addressing issues that hinder disposition, up to the amount they have contributed. Agency Disposition Authorities are responsible for verifying disposition eligibility and approving dispositions. Records are considered disposition eligible and subject to the box fee if they are past retention, not subject to an approved legal or administrative hold, and have not been approved for disposition within forty-five (45) days after receipt of the disposition authorization notice. Records meeting one of the following criteria may have box fee charges waved:

 

  • Conditional/cutoff has not been met
  • Valid hold for litigation or public disclosure
  • Records required for ongoing investigation or audit
  • Inaccurate box information including schedule/category and cutoff date

Temporary Service Change Updates

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Records Center staff are only available to fulfill record requests twice per week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays only, until the county's teleworking mandate has been lifted. During this time Records Center staff are continuing to process new storage requests and Records Center Destruction Forms ("Direct Destructions"). Potential delays in the scheduling for box pickup during this time may occur. At this time users should continue to submit requests according to the processes on this page.
For a printable version of the below guidance, please visit our Records Center Box Packing Guide (PDF).

1. Plan before you pack

Include only one record series per box (no mixed series) and make sure the records are eligible for Records Center storage. You may need to review your retention schedule.

Storage eligibility requirements:

  • records are primary copies and classified as public records in accordance with RCW 40.14 (i.e. not duplicate copies or transitory records)

  • records that have been digitized in accordance with a Digitization after Digitization (DAD) approval and standards set forth in WAC 434-663 are not eligible for storage at the Records Center

  • records must have met their cutoff date (i.e. Date Closed) and are no longer needed for agency business and are deemed inactive by the agency

  • records must have at least one calendar year left of their retention period

  • records that are past their approved retention period are not eligible for storage at the Records Center unless they are required for response to pending litigation, audit, public disclosure request or legal hold (if applicable, submit a Legal Hold Request Form after the box has been created in Content Manager and before the pick-up request has been sent - between step 4 and 5 below).

  • records must be entered in Content Manager (CM)

2. Box your records appropriately

  • Records must be placed in standard 12"x10"x15" boxes with double-walled construction and attached lid. Keeney's #FEL-12772 is the officially recognized box - all other box types and oversized boxes will be granted storage eligibility on a case-by-case basis by the Records Center Supervisor. 

  • Do not under-fill a box. It must be full with no more than 2 inches of free space to be accepted by the Records Center. For partially-full boxes, please contact the Records Center to discuss possible solutions.

  • Do not over-fill a box. All folders should fit inside comfortably.

  • Do not include 3-ring binders, hanging file folders or large metal fasteners (binder clips)

3. Label your boxes

You must use box labels purchased online from the King County Print Shop . Project is called "Records Center Box Labels", they come in packages of 100.

  • Enter the following information on each box label and affix it to the front of the box.

    Department and Division - the agency that owns the box, example: DES-RALS-(ARMMS)
    Description of Records - explanation or description of records in the box; which should usually be the same as the "Box Title" in Content Manager
    Inclusive Dates - the date range of records within the individual box
    Box Number - the Content Manager box number; an auto-generated 6-digit number with a "B" in front of it (you will have to go back to complete this after you have completed step 4).

Do not write any confidential information on the label.

Firmly affix the label to the front of the box (the short end of the box). 

4. Enter your boxes in Content Manager

This process is explained in the Physical Records training course and also on the How to create a box job aid. 

After boxes have been entered, write the box numbers on the labels (see step 3).


5. Request box pick up in Content Manager

This process is explained in the Physical Records training course and also on the How to send a box job aid. 

 

Records retrieval requests and access to records must be made in Content Manager by employees who have been specifically designated by their agency as Records Management Leads.

To maintain the integrity of the filing system, only box-level records retrieval requests will be processed by the Records Center. For unusual circumstances, the Records Center Supervisor may approve individual file requests.

If it is necessary to add new records to a box after it has been sent to the Records Center, it is the originating agency's responsibility to interfile the new records.

1. Locate the box in Content Manager

This process is explained in the Searching training course and also on the searching job aids. 

Remember! Boxes in Content Manager now have a "B" in front of their number. So if you are trying to find box number 919616, the number is now B919616 in Content Manager.

Below is how you would search for a box by the number:
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2. Request the box in Content Manager

This process is explained in the Physical Records training course and also on the How to request a box job aid. 

3. Return the box in Content Manager

This process is explained in the Physical Records training course and also on the How to request a box job aid. 

Looking for Records?

King County Archives - historical county records
Recorder's Office - recorded documents
Vital Statistics - birth and death records
Find Public Records - various county records
Public Records Program - submit a public disclosure request