The Forms Your Citizens are Most Often Searching for on Your Website

Written by Katrina Lewison

A list of the nearly 100 common forms that represent cross-departmental collaborations and citizen engagement points.

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Our local governments facilitate hundreds if not thousands of civic actions daily for their citizens. As community members, we often only think about our government’s role when we need something from them—a trash pick-up, a marriage license, or a pet registration. Add up every municipal service, however, and the number of civic services is staggering. One of the most impactful ways to illuminate the litany of services our municipalities provide is to consider the number of forms related to civic services that local governments make available to their citizens, particularly those that must be facilitated by your clerk’s office and those related to zoning, building, and permitting.

At CivicPlus®, our CivicOptimize® solution provides form templates that allow local governments to convert manual paper-based form submission processes to digital. Our list of ready-to-use, digitally optimized mobile forms is rapidly growing based on our client partners’ needs. The result is an immense catalog of forms that showcase precisely how vital our local governments are to their citizens’ way of life.

If your administration is considering whether a switch to online forms from paper could save your staff time and your citizens from feeling frustrated, know that your citizens are likely already turning to your local government website for applications, permits, licenses, and other forms related to civic services

Note: A fillable pdf form on your website that citizens must download, print, sign, and email back is not considered an online form.

If they’re not finding what they’re looking for, they may take the extra step of contacting your staff through customer service channels or stopping into an office. However, they are more likely to find alternative solutions to their needs—and your administration is losing crucial revenue opportunities.

Based on our client data, what follows is a list of the forms, applications, licenses, and permits that your citizens are most commonly searching for on your website:

Administrative Forms

  • Request for Facility Reservation
  • Citizen Committee Application
  • Claim of Damages Request
  • General Payments
  • Contact Us
  • Public Comment
  • Employee Feedback
  • City Administrator Appointment Request
  • City Council Member Application

Building Forms and Permits

  • Building Permit/General
  • Fence Permit
  • Residential Building Permit
  • Commercial Building Permit
  • Pool Permit
  • Driveway Permit
  • Septic System Permit
  • Well Permit
  • Sign Permit
  • Utility Installation Permit
  • Contractor Registration Form
  • Sprinkler/Fire Alarm Permit

Clerk Office Forms, Permits, and Licenses

  • Assembly Permit
  • Block Party Permit
  • Event Permit
  • Peddler’s Permit
  • Public Records Request
  • Renter/Landlord Permit
  • Temporary Food Vendor License
  • Send a Comment to an Elected Official

Animal Services

  • Animal Breeder License
  • Dangerous Pet License
  • Foster Application
  • Limited Breed License
  • Pet Adoption Application
  • Pet License Application
  • Special Animal Permits
  • Kennel Application
  • Rabies Clinic Registration

Code-Related Forms

  • Violation report
  • Residential Energy Code Certification of Compliance Application
  • Graffiti Abatement Request
  • Fair Housing Complaint Form
  • Public Nuisances Complaint Form
  • Land Use Verification Form

Economic Development

  • Business License Renewal
  • Home Occupation License Update
  • Planning Commission Application
  • Short-Term Rental Applicant Submission Form
  • Capital Improvement Project Request
  • Business Assistance Program Application
  • Register an Available Property
  • Grant Opportunity Application
  • Advisory Committee Member Application
  • Certificate of Appropriateness Application

Emergency Services Forms

  • Disaster Volunteer Registration Form
  • Ready Your Business (RYB) Program Registration
  • Customer Service Survey
  • Fire Sprinkler Review Submittal Form
  • Alarm Permits
  • Business Crime Watch Registration Form
  • Citizen Academy Application
  • File a Police Report
  • Neighborhood Watch
  • Driver Awareness Registration
  • Register for Class
  • Tip-a-Cop
  • Traffic Concerns
  • Vacation Watch
  • Commendation Form

Engineering Forms

  • Drain Layer’s License Application
  • Permit to Encumber
  • Sidewalk Cut Plan Application for Approval
  • Inland Wetlands Agency Abutter Notice
  • Environment Water Treatment Plant Tour Request
  • Environment Annual Commercial Septic Inspection Request Form

Finance and Assessor Office Forms

  • Claim of Damages Request
  • Financial Report Request
  • Bid /Vendor Registration
  • Tax Relief Deferral/Discount Form
  • Business Tax Filing and Payment
  • Transient Occupancy Tax Filing and Payment
  • Business Tax Appeal
  • Not-For-Profit Exemption

Health Department Forms

  • Food Safety Certification Application
  • Restaurant inspection or Certification Request
  • Water Quality Test Request
  • Report a Health Code Violation
  • Senior Vaccination Program Registration
  • Pests and Vectors Reporting
  • Tattoo and Body Piercing Facility Permit

Parking Applications, Permits, and Forms

  • Residential On-Street Parking Permit Application
  • Parking Violation Payment Form
  • Request Overnight Parking Online
  • Municipal Parking Lot Permit

The list above represents nearly 100 forms commonly made available by local governments to their citizens. It’s nearly 100 points of engagement, 100 interactions, 100 cross-department collaborations, and 100 opportunities to delight citizens with a convenient online service that they can accomplish at any time of the day from any Internet-enabled device—but only if you’re using a digital, mobile-responsive forms solution. If not, it’s nearly 100 points of frustration for citizens who need to go into an office, print a form, write a check, find a stamp, and wait.

In many cases, citizens will avoid the process altogether and move forward with their plans with no permit or license (e.g., failing to register their pet), or find an alternate, easier to access service (e.g., a community class hosted by a private entity instead of their recreation department). The result for your community is lost opportunities to engage citizens and lost revenue potential.

If you’re ready to give your citizens the online, convenient experience they need, grow revenue, streamline your internal administrations, and delight your citizens, then click here to learn more about our ready-to-use online Form Templates.