How Is an APN Number Given to a Property?

To assign an assessor's parcel number to a property, the county assessor or a member of the county's tax board creates a unique number based on the location of the home, its zoning properties and the parcel number for other surrounding homes. Each county uses its own numbering and coding systems, so the formatting may change between locations.

Each county tracks the availability and use of its land through a numbering system managed by the tax assessor or taxation department. This allows the county to ensure that the owner of each plot uses it for the intended purposes and that it collects the appropriate taxes during periods of use or sales. The assessor creates the number when the land becomes available for use, such as when a land owner clears a section of conservation land for development or splits a larger lot into smaller sections.

The assessor's parcel number involves a special designation for the location of the land within the county, sometimes using a zoning system. Other segments of the number may relay additional details about the property, such as the types of structures that the owner may build upon it. The numbering systems are different for each county, though all counties keep a comprehensive records system of the numbers that are available to the public. These records are sometimes available through the website of the tax assessor's office.