What City Am I In?

How Do I Find My Local Laws and Local Government in California?

It might sound like a dumb question to some people, but it can be confusing to figure out what official city or “municipality” you are in.

Within each city are many neighborhoods or districts which people often mistake as separate cities (even some that have “city” in the name, like Century City or Studio City, which are NOT their own city!). 

Not only that, but you may not even be in any city at all, but instead one of the many “unincorporated communities“.

Why does it matter what city I’m in?

Each city or municipality is the local government that makes its own laws (called “ordinances” or “municipal laws” or more simply “local laws,” “city laws” or “county laws”) on certain issues, such as parking, noise, alcohol consumption, etc.

If you are in a proper incorporated city, your local government is the city. If you are in an unincorporated area, your local government is the county. Whichever jurisdiction you are physically located in at any particular moment will determine which laws apply (see Legal Basics). Once you determine your local government, you can get your applicable local laws, usually called the “municipal code.”

So, to determine what your local government is:

  • If you are within a municipality, your local government is the municipality.
  • If you are not within a municipality, your local government is usually the county.

For your specific local government, see below for our What is My City feature.

So how do I find out what municipality I’m in?

We created a “What is My City” feature to find your jurisdiction for any location in the country, and it will also help you find your local laws. Unfortunately, the platform we were using has changed their pricing so we had to shut it down for now. Stay tuned for updates.

In the meantime, check with your county government for more information.

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