Recorded Documents / Official Records
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of documents can be recorded?
Any document affecting title to real property that is authorized or required by law to be recorded. This includes such documents as grant deeds, deeds of trust, mechanic's liens, tax liens, and reconveyances. The recording requirements are established by California statutes.
What are the basic recording requirements?
- Original signatures are required except as otherwise required by law (Government Code 27201(b)
- A California all-purpose acknowledgment is required (Civil Code 1188 and Civil Code 1189)
- Documents, including notary seals and attachments, must be sufficiently legible to reproduce a readable photographic copy (Government Code 27361.7)
- Margins on each vertical side must be at least 1/2". The top 2.5" of the first page must be reserved for the recording information. The left 3.5" of this space must include the name
of the party requesting recording and the address where the document is to be mailed after recording (Government Code 27361.6)
Download the sample cover sheet.
- The title of the document must be indicated on the first page directly below the space reserved for the Recorder (Government Code 27324)
- A recording reference is required on any document that modifies, releases, or cancels the provisions of a previously recorded document (Government Code 27361.6)
- Basic recording fees are $15.00 for the first page and $3.00 for each additional page of the same document (Government Code 27361)
Will the Recorder's Office help me prepare my document?
The Recorder's Office is prohibited by law from providing you with legal advice. We can only provide you the recording requirements for a particular document. We recommend that you contact a legal advisor for assistance in preparing your document.
What happens to my document after it is recorded?
The Recorder's Office is required to make a permanent record of all documents. All documents are scanned into the computer system for immediate viewing the day after recording. Copies are also stored on microfilm for archival purposes. Once the images on the computer and microfilm have been checked for accuracy the originals are returned to the requester in approximately three to four weeks.
What is documentary transfer tax?
California Revenue and Taxation Code 11911(a) allows each county to impose a documentary transfer tax on realty transferred when the consideration or value of the property is greater than $100.00. Transfer tax is calculated at the rate of $0.55 per $500.00 of property value. It is due at the time of recording unless a valid exemption under the Revenue and Taxation Code is provided (R & T 11921-11930).
How do I find out what has been recorded on a particular property?
The County Recorder does not provide searches of our records; however, our research room is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday (legal holidays excluded). The records are indexed under property owner's name.
How do I find out the sales price of a certain property?
Sale prices can be estimated from the amount of documentary transfer tax indicated on a deed. Transfer tax is not charged on assumed loan amounts and, therefore, the tax amount may not reflect the true purchase price.
How do I find out if a lien has been filed against my property? How do I get it removed?
You will need to search our records under your name to find out if a lien has been placed against you or if a recorded lien has been released. The Recorder's Office cannot remove any liens placed against you. To have a lien removed, you will need to contact the party who recorded the lien.