Document Recording Requirements

Each document presented for recording must include or comply with the following general requirements.

  1. The property must be located in the recording county. (C.C. § 1169)
  2. The document must be authorized or required by law to be recorded. (G.C. § 27201)
  3. Include the name of the party requesting the recording and a name and address where the document can be returned. (G.C. § 27361.6)
  4. The document must be properly acknowledged, unless exempt. California requires an (all-purpose acknowledgement). (G.C. §27201, 27289, 27285, 27287, 27288; C.C. § 1189)
  5. The Assessor's Parcel Number is required on notice of default, notice of trustee's sale, deeds, trust deeds and mortgages. (G.C. § 27297.6)
  6. The notary seal must be legible for a microfilm reproduction. (G.C. § 8207)
  7. When recording documents affecting a change in the ownership of real property, include a completed Preliminary Change of Ownership Report. These forms can be obtained from the County Assessor’s Office as well as the County Clerk-Recorder's Office.
  8. Documents must be clearly legible in order to produce a readable photographic record. This pertains to the document text, notary seals, certificates and other attachments, such as legal descriptions. (Gov. 27361.7)
  9. Standard page size is 8.5 by 11 inches. Other page sizes incur additional recording fees. For recording space requirements, the first page of the document must reserve a minimum of 2.5 inches down from the top of the page, of which the left 3.5 inches across is used by the party requesting recording to enter name and address to which the document is to be returned following recording. The remainder of this space is reserved for use by the Registrar-Recorder to enter the official recording information.
  10. With regard to the vertical sides of the page, a minimum of 0.5 inches must be left blank on each side of the document. If the first page of a document does not comply with these legal requirements, attach a separate page to the front of the document that meets these spacing criteria and which includes the title or titles of the document.

How to Calculate Documentary Transfer Tax

For example, on a property valued at $21,100, the amount of the County's Documentary Tax would be calculated by rounding up the amount to $21,500, dividing $21,500 by $500, and multiplying that number by $0.55 for a total of $23.65.

Get it Recorded