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Recording

Kinds of documents that are recorded Requirements when recording Suggested and required formatting for documents
Fees for recording services How to search our records for documents How to obtain copies of recorded documents 

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For more information on Document Format, click, Document Format.

Recording Requirements
The County Recorder, upon payment of proper fees and taxes, will accept any document which is authorized or required by California law to be recorded, if the document contains required information and if it is photographically reproducible.

Documents may be presented for recording in person or by mail at the County Recorder’s Office located at: 701 Ocean St, Room 230, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.

Your request is processed upon receipt. Please allow 6-8 weeks to receive your original recorded document back in the mail. All applicable fees must be paid at the time of recording, for more details click recording fees.

Each document presented for recording must include or comply with the following general requirements.
ĚThe property must be located in Santa Cruz County. (CC1169)
ĚThe document must be authorized or required by law to be recorded. (GC 29201)
ĚThe document must be submitted with the proper fees and taxes. (GC 6301, 27201, 27261)
ĚThe document must be in compliance with state and local laws.
ĚThe document should Name the person requesting recording. (GC 27361.6)
ĚThe document should state the Name and address to whom the document should  be returned, fill in "Recording Requested By and Mail To". (GC 27361.6) ĚThe document must be legible enough to produce a readable photographic record. (GC 27201, 27361.6, 27361.7) See legibility requirements below.
ĚSignatures must be original unless the document is a certified copy issued by the appropriate custodian of the public record. (GC 27201b, GC 28288, Evid Code 1530)
ĚThe document must be properly acknowledged, unless exempt. California requires an all-purpose acknowledgement. (GC 27201, 27289, 27285, 27287, 27288, CC 1189)
ĚThe Assessor’s Parcel Number is required on deeds by local Ordinance. (R&T 11911.1)
ĚThe notary seal must be legible for a microfilm reproduction . (GC 8207)

Legibility Requirements
Each page of every document presented for recording must be legible and photographically reproducible. To meet these high standards for legibility, it is recommended that original documents be on white paper (16 lb. Bond or heavier) and printed with black ink. Be careful of dot matrix printers, FAX copies, dark backgrounds, variations in colored paper/ink, printed letters that run together, illegible Notary Seals, etc.

Depending on the type of document, additional requirements may apply.
Documentary Transfer Tax is due on all taxable conveyances in excess of $100 at a rate of $.55 per $500 or fractional portion of  real property value; excluding any liens or encumbrances already of record as required, per Revenue and Taxation Code 11911. It is collected at the time of recording on each deed, or instrument. A Documentary Transfer Tax Declaration must be completed and signed for all deeds. If no Documentary Transfer Tax is due, so indicate by entering "0" on the tax line and sign the declaration. Please explain the reason why no tax is due on the document or on a separate signed statement. (R&T 11932)

When transferring title to property a "Preliminary Change of Ownership Report" IS REQUIRED per the Revenue and Taxation Code 480.2, If a "Preliminary Change of Ownership Report" is required, but not submitted at the time of recording, please include an additional $20.00 for the Ownership Change fee. Preliminary Change of Ownership Forms can be:

  • Downloaded HERE
  • Picked up at the customer counter at the Main Office of the Recorder.
  • They can be mailed to you upon request by calling (831) 454-2800.
  • Send an e-mail request to rcd.web@santacruzcounty.us.
The Office of the Recorder is PROHIBITED from giving ANY legal advice or to assist in document preparation. We DO NOT provide any legal forms or notarial services. Various types of forms may be purchased at office supply or stationary stores. Once you have the appropriate form, you may prepare it yourself, consult legal counsel or contact a local title company or escrow company.
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For more information, please call us during office hours, at (831) 454-2800, Mon-Fri, 8am-4pm. Fax 831-454-3169. Click to E-Mail We are located at 701 Ocean ST., RM. 230, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060. Se Habla Espa˝ol.