Recording Tips

It is the goal of the Recorder’s Office to efficiently record documents for the public record.  However, before being accepted for recording, each document must meet certain requirements. The following is a general checklist intended only to assist you in the recording process and reduce the possibility that your document will be returned unrecorded.    

Legal Advice
The Recorder’s Office is prohibited from giving legal advice; nor can staff assist the public in the preparation of legal documents. If you have questions concerning which document form is appropriate for your transaction, or if you are in need of assistance in obtaining forms or the preparation of that document, you should consult an attorney or obtain other professional advice. 

Review the following for all documents:

  1. Remember to enclose payment for the correct recording fees. 
  2. Make certain the check or money order is payable to the Humboldt Clerk/Recorder.
  3. If you are unsure what the total fee for recording will be, you may leave the amount blank and write below the line "not to exceed $_____".(add a dollar amount above which you believe is correct)  
  4. If you are claiming an exemption from SB2’s additional $75 fee, ensure your completed SB2 exemption coversheet is completed, attached to your document, and your fee includes the additional $3 page fee to cover the additional page fee.  
  5. Review the "Basic Recording Requirements"(pdf) before submitting your document(s).
  6. The order in which your documents are recorded can be very important. Be sure to staple each document individually and separately, and submit them in the order in which you would like them to be recorded.      
  7. If the document is being acknowledged in California, make sure your document contains the current "California All-Purpose Acknowledgment" (pdf)". 
  8. If the document is being "Subscribed and Sworn" in California, verify your document contains the current "California Notary Jurat".(pdf)
  9. If you are requesting a Conformed Copy, be sure to include the copy to be conformed, an additional $2 fee, and a self-addressed stamped envelope. (envelope not required when recording in person)

Additional items to review for deeds and transfers:

  1. Every deed or transfer must be submitted with a Preliminary Change of Ownership Report. (pdf).  This form must be completed and signed by the receiver of the interest of the property. If you wish to forego the form at the time of recording, a $20 non-filing penalty fee must be included in your fees.
  2. Before being accepted for recording, every document transferring an interest in real property shall have written upon its face a declaration stating the amount of Documentary Transfer Tax and the area in which the property is located. (see transfer tax declaration example) (pdf)  The statement must be completed to show either the amount of Transfer Tax, (see documentary transfer tax table here) (pdf), which is payable at the time of recording, or the word "None" or "$0" along with a valid Revenue and Taxation Code allowing for the exemption.  Applicable exemptions and requirements by California statute can be researched in Revenue and Taxation codes 11921 through 11930.  

Notice: All information provided by the Clerk-Recorder’s Office through this website is subject to change without notice.  The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace information or advise obtained from your attorney or other legal professional.