Upon payment of proper fees and taxes, the County Recorder will accept any document that is authorized or required by California law to be recorded, as long as the document contains the required information (see "General Recording Requirements" below) and is photographically reproducible.

All applicable fees must be paid at the time of recording.  For all applicable fees, please refer to the "Recorder" Section of our Fee Schedule (Pages 1 to 2). 

You may record your document in person at any of our office locations Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM (excluding holidays).  All office locations accept cash, check, money order, and credit/debit cards (with an additional $2.50 surcharge for card payment).  Payments made by check or money order should be made payable to "San Diego Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk". 

You may also mail your document for recording.  Recordable documents with a statutory recording time frame are processed within 2 business days of when it is received, with the original recorded document mailed to you 2 to 4 weeks from the date of receipt.  Please mail the document and payment (check or money order only, made payable to "San Diego Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk") to the following addresses:

For Overnight/Express Mail service, please send to: 

San Diego Recorder/County Clerk
590 3rd Avenue, Suite 204
Chula Vista, CA 91910

For Standard US Mail service, please send to:

San Diego Recorder/County Clerk
P.O. Box 121750
San Diego, CA 92112-1750

The Recorder/County Clerk offices DO NOT provide any notarial services.  Notaries are only available within the premises of the San Diego Main Office, located at the Clerk of the Board: County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 402, San Diego, CA 92101.  The other branch offices of the Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk do not have notaries onsite.

State law prohibits the County Recorder from providing assistance or advice in the preparation of legal documents.  Most office supply and stationery stores carry legal documents that may fit your situation. There are also legal document preparation websites that provide certain forms.  There are a few standard templates listed on our website as Courtesy Recording Forms that you may access.  Once you determine the appropriate form for recordation, you may prepare it yourself or consult with a legal counsel, a local title company, or an escrow company in the preparation and completion of your legal document(s).

After reading the general recording requirements, if you have additional questions, please refer to our FAQs , e-mail us at, or contact us at (619) 238-8158.  Se habla Español.


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

  1. The property must be located in San Diego County.  (CIV 1169)
  2. The document must be authorized or required by law to be recorded.  (GOV 27201)
  3. The document must be submitted with the proper fees and taxes.  (GOV 6301, GOV 27201, GOV 27261)
  4. The document must be in compliance with state and local laws.
  5. The document should name the person requesting the recording.  (GOV 27361.6)
  6. The document should state the name and address to which the document is to be returned following recording, by completing the "Recording Requested By and Mail To" section.  (GOV 27361.6)
  7. The document must be sufficiently legible to produce a readable photographic record.  (GOV 27201, GOV 27361.6, and GOV 27361.7)
  8. Signatures must be original, unless the document is a certified copy issued by the appropriate custodian of the public record. (GOV 27201(b); EVID 1530)
  9. The document must be properly acknowledged, unless exempt.  California All-Purpose Acknowledgments must be completed as prescribed by law.  Any Certificate of Acknowledgment taken in another place shall be sufficient in this state if it is taken in accordance with the laws of the place where the acknowledgment is made.  (GOV 27201, GOV 27285, GOV 27287, GOV 27288, GOV 27289; CIV 1189)
  10. The Assessor's Parcel Number is required on deeds by local Ordinance.  (RTC 11911.1)
  11. The notary seal must be legible for a microfilm reproduction.  (GOV 8207)

If any portion of your recordable document is in a foreign language, it must be translated into English.  The translator will need to complete a Declaration and Certification of Translation form  for submission to the County Clerk.  The County Clerk will then complete a Translation Certification for a fee of $9.00. Both the Declaration and the Translation Certification forms must be completed and attached to the document prior to recording.

When transferring property to ANYONE, a Preliminary Change of Ownership Report is REQUIRED per the Revenue and Taxation Code Section 480.2.  If a Preliminary Change of Ownership Report is required but not submitted at the time of recording, the Recorder may charge an additional recording fee of $20.00.  Preliminary Change of Ownership forms are available at our offices and online , and can be mailed to you upon request by contacting us at (619) 238-8158.  

Pursuant to Revenue and Taxation Code Section 11911, Documentary Transfer Tax is due on all taxable conveyances in excess of $100.00 at a rate of $0.55 per $500.00 (or a fraction thereof) of real property value, excluding any existing liens or encumbrances.  Documentary Transfer Tax is collected at the time of recording for each deed or instrument.  A Documentary Transfer Tax Declaration must be completed and signed for all deeds.  If no Documentary Transfer Tax is due, indicate "0" on the tax line and sign the Declaration; include an explanation on the document or on a separate signed statement as to why no tax is due.  (RTC 11932)

Pursuant to Civil Code Section 1798.89, the document should not contain more than the last four digits of a Social Security Number; this does not apply to documents executed prior to January 1, 2010 or to certified copies of death certificates attached to the documents.

For questions regarding the general recording information and requirements, please refer to our FAQs, e-mail us at, or contact us at (619) 238-8158.  Se habla Español.