Basic Recording Requirements

Overview
Each document presented for recording must conform to the following basic document requirements. Most documents have additional specific requirements that are not listed here. Consult your title company, lawyer or accountant for guidance.
  • Return Address (Govt – 27361.6)
    • The upper left-hand corner of each document is intended for use by the public to show the name and address to whom the document should be returned.
  • Name(s) of Person(s) Requesting Recording (Govt – 27361.6)
    • The upper left-hand corner of each document is intended for use by the public to show the person(s) requesting recording.
  • Legibility / Photographability (Govt – 27361.7)

    • Whenever a document or portion of a document is not sufficiently legible to produce a readable photographic record, a legible copy may be attached and shall be certified by the party creating the copy to be a true copy of the original. Legible copy also pertains to notary seals, certificates and other appendages.
  • English Language Translation (Govt – 27293; AG OPINION 82 – 1209; CC – 2923.3)
    • Whenever a document, or portion of a document, is in a foreign language, an English translation, certified by the County Clerk, must be attached thereto prior to its recordation.
    • If your document requires an English language translation, you must follow the protocol and obtain the necessary documents as outlined here.
    • A document which has a foreign language apostille attached and which has been executed outside of the United States may be recorded without a translation of the apostille.
    • Notices of Default and Notices of Trustee Sale may be recorded without translation if the summary is included and contains languages other than English.
  • Title of Document (Govt – 27324)
    • All instruments presented for recordation shall have a title or titles on the first page indicating the kind of document or documents the recording contains.
  • Names of Party(ies) to be Indexed (Govt – 27280.5)
    • Names of party(ies) to be indexed shall be legibly signed, typed or printed.
  • Signatures (Govt – 27201(B), 27280.5; CC – 1213, 1218)
    • Signatures must be original, unless the document is a certified copy issued by the appropriate custodian of the public record.

Text taken from the Document Reference Manual for the County Recorder’s Association of California.