Basic Recording Requirements


Return Address (GC 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 (GC 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 (GC 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 (GC 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 (GC 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 (GC 27280.5)

Names of party(ies) to be indexed shall be legibly signed, typed or printed.

Signatures (GC 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. No alterations can be made to a certified copy. 

Acknowledgment or Verification (GC 27201 27289, 27282, 27285, 27287, 27288; CC 1189; CCP 2003, 2015.5)

Document must be properly acknowledged or verified, unless exempt.

Documents Containing Social Security Numbers (CC 1798.89)

Unless otherwise required to do so by a state or federal law, a document shall not be presented for recording if it displays more than the last four digits of a social security number.

Certified Copies

Certified copies, including certified copies of death, birth, and marriage certificates, cannot be amended or altered by any means, including redacting the social security numbers at submission.

Re-recorded Documents (GC 27201(C))

All re-recordings require the document to be re-signed and re-acknowledged except for those identified under GC 27201(c).

Modifying, Releasing or Cancelling Interest  (GC 27361.6)

Any document which modifies, releases or cancels the provisions of a previously recorded document shall state the names of all parties affected and the document number (or book and page) of the document being modified, released or cancelled.


Depending on the type of document, additional requirements apply.