Recording Requirements


Recording is the process of maintaining an index, scanning a clear image, and making your document public record. Currently records are available online dating back to 1984.

Blank documents can be found at an office supply/stationery store or a local title insurance company. At the time of recording all documents must be fully completed, signed, and notarized.

The Auditor’s office does not provide legal advice.

Recording Requirements

  • First page must have a 3 inch top margin and 1 inch margins on the sides and bottom.
  • Additional pages must have 1 inch margins on all sides.

First Page Requirements

  • Return address in upper left corner, within the top 3" margin
  • Document title
  • Name of grantor and grantee, with reference to page where additional names are located
  • Abbreviated legal description, with reference to page where complete legal is located
  • Reference number(s) if referencing a previously recorded document
  • Assessor’s tax parcel number, if the document contains a legal description

If required information does not appear on the first page of the document, a cover sheet must be completed listing all of the necessary information.

General Requirements

  • Page size may not exceed 8 1/2 by 14 inches
  • Font size must be 8 point or larger
  • Information on all pages must be legible and reproducible, including map pages
  • Paper and ink must be of weight and color capable of producing a legible image
  • No attachments are permitted (i.e. stapled/taped notary acknowledgement, legals, etc)

Documents that do not meet the Standard Recording Requirements may be recorded for an additional $50.00 fee

  • Attach a cover sheet that is provided by our office. The non-standard recording request must be completed and signed by the document preparer. Documents that must be recorded immediately and which do not meet margin and font size requirements may be recorded for an additional fee of $50.00 per RCW 65.04. This cover sheet must be attached to each non-compliant document. Regular fees apply, PLUS the $50.00 additional fee, and will be due on each non-compliant document. Non-standard documents are NOT EXEMPT from the requirement that they be fully legible.
  • Non-standard documents must be legible

Find more information about requirements in RCWs 65.04.045 and 65.04.48

Documents exempt from format requirements, that will be recorded using a cover sheet:

  • Documents signed prior to January 1, 1997
  • Military separation documents
  • Documents executed outside the U.S. and must be translated
  • Certified copies of documents
  • Any death certificate
  • Documents formatted to meet court requirements
  • Documents where the original signer is deceased or otherwise incapacitated

You may not record documents that contain:

  • A social security number
  • A date of birth identified with a particular person
  • The maiden name of a person’s parent so as to be identified with a particular person.

(government agencies are exempt)

If you don’t meet these requirements, your document(s) will be returned without being recorded.