Recording Requirements

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Upon payment of proper fees and taxes, the County Recorder will accept any document which is authorized or required by California law to be recorded, if the document contains required information and if it is photographically reproducible (GC §27201). Documents being recorded a second time have additional requirements to meet. See the Re-recording Requirements page for details.

Documents may be presented for recording at the Recorder's office or mailed for recording. See our Contact Information page for our address and hours. The recording fee must accompany the documents.

Each document presented for recording must include or comply with the following general requirements:

  • The property must be located in Fresno County (CC §1169)
  • The document must be authorized or required by law to be recorded (GC §27201)
  • The document must be submitted with the proper fees and taxes (GC §6301, §27201, §27261)
  • The document must be in compliance with state and local laws
  • The document should name the person requesting the recording (GC §27361.6)
  • The document should state the name and address of the person or agency to whom the document should be returned after recording, by filling in "Recording requested by and mail to" (GC §27361.6)
  • The document must be legible enough to produce a readable photographic record (GC §27201, §27261.6, §27361.7)
  • Signatures must be originals unless the document is a certified copy issued by the appropriate custodian of the public record (GC §27201b, GC §28288, Evid Code §1530)
  • The document must be properly acknowledged, unless exempt. California requires an all-purpose acknowledgment (GC §27201, §27289, §27285, §27287, §27288, CC §1189)
  • The Assessor's Parcel Number is required on all documents that transfer an interest in real property (R&T §11911.1)
  • The notary seal must be legible and photographically reproducible (GC §8207)

Documents executed on or after July 1, 1994 must comply with the standard 8½" by 11" sheet and paper size to avoid penalty, and may never exceed 8½" by 14". Any document including any sheet not 8½" by 11" will cost the regular recording fee plus an additional $3.00 per page of the document to record per Government Code §27361.1.

Attached exhibits should be on a separate page and properly marked.

The first page must have a return address space on the top left 2½" down from the top edge of the page and 3½" wide, measured from the left edge of the page. On the top right, allow a blank space 2½" down from the top edge of the page and 5" wide for the recording information. If there is not enough space for the Recorder's Stamp (label) on the first page, an additional $3.00 will be charged for a cover page which will be placed on top of the document to provide the necessary space to accommodate the Recording Stamp. The title of the document shall appear on the first page immediately below the spaces reserved for the return address and the blank space for the Recorder's information. A sample cover page can be seen on the forms page.

When transferring an interest in real property, a "Preliminary Change of Ownership Report" (PCOR) is required per Revenue and Taxation Code §480.2. If a PCOR is required but not submitted at the time of recording, there will be an additional charge of $20.00 for the Ownership change. This fee must accompany the recording fee. You may obtain PCOR forms from our forms page or at the Fresno County Recorder's Office in person.

"Photographically Reproducible" is better assured if the original document is done on white paper that is 16 lb. or heavier, black ink only, and clear and legible printing. A few examples of reasons for rejecting a document as being not photographically reproducible are: documents printed on dot matrix printers, documents with colored or shaded areas, FAX copies, dark backgrounds, variations in colored paper/ink, print/letters that run together, and illegible Notary Seals.

A Notary Public must use acknowledgment forms that are prescribed by the California Civil Code. The acknowledgment forms must be properly and completely filled out before the document will be recorded. The nearest County office offering Notary Public services is the County Clerk. Contact them for hours and location or consult your local directory.

Notary Consumer Disclosure

Effective January 1, 2015, pursuant to Senate Bill 1050, the Recorder's Office will require the Notary Consumer Disclosure. This bill requires a legible notice at the top of the certificate of acknowledgment in an enclosed box, stating that the acknowledgment, proof of execution, or jurat verifies only the identity of the individual who signed the document to which the acknowledgment, proof of execution, or jurat is attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of the document.

A notary public or other officer completing this certificate verifies only the identity of the individual who signed the document to which this certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document.

Documents where the person appeared before a notary or other officer on or after January 1, 2015 must have this disclosure or will be rejected. Documents acknowledged before January 1, 2015 will be accepted for recording and must meet current applicable statue. This requirement has been made in accordance with the legislative amendment to Sections 1189 and 1195 of the Civil Code, and to amend Section 8202 of the Government Code, relating to notaries public.

Documents that are not in compliance with the above requirements will be rejected.

Transfer Tax

Documentary Transfer Tax is due on all taxable conveyances in excess of $100 at a rate of $0.55 per $500.00 or fraction thereof of the value of real property conveyed (excluding any liens or encumbrances already of record) per Revenue and Taxation Code §11911. In Fresno County, the only transfer tax imposed is the $0.55 per $500.00 on conveyances. All transfer taxes charged by incorporated cities are contained within the $0.55 rate. There are no State transfer fees or taxes imposed on mortgages. There are no monument fees in Fresno County.

The transfer tax is collected at the time of recording on each deed or instrument that conveys an interest in real property. A Documentary Transfer Tax Declaration must be completed and signed for all deeds and instruments that convey an interest in real property. If no Documentary Transfer Tax is due, it must be indicated in the statement by entering "0" on the tax line and the declaration must be signed. The reason why no tax is due needs to be explained on the document or on a separate statement (R&T §11932).

State law prohibits us from providing assistance or advice in the preparation of legal documents.