The Recorder-County Clerk, upon payment of proper fees and taxes, will accept any document which is authorized or required by California law to be recorded, if the document contains the required information and is photographically reproducible.
State law requires the transferee/buyer of real property to file a completed Preliminary Change of Ownership Report concurrently with the recordation of any document resulting in a change in ownership of real property. If the form is not filed, the recorder will charge an additional fee of $20.
The form used for a California Notary Acknowledgment shall be in the format as shown.
- An acknowledgment is to be completed legibly by either type or legible block print. It is to be completed with blue or black ink only.
- A complete notary acknowledgment includes a completed venue, meaning the state and county is to be completed.
- A complete notary acknowledgment includes the date the document was signed in front of the notary.
- A complete notary acknowledgment includes the name of the notary as set out on his/her oath and the entire title of the notary public.
- A complete notary acknowledgment includes the name(s) of the parties that the notary witnessed sign the document.
- Must be complete names for each signor. Example, John and Jane Smith would not be acceptable. Example, John Smith and Jane Smith is acceptable.
- Must contain a legible notary seal. All characters and numbers must be clearly legible.
An acceptable/recordable notary acknowledgment must:
- Be completed by the notary.
- Liquid correction or correction tape is never acceptable on a notary acknowledgment. It is best to attach a new notary acknowledgment if a correction is needed.
- The notary must legibly complete all required fields.
Verification vs. Notary Acknowledgment
- Different documents have different recording requirements based on statute.
- A notary acknowledgment is not “better” than verification and cannot be used in lieu of.
Caption vs. Signature vs. Acknowledgment
- Caption means the name as set out in the body of the document. On a deed this would be the grantor.
- Signature means the signature of the person named in caption along with the name printed below the signature.
- Acknowledgment means the name of the person being acknowledged set out in the notary acknowledgment.
- It is required that the name in all three locations be the same.
- Statute requires that the document be photographically reproducible. This includes all portions of the document, including areas completed by pen, signatures and/or seals.
- Type must be complete. No chipped type will be accepted.
- Maps, diagrams and pictures are strongly discouraged. Scanning is done in black and white; therefore, colored images/documents often lose their detail when imaged.
Documentary Transfer Tax (DTT) Statement
- Documentary Transfer Tax is due on all taxable conveyances in excess of $100 at a rate of $.55 per $500 or fractional portion of real property value, excluding any liens or encumbrances already of record. Transfer tax is collected at the time of recording.
- A Documentary Transfer Tax Declaration must be completed for all conveyances. DTT dollar amount is not considered an acceptable documentary transfer tax declaration.
- Per RTC11911, a declaration of the amount of tax due, signed by the party determining the tax or his or her agent, shall appear on the face of the document in compliance with RTC11932, “Every document subject to tax that is submitted for recordation shall show on the face of the document the amount of tax due and the incorporated or unincorporated location of the lands, tenements, or other realty described in the document.”
- Prior to submitting the document for recording, refer to the Fee Calculator.
- The Recorder’s Office accepts Not To Exceed (NTE) checks. All checks submitted for recording fees are to include a current date, be made payable to San Bernardino County Recorder and state on the memo line the NTE amount. Do not write after the dollar sign $ or on the dollar line. Be sure to sign your check.
- Checks must have the name and address preprinted on the check. Temporary checks are not acceptable.
- A conformed copy is an exact photo copy of the completed document, made by the customer and presented to the examiner at the time of the recording.
- For a fee, the examiner will affix the recording information, which includes the document number and date of recording on the copy to be conformed. If the document is being submitted via mail, a self-addressed stamped envelope is required.
Recording UCC-1 Forms
- UCC-1 Finance Statements are to be filed with the Secretary of State.
- UCC Fixture Filings are recordable at the Recorder’s office in the County where the property is situated.
- A completed coversheet is required and must include the name and address where the recorded document is to be returned, as well as the title of the document being recorded.