Any written document, which affects title to or possession of real property, can be recorded, if the document is prepared in the proper form. California Government Code Section 27280. Documents, which are commonly recorded, include grant deeds, deeds of trust, homesteads, long term leases and easements.
To be recordable, a document must meet the following requirements:
- Size of paper. The document must be on 8 ½ by 11-inch paper, printed on one side only. The document cannot be larger than 8 ½ by 14 inches. The document must have margins on each side of at least one-half inch. The top two and a half inches must be left blank for the Recorder. The top left corner, three and a half inches down, must state the name of the person recording the document, and the name and address of the person to whom the document is to be mailed after recording. (California law now permits recorder’s offices to accept electronic transmission of documents from title companies and lenders. California Government Code Section 27390 et. seg.)
- Reproducible. The document must be capable of reproduction.
- Original, notarized signatures. The document must have an original signature or signatures. All signatures must be notarized.
- In English. The document must be in English. (A document in a foreign language may be recorded, if a certified translation of it into English is attached to it.
- Title. Each document must have a title on it, immediately below the blank space for the Recorder’s Office. The document will be recorded under its title.
- Interested parties. The names of all parties whose rights are affected by the document must be listed.
- Prior documents listed. If the document modifies a prior document, by, for example, releasing a deed of trust, the prior document must be identified by its Recorder’s number or book and page of the prior document.
In addition to these general requirements, some specific documents have other specific requirements.