Recording an Official Document

What is the process?

Present Your Document for Recording

You can present your document for recording in one of two ways: 

  • In person - If your document meets all recording requirements and the proper fees are paid, your document will be recorded while you wait.  

  • By mail - mail your document and payment to the address below.  After examination of your document, it will either be accepted for recordation or returned for correction. If the document is returned a letter will be mailed to you outlining the reasons for rejection along with your document and payment.  

County Clerk-Recorder
1055 Monterey Street, Suite D120
San Luis Obispo CA  93408-3237

Clerk Records the Document

Once your document is accepted for recording and applicable fees are paid, we will place the recording reference information in the upper right hand corner of the first page of your document. The recording reference information contains the Official Document recording reference, the date and time of recording, and the associated fees paid for recording.

Scanning and Indexing

The Clerk-Recorder will retain your document for scanning and indexing. The original document will be mailed back to the address listed under "When recorded mail to:" usually within fifteen (15) to twenty (20) working days.

Is there a charge for this service?

Please refer to the Clerk-Recorder's Fee Schedule. Additional explanation of fees are listed in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this page.

When and where is this service offered?

This service is available anytime throughout the year by mail or in person at the Clerk-Recorder office in San Luis Obispo during our transaction hours except during County-observed holidays.


Location, directions and hours of operation

Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information

Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM* Wednesday, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM* *Last transactions processed 30 minutes prior to closing

1055 Monterey Street Suite D120
San Luis Obispo, CA 93408

Tel: (805) 781-5080

Fax: (805) 781-1111


You can calculate your recording fees based on the guidelines below: 

  • Base Recording Fee - $14.00 for the first page and title of your document and $3.00 for each additional page.  If additional titles apply, add $14.00 per title.
  • Survey Monument Fee - $10.00 fee applied to any grant deed for property in the unincorporated area of the county when the legal description contains any of the following:  Township and Range, County Parcel Map (CO), Record of License Survey, Portion of lots on a Tract Map or Tract Map was recorded prior to August 24, 1929 (Book 5, Page 10)
  • Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Fee - $7.00 for any document on the Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Fee List unless the document is presented concurrently with a deed on which documentary transfer tax is collected.
  • Documentary Transfer Tax - Tax at the rate of .55 cents per $500 of value being transferred, unless exempt.  For exemptions see Revenue and Taxation Code 11921 et seq.
  • Lien Notice Fee - $17.00 per judgment debtor for whom an address is provided on any lien (abstract of judgment, notice of delinquent assessment, etc.) unless a proof of service of the lien is included with the document.
  • Senate Bill 2 - Building Homes and Jobs Act - $75.00 per real estate instrument, paper, or notice required or permitted by law to be recorded, except those expressly exempted from payment of recording fees, per each single transaction per parcel of real property. See the Senate Bill 2 - Building Homes and Jobs Act information page for more details.


  • Restrictive Covenant Program Fee (RCP Fee)- $2 per real estate instrument, paper, or notice required or permitted by law to be recorded, except those expressly exempted from payment of recording fees, per each transaction per parcel of real property. See the Restrictive Covenant Program folder for more information. Restrictive Covenant Program (RCP) Information
Previously recorded documents containing an error must be re-recorded. 

Re-Recording Requirements
Each instrument, paper, or notice that is re-recorded shall be executed and acknowledged or verified as a new document, in additional to any previous execution and acknowledgment or verification, unless any of the following apply:
A. The instrument, paper, or notice is otherwise exempted by Government Section 27287 or any other law. 

B. The instrument, paper, or notice is presented solely to correct a recording sequence. The intent of the parties with regard to priority of recorded documents shall be controlling regardless of the sequence of recording by a county recorder or the sequence of recording specific instructions given by a submitter to a county recorder. This subparagraph is declaratory of existing law, and any rerecording to a document by the recorder shall not require the document to be executed and acknowledged or verified as a new document. 

C. The instrument, paper, or notice is presented solely to make a minor correction with a corrective affidavit. The corrective affidavit shall satisfy all of the following: 
  1. Be attached to the original recorded instrument, paper, or notice
  2. Set out the information corrected
  3. Be certified by the party submitting the affidavit under penalty of perjury.
  4. Be acknowledged pursuant to GC 27287
A minor correction is defined as:
  • An incorrect or missing address of the party to which the document is to be returned following recording. (GC 27361.6)
  • A clarification of illegible text. (GC 27361.7)
  • An incorrect or missing printed or typed name of an individual or entity near the signature caption. (GC 27280.5)
  • An incorrect or missing documentary transfer tax amount due. (R&T 11932)

Each document presented for recording MUST include or comply with the following general requirements.   There may be additional requirements depending on the document.

  1. The property must be located in San Luis Obispo County.  (CC 1169)

  2. The document must be authorized or required by law to be recorded.  (GC 27201)

  3. Signatures must be original unless the document is a certified copy issued by the appropriate custodian of the public record.  (GC 27201b, GC 27279, Evid Code 1530)

  4. The legibility of a document is important to the quality of the permanent record.  Documents must be clearly legible in order to produce a readable photographic record.  This pertains to the document text, notary seals, certificates and other attachments, such as legal descriptions.  (Gov. 27361.7)

  5. Include the name of the party requesting the recording and a name and address where the document can be returned.  (GC 27361.6)

  6. The document must be properly acknowledged, unless exempt.  California requires an all-purpose acknowledgement. (GC 27201 , 27289 , 27285 , 27287 , 27288 , CC 1189)

  7. The Assessor's Parcel Number is required on deeds, trust deeds and mortgages.  (GC 27297.6)

  8. When recording documents affecting a change in the ownership of real property, include a completed Preliminary Change of Ownership Report.  

  9. Standard page size is 8-1/2" by 11"; other page sizes incur additional recording fees.

  10. The first page of the document must reserve a minimum of 2-1/2" down from the top of the page, of which the left 3-1/2" across is used by the party requesting recording to enter name and address to which the document is to be returned following recording.  The remainder of this space is reserved for use by the Registrar-Recorder to enter the official recording information. A minimum of 1/2" must be left blank on each side of the document.  If the first page of a document does not comply with these legal requirements, attach a Face page for a recorded document to the front of the document which meets the spacing criteria and which includes the title or titles of the document.

  11. Include the recording fees, see FAQs "How do I calculate recording fees?".

  12. Payment can be made by cash, personal check, cashier's check, money order, and credit or debit cards.  Make checks payable to:  San Luis Obispo (or SLO) Clerk-Recorder

  13. Mail to:  1055 Monterey St. D120, San Luis Obispo CA. 93408 

If you have any questions regarding fees, timelines or the general recording process, you may call (805) 781-5080 and one of our staff can assist you.

IMPORTANT:  Our staff cannot assist you in determining what form to complete or how to complete the form.

To tell you what documents need to be completed and recorded to transfer your property is considered legal advice. California Government Code § 24004 and California Business and Professions Code § 6125 expressly prohibit the County Clerk-Recorder and deputies from the practice of law.

The California Supreme Court has defined “the practice of law” to include legal advice and the preparation of legal instruments. (Baron v. Los Angeles (1970) 2 Cal.3d 535, 542-543.)

Please do not think that we are being uncooperative when we suggest that you either make your own decisions about legal instruments or consult an attorney.

If you recently refinanced your home or paid off your mortgage, you are receiving this Official Record because your lender recorded this document to give public notice that the Deed of Trust recorded against your property is satisfied. Additionally, when you paid off your home, you do not receive a new deed.