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California Revenue and Taxation Code 11911(a) allows each county to impose a documentary transfer tax on realty transferred when the consideration or value of the property is greater than $100. Transfer tax is calculated at the rate of $0.55 per $500 of property value. It is due at the time of recording unless a valid exemption under the Revenue and Taxation Code is provided (R&T 11921-11930). What is documentary transfer tax?
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Any document affecting title to real property that is authorized or required by law to be recorded. This includes such documents as grant deeds, deeds of trust, mechanic's liens, tax liens, and reconveyances. The recording requirements are established by California statutes.
The Recorder's Office is prohibited by law from providing you with legal advice. We can only provide you the recording requirements for a particular document. We recommend that you contact a legal advisor for assistance in preparing your document.
The Recorder's Office is required to make a permanent record of all documents. All documents are scanned into the computer system for immediate viewing the day after recording. Copies are also stored on microfilm for archival purposes. Once the images on the computer and microfilm have been checked for accuracy the originals are returned to the requester in approximately three to four weeks.
The County Recorder does not provide searches of our records; however, our research room is open to the public from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday (legal holidays excluded). The records are indexed under the property owner's name.
Sale prices can be estimated from the amount of documentary transfer tax indicated on a deed. Transfer tax is not charged on assumed loan amounts and, therefore, the tax amount may not reflect the true purchase price.
You will need to search our records under your name to find out if a lien has been placed against you or if a recorded lien has been released. The Recorder's Office cannot remove any liens placed against you. To have a lien removed, you will need to contact the party who recorded the lien.