Preservation of Records

Over the years, the method used for recording documents has evolved from a system of manual transcription in ledger books, to digitally scanning and indexing documents.

Documents recorded prior to 1998 are generally only available on microfilm, or in large books located in our office. We offer most documents recorded after mid-1998 on the Washington State Digital Archives site.

Types of Records

The Auditor's Office records and provides access to many types of recorded documents. Our role is only to verify compliance with laws regarding formatting, not to interpret documents or check for accuracy. We answer basic questions about how to find documents and do our best to assist with searching our records.

Document types include, but are not limited to:

  • land records
    • deeds
    • deeds of trust
    • easements
    • reconveyances
    • maps (surveys and plats)
  • agreements
  • community property agreements
  • judgements
  • liens
  • marriage certificates
  • oaths
  • name change orders
  1. Document Requirements
  2. Records Search
  3. Marriage Licenses
  4. Public Records Act Information

Requirements for Recorded Documents


  • First page
       three inch top margin
       one inch margin on side and bottom
  • Subsequent pages
       one inch margin on all sides

Information Required on First Page

  • Name and address to whom the document should be returned on the upper left within the three inch top margin
  • Title(s) of document, immediately below the three inch top margin
  • Reference number(s) of documents assigned or released, with reference to the page number where additional references can be found, if applicable
  • Grantor(s) and grantee(s), with reference to the page number where additional grantors or grantees can be found, if applicable
  • Abbreviated legal descriptions of the property (lot, block, plat, or section, township, range, quarter/quarter section) and reference to the document page where the full legal can be found, if applicable
  • Assessor's parcel number

Additional Requirements

  • No attachments (taped, stapled or glued) are allowed on any pages
  • Font size must be at least 8 point or larger
  • Font must be of sufficient color and clarity, capable of being imaged and producing legible copies
  • All pages must be legible and capable of being imaged
  • Paper size must be 8 1/2 x 14 (legal) or smaller
  • Paper must be of a weight and color capable of being imaged (pressure seals must be darkened)

Cover Sheets

A standard cover sheet may be used for the first page of the document, to fulfill the three inch top margin and indexing requirements. When using a cover sheet, the requirements listed above must still be met, or the document will be returned for compliance. One dollar will be added to the recording fee when a standard cover sheet is used.

Emergency Filings

An emergency nonstandard cover sheet may be used as the first page for documents that must be recorded immediately and do not meet margin and font size requirements. The fee for an emergency nonstandard recording is fifty dollars in addition to other applicable fees. If the document does not meet legibility requirements it cannot be recorded as an emergency nonstandard recording.

The person preparing the document for recording must sign the statement at the bottom of the cover sheet, "I am requesting an emergency nonstandard recording for an additional fee as provided in RCW 36.18.010. I understand that the recording processing requirements may cover up or otherwise obscure some part of the text of the original document.

Prohibited Information

Other than documents generated by governmental agencies, recorded documents cannot contain the following information:

  • A social security number
  • A date of birth identified with a particular person