Document Recording

Only properly formatted documents bearing original, notarized signatures and accompanied by the appropriate fee will be recorded. Photocopies will not be accepted for recording. Please consult the Document Standardization Guidelines below for further details.

Documents Having Unique Recording Requirements

Uniform Commercial Code (UCC's): New UCC forms and procedures became effective 7/1/2001 for use nationwide. The new form is exempt from the margin requirements it fails to meet, but care must be taken to assure that all required names, abbreviated legal descriptions and reference document Auditor File Numbers appear on the first page as required. In light of the margin concerns this new form presents, we happily continue to accept the last version of the UCC-2's and UCC-5's that were in use immediately prior to 7/1/2001. Please refer to the UCC section of the Fee List for additional information.

Full Size Maps of all varieties:

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources, by authority granted via WAC 332-130, are the overseers of map recording guidelines for the state. Download the Survey Guidelines Checklist, which enumerates the specifications set by DNR.

Additional Document Processing Information

Common Reasons for Document Refusal: Missing parcel number, first page top margin less than 3", other margins less than one inch, something other than the return address within top 3" margin, text not sufficiently legible to ensure accurate reproduction, fee inadequate, or abbreviated/full legal description missing from first page.

Conformed Copies: Copies of documents can be conformed at the time of recording as long as a copy of the document has been submitted along with a request for this service.

Cover Page: Now Available! - A cover page is now available for download or viewing in .pdf format. A cover page is only required if the first page of the document does not include the required information or does not have a three inch top margin. When a cover sheet it used, one dollar will be added to the recording fee for the additional document page. Although the cover sheet must be completed by the customer, our staff will assist customers in identifying index type information (for example, explaining to a customer which name is the grantor and grantee etc.). It is not acceptable to put "See Attached" or "see page ___" in place of including information on the form. The following are exempt from most document standardization requirements as long as they are recorded with a properly completed cover sheet:

anything signed or created prior to January 1, 1997 death certificates out of country documents certified copies of documents recorded or filed (court documents) judgments or other court documents formatted to meet court requirements DD214s

The following documents are exempt from the requirements and do not require cover sheets:

  1. IRS documents
  2. UCCs

If using a cover sheet, the title(s) on the cover sheet must be the same as the title(s) on the document.

Documents Requiring an Excise Form: Instruments that convey property are required to be submitted with a completed Real Estate Excise Affidavit. The Chelan County Treasurer processes this form and collects a $5.00 surcharge plus either the taxes due or the $5.00 processing fee. The documents are later forwarded to the Auditor's Office for recording. Questions regarding the requirement or completion of the Real Estate Excise Affidavit should be directed to the Chelan County Treasurer. Some common document titles that require an excise affidavit:

  1. Assignment of Sublease;
  2. Deed - even for exempt transactions. The exception is the Fulfillment Deed, which is exempt from this requirement as long as the original excise number is listed on the document;
  3. Real Estate Contract and assignments thereof:
  4. Declaration of Forfeiture. The above is not intended as a comprehensive list, but as an example of document types that require an excise affidavit.

Forms: The Recording Department does not provide blank legal forms, but most office supply stores carry form templates for common do-it-yourself situations. Some documents are also available for download from the internet. Please verify that the form you buy is valid in Washington State and dated 1/1/97 or later.

Legal Advice: Members of the recording staff are not trained in real estate law, thus are not equipped to give legal advice. Chances are, your property is your single most valuable asset, and as such should be worthy of the effort and expense incurred through seeking the advice of a trained individual.

Mail Return of Documents: Documents are mailed back to the name and address indicated in the upper-left portion of the first page. Most documents are returned within 10 days of recording. During the time that the document resides within the Recording Department, each page is labeled and scanned, and the names of the principal parties and the legal description (if applicable) are added to the index.

Waiver of Margin/Font Requirements: A waiver for the 8 point font or 3" top and 1" side and bottom margin requirements may be obtained. The document must still meet all other standards, including the legibility requirement. Submission of a nonstandard document requires the inclusion of a properly completed cover sheet with a signed statement declaring that "...I am requesting an emergency nonstandard recording for an additional fee of $50.00 as provided by 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." There is a $50 fee for this waiver in addition to the standard document recording fee. Please contact the Recording Office with any additional questions.