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.

Document Formatting Guidelines

Documents must include margin and information items that will facilitate public research. Please view this guide for details.

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:  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.

Please Note: If using a cover page, the title(s) on the cover page 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 either excise due on the transaction or a $10 processing fee when the transaction is exempt from collection of excise. 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.

Map Recording - Full Size: 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. We retain the mylar, and no copies are requested to be submitted at the time of recording.

Mail Return of Documents: The original documents are returned to the submitting party at the completion of the recording transaction

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.