Chelan County Auditor

Properly formatted document guide

Document Standardization Guide

Effective January 1, 1997, all documents submitted for recording in Washington State must conform to standards set by RCW 36.18 and 65.04. These standards require that the most important document elements be summarized on the first page for the benefit of public research.  

Please note: Certain information or formatting issues are most easily corrected with the addition of a cover page. Please add $1.00 to the fee for the cost of recording the extra page.

First Page Requirements

Margins: Top margin must be at least 3", all others, 1". Aside from the return address in the top three inch margin, all margins must be clear. The return address may appear in the upper – left within the 3” top margin, but the rest of the top margin and all other margins must be empty.

Return Address: The return address should be placed within the three-inch top margin in the upper left portion of the first page. Note, document will be returned to submitter after recording. We will return to the address on the document only under special request.

Title(s): listed just below the 3" top margin of the first page. If using a cover sheet, the title(s) on the cover sheet must be the same as the title(s) on the document.

Grantor(s) and Grantee(s): Names of all parties must appear on the first page. If there are more names than will fit, please add what you can to the first page then indicate the document page number where the rest of the names can be found.

Legal Description: The first recorded page must contain either the full legal description, or when space does not permit, an abbreviated version along with page number containing the full description. Appropriate abbreviations are: Lot Block Subdivision or Section-Township-Range quarter-quarter section (i.e., 04-20-22 NE NE) Please Note: It is not acceptable to indicate "See attached" or "refer to Appendix A" in place of abbreviating the legal description.

Reference Number: A reference number is the Auditor's File Number (AFN) and volume and page (if applicable) of the document being assigned, released, referenced, terminated or amended. In addition to fulfilling statutory and practical requirements, this enables documents to be electronically linked.

Assessor's Parcel Number: The Assessor's 12-digit tax parcel number must appear on the first page of the document/cover sheet any time a legal description is included in the document. If there are too many parcel numbers to fit on the first page, you can enter what will fit and reference the page number where the remainder are located. The 12-digit Geographic ID is what you need. Whenever a parcel number appears within the document, the corresponding legal description must also be included.

If you need help determining the parcel number you can refer to your tax statement or consult the Assessor Records online

Requirements for all pages, including the first

Legibility: The text must be crisp enough to distinguish each character individually. 

An important note about photos  - Photos and other images of a complex variety cannot be included within recorded documents. Recorded pages are scanned in black and white at 300 dpi and the resulting image files are not capable of faithfully reproducing the complexities of photographic content.

Font: The font size must be eight (8) point type or larger.  

Margins: at least 1" all around, except first top page

Page Size: 8.5" x 11" minimum, 8.5" x 14" maximum. The paper must be of a weight and color that will image clearly.

Attachments: No attachment may be affixed to documents presented for recording. Attachments, for purposes of this legislation, refers to notary seals, sticky notes, or other items stapled, taped, etc. on the face of the document. Attachment does not refer to additional pages added to the end of a document such as addenda, schedules, or expanded legal descriptions which may be referred to in the body of the document as "Attachment A" or "Appendix A," etc.

Posted: 12/16/2014 10:16 AM
Last Updated: 08/11/2020 07:52 AM

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Chelan County Calendar

Upcoming events and schedules at the county!

  • 27
    Jul 2022
    07:00 PM - 09:00 PM

    Planning Commission - July 27, 2022

    Posted by: Community Development

    400 Douglas Street
  • 25
    Jul 2022
    09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

    Registration deadline for new voters or address updates by mail, online, email or over the phone.

    Posted by: Chelan County Elections

    Registration deadline for new voters or address updates by mail, online, email or over the phone.

  • 20
    Jul 2022
    01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Hearing Examiner - July 20, 2022

    Posted by: Community Development

    By Zoom Video Conference
  • 19
    Jul 2022
    04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Observer Training

    Posted by: Chelan County Elections

  • 15
    Jul 2022
    08:00 AM - 05:00 PM

    Ballots will be mailed to voters

    Posted by: Chelan County Elections

    Ballots will be mailed to voters