Real Estate Recording


Each document presented for recording MUST include or comply with the following general requirements:

  • The property must be located in Santa Clara County. (CC 1169)
  • The document must be authorized or required by law to be recorded. (Govt. Code § 27201)
  • The document must be submitted with the proper fees and applicable taxes. (Govt. Codes § 6103, 27201, 27261)
  • The document must be in compliance with state and local laws.
  • The document, including the notary seal, must be legible and photographically reproducible. (Govt. Codes § 27201, 27361.6, 27361.7, 8207)
  • Unless otherwise required to do so by a state or Federal law, a document shall not be presented for recording if it displays more than the last four digits of a social security number. (CC 1798.89)
  • Certified copies of death, birth, and marriage certificates cannot be amended or altered by any means including redacting the social security numbers at submission.
  • All re-recordings require the document to be re-signed and re-acknowledged except for those identified under Govt. Codes  § 27201(c).

​​View for Basic Document Requirements information.

Document Transfer Tax

The Documentary Transfer Tax is due on all changes of ownership unless an applicable statutory tax exemption is cited. It is computed at a rate of $.55 per $500 or fractional portion of real property value, excluding any liens or encumbrances already of record.  The document must indicate how the documentary transfer tax is computed; this is, computed on the consideration or value of property conveyed or computed on the consideration or value less liens or encumbrances remaining at the time of sale. Mark the applicable box.

Properties located within San Jose, Palo Alto and Mountain View are taxable at a rate of $1.65 per $500 or fractional portion of real property value. (R&T Code 11911).  Documentary transfer tax as well as the applicable city conveyance taxes are collected at the time of recording. (R&T11933).

Claims of exemption from the city conveyance tax or refunds of city conveyance tax (San Jose, Palo Alto or Mt. View) must be directed to the Finance Agency of the city concerned.  If no Documentary Transfer Tax is due, indicate so by entering "0" on the tax line and provide a valid reason for exemption. The tax declaration must be signed by the party computing the tax or claiming an exemption.


If a "Preliminary Change of Ownership Report" is required but not completed, signed and submitted at the time of recording, an additional $20.00 will be due. Preliminary Change of Ownership Forms are available online at the Assessor web site or can be mailed to you upon request by calling the Assessor's office at (408) 299-5500.

The Assessor's Office Preliminary Change of Ownership (PCOR) Policy

Commercial Transfer

Effective May 27, 2021 all claims of exemptions under California Revenue & Taxation Code § 11925(d) requires copies of supporting documents be included with the deed for review.  The review process can take up to seven (7) to ten (10) business days. 

Supporting documents required – See attached Memorandum


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