Getting Your Real Estate Transaction Recorded

King County Recorder's Office Door SignThe King County Recorder's Office has been maintaining records of all real estate transactions, marriage records and other documents submitted for public record since 1853. The method of recording these documents has evolved from a system of manual transcription to digitally scanning and indexing the documents.

There are basic requirements dictated by the state legislature regarding formatting of documents. And if you try to record something that does not meet these requirements it will be rejected. The formatting requirements are quite stringent and there is no “close enough” allowances.

Two most commonly made errors are:

  1. A top margin of at least three inches and a one-inch margin on the bottom and sides, except that an instrument may be recorded if a minor portion of a notary seal, incidental writing, or minor portion of a signature extends beyond the margins;
  2. The top left-hand side of the page shall contain the name and address to whom the instrument will be returned;

King County Recorder's Office sign 2People often get tripped up when they need to record something irregular, such as a second deed of trust, or a oil tank decommissioning certificate. Often these documents are old and created before the requirements, or sometimes they have been printed and faxed around and the margins or font size changes enough to get them rejected.

Note that even though the Recording Office is open till 4:30pm Mon-Fri, documents received after 3:30 p.m. will be recorded the next business day.