Hours of Operation:
10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday
San Juan County Courthouse, First Floor
Duties and Responsibilities
By RCW 36.22.010, the County Auditor is the “recorder of deeds and other
instruments in writing which by law are to be filed and recorded in and for the
county for which he or she is elected.” In lay terms, that means that Auditor
- Record all documents that affect real property in the county. For transfers or
sales, escrow closes when the recorder labels the document with the time of
recording. Document types include, but are not limited to: deeds, mortgages,
deeds of trust, liens, land divisions, boundary line modifications, legal name
changes, and county-generated documents.
- Maintain the official public record by indexing & organizing all deeds, plats
and surveys for public retrieval. Surveys, short plats, long plats, and
condominiums are examples of the Mylar map records that are recorded. Original
maps are kept in the Auditor's Vault, and digital copies are filed with the
Department of Natural Resources.
Mandatory Form Requirements
Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Section 65.04 mandates minimum requirements as
far as format and information needed for all recorded documents. The purpose of
this law is to ensure:
- That the document can be read, scanned and copied.
- That the document contains the minimum amount of information for indexing.
If the first page of a document does not contain the minimum information
required for recording, a cover sheet may be prepared which contains the
required information. The cover sheet must have a three inch top margin, and
must contain the document title, grantor, grantee, tax parcel number,
abbreviated legal description, and any referencing Auditor File Numbers (AFN).
RCW 65.04, documents may be returned to the submitter for
conformance to any of the following criteria:
First page requirements:
- The names of the grantor(s) and
grantee(s), with reference to the page
number where additional names are listed, if applicable.
- Abbreviated legal description (lot
number and plat name OR quarter, section, township and range), with reference to
the page number where the full legal description is included, if applicable.
- Assessor's tax parcel number.
- Reference Auditor File Number (AFN) of
documents assigned, released or amended with reference to the page number where
additional references can be found, if applicable.
- A top margin of at least three inches
and a one-inch margin on the bottom and sides.
- The title or
titles of the instrument to be recorded
indicating the kind or kinds of documents or transactions contained therein. The
Auditor or recording officer shall only be required to index the title or titles
captioned on the first page.
- The top left-hand side of the page shall contain, within the three-inch margin,
the name and address to whom the
instrument will be returned. The top right-hand side of the page shall contain
the recorder's stamp.
Additional page requirements:
- All additional pages (pages after page 1) must have a
one-inch margin on the top, bottom and sides,
and be prepared in an ink color capable of being imaged with
type no smaller than 8 point. All seals
must be legible and capable of being imaged.
- All pages must be on paper of a weight
and color capable of producing a legible image and not be larger than 8.5" wide
by 14" long.
- All text, maps and drawings must be readable
and dark enough to be legible
- No attachments may be affixed to the
pages of any document.
- Pages are scanned as black-and-white TIF images. This means that
no meaning in the public record.
- Photographs cannot be imaged. This
means that photographs have no meaning in the public record.
- Only original or
certified copies are recorded.
Documents submitted for recording must conform to all these formatting
requirements or have an attached indexing cover sheet. A fee of $50 may be
charged to record non-conforming documents.
If you have your own computerized forms feel free to send them to us for review.
Our address is listed to the left.