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San Juan County Auditor


Hours of Operation:
10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday
San Juan County Courthouse, First Floor

Duties & Responsibilities
Mandatory Form Requirements
Recording Fees
Document Search

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 staff:
  • 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).

Per 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 after scanning.
    • No attachments may be affixed to the pages of any document.
    • Pages are scanned as black-and-white TIF images.  This means that colors and highlighting have 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.


Kira Sable Lead Customer Service Specialist kiras@sanjuanco.com 360-370-7550
Jo GeorgeCustomer Service Specialist jog@sanjuanco.com 360-370-7555
Kristy Rogers Customer Service Specialist kristyr@sanjuanco.com 360-370-7552
Kim Herrenkohl Chief Deputy Auditor kimh@sanjuanco.com 360-370-7557
Milene Henley Auditor mileneh@sanjuanco.com 360-370-7558