Requirements for Recorded Documents

First Page Example

Example layout of document requirements


First Page

Top - three inch margin
Sides and bottom - one inch margin

Subsequent Pages

All sides - one inch margin

Information Required on First Page

  • Name and address of who the document should be returned to on the upper left
  • Title(s) of document, immediately below the three inch margin
  • Reference number(s) of documents assigned or released, with reference to the page number where additional references can be found, if applicable
  • Grantor(s) and grantee(s), with reference to the page number where additional grantors or grantees can be found, if applicable
  • Abbreviated legal description of the property (lot, block, plat, or section township, range, and quarter/quarter section) and reference to the document page where the full legal description can be found, if applicable
  • Assessor's parcel number

Additional Requirements

  • No attachments (taped, stapled, or glued) are allowed on any pages
  • Font size must be at least 8 point or larger
  • Font must be of sufficient color and clarity, capable of being imaged and producing legible copies
  • All pages must be legible and capable of being imaged
  • Paper size must be 8 1/2" x 14" or smaller
  • Paper must be of a weight and color capable of producing legible copies
  • All seals must be legible and capable of being imaged (pressure seals must be darkened)

Cover Sheets

A standard cover sheetmay be used as the first page of the document, to fulfill the three-inch top margin and indexing requirements. When using a cover sheet, the requirements listed above must still be met, or the document will be returned for compliance. One dollar will be added to the recording fee when a standard cover sheet is used.

A nonstandard emergency cover sheet may be used as the first page for documents that must be recorded immediately and do not meet margin and font size requirements. The fee for a nonstandard emergency recording is fifty dollars, in addition to other applicable fees. However, if the document does not meet legibility requirements, it cannot be recorded as a nonstandard recording.

The person preparing the document for recording must sign the statement at the bottom of the cover sheet, "I am requesting an emergency nonstandard recording for an additional fee as provided in RCW 36.18.010. I understand that the recording processing requirements may cover up or otherwise obscure some part of the text of the original document."