The recording department is charged with recording real estate documents, liens, military discharges, maps, and surveys. The recording department also issues Marriage License and Process Server License.

The index of our recorded documents is available online to the public. Maps, plats, and surveys are also available online. Public access to search and view all documents is available at a public computer in our office. Copies of any recorded document can also be obtained through this department for a fee.

Birth and Death Records from 1892-1907 were recorded in Cowlitz County. Copies of these documents can be obtained at Washington State Digital Archives.

Responsibilities of Auditors

In the State of Washington, County Auditors are "Custodian of Records." The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) statutes require the recording of legal documents. Statutes RCW 65 and RCW 36 define the minimum amount of information required for each document recorded and the fees to be tendered for such recordings.

The County Auditor and their Deputy Auditors are not practicing attorneys in their roles as recording officers. They are prohibited from giving or offering legal advice.

The responsibility for properly preparing an instrument, plat, survey, and other documents is that of the document preparer. It is not the responsibility of the County Auditor or Deputy Auditors to screen the document to make sure it is properly drafted. The County Auditor's responsibility is limited to verifying the following information:

  • Proper fees are tendered
  • The instrument contains the document title(s)
  • Indexing information is complete
  • The document is legible
  • The document is formatted correctly