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Documentation Standardization Guide

Formatting requirements for recorded documents as stated in RCW 36.18 and 65.04.  All recorded documents are required to meet the document standardization requirements as follows and be original documents.

The first page of the document must include:

  • three-inch margin at the top and a one-inch margin on the sides and bottom
  • Return address
  • Title(s) of instrument(s)
  • Reference number of documents assigned or released
  • Names of grantors and grantees
  • Abbreviated legal description with lot, block, plat name or section, township, range and ¼, ¼
  • Assessor’s tax parcel number, if available

Additional pages require a one-inch margin on all sides:

  • All pages of the document must be on paper of a weight and color capable of producing a legible image.  Grid paper or picture backgrounds are not acceptable.  
  • Pages must not be larger than 8 ½ inches wide and 14 inches long.
  • The text of the documents must be printed in 8 point type (approximately 1/8 inch) or larger.
  • All documents must be prepared in an ink color capable of being imaged.
  • All seals must be legible and capable of being imaged. (showing name, expiration date and state of notary)
  • No attachment or notary acknowledgment may be taped, stapled or glued to the pages of a document.

An emergency recording is allowed if page 2 and any following pages do not meet the 1” formatting requirement as follows:

  • Subsection 1: Documents which must be recorded immediately and which do not meet margin and font size requirements may be recorded for an additional fee of fifty dollars. Documents, which do not meet legibility requirements, must NOT be recorded as a nonstandard recording.
  • Subsection 2: In addition to preparing a properly completed cover sheet as described in RCW 65.04.047 the person preparing the document for recording must sign a statement which must be attached to the document and which must read substantially as follows: “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 documents.”
Documents that do not meet the requirements for the first page will need a cover sheet available from the County Auditor. Documents that do not meet all other requirements will be returned for reformatting before they can be recorded.
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