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Explore: Sonoma County

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The Sonoma County Seal

County of Sonoma, California

ClerkRecorderAssessorRegistrar of Voters.

William F. Rousseau
Sonoma County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor

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I am honored to serve you as Sonoma County's Clerk-Recorder-Assessor and I'm always interested in receiving your feedback and questions. You're invited to contact me at my office in the Assessor's Division or send me an email.

Please visit our Contact Us page for our division office locations and telephone numbers.

William Rousseau

To ensure same day recording of your documents,
please be sure we have them by 4:00 p.m.!

→ Consumer Scam Alert ←

Consumers should be wary of solicitations requesting fees ranging from $25 - $500 for services that are offered at our office for a substantially lower cost or at no charge.

The Recorder charges a nominal fee for a grant deed

Sonoma County residents have received solicitations from a private company encouraging them to obtain a certified copy of their property Grant Deed for a fee of $89. Typically the Grant Deed is mailed to the new homeowner after the purchase is finalized. However, the public may request a certified copy for a nominal fee. Customers have the following options when requesting a copy of their Grant Deed:

In Person: The cost of an official record is $1.75 per page.  For a certified copy, the cost is $3.75 for the first page and $1.75 per additional page.  Payment can be made by cash or check.  Credit and debit cards are accepted, although a $2.50 convenience fee is charged with the usage of a card.

By Mail: Mail your request to: Clerk-Recorder-Assessor – 585 Fiscal Drive Room 103 F, Santa Rosa, CA 95403: Mail processing time is 2 - 3 weeks.

Office Hours

The Sonoma County Recorder's Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We are located in Santa Rosa, in the Fiscal Building at the County of Sonoma Administration Center. Our street address is:

Sonoma County Recorder
585 Fiscal Drive, Suite 103F
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Functions of the Recorder's Office

This office records documents and files maps, maintaining cross-reference indexes to these records. Document Transfer Tax is collected on transfers of real property. Examples of typical recorded documents are:

Recorded documents are microfilmed as a permanent record and the original document is returned to the customer after filming. Filed documents are retained for a specified length of time, or kept permanently, as in the case of maps. All records are indexed by the names of the principal parties to the document and by the year recorded. The records are open for public inspection and copies may be purchased from this office.

Historical Background

On September 9, 1850 California was admitted as the 31st state and one of the first acts of the legislature was to adopt a recording system.

Under the Spanish and Mexican governments there were no statewide registry or recording laws, so it was necessary that some device be created by which evidence of title to, or an interest in land could be collected in a convenient and safe public place. The system allows persons intending to purchase or otherwise deal with land to be informed as to the ownership and condition of the title, and be protected from secret conveyance and liens.

The basis of the California recording system is modeled after the recording system established by the American Colonies and in use in many of the eastern states at the time California became a state.

This system provided for the indexing of the names of parties to the document in volumes and the copying of the actual document into separate volumes. This copying was done first by hand and in later years by typing and then by filming.

Separate sets of indexes and volumes were provided for each type of document. Government Codes § 27232 through 27254 presently list 21 different types of indexes that the Recorder shall provide for.

This system of indexing became cumbersome as the volume of recorded documents grew and in 1921 the legislature provided that a combined General Index could be used by the Recorder to index all types of documents.

Important Notice:

The staff of the Recorder's Office are forbidden by California legal codes to practice law or provide legal advice; this prohibition includes giving advice about what forms you might need or how you should fill them out.

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