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FAQs

Last modified: 3/8/2012 1:49 PM

​After all processing is complete, the Clerk-Recorder's Office sends recorded documents back to the party listed in the upper left corner of the document.  By law, we must send it to the name and address listed on that area of the document.  If you are expecting a recorded document to be returned to you, and have not received it yet, it may be for the following reasons:

  • We are still processing it.  After recording, we undertake many steps to ensure the integrity of our records and to be sure that all records are properly stored for archival purposes.  documents are being mailed back approximately six to eight weeks after recording.  You may go to the Official Records search site and view the "About this Site" section and find instructions how to check the mailing date for your recorded document.
  • It was never recorded.  If another party was supposed to record the document for you, it is possible there was a glitch and it was never recorded.  You may go to the Official Records search site and enter your name in the Grantor/Grantee search to make sure the document was recorded.  If you do not find it, check with the party that should have recorded it for you.
  • Your name and address was not in the upper left corner.  By law, we may only mail to that address.  If someone else prepared the document, they may have put a different name and address on the document in that spot.  Please check with that party.
  • You moved during the processing time or the address was incorrect.  We do keep returned mail here for a period, so if you have checked the other items mentioned, we may have it here.  You may call our main office number to inquire.
No, divorce records are kept by Superior Court. In person, they may be obtained at:
 
          Superior Court
          170 Park Center Plaza
          San Jose, CA 95113
          Phone (408) 534-5600
 
By mail, send request to:
 
          Superior Court
          191 North First Street
          San Jose, CA 95113
          Phone (408) 882-2100

From Interstate 880, take the First Street exit. If you are exiting from northbound 880, turn right on First Street. If you are exiting from southbound 880, turn left on First Street. Remain on First Street for a quarter mile until the intersection of First and Hedding, then turn right. Our office is in the large rust-colored building on the corner on your left.

There are three parking options at our building:

1-A limited number of free 1-hour parking spaces are available in the West Wing lot on the southeast corner of San Pedro and Hedding Street.

2-There are also meters on the streets around our building. Spaces may be difficult to locate there in the middle of the day. If you plan to use the meters, remember to bring change with you.

3-There is also a parking garage across from the jail one block down on Hedding Street. There is usually space available, and the fee doesn't require exact change.

​If your child was born before December 31, 1996, you can add the biological father's name by completing an "Application to Amend a Birth Record - Acknowledgement of Paternity" form and forwarding the application to the State Office of Vital Records, at the address shown above, along with a processing fee of $20.00, which includes one certified copy. If your child was born after December 31, 1996, a copy of your marriage certificate must accompany the Acknowledgement of Paternity application. If you are not legally married a Declaration of Paternity must be signed by both parents and witnessed before the father can be added to the birth certificate. The Acknowledgement of Paternity form can be obtained from the Family Support Section of any District Attorney's Office, County Welfare Office, or Local Registrar of Births and Deaths.
​Most home purchases involve recording deeds with this office. These deeds become public record. Anyone may view the information on these deeds. Some companies regularly come in and take information from certain kinds of documents. Deeds often have the owner's address as the mailing address, and anything on the document is public information that we can't legally restrict. Most deeds do not have phone numbers, and we do not maintain files of addresses and phone numbers, so phone solicitors are likely getting your phone number from another source not known to us.
​Our records only reflect documents that other entities have submitted for recordation. If you paid off a lien and no release is recorded, you must deal with the authority that placed the lien to get them to correct their records and follow their process for recording lien releases with us.
​No. Many forms are available at stationery stores. Beware that many pre-printed forms do not meet the requirements as outlined in Recording Official Documents.
​No, although we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you consult with an attorney before recording any document affecting title to property.
​Come to our main office or search Official Records on-line. Search under your name and to find all the documents recorded in which you were a grantor or grantee. Also search under any other names, forms of your name, or business names that the liens could be recorded under. You may view the document or use the document type indication to determine which documents are liens and releases of liens. Note that court ordered judgments against you may or may not be recorded here. If not recorded here, judgments will be available at the court where they were granted.
​We do not report to credit agencies, nor can we intervene on the behalf of an individual disputing their credit profile. You may dispute errors in your credit record with the credit bureau that is reporting them. Contact the bureau involved to initiate the dispute process. The phone numbers for the three largest bureaus are: Experian - (800) 392-1122, Equifax - (800) 685-1111, and Trans Union (800) 851-2674. Documents recorded in our office are public record and are available for search by any interested parties.
​You first need to obtain a court order name change (through Superior Court), then complete the form "Amendment of Birth Record to Reflect Court Order Change of Name" and send it along with the appropriate fees to the State Office of Vital Records at the address shown above. You can obtain this form from our office or from the Local Registrar of Births and Deaths (County Health Department).
​We do not maintain property files. We deal with recorded documents and everything is maintained by document number and grantor-grantee name. You can usually trace ownership history by viewing deeds as described in Requirements for Recording. There is no specific county agency that would have all types of records (deeds, easements, etc,) in one file per property. Title companies can be used to search this type of information, if appropriate.

We are prohibited from posting document contents on the Internet due to Government Code Section 6254.21.

This State law prohibits state and local agencies from posting documents with addresses of government officials on the Internet without the official's express written permission. Some of our documents have addresses of government officials. There is no feasible way of determining which documents have those addresses and/or of getting permission to post them. If you wish this law to be changed, please contact your state legislators.