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Additional Information Related to Purchasing

RESEARCHING OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS:
 
The Clerk-Recorder's Office does not provide any search service.  If you require a title search, you may contact any title company for title search services.
 
  • If you need to view the document contents, you must come to Santa Clara County Clerk-Recorder's facilities to view the documents.
     
  • Facilities for researching Official Documents and maps are available at the Clerk-Recorder's Office.  
     
  • The Clerk-Recorder's Office search facilities can be very busy.  If possible, try to come early in the morning to minimize the possibility of delays.  During busy times, the office enforces a one-hour time limit per workstation.  If there are no waiting lines, this time can be extended.
     
  • Our office searching methods include computer searches and book/microfilm searches.  The Clerk-Recorder's Office requires a current driver's license or identification card to be held if you are performing book/microfiche searches.
     
  • Computer searches may be conducted on document number, document date, document class, Assessor's parcel number (APN), grantor only, grantee only, or grantor/grantee.
     
  • Documents are indexed with a document number, a document date, a document type, a document class, and the parties to the transaction, referred to as "grantors" and "grantees".  Older index searches must be by grantor/grantee or document number and by year.
     
  • Examples of types of documents that are commonly recorded are mortgages, deeds, liens, abstracts of judgment, and notices.
     
  • Many individual come into the Clerk-Recorder's Office with only an address, and they wish to search for ownership of that property.  Addresses are not included in the Clerk-Recorder's index, however, as a convenience, you may search Assessor's data for an address or assessor's Parcel Number (APN) on our workstations.
     
  • The assessor's lookup will indicate the recorded document number of the most recently recorded document that change title to the property.  Once you have that document number, it may be viewed for buyer's (grantee) name, seller's (grantor) name, legal description, etc.  If you want to view ownership history, you may use the seller's name to search for the previous document, and so on.
     
  • Official Record copies may be ordered plain or certified.  Certified copies have the addition of the Recorder's endorsement stamp.
 
PURCHASING OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS:
  • Anyone may view or purchase a copy of any official documents recorded at the Santa Clara County Recorder's Office.
  • Document recorded from 1850 - 1980 will need to be researched in person using our Digital Reel system.
  • Documents recorded from 1981 to the present, you may search official records in person using our public workstations.
Official records are recorded by the parties' names as they appear on the recorded document.  To purchase a copy of an official record, you must supply:
  • The Recorder's Serial Number assigned to the document (also known as document number or instrument number)

    OR

  • The book and page number of the document (for documents recorded prior to 5/1/1995).

For additional information on purchasing documents, click here.
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Last updated: 11/5/2018 6:21 AM