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Frequently Asked Questions

Vital Records Questions

How do I order a copy of a vital record from another county or state?
The Placer County Clerk-Recorder only has vital records for Placer County. For births and deaths, you will need to contact the county or state where the event occurred. Copies of marriage licenses may be obtained from the issuing county or state.
I was adopted. How do I obtain a copy of my birth certificate?
Adoption records are sealed at the time of adoption. If there is no birth record in the county where you were born, you must contact the California State Office of Vital Records for a copy. For information on how to order a copy from the state, you may call their information line at (916) 445-2684. If you wish to obtain a copy of your original birth certificate, you must obtain a court order. For further information on how to obtain that court order, you should contact your legal advisor.
How do I correct information on a vital record?
Some incorrect information on a vital record can be corrected by amending the record. To amend a record, a "Request to Amend a Vital Record" may be completed and mailed to the California State Office of Vital Records. If the amendment is filed within a year of the event, there is no charge. If more than a year has passed since the event, there will be a $20.00 processing fee. Once the request has been processed, you may purchase a new certified copy of the record from the County of which the event occurred or the California Department of Public Health, Office of Vital Records. The "Request to Amend a Vital Record" form is available from the Vital Statistics Division of the Placer County Health Department, the Placer County Clerk-Recorder or the California Department of Public Health, Office of Vital Records. For further information on what information on a birth or death record can be amended, please contact the Vital Statistics Division of the Placer County Health Department at (530) 889-7158. Please Note: It can take from 7 to 12 months for an amendment to be processed by the State.
How do I legally change my name? How do I add a parent to a birth record?
To legally change a name or change a parent on a birth record requires a court order. For further information, contact the Placer County Court Clerk at (916) 408-6000, a legal advisor or the California Department of Public Health, Office of Vital Records at (916) 445-2684.
How do I obtain a certified copy of a vital record for the Lake Tahoe area?
The Lake Tahoe area encompasses two states, California and Nevada. The California part of the area is serviced by three counties, Placer and Nevada Counties to the north and El Dorado County to the south. To obtain a certified copy of a birth or death, you will need to know in which state or county the event occurred. For certified copies of marriage licenses, you will need to know in which state or county the license was issued.
How do I obtain copies of my naturalization papers?
For copies of naturalization papers, you should contact the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service at 1-800-375-5283. It may take up to a year to obtain copies. For naturalization papers issued prior to 1930, the I.N.S. may direct you back to the county. If so, you will need to contact the Placer County Archives.
How do I obtain copies of my divorce papers of file for divorce?
The Placer County Clerk-Recorder does not maintain divorce records. That is a function of the Placer County Court Clerk. For family law information regarding how to file for divorce or how to obtain copies of Placer County divorce records, you can contact the Placer County Court Clerk at (916) 408-6000 or go online at

Real Property Questions

How do I find the Recorder's Office?
The Recorder’s Office is located on the left-hand side of the first floor the Larry Oddo Finance Administration Building in the DeWitt Center in Auburn. If you are coming from Sacramento, Roseville and Rocklin, take Interstate 80 East to the Highway 49 exit in Auburn. Turn left onto Highway 49. Take Highway 49 to Atwood Road. Turn left on Atwood Road and go one mile to Richardson Drive. Turn right onto Richardson. The building will be on the right side just past the first stop sign. If you are coming from Colfax or Lake Tahoe, take I-80 West to the Bell Road exit. Turn right onto Bell Road. Take Bell Road past Highway 49 and turn left onto Richardson Drive. The building will be 1½ blocks down on the left side. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for legal holidays. Recording hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for legal holidays.
What types of documents can be recorded?
Any document affecting title to real property that is authorized or required by law to be recorded. This includes, but is not limited to, Grant Deeds, Deeds of Trust, Mechanic’s Liens, Tax Liens, and Reconveyances. The recording requirements for documents are established by the codes for the State of California. Documents presented for recording must meet certain basic requirements.
How do I record a document?
Documents are recorded Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. You can bring your document to our office between those hours. If the document meets recording requirements, the staff will record it while you wait. Documents can also be mailed to our office. The mailing address is:
Placer County Clerk-Recorder's Office
2954 Richardson Drive
Auburn CA 95603
How much does it cost to record a document?
The basic recording fee is $15.00 for the first page of a document and $3.00 for each additional page. This is for a standard 8 ½" X 11", letter-sized document. If any page of a document is larger or smaller than 8 ½" X 11" or if a page has anything stapled, taped or glued to it, the document will require a $3.00 non-conforming fee for each and every page. Therefore, the fee for a non-conforming document is $18.00 for the first page and $6.00 for each additional page. There also may be additional fees for Documentary Transfer Tax, debtor notification on involuntary liens and additional indexing. For a complete list of our fees, please see our fee schedule. If you need assistance calculating the recording fees for your document, you may contact our office at (530) 886-5600.
Will the Recorder’s Office help me prepare my document?
The Recorder’s Office can only provide you with the recording requirements for a document. This office is prohibited by law from providing you with legal advice. We recommend that you contact a legal advisor or title company for assistance in preparing your document.
What happens to my document after it is recorded?
Since it is the responsibility of the Recorder’s Office to preserve these records, images of the original documents are placed on roll film for archival purposes. Once a roll of film is completed, it must be examined to make certain that all the images are clear and complete. If the images on a roll of film are acceptable, the original documents are returned to the address shown in the upper left corner of the document approximately four to six weeks after recording.
What is Documentary Transfer Tax? When is it paid?
Documentary Transfer Tax is $0.55 per each $500.00 of the sale price or value of the real property being transferred. It is due at the time of recording on any transfer of real property unless an exemption from Documentary Transfer Tax under the California State Revenue and Taxation Codes is provided.
How do I find out what has been recorded for a certain property?
To find out what documents have been recorded for a certain property requires a search of our records. Searching records is not within the legal scope of this office. However, our records are open to the public 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays and you or your representative are welcome to search our records. Because the grantor/grantee index is a name index, the property owner’s name is required in order to search.
How do I find out how much a certain property sold for?
The Recorder’s Office does not keep a record of sale prices. Sale prices can be estimated from the amount of Documentary Transfer Tax shown on a deed. However, the Documentary Transfer Tax amount may not accurately reflect the true purchase price since Documentary Transfer Tax is not charged on assumed loan amounts.
How do I find out if a lien has been filed against my property? How do I get it removed?
You will need to search our records under your name to find out if a lien has been placed against you or if a recorded lien has been released. The Recorder’s Office cannot remove any liens placed against you. To have a lien released, you will need to contact the party who placed the lien and acquire a proper release document.

Marriage License Questions

How far ahead of time do we need to get our Marriage License?
The license is valid the same day it is issued and usable for up to ninety (90) days.
Do we need a blood test?
No.  As of January 1, 1995, blood tests are no longer necessary.
How much does it cost?
$57.00 for a Public Marriage License.  $60.00 for a Confidential Marriage License.  Please see Fee Schedule for more information.
Where do we go to get the License?
Auburn: The County Clerk-Recorder's office, 2954 Richardson Drive, Auburn, CA.

Tahoe: The Carnelian Bay office (by appointment only). Please call (530) 886-5610 to make an appointment.

Do we get a copy of the License?
No.  You may purchase a certified copy at the Recorder's office for a fee of $15.00 for a public and $20.00 for a confidential.

Fictitious Business Name Questions

Does it matter if another business has the same name?
The Clerk will file any appropriately completed fictitious business name statement.  Thus, there may be more than one person(s) with the same fictitious business name.  However, Business and Professions Code §14411 states "The filing of any fictitious business name statement... shall establish a rebuttable presumption that the registrant has the exclusive right to use as a trade name the fictitious name, as well as any confusingly similar trade name, in the county in which the statement is filed, if the registrant is the first to file such a statement."  Our office is not staffed to search records, but the public is welcome to come in and do a name search at no cost, or go to our online search.
What is the fee?
$30.00 for the first business name and owner on the statement.  $5.50 for each additional business name and/or owner.  The filing fee includes one certified copy.  Additional certified copies are $2.00.
Do we have to publish in the newspaper?
Yes, in a Placer County newspaper of general circulation, in the area you're conducting business (see list below), once a week for four (4) consecutive weeks.  The newspaper will send us a Proof of Publication.  Fees vary with each newspaper.  Your first publication must appear in one of the newspapers listed below within 30 days from the date you filed your Fictitious Business Name statement with the County Clerk's office.  Contact the newspaper at least one week in advance of your 30-day deadline.