Calif. Government Code §27388
Amended by A.B. 661
Effective date: January 1, 2017

Any real estate instrument conveying or vesting real estate and subject to a documentary transfer tax is exempt from the $10 county recording fee which funds real estate fraud prevention.

Real estate instruments include:

  • trust deeds;
  • assignments;
  • covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs);
  • liens; and
  • notices, such as a notice of default or notice of trustee’s sale.

Further, real estate instruments not subject to documentary transfer taxes are also exempt from the recording fee when the instrument is:

  • simultaneously filed with another document subject to the tax; or
  • recorded in the same business day as another related document subject to the tax.

To qualify for the exemption, the real estate instrument — regardless of whether it is directly subject to the documentary transfer tax — needs to have a statement attached which:

  • declares the instrument is exempt; and
  • lists the recording date and either the:
    • recorder’s identification number; or
    • previously recorded document’s book and page.

Read the bill text.