Recorder Offices in Whatcom County

Whatcom County Auditor / Recorder
311 Grand Ave., Bellingham, Washington 98227
8:30 to 4:30 M-F
Phone: (360) 676-6740
Whatcom County Auditor / Recorder 311 Grand Ave.,  Bellingham, Washington, 98227 is providing this information as a courtesy to our visitors. You are NOT on the Whatcom County official website, you are on, a private website that is not affiliated with any government agency.
Whatcom County Recorder of Deeds
Whatcom County Recorder Information
The recorder in Whatcom County is responsible for recording and maintaining records related to real property situated in the County.
Recording Fees
The first page of most documents is $72 to record. Each additional page is $1.

A deed of trust is $73 for the first page.

Recording non-standard “emergency” documents is $50, which is in addition to the regular fee.

If a document covers more than one transaction type, the fee is based on each document type.
Document Formatting Requirements
The Recording Division of the Auditor’s Office handles real estate documents pertaining to real property located in Whatcom County. The turnaround time for recording is 24 hours upon receiving the document and up to 14 days before it is returned by mail.

Recording Act: A conveyance of real property, when acknowledged by the person executing the same (the acknowledgment being certified as required by law), may be recorded in the office of the recording officer of the county where the property is situated. Every such conveyance not so recorded is void as against any subsequent purchaser or mortgagee in good faith and for a valuable consideration from the same vendor, his or her heirs or devisees, of the same real property or any portion thereof whose conveyance is first duly recorded. An instrument is deemed recorded the minute it is filed for record.

When an instrument is presented for recording, the first page shall contain:

(a) a top margin of at least 3 inches and a 1-inch margin on the bottom and sides. An instrument may be recorded if a minor portion of a notary seal, incidental writing, or minor portion of a signature extends beyond the margins.

(b) the top left-hand side of the 3-inch margin should contain the name and address to whom the instrument should be returned.

(c) the title (or titles) of the instrument to be recorded, indicating the transactions contained in the document. This should be immediately below the 3-inch top margin. The auditor is required to index only the title (or titles) captioned on the document.

(d) reference numbers of documents assigned or released with reference to the document page number where additional references can be found, if applicable.

(e) the names of the grantors and grantees, with reference to the document page numbers where additional names can be found, if applicable.

(f) an abbreviated legal description of the real property. Abbreviated legal description means lot, block, plat or section, township, range, and quarter/quarter section, and reference to the document page number where the full legal description is included, if applicable.

(g) the assessor’s property tax parcel or account number, set forth separately from the legal description or other text.

A standard cover sheet can be used when the first page contains inadequate margins and/or is missing indexing information. This will add an additional $1 to the recording fees. If a cover sheet is used, the Auditor will rely on the information provided in the form for indexing purposes. The responsibility for the accuracy of the indexing information is that of the document preparer. Any errors in the cover sheet shall not affect the transactions contained in the instrument itself. The cover sheet does not need to be separately signed or acknowledged. The cover sheet information shall be used to generate the auditor’s grantor/grantee index, however, the names and legal description in the instrument itself will determine the legal chain of title.

All pages of the document should be on sheets of paper of a weight and color capable of producing a legible image. Use paper that is at least 8.5x11 inches and not larger than 8.5x14 inches. Text should be printed or typed in black ink and a font size of at least 8 point.

All text, including notary seals, must be of a sufficient color and clarity to ensure that when the text is imaged, it is all readable.

No attachments, except for firmly attached barcodes or address labels, should be affixed to any page.

Deeds, contracts, and mortgages of real estate described by lot and block and addition or plat shall not be filed or recorded until the plat of such addition has been filed and made a matter of public record.

No instrument of sale or conveyance evidencing a sale subject to the tax shall be accepted by the county auditor for filing or recording until the tax shall have been paid and the verification of payment affixed thereto; in case the tax is not due on the transfer, the instrument shall not be so accepted until suitable notation of such fact has been made on the instrument by the treasurer.


Documents which must be recorded immediately and which do not meet margin and font size requirements may be recorded for an additional fee of $50. Documents which do not meet legibility requirements must not be recorded as non-standard documents.
In addition to preparing a properly completed cover sheet, the person preparing the document must sign a statement that will be attached to the document and must read substantially as follows: “I am requesting an emergency nonstandard recording for an additional fee as provided in RCW 36.18.010. I understand that the recording processing requirements may cover up or otherwise obscure some part of the text of the original document.” This statement is to be signed by the person submitting the document.
We may be able to e-record your deed documents in Whatcom County, Click Here for more information.
Whatcom County Real Estate Deed Forms

Quit Claim Deed Form
Warranty Deed Form
Bargain and Sale Deed Form
Special Warranty Deed Form
Grant Deed Form
Easement Deed Form
Transfer on Death Deed Form
Transfer on Death Revocation Form
Transfer on Death Affidavit Form
Affidavit of Deceased Joint Tenant Form
Correction Deed Form
Disclaimer of Interest Form
Supplemental Documents

Real Estate Excise Tax
Change in Controlling Interest
Supplemental Statement
NOTICE: You are NOT on the Whatcom County official website, you are on, a private website that is not affiliated with any government agency.