Guide to filing a mechanics lien in Orange County

When it comes to fighting slow payment, filing a mechanics lien with the Orange County Recorder is one of the best things to get things moving again. However, as common as they may be, many contractors don’t know where to start when preparing to file a lien.

The good news is that California contractors are well-protected under the state’s lien laws. Nearly every party involved in a project has strong lien rights, and it’s important you know how to properly employ them when needed. This page helps you orient yourself with Orange County’s recording requirements, filing fees, filing deadlines, and other useful information. If you need information regarding the filing process, check out our step-by-step guide to filing a mechanics lien in California.

Where is the Orange County Recorder's Office that files mechanic liens?

You can file your mechanics lien in person, by mail, or by a representative.

If you choose to file in person or by a representative, you can visit the Orange County Clerk-Recorder’s office located at:
Central Office
Hall of Records
601 N. Ross St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Office Hours:
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday

You can also visit the following locations:

South County Branch Office
Laguna Hills Civic Center
24031 El Toro Road, Suite 150
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Office Hours:

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday
Real property recording services are closed for lunch from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Real property recording services are available until 4 p.m.

North County Branch Office
Wells Fargo Building/Parking
222 S. Harbor Blvd., Ste. 110
Anaheim, CA 92805

Office Hours:

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday
Real property recording services are closed for lunch from 12 p. m. to 1 p.m.
Real property recording services are available until 4 p.m.

If by mail, you can send your lien documents to the following address:

Hall of Records
601 N. Ross St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701

If you need more information, you can call them at (714) 834-2887.

 

What is Orange County's Recording Backlog?

The Orange County Recorder’s Office does not publicly disclose information on recording backlog but you can give the specific office a call to see how long it might take to process and record your document.

Should my mechanics lien be filed in Orange County, or some other county?

If the property is located in Orange County, then yes, you will want to record your lien with the Orange County Recorder’s office. Documents must be recorded in the county where the property is located.

What are Orange County's requirements for recording a mechanics lien?

All documents submitted for recording must meet certain basic requirements. The Orange County Recorder’s recording requirements are as follows:

1. Documents must be recorded in the county where the property is located.
2. The document should be legible.
3. Please include the name of the party requesting the recording, and a name and address where the document should be returned.

What are the margin & page size requirements to file a lien in OrangeCounty?

All documents must comply with the 8 1/2″ x 11″ standard page size. An additional fee will be charged to a document containing a non-standard page size.

How can I make payment to the Orange County Recorder?

The Orange County Recorder’s payment options include: cash, personal check, cashier’s check, money order, Discover Card, American Express, MasterCard/Visa Credit and Debit. Make checks payable to the: Orange County Clerk-Recorder.

You can also mail your payment to the following address:

Orange County Clerk-Recorder
Hall of Records
601 N. Ross St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Please note that a $25.00 service fee will be charged for returned checks.

What are the filing fees to record a mechanics lien in Orange County?

The Orange County Clerk-Recorder’s standard recording fee is $6.00 for the first page and $3.00 for each additional page.

Additional recording fees

Non-standard page fee: a $3.00 charge will be added to all pages that is not 8 1/2″ x 11”.

Indexing Fee: $1.00 for more than 10 names (per group of 10 names)

Release of any state, county, city or municipality tax lien fee: $8.00

Copy Fees

Recorded Document Copy: $1.00 (per page)
Certification: $1.00
Conformed Copies: $1.00

 

How do I get a recorded copy of my lien from Orange County's Recorders Office?

You can obtain a recorded copy of your lien in person or by mail with a self-addressed stamped envelope.

If in-person, you can visit one of the Orange County Recorder’s office locations below:
Central Office
Hall of Records
601 N. Ross St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Office Hours:
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday

South County Branch Office
Laguna Hills Civic Center
24031 El Toro Road, Suite 150
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Office Hours:

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday
Real property recording services are closed for lunch from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Real property recording services are available until 4 p.m.

North County Branch Office
Wells Fargo Building/Parking
222 S. Harbor Blvd., Ste. 110
Anaheim, CA 92805

Office Hours:

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday
Real property recording services are closed for lunch from 12 p. m. to 1 p.m.
Real property recording services are available until 4 p.m.

Fees for copies are $1 for the first page and $1 for each additional page per document. The fee for certification is another $1 for each document.

For copy requests by mail from those paying with a check, you must leave the dollar amount blank and write a limiting phrase in the “note” portion. (Example – not to exceed $20.)

Make checks payable to: Orange County Clerk-Recorder. Mail the copy request to:

Orange County Clerk-Recorder
Attn: Copy Desk
601 N. Ross St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701.

Do I have the right to file a mechanics lien in Orange County, CA?

Determining whether you do or do not have a mechanics lien right can be tricky. Generally speaking, every state gives those who have furnished labor and/or materials to a construction project the right to file a mechanics lien if unpaid for the furnishing. The same is true in California. However, there are some state-specific limitations as to who is qualified to file a mechanics lien that is important when considering whether you have the right to file a mechanics lien in Orange County, CA.

Great and detailed information about this is available on our California Mechanics Lien Resources Page.

What is the fee to file a California Preliminary Notice in Orange County?

The fee to file a California Preliminary Notice in Orange County is $72.00.

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