Guide to filing a mechanics lien in San Diego County

Recording a mechanics lien with the San Diego County Recorder can be a long process. Although California grants strong lien rights to nearly every party involved in a project, you still need to make sure you meet all the requirements, meet the deadlines, pay the correct fees, include accurate information in your lien claim, and much more. This page serves as a reference for how to file a mechanics lien in San Diego. It informs you on where to file in San Diego, the San Diego County recording requirements, formatting requirements, filing and copy fees, as well as information on couriers, California lien rights, deadlines, and more.

For a complete description of the lien filing process and California’s lien laws, check out our step-by-step guide to filing a California mechanics lien.

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

You can file your mechanic liens in person in all of the San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk offices at the addresses listed below:

County Administration Center
1600 Pacific Highway, Suite 260
San Diego, CA 92101

Business hours:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through Friday, except holidays.
Toll Free Numbers:
(619) 441-1427 East County
(760) 631-7916 or (858) 538-9384 North County

Document Recording
(619) 238-8158
(760) 630-1219 North County

Chula Vista Branch
590 3rd Ave
Chula Vista, CA 91910

Business hours:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays

Document Recording
(619) 238-8158

El Cajon Branch
200 S. Magnolia Ave
El Cajon, CA 92020

Business hours:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

Document Recording
(619) 238-8158

Kearny Mesa Branch
9225 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92123

Business hours:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. every 3rd Saturday of each month with the exception of February, August & December 2019. For those months we will be open on February 9, August 24, & December 14, 2019.

Document Recording
(619) 238-8158

San Marcos Branch
141 East Carmel St.
San Marcos, CA 92078

Business hours:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

Document Recording
(760) 630-1219 North County
(619) 238-8158

You may also mail in your documents for recording to:

The San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk
P.O. Box 121750
San Diego, California 92112-1750

What is San Diego County's Recording Backlog?

The San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk does not publicly disclose information on recording backlog. However, note that
your request is processed upon receipt but you can expect to receive your original recorded document back in the mail after 2-4 weeks.

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

If the property is located in San Diego County, then yes, you will want to record your lien with the The San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk’s office.

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

All documents must comply with the San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk’s general requirements. They are as follows:

1. The property must be located in San Diego County. (CC1169)
2. The document must be authorized or required by law to be recorded. (GC 27201)
3. The document must be submitted with the proper fees and taxes. (GC 6301, 27201, 27261)
4. The document must be in compliance with state and local laws.
5. The document should Name the person requesting recording. (GC 27361.6)
6. The document should state the Name and address to whom the document should be returned, fill in “Recording Requested By and Mail To”. (GC 27361.6)
7. The document must be legible enough to produce a readable photographic record. (GC 27201, 27361.6, 27361.7)
8. Signatures must be original unless the document is a certified copy issued by the appropriate custodian of the public record. (GC 27201b, GC 28288, Evid Code 1530)
9. The document must be properly acknowledged, unless exempt. All purpose acknowledgments taken in California must be completed as prescribed by law. Any certificate of acknowledgment taken in another place shall be sufficient in this state if it is taken in accordance with the laws of the place where the acknowledgment is made. (GOV 27201, 27285, 27287, 27288, 27289, CIV 1189)

What are the margin & page size requirements to file a lien in San Diego County?

Sheet and paper size: All documents must comply with the standard 8 1/2″ by 11″ sheet and paper size to avoid penalty, and must not exceed 8 1/2″ by 14″ . An additional $3.00 fee will charged for each page that is not 8 1/2″ by 11″.

Margin: The first page should have a return address space on the top left that is 2 1/2″ down and 3 1/2″ across. On the top right, allow a blank space 2 12″ down and 5″ across for the recording. If there is not enough space for the Recorders Stamp on the first page, an additional $3.00 will be charged for a COVER PAGE.

The title of the document shall appear on the first page immediately below the spaces reserved for the return address and the blank space for the recorder’s information. Click here for SAMPLE DOCUMENT.

How can I make payment to the San Diego County Recorder?

All applicable fees must be paid at the time of recording. Note that when using a credit or debit card, a $2.50 surcharge will be added to the transaction.

You may also mail in your documents for recording with a check, cashier’s check or money order made payable to:

The San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk
590 Third Ave, Rm 204

Chula Vista, California 91910

 

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

The San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk’s base recording fee is $92 for the first page and $3 for each additional page. 

This is based on a regular recording fee of $17.00 for the first page and $3.00 for each additional page, plus $75 for the California SB-2 Building Homes and Jobs Act. 

Additional recording fees:

An additional $75 SB-2 fee per APN (tax-map/parcel identification number) beyond the first up to two (three total).  

Non-conforming page size (other than 8 1/2 x 11): $3.00 for each page

Penalty Print Fee (9 lines per vertical inch or 22 characters per
horizontal inch): $1.00 per page

Release of lien by a state or local government entity (excludes Federal): $12.00

Indexing Fee: $1.00 for each additional reference indexed
$1.00 for each additional name indexed (Each group of 10 names after 1st.

Fees to obtain a copy
There are also fees charged to get a copy back from the recorder.

The fees for a certified copy are $3.00 for the first page and $0.05 for each subsequent page

How do I get a recorded copy of my lien from San Diego County Recorders Office?

You can request a copy your recorded lien online, in person, or by mail.

To view copies of all recorded documents in person you can visit any of San Diego Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk’s office locations listed below:

County Administration Center
1600 Pacific Highway, Suite 260
San Diego, CA 92101

Business hours:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through Friday, except holidays.
Toll Free Numbers:
(619) 441-1427 East County
(760) 631-7916 or (858) 538-9384 North County

Document Recording
(619) 238-8158
(760) 630-1219 North County

Chula Vista Branch
590 3rd Ave
Chula Vista, CA 91910

Business hours:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays

Document Recording
(619) 238-8158

El Cajon Branch
200 S. Magnolia Ave
El Cajon, CA 92020

Business hours:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

Document Recording
(619) 238-8158

Kearny Mesa Branch
9225 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92123

Business hours:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. every 3rd Saturday of each month with the exception of February, August & December 2019. For those months we will be open on February 9, August 24, & December 14, 2019.

Document Recording
(619) 238-8158

San Marcos Branch
141 East Carmel St.
San Marcos, CA 92078

Business hours:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

Document Recording
(760) 630-1219 North County
(619) 238-8158

To search and/or to request copies of recorded documents online, click here.

To request a copy by mail, you can mail your request along with a check or money order payable to:

San Diego Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk
Attn: Real Estate Records
P.O. Box 121750
San Diego, CA 92112-1750

When requesting copies of recorded documents, you need to include the following information:
1. The document number
2. The year that the document was recorded
3. The name of at least one of the parties named on the document
4. The type of document

If you have any questions, you can call them at (619) 237-0502.

Do I have the right to file a mechanics lien in San Diego 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 San Diego County, California.

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 San Diego County?

The fee to file a California Preliminary Notice in San Diego County is $20.00.

Fees to obtain a copy
There are also fees charged to get a copy back from the recorder.

The fees for a certified copy are $3.00 for the first page and $0.05 for each subsequent page

 

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