Guide to filing a mechanics lien in Santa Barbara County

If you’re facing slow payment in Santa Barbara County, you’ve come to the right place. Filing a mechanics lien with the Santa Barbara County Recorder is one of the best ways to get things moving again no matter which state you operate in. However, the lien laws in California can be a little complicated compared to the lien laws in other states. That’s why it’s important to do your research before filing to make sure you get everything right and avoid time-costing mistakes and missteps. For a primer on California’s lien laws, check out our guide here.

This page covers the essential information regarding the Santa Barbara County Recorder’s Office, providing you with Santa Barbara County’s recording requirements, formatting requirements, recording fees, as well as information regarding how to eRecord your lien or record your lien by mail. Additionally, you can find out how to eFile your lien in a matter of clicks with Levelset.

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 Santa Barbara County Recorder's Office that files mechanic liens?

You can file your mechanic liens in person or by mail.

In Person

You may bring in the document in person to one of two Santa Barbara county locations:

Santa Barbara: 1100 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara 93101
Santa Maria: 511 E Lakeside Parkway, Santa Maria 93455 (Government Center)

The Santa Barbara Clerk County Recorder’s offices are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays. Note that offices do not close for the lunch hour.

By Mail

You can also send your lien documents by mail to:

USPS First Class Mail:
Santa Barbara Clerk Recorder
P.O. Box 159
Santa Barbara, CA 93102

Express or Courier Service Mail:
Santa Barbara Clerk Recorder
Hall of Records
1100 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Note that if you require a conformed copy for immediate return, you must include a copy of the document and a self-addressed stamped envelope.

What is Santa Barbara County's Recording Backlog?

The Santa Barbara County Clerk Recorder does not publicly disclose information on recording backlog. However, note that if your document meets all recording requirements and the proper fees are paid, your document will usually be recorded while you wait. The Clerk-Recorder will retain the document for scanning and indexing. The original will be mailed back to you within 15 business days of recording.

 

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

If the property is located in Santa Barbara County, then yes, you will want to record your lien with the San Barbara County Clerk-Recorder’s office.

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

All documents must comply with the Santa Barbara County Clerk Recorder’s general requirements. They are as follows:

1. The property must be located in Santa Barbara County. (Civil Code 1169).
2. The document must be authorized or required by law to be recorded. ( Govt. Code 27201 ) Documents affecting title to real property generally include grant deeds, deeds of trust, mechanic’s liens, tax liens, abstract of judgment, reconveyances’, assignments of deeds of trust, etc.
3. Documents must be clearly legible in order to produce a readable and reproducible photographic record. This pertains to the document text, notary seals, certificates and other attachments, such as legal descriptions. ( Govt. Code 27361.7 ).
4. Signatures must be original unless the document is a certified copy issued by the appropriate custodian of the public record. (Govt Code 27201(b), 27279, Evidence Code 1530)
5. The document must be properly acknowledged, unless exempt. Since January 2008, acknowledgments taken in California require the “all-purpose acknowledgment.” (Govt. Code 27201, 27289 , 27285 , 27287 , 27288 , Civil Code 1189)

 

What are the margin & page size requirements to file a lien in Santa Barbara County?

All documents must comply with the 8-1/2″ by 11″ standard page size and not to exceed 8-1/2″ x 14″. Other page sizes incur additional recording fees.

The first page of the document must reserve a minimum of 2-1/2″ down from the top of the page, of which the left 3-1/2″ across is used by the person preparing the document to identify who is requesting the recording and the name and address to which the document is to be returned following recording. The remainder of this space is reserved for use by the Clerk-Recorder to enter the official recording information. With regard to the vertical sides of the page, a minimum of 1/2″ must be left blank on each side of the document.

If the first page of a document does not comply with these legal requirements, attach a separate page to the front of the document which meets the space and margin criteria, includes the name of the party requesting recording, the name and address which the document is to be returned following recording and which includes the title or titles of the document.

How can I make payment to the Santa Barbara County Recorder?

 

The Santa Barbara County Clerk Recorder has many payment options, including:

Check or Money Order: Make payable to “Santa Barbara County Clerk-Recorder”

Money Order: Ensure that all information on the Money Order is completed

Credit Card: Visa, MasterCard, Discover (American Express NOT accepted)

If sending the request by mail, complete Credit Card Authorization Form

The Santa Barbara Clerk Recorder also accept cash in its offices, Do not send cash through the mail.

Note that a $49.00 NSF fee added for any check that is returned without payment.

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

The Santa Barbara County Clerk Recorder’s base fee is $14.00 for the first page and $3.00 for each additional page.

Additional Recording Fees

Nonconforming Fee: $3.00 fpr each page that is not 8.5 by 11 inches in size (not to exceed 8.5 by 14 inches)

Indexing Fee (more than 10 names): $1.00 for each group of 10 names or fractional portion thereof after the initial group of 10 names.

Indexing Fee (more than 1 recording reference): $1.00 per reference (after the first one), which requires additional indexing.

Penalty Print: $1.00 if document consists of wording added to the printed form that is spaced either more than nine lines per vertical inch, has more than 22 characters and spaces per inch measured horizontally, for not less than three inches in one sentence.

Lien Recording Fees

Release of Lien, encumbrance of notice
(executed by the state or any municipality, county, city, district or other political subdivision): $12.00

Copy Fees

Official Record Copy: $10.00 per document
Official Record Certification: $2.00, signed official seal; per document
Conformed Copy: $2.00

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

You can obtain a copy a recorded copy of your lien in person or by mail.

Once you have the recording information for the document, fill out an Real Estate Record copy order request form. If you do not have the recorded document information, you may look it up using the Real Estate Records Index.

In Person

You can visit any of the Santa Barbara County Clerk Recorder’s offices listed below:

Santa Barbara Office
Hall of Records
1100 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Phone: (805) 568-2250
Fax: (805) 568-2266

Santa Maria Office
Betteravia Government Center
511 E. Lakeside Parkway, Suite 115
Santa Maria, CA 93455-1341

Phone: (805) 568-2250
Fax: (805) 346-8371

These offices are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays.

By Mail

You can send your request by mail to:

Regular Mail:
Santa Barbara Clerk-Recorder
P.O. Box 159 Santa Barbara, CA 93102-0159

Express or Courier Service Mail
Hall of Records, 1100 Anacapa St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

 

Do I have the right to file a mechanics lien in Santa Barbara 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 Santa Barbara County, California.

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

 

What is the fee to file a CA Preliminary Notice in Santa Barbara County?

The fee to file a California Preliminary Notice in Santa Barbara County is $42.00.

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