Guide to filing a mechanics lien in Whatcom County

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

You can file your mechanic liens in person at the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office located at:

311 Grand Avenue
Suite 103
Bellingham, WA 98225

Phone: 360-778-5100
Fax: 360-778-5101

Hours
Monday – Friday
8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.

You can also submit your documents electronically.

You can contact the following electronic recording submitters:

CSC eRecording Solutions
Email Address – erecording@cscglobal.com
Phone Number – 1-866-652-0111
Website – www.erecording.com

Ben Sherman
eRecording Partners Network
Direct 608-616-2314
Ben@GOePN.com
www.erecording.com

Simplifile
e-recording made simple

Joshua Holmes
Western States Sales Director
josh@simplifile.com
209.7402326 cell
1-800-460-5657 ext1034 office

4844 North 300 West, Suite 202
Provo, UT 84604
800.460.5657 x7001 support
www.simplifile.com

What is Whatcom County's Recording Backlog?

The Whatcom County Auditor’s Office does not publicly disclose information on recording backlog.

Should I file my mechanics lien in Whatcom County?

If your construction project is located in Whatcom County, then yes, you should file your lien here.

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

The Whatcom County Auditor’s recording requirements are as follows:

Documents must be legible and capable of being scanned into an electronic imaging system. All text within the document must be of sufficient color and clarity to ensure that when the text is imaged all text is readable. No attachments, except firmly attached bar code or address labels, may be affixed to the page. A document which does not meet legibility requirements will not be recorded.

The 1st page of the document must include these 7 items (RCW 65.04.045 & 65.04.047):

1. A 3 inch margin at the top and 1 inch margin on the bottom and sides of page one. All other pages require clear 1 inch margins on all sides. Margins must be clear with no stray marks or writings.
2. Return address in the upper left corner, within the top 3 inch margin.
3. Title(s) of the document must be placed immediately below the 3 inch margin.
4. Reference number(s) (Original Auditor file number) of previously recorded documents pertaining to this document must be on the 1st page if applicable.
5. Names of grantor(s) and grantee(s) must appear on the 1st page.
6. The abbreviated or complete legal description must be on the first page. “See attached” is not acceptable. If using the abbreviated legal description on the first page you will need to reference on the first page where the full legal description is listed. (The abbreviated legal is: 1) Lot, Block and Plat; or 2) Quarter, Quarter, Section, Township and Range; or 3) Unit, Building, Phase and Condo Name). Anytime there is a legal description listed there must be an assessor’s Geo Parcel number listed also.
7. The assessor’s 16-digit Geo Parcel number(s) must be on the 1st page. The assessor’s Geo Parcel number can be obtained from your tax statement or from the Whatcom County Assessor’s Office by calling 360-778-5050. Anytime there is a legal description listed there must be an assessor’s Geo Parcel number listed also.

Notes

1. A Non-Standard Cover Sheet is used when a document must be recorded immediately and does not meet margin and font size requirements. The fee to record a non-standard document is $50 per RCW 65.04 in addition to regular recording fees. The non-standard cover sheet must be filled out completely and signed.

2. A Standard Cover Sheet is used when the document does not meet margin and indexing requirements.

3. An excise tax affidavit is required before recording any deed, real estate contract, easement or conveyance (with monetary consideration). This affidavit can be obtained through the Whatcom County Treasurer’s Office located on the 1st floor of the County Courthouse. You may email or call the office (360-778-5160).

4. Sheets of paper must be no larger than 8 1/2 inches wide and 14 inches long. Font size must be 8 point or larger.

Documents which are exempt from format requirements and which may be recorded with a properly completed cover sheet include:

1. Any birth or death certificate
2. Any document, one of whose original signer is deceased or otherwise incapacitated
3. Certified copies of documents
4. Documents executed outside of the United States
5. Documents which were signed prior to January 1, 1997
6. Judgments or other documents formatted to meet court requirements
7. Marriage certificates from outside the State of Washington
8. Military separation documents

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

Sheets of paper must be no larger than 8 1/2 inches wide and 14 inches long. Font size must be 8 point or larger.

The first page must have a 3 inch margin at the top and 1 inch margin on the bottom and sides of page one. All other pages require clear 1 inch margins on all sides. Margins must be clear with no stray marks or writings.

Return address in the upper left corner can be within the top 3 inch margin.

How can I make payment to the Whatcom County Recorder's Office?

In person: Recording fees can be paid by cash, check, money order, cashier’s check, or most credit/debit cards (a convenience fee applies to card payments). Make checks payable to Whatcom County Auditor.

By mail: Recording fees can be paid by check, money order, or cashier’s check. Please make checks payable to Whatcom County Auditor.

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

The Whatcom County Auditor’s recording fee is $103.50 for the first page and $1.00 for each additional page.

Additional Recording Fees

Recording non-standard “emergency” documents (in addition to regular document fee): $50.00
If document covers more than one transaction type: Fee based on each
document type

Lien Fees

Federal Tax Liens & Releases: $16.00
State, County, City Liens & Releases: $39.00
Employment Security Liens: $36.00

Copy Fees

Certified copies: $3.00 for the first page and $1.00 for each additional page

Photocopies: $1.00 per page

How do I get a recorded copy of my lien from the Whatcom County Recorder's Office?

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

By Phone

You can all c360-778-5100/

Have your credit card ready. A nominal fee will be charged to use your credit card in addition to the copy fees.

In Person

You can visit the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office located at:

311 Grand Ave., Suite 103
Bellingham WA 98225

You may pay with cash, check, or credit card. A nominal fee will be charged to use your credit card in addition to the copy fees.

By Mail

Mail the request to:

Attention: Recording
Whatcom County Auditor
311 Grand Ave., Suite 103
Bellingham, WA 98225

Provide a self-addressed stamped envelope to return your copy.

Include the requestor’s name and phone number in case they have questions.

Send a check payable to Whatcom County Auditor for the fees. Do not send cash.

Fees

Regular copies:
1980 – Present: $1.00 for each page requested.
1979 and older: $9.00 for the first page and $1.00 for each additional page.
Certified copies:
1980 – Present: $3.00 for the first page and $1.00 for each additional page of the document.
1979 and older: $11.00 for the first page and $1.00 for each additional page of the document.

Assisted record search – $8.00 per hour for records prior to 1980

You can also search Whatcom County’s Official Records index online at:
http://recording.whatcomcounty.us/Disclaimer

Images that are not available through the records search can be requested in person, on the phone or by mail.

To obtain a certified copy the entire document must be requested.

You can visit the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office to obtain information on how to request a document copy or certified copy.

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