King County Recorded Documents
Between 1854 and 1969, the King County Auditor recorded and maintained documents submitted for public record in King County. In 1969, when King County adopted its home-rule charter, the office of the County Auditor was abolished and the recording functions were assigned to the newly-formed King County Recorder's Office. Recorded documents include marriage records (certificates and applications), property records (deeds, easements, mortgages, leases, liens, plats, surveys, and condominium records) as well as a variety of other records including veteran discharge papers (DD-214s), power of attorney records, and chattel mortgages. The King County Archives provides access to all documents recorded in King County.
To record a document with King County, please go to the King County Recorder's Office. The Recorder's Office can also provide access to copies of recordings that have been imaged, including all marriage certificates, plats and surveys, and most documents recorded after July 31, 1991.
How do I...
Research and Access
An online index to all recorded documents from 1976 to present is available on the Recorder's Office website. On that site you can also view and download images of all recorded documents (except for certain restricted document types) from August 1, 1991 to present. Additionally, images of all recorded plats (1853-present) and surveys (1973-present) are available online.
In order to research recorded documents that are not online, please visit our microfilm research room, where we provide access to microfilm copies of all indexes to, and images of, recorded documents. Please note that in order to research most recorded documents, you must know names and dates. Most documents are not indexed by parcel number or address.
If you want to research any recorded documents in original hardcopy form (volume or paper) or any other records in the King County Archives, you must do so in our archival research room. Appointments are required at least one day in advance.
If you know the document number (and/or volume and page number), parties' names, and date, and exactly how many pages the record is, you can request a copy of that document by filling out our copy request form (PDF) and mailing it with correct fees (see below). If you are unsure of any of the above information, please do not send in a copy request form.
Can't do your own research?
Research projects involving recorded documents can be quite complicated and time consuming. Staff of the King County Archives can only spend a limited amount of time on research (less than 30 minutes) per each request. If you are interested in hiring someone to do research for you, there are a variety of options that are available. The King County Archives endorses no particular researcher or company. Below are some links that you can use to help locate a records retrieval specialist:
- Public Record Retriever Network (external link) - public records researchers and document retrieval specialist who can research recorded documents
- American Title Land Association (external link) - title companies, who can assist with title insurance
- Association of Professional Genealogists Puget Sound Chapter (external link) - local professional genealogists for hire, with various specialties
Copy and Certification Fees for Recorded Documents
The cost for copies of recorded documents is $1.00 per page. Certified documents are available at an extra $2.00 per document. See Copy and Service Fees for more information about fees and available payment methods. Payment is required in advance of receiving copies and service from the Archives.
If you have any questions, please contact us.