A deed of trust (also known as a trust deed) is simply a legal document by which a title to land is signed over to a trustee as security for a debt or other obligation, such as a mortgage. Property records like these are kept and maintained by local government agencies. In Los Angeles, California, real estate records are accessible at the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Office. This local government agency receives millions of requests each year for copies of real estate documents. You can make your copy request in person, by mail or online.
Gather necessary information about the trust deed for which you want a copy. Trust deeds are filed by the names of the grantors and/or grantees exactly as they appear on the document. You will also need the recording date, or at least the year. If the deed of trust was recorded before 1982, provide the book, page and instrument number if available. If it was recorded in 1982 or later, reference the instrument number which is a six-digit number preceded by the recording year.
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Obtain an official copy of the deed of trust in person. You can do this by visiting the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Headquarters location during regular business hours. Take all necessary information about the trust deed with you.
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Headquarters 12400 East Imperial Highway Norwalk, CA 90650 562-462-2125
Request an official copy of the deed of trust by mail. Send your request to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Headquarters location listed in Step 2. The fees for copies are $5 for the first page plus $3 for each additional page per trust deed. The fee for certification is an additional $1 for each trust deed.
If you are requesting the copy by mail and are not sure what the exact fees will be, just enclose a check leaving the dollar amount blank and write a restriction phrase below the amount line -- for example, "not to exceed $25." The clerk who processes your order will complete the check and send you a receipt indicating the exact check amount. Make checks payable to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.
Get an official copy of the deed of trust online. Apply for your copy by visiting the LexisNexis Payment Solutions website (see Resources) for making secure payments to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. Follow the online instructions when making your payment.
Before sending a request or visiting the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's Office, ask questions you may have regarding the ordering of official record copies by calling 562-462-2133.