Available Real Estate Records

We maintain Real Estate Records (Official Records) documents and indexes for Santa Barbara County from 1850 to present. Examples of typical recorded documents are:

  • Real Property Records - Deeds, Leases, Notices of Completion
  • Financing Documents - Trust Deeds, Notices of Default, Reconveyances, Financing Statements
  • Liens

Our document images are not available online. Indexes can be searched and the documents viewed on kiosks in either of our offices.

Maps are are available from the Santa Barbara County Surveyor's office.

Real Estate Record Indexes

Our records are divided into 4 time periods:

  1. 1975 to present. The Real Estate Records Index is available online.  The documents (images) can only be viewed on our lobby kiosks.  The index can be searched by name, document title or date range.
  2. 1931 – 1975. The Historical Index is available online. The images for this time period are only available on our lobby kiosks. The index is known as the COTT system. It is organized in chronological order by the first letter of the last name (or business name). You may search the index by grantor or grantee and individual name or business name. The search will return images from the index book that match the first letter of the last name (or business name). You will need to look through the index pages (images) to find a specific name (record).
  3. 1921- 1931. The index is known as the LMNRT system
    The images for this time period are only available on our lobby kiosks. We do not have a search tool for this index. To search you can view scanned pages of the index books. For tips on searching the LMNRT index please view the handout available in our offices.
  4. 1850-1920
    The images for this time period are only available on our lobby kiosks. We do not have a search tool for this time period. To search you can view scanned pages of the indexes. During this time records were split into separate books by document title. There may be individual indexes for each document title. Examples of the document titles are:
    Deeds, Mortgages, Homesteads, Notices of Action, Patents, Leases, Powers of Attorney, Cattle Brands & Earmarks and Torrens

For records from 1850-1975 use the index to find the book and page reference for the document you wish to view. That document can be viewed on the same kiosk. We do not provide public access to microfilm or the books.

If you wish to purchase a copy, please complete a Public Record Copy Order form and submit a request to our office along with payment. Visit the Ordering Copies page for more information.

The staff of the Recorder's office is not authorized to conduct searches for the public. If you are unable to come to our office to search our index, we recommend having a title company or an abstractor locate the Recorder's document reference for you.

Vital Records

Vital records (birth, death, or marriage) indexes are not available to the public. If you are researching your family history in Santa Barbara County we recommend contacting the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society.