California Quit Claim Deed | Form QD
The California Quit Claim Deed (Form QD) is the official form used for transferring the legal rights to a property without needing to provide protection to the person receiving the property (the grantee). Because the form does not provide any guarantee to the grantee that there is no interest on the property (debt, errors with the deed, other owners, etc.), it is ideal to use in situations where this does not matter, such as between family or close friends. For instance, if a father wishes to transfer his property to his daughter in which he is the sole owner, a quit claim deed should be used since the daughter does not require legal assurance that no one else has a claim to the property.
In order for a deed to be accepted in California, the form must meet the following requirements:
- Margins (§ 27361.6) The vertical sides need to be a minimum of one-half (.5) inch. The top of the form needs to have a minimum of two-and-a-half (2.5) inches. The top left-hand three-and-a-half (3.5) inches need to be reserved for both the name and address of the person requesting the recording.
- Title (§ 27324): The deed must have a clear title that is at the top of the first (1st) page and clearly indicates that it is a “Quit Claim Deed”.
- Assessor Parcel Number (APN): It is required that an Assessor Parcel Number (APN) is stated in the description of the property. An APN can be found on a property tax bill, or it can be obtained from the City/County Assessor.
- Name and address of taxpayer (§ 27321.5(a)): In order for future tax statements to be mailed, the name and the address of the relevant party must be stated.
- Names of parties with an interest (§ 27288.1): The name of each party with an interest in the property named in the form must be included. The order in which the names appear must be as they would on the “latest secured assessment roll.”
- Previously recorded form(s) (§ 27361.6): If the form in some way “modifies, releases, or cancels the provisions of a previously recorded document,” either the recorder identification number or the book and page number that was altered must be evident on the form.
- Signing Requirements (§ 27280.5): The names of both the grantor and grantee must be either typed, printed, or signed on the form. Additionally, the deed must be notarized by an official, licensed Notary Public.
- Mandatory Forms: In order for a deed to be processed, the following below will also need to be completed. The second form must be obtained from the relevant county office where the property is situated.
- Preliminary Change of Ownership (Form BOE-502-A).pdf
- Documentary of Transfer Tax or a Notice of Exempt Transaction (County-specific)
How to File
The form must be filed at the County Recorder’s Office in the same county that the property is situated. It must be filed with the mandatory forms noted below.
It is essential that the task of recording the deed is prioritized. Californian state law, specifically § 1214, establishes that if two (2) or more parties have a lawful claim to a property, the party who files the deed first will be seen in the eyes of the law as the rightful claimant, so long as they did not have notice of the other party’s claim.