Glossary of Terms


A formal declaration made before an authorized person, e.g., a notary public, by a person who has executed an instrument stating that the execution was his/her act. Authenticates the identity of the signor.


A written statement or declaration sworn to or affirmed before an officer who has authority to administer an oath or affirmation. May alternately be signed under penalty of perjury stating that the contents are true and correct.

Assessor's Parcel Number

A book, page/block and parcel numbering system used by the Assessor’s office to identify property. This number is required on all deeds pursuant to Shasta County Code §3.32.010.


A written document by which the ownership of land is transferred from one person to another.

Deed of Trust

A three party security instrument conveying title to land as security for the performance of an obligation.

Documentary Transfer Tax

Tax on recorded transfers of title to real property. Tax amount is $1.10 per $1,000.00 of consideration.


An interest in land owned by another that entitles its holder to a specific limited use, such as laying a sewer, putting up electrical lines or crossing the property.

General Index

A title company’s or recorder’s office record of matters affecting title to land maintained according to names of individuals and entities rather than by real property description.


A person who acquires an interest in land by deed, grant of other written instrument.


A person who, by written instrument, transfers to another an interest in land.

Homestead Declaration

A document providing limited statutory protection of real property, used as a home, from the claim of certain creditors. For more information, view the Declaration of Homestead page.

Homeowners Exemption

A credit of reduction in property taxes available to tenant owners. To obtain a copy of this form, click here. (BOE-266)


A written paper signed and delivered by one person to another, transferring the title to or giving a lien on property, or giving a right to a debt or duty.


The portion of a certificate of affidavit stating when, where and before whom it was sworn.

Legal Description

  1. A description of real property sufficient to locate it on the ground by reference to government surveys and approved recorded maps.
  2. A formal description of real property, including a description of any part subject to an easement or reservation, complete enough that a particular piece of land can be located and identified
    1. Generally referred to as a "legal" description this may be:
      • Metes & Bounds – a reference to distances and degrees of direction
      • Lot & Block – a reference to a parcel in a subdivision indentified by a number
      • U.S. Government Survey – a reference to a section within a township and identified by a township and range number
    2. Street address, sometimes referred to a the "common address"
    3. Reference to a prior recorded document. This implies that the prior document has one of the above named descriptions contained in it.

Notary Public

A person authorized by law to take acknowledgments and to administer oaths.

Preliminary Change of Ownership Report

A form required by the County Assessor to accompany transfers of interest in real property. To obtain a copy of this form, click here. (BOE-502-A)

Public Records

Records which impart by law constructive notice of matters relating to real property.


To incorporate into the public records of the County Recorder.


The act of filing documents for record in the office of the County Recorder.

Transfer Tax

A tax imposed upon transfers of title of real property.

Trustee's Deed

The deed given by the trustee under a deed of trust when the secured property is sold under power of sale.


A sworn statement before a qualified officer (notary public), that the contents of a writing are true; or an unsworn statement by an individual under penalty of perjury.