California Register

The State Historical Resources Commission has designed this program for use by state and local agencies, private groups and citizens to identify, evaluate, register and protect California's historical resources. The Register is the authoritative guide to the state's significant historical and archeological resources.

The California Register program encourages public recognition and protection of resources of architectural, historical, archeological and cultural significance, identifies historical resources for state and local planning purposes, determines eligibility for state historic preservation grant funding and affords certain protections under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Note: Because Technical Assistance Bulletin 7, California Register, is currently under review for updates and revisions, there are no manuals available for nominating California Register properties. Please contact OHP Registration Unit staff for advice and consultation regarding the components necessary to nominate a property to the California Register of Historical Resources.


Criteria for Designation

  • Associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of local or regional history or the cultural heritage of California or the United States (Criterion 1).
  • Associated with the lives of persons important to local, California or national history (Criterion 2).
  • Embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, region or method of construction or represents the work of a master or possesses high artistic values (Criterion 3).
  • Has yielded, or has the potential to yield, information important to the prehistory or history of the local area, California or the nation (Criterion 4).
  • Effects of Designation

  • Limited protection: Environmental review may be required under CEQA if property is threatened by a project. Contact your local planning agency for more information.
  • Local building inspector must grant code alternatives provided under State Historical Building Code.
  • Local assessor may enter into contract with property owner for property tax reduction (Mills Act).
    Owner may place his or her own plaque or marker at the site of the resource.

  • Procedures for Registration

    1. Download the Nomination Packet.  Only use the DPR 523 Forms that are applicable to the nominated resource.  If you need assistance contact OHP.

    2. Complete application, including all necessary supplemental forms, according to instructions.

    3. Notify the clerk of the local government in whose jurisdiction the resource is located by certified mail that an application will be filed with OHP and request that the local government provide written comments within 90 days. The notification must include a copy of the application.

    4. At the end of the 90 days, forward the completed application and any comments to OHP.

    5. OHP staff will send notification to the property owner (if the applicant is not the property owner) and ensure that the nomination packet is complete.

    6. California Register nominations will be reviewed by OHP staff.  Those that are incomplete or not prepared in accordance with the instructions in TAS #7 will be returned to applicant with a comment letter for revision.

    7.  When a nomination, including all revisions, is complete, it can be scheduled for a quarterly SHRC meeting. OHP notifies all applicants, property owners and appropriate governmental jurisdictions of the time and place of the SHRC meeting.

    8. If approved by the SHRC, the resource is listed in the California Register.



    Owner Consent

    Consent of owner is not required, but a resource cannot be listed over an owner’s objections. The SHRC can, however, formally determine a property eligible for the California Register if the resource owner objects.



    Local Government Notification

    Local government must be given 90 days in which to comment on the application before it is sent to OHP.



    Registration Unit Staff

    Jay Correia, Supervisor
    State Historian III
    916-445-7008

    William Burg
    State Historian I
    916-445-7004

    Amy Crain
    State Historian II
    916-445-7009



    NOMINATION PACKET

    Please contact the Registration Unit for more complete instructions on how to complete a California Register nomination.

    DPR 523 Forms (Microsoft Word)
    DPR 523A Primary Record
    DPR 523B Building, Structure, Object
    DPR 523D District Record
    DPR 523E Linear Feature Record
    DPR 523I Photographic Record
    DPR 523J Location Map
    DPR 523K Sketch Map
    DPR 523L Continuation Sheet

    DPR 523 Forms are in Microsoft Word .docx format. Please contact Registration Unit staff for other DPR 523 series forms. Forms not currently downloadable are undergoing revision.