DAVID GIONGCO Caltrans Local Assistance Engineer

Right of Way Certification Tips

Right of Way Certification is a critical milestone for delivering your federal-aid project and should be coordinated in advance of submitting your Request for Authorization. When it’s known that there will be right of way impacts to your project, contact your Right of Way Liaison immediately to determine what will be required for certification. Depending on the complexity of the project, the review process may take up to 4-6 weeks.
Below is a list of tips and typical supporting documents for certification (shared originally by Local Program Right of Way’s “Help Us Help You”).  To avoid project delays, initiate contact with your Liaison to identify exactly what’s needed for your Right of Way Certifcation.

  • When it is discovered that Right of Way will be required for your project, contact your R/W Liaison immediately.
  • Local Agencies are required to follow Caltrans’ Right of Way Manual.
  • Caltrans is charged with ensuring compliance with Federal Regulation and Departmental Policies and Procedures. In order to do this, we request a 10% to 25% sampling of all documentation for off –system projects and full documentation for on-system projects.
  • It is a best practice to submit your appraisals for Caltrans’ oversight review prior to making First Written Offers to property owners. (If the appraisal is deficient, how can just compensation be ensured?)
  • When submitting a package for Certification, it shall include:
  1. Right of Way mapping that includes square footage calculations of the whole, the partacquired and the type of rights being acquired.
  2. Appraisal documents
  3. Appraisal review documents
  4. Fully-Executed copies of the contracts and deeds with the property owners
  5. Administrative Settlement Justifications
  6. Report of Investigation Package, Draft Notices to Owners and Utility Agreements
  7. Relocation Assistance Notices, if required
  • Remember, the less information we have received in advance of the Certification request, the longer it will take to gather, review and recommend the Certification for approval.
  • Diaries of the appraisal, acquisition, and relocation contacts and activities are required. Please keep them up-to-date, as it may be necessary for Caltrans to review them.

Your primary resources for understanding the Right of Certification process is:

For additional information, contact your Right of Way Liaison:

  • Sacramento County:  Gina Cuevas, Associate Right of Way Agent: (530) 741-7149
  • All Other Counties:  Jean-Marie Hunter, Associate Right of Way Agent (530) 741-4425
  • Utilities:  Harsbinder Chohan, Associate Right of Way Agent (530) 740-4911