image collageHistoric preservation has four essential components: identification, evaluation, registration and protection.
The Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) offers four different registration programs:

  • California Historical Landmarks
  • California Points of Historical Interest
  • California Register of Historical Resources 
  • National Register of Historic Places
  • Registration Programs Comparison Chart

    Each registration program is unique in the benefits offered and procedures required. If a resource meets the criteria for registration, it may be nominated by any individual, group, or local government to any program at any time. Resources do not need  to be locally designated before being nominated to a state program nor do they need to be registered at the state level before being nominated to the National Register.

    Resources listed in the National Register, California Historial Landmarks #770 and above are automatically listed in the California Register.  Points of Historical Interest designated after December 1997 and recommended by the State Historical Resources Commission are also listed in the California Register.

    As of January 2008, there are 1,044 California Historical Landmarks, 851 Points of Historical Interest, 2,380 National Register listings, and more than 25,000 resources listed in the California Register.

    Many local governments in California also offer local designation/registration programs.  Check with the local government with jurisdiction over the particular resource you are considering registering to learn more about the benefits of local designation.


The placing of plaques or markers identifying a registered historical resource is at the discretion of the property owner(s). Those intending to place a plaque or marker must have the property owner’s written permission. Plaques are purchased using private funds. Registered California State Historical Landmarks can receive an official State plaque. As of May 2006, official State Landmark plaques cost $2,875 plus any applicable state tax and $100 freight charge.

Directional Signage
Registered National Register Historic Districts, Landmarks, and Points of Historical Interest are eligible for directional markers. State highway signs are ordered, erected and maintained by the California Department of Transportation for the state highways under their jurisdiction. Applicants must contact the appropriate district office to order the highway signs.
Contact your local government agency to order signage for county and city-maintained roads.

NOTE: The Office of Historic Preservation does not routinely survey the status of registered Landmarks or Points.  We rely on surveys, consultants, and members of the public to inform us if there is a change to the resource or the marker.