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LEGAL DICTIONARY

Register of Deeds

What Is a Register of Deeds?

The register of deeds is an essential government record-keeping functionary responsible for filing legal documents such as real estate deeds, mortgages, and land titles.

These offices perform a number of important duties in local communities and are often your best source of information for property ownership matters. A register of deeds can be known by other names such as “recorder of deeds” although there is no difference in the services performed.

Read on below to learn more about what a register of deeds does, when you might need one, and how the position is chosen in local government.

What Services Does the Register of Deeds Provide?

There are a number of important services that a register of deeds provides to the public. They record and maintain essential information on real estate and mortgages needed by local government and individuals to correctly and legally handle property transactions.

By fulfilling their duties, they protect against fraud and identity theft. They also ensure that all records are formally up to date and compliant with state or county government standards, as well as creating a clear timeline of the ownership history for each property.

A register of deeds can provide the following legal documents and records:

  • Mortgage and lien records on a property
  • Land titles
  • Property deeds

Additionally, some register of deeds can provide records and other essential legal forms such as birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage certificates. However, in most areas, they will just handle real estate documents.

When Would I Need to Visit The Register of Deeds?

Generally, you would visit a register of deeds if you needed to either record the sale of a property or to check title information before completing a transaction.

You might call upon a register of deeds for one of the following tasks:

  • Handling transfer-on-death deeds
  • Registering a deed such as a quitclaim deed or warranty deed
  • Performing a title search on a property
  • Assessing the marketability of a property title
  • Checking property titles for defects

Why It is Important to Record a Deed

When you buy or sell a property it is essential to record the transaction with the register of deeds to ensure that the land records are up to date. Not doing so can make the property harder to sell later and cause other administrative problems.

Failing to record a new deed can cause many issues such as:

  • Boundary disputes with other local residents
  • Chain of title disagreements
  • Property tax problems
  • Title defects due to outdated information

How Are Registers of Deeds Appointed?

Many registers of deeds are appointed by local voters. The position can be decided by an election held once every 4 years. However, in other jurisdictions, they are appointed by the local government.

Helpful Resources:
The Business Professor - Register of Deeds Explained

What Is a Register of Deeds?

The register of deeds is an essential government record-keeping functionary responsible for filing legal documents such as real estate deeds, mortgages, and land titles.

These offices perform a number of important duties in local communities and are often your best source of information for property ownership matters. A register of deeds can be known by other names such as “recorder of deeds” although there is no difference in the services performed.

Read on below to learn more about what a register of deeds does, when you might need one, and how the position is chosen in local government.

What Services Does the Register of Deeds Provide?

There are a number of important services that a register of deeds provides to the public. They record and maintain essential information on real estate and mortgages needed by local government and individuals to correctly and legally handle property transactions.

By fulfilling their duties, they protect against fraud and identity theft. They also ensure that all records are formally up to date and compliant with state or county government standards, as well as creating a clear timeline of the ownership history for each property.

A register of deeds can provide the following legal documents and records:

  • Mortgage and lien records on a property
  • Land titles
  • Property deeds

Additionally, some register of deeds can provide records and other essential legal forms such as birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage certificates. However, in most areas, they will just handle real estate documents.

When Would I Need to Visit The Register of Deeds?

Generally, you would visit a register of deeds if you needed to either record the sale of a property or to check title information before completing a transaction.

You might call upon a register of deeds for one of the following tasks:

  • Handling transfer-on-death deeds
  • Registering a deed such as a quitclaim deed or warranty deed
  • Performing a title search on a property
  • Assessing the marketability of a property title
  • Checking property titles for defects

Why It is Important to Record a Deed

When you buy or sell a property it is essential to record the transaction with the register of deeds to ensure that the land records are up to date. Not doing so can make the property harder to sell later and cause other administrative problems.

Failing to record a new deed can cause many issues such as:

  • Boundary disputes with other local residents
  • Chain of title disagreements
  • Property tax problems
  • Title defects due to outdated information

How Are Registers of Deeds Appointed?

Many registers of deeds are appointed by local voters. The position can be decided by an election held once every 4 years. However, in other jurisdictions, they are appointed by the local government.

Helpful Resources:
The Business Professor - Register of Deeds Explained