Find District of Columbia recorder of deeds, registry, register, and registrar of deeds. Recorders of deeds provide information on deed & title searches, tax liens, land ownership deeds, quit claim deeds, and copies of public home and real estate deeds.
The Recorder of Deeds is a centralized office where documents related to real estate ownership are recorded, indexed, and stored. The purpose of the Recorder of Deeds is to ensure the accuracy of property and land records and to preserve their continuity. Land and property records maintained by the Recorder of Deeds include a wide range of documents, such as deeds and their related easements, rights of way, liens, covenants, and restrictions, as well as mortgages and related documents. The Recorder of Deeds is usually a county or local government office, and it may be established as a division within the Clerk's Office or as a separate office. The Recorder of Deeds may be appointed, but more often it is an elected position. The operations of the Recorder of Deeds are governed to a large extent by state recording statutes. These statutes establish how real estate ownership documents are to be recorded and tracked, and how conflicts of ownership are to be settled.
In addition to recording and indexing real estate property documents, Recorders of Deeds certify documents, collect and distribute real estate transfer taxes, collect other fees, and may provide some services otherwise associated with Clerk's Offices. The Recorder of Deeds provides access to real estate property documents for title searchers and the general public. Title searches are necessary for verifying current ownership and the chain of a property's ownership, as well as any liens or other claims on the property. Many Recorders of Deeds compile property index databases that enable computerized searches of existing real estate records. While most records are kept in a combination of bound books and microfilm, in some cases the Recorder of Deeds may also maintain electronic versions of more recent real estate documents.
The Recorder of Deeds is often responsible for maintaining military discharge records, which are not considered open to the public. The Recorder of Deeds records and indexes the documents and ensures their confidentiality, disclosing them only to the veteran, their family members, or representatives authorized by the veteran.
Many Recorders of Deeds also record and index power of attorney documents, charters of non-profit organizations, and notary public commissions. Some operate property fraud prevention units.