February 22, 2024

Checklist to Record Documents

(This Checklist is made up of the most common errors in having Instruments recorded and is not intended to cover all laws in the Recording of Documents.   It has only been prepared for the convenience of the public, in respect to recording of documents and in no way has been provided to give legal advice on how to effectuate a legal and valid transaction.  This checklist is for convenience purposes only and it is the strong recommendation of the Register of Deeds that you seek legal counsel when preparing any and all documents for recording.)
  1. Notice about personal information recorded on register of deeds documents.
  2. All documents must comply with the document standards law.  [1]
  3. Legal Descriptions must be on the Document. [2]
  4. Most documents recorded must have typed or printed the words  “Prepared by:” followed by the name of the person preparing the document, the address of the person preparing the document and the phone number of the person preparing the document.[3]
  5. Conveyances (deeds, etc) Post Office Address of Grantee – The full Post office address must be listed for the Purchasers.[4]
  6. Certificate of  Real Estate Value – Deeds, Contract for Deeds, Assignment of Contracts which convey an interest in the title from one person to another and are dated after July 1, 1988 shall be accompanied by an additional document entitled “Certificate of Real Estate Value” which document is prescribed by the Department of Revenue.   This Certificate must be fully filled out and signed and dated.  These forms can be obtained here or give us a call and we can fax or email you a form.[5]
  7. Mortgages – Must contain a legal description, post office address of mortgagee (lender), the amount of the mortgage and the date it is due.[6] (exceptions see SDCL 21-49-14)
  8. Seals (Notary and Corporate) – Instruments must be acknowledged in front of a notary public.[7] Corporate seals should be affixed to documents if a corporate entity.  All banking institutions and municipalities must have their corporate seals on documents. [8]If there is no seal, please so state on the document “NO SEAL”.  (We will send documents back if it appears they are a bank or municipality that has no seal on it.)
  9. Transfer Fee Exemption Statutes – Transfer Fee exemption statutes must be typed on the face of a deed if the transfer is exempt.  The law states that the words “Exempt from transfer fee SDCL 434-22 ( )” are to be typed or printed on the face of the instrument.[9] Click on “Transfer Fee Exemption Statute” for the full list of exemptions.
  10. Satisfaction of Mortgages – (1) need a legal description (2) need a book & page number of the mortgage to be released (In Davison County we also have a document number which is merely a yearly count – The book and page number is what identifies the mortgage) (3) needs the date of the mortgage (4) needs the names of the mortgagors (5) needs the name of the mortgagee (6) needs to be executed & acknowledged in front of a notary (7)  Affix corporate seals  (If no seal,  so state on the document “NO SEAL”) [10]
  11. Assignment of Mortgages – (1) need legal description (2) need names of mortgagor (3) need name of mortgagee (4) need name of the assignee and its post office address, (5) need the date of the mortgage (6) need the date, county, state,
    book and page of record of the mortgage, (7) need to execute, acknowledge in front of a notary, (8) need corporate seal especially if you are a bank or a municipality and if no seal, please state on the document “NO SEAL”. [11]
  12. Notary Acknowledgments. All documents that are recorded except those stated in SDCL 43-28-2 and 43-28-4 must be notarized and properly acknowledged. There are different acknowledgments for individuals, corporations, partnerships, power of attorneys, trustees etc. For a set of uniform acknowledgment forms pursuant to SDCL 18-5, (There are also forms at SDCL 18-4)
 [1] SDCL 43-28-23 & 7-9-15 (1) and all laws related thereto
[2] SDCL 7-9-7 and all laws related thereto
[3] SDCL 7-9-1 and all laws related thereto
[4] SDCL 7-9-7 and all laws related thereto
[5] SDCL 7-9-7 and all laws related thereto
[6] SDCL 7-9-7 and all laws related thereto
[7] SDCL 43-28-8 and all laws related thereto
[8] SDCL 9-1-5, 9-1-4 & 9-18-3 and all laws related thereto
[9] SDCL 43-4-23 and all laws related thereto
[10] SDCL 44-8-14 and all laws related thereto
[11] SDCL 44-8-13 , 7-9-7 and all laws related thereto

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