Register of Deeds Duties

The Register of Deeds is a constitutional office headed by an elected official whose term of office is four years. The duties of the Register of Deeds are prescribed by State law. The office is the official recording and filing office for all legal documents affecting real and personal property.

Examples of real property are such documents as warranty deeds, quit claim deeds, administrator deeds, tax and sheriff deeds, also mortgages and any assignment or discharge thereof, land patents, leases, liens, (state, federal, mechanics, etc.), probate orders, agreements, land contracts, and numerous other instruments which effect real estate, including certified surveys, plats and government corners.

All documents received must be numbered consecutively, timed and properly cross indexed. Entries are kept daily on a computer system especially designed for Register of Deeds. Proof of ownership is established according to the records of the Register of Deeds, making the job of indexing and handling the records a very responsible operation. Each document has to be carefully checked to be sure it meets recording requirements, according to statute, and a permanent record is kept on all recorded documents. Our office handles this by digital imagery. One copy is kept in the office for reference and a security image of each liber is kept in underground storage mines in Grand Rapids. The office of the Register of Deeds serves the public. We do research on all instruments at one time or another. We are the custodians of many volumes of records dating back to the early 1800’s. It would be impossible to place a value on these volumes of information. Banks, abstract offices, Realtors, lawyers, lending institutions, and credit bureaus are among the many people who check on the recording and filings of instruments in the office. The Registrar and staff must constantly study and be aware of the laws which govern the office. Important office records and indexes are used for legal purposes concerning the most valuable material possession you own -YOUR HOME.

As established by law the Register of Deeds is also the chairman of the county Plat Board, which reviews and gives final approval to all subdivisions in the county. Fees collected in the office are set by State law, however most of the monies collected. are deposited to the general fund of the county.