Public Research Facilities
The Recording Department has a public research area equipped with computers, maps, and some good 'ole musty manuals to aid in your quest. Our staff is available to dispense search advice, technical assistance, moral support, and on occasion, chocolate. All recorded documents are a matter of public record, and you may view them and write down information as needed. There is a $1.00 per page fee for copies of recorded documents.
Information you will need names!
Statutes require that records be indexed alphabetically according to the names of those who recorded the document. If you know at least one name and the instrument's approximate recording date you will probably find what you need with relative grace and ease. If you are researching your own property, bring your title report along. There are usually some Auditor File Numbers to be found among the report that you can look up without much trouble. When, Alas, Names are Not Known There are multiple answers to working around this obstacle, depending on the era of your search or the type of instrument you are looking for:
- Documents Recorded 1/27/1997 or later : Our current system implemented on this date has greater ability to perform a search on items other than names. Legislation effective January 1 of that year also requires that parcel numbers accompany legal descriptions. Between these two developments we can now offer expanded search capabilities independent of names for those documents recorded after this date.
- Documents Recorded Prior to 1/27/1997 : If you do not have a name to search under, your best bet is to first stop by the Assessor's Office where they can use the street address or like information to find the name of the current owner and the property's legal description. Continue on to the recording department where this information will become the starting place for your search.
- If you are looking for a document recorded within the era of the current owner's occupancy, then your work will be simplified now that you have a name and a date range to search within.
- You will need to trace the chain of ownership if you suspect that the document was recorded prior to the current ownership. The prior owner's name can be found by locating the deed belonging to the current owner to see who it was that they purchased from. You will then search for your document under that seller's name, or continue the backward search of ownership until you find the name of the individual who owned the property at the time you believe the document may have been recorded.
Tracing the history of a given property: See the paragraph above, and set aside a healthy amount of time to spend looking. Since the records have been indexed by name and not by property, you would have to research the ownership per above. Search and Copy Fees
- Photocopies are $1.00 per page
- Certified copies are $3.00 for the first page and $1.00 for each page thereafter
- Full size map copies are $5.00 each
- Search fees are $8.00 per hour with a one hour minimum. Copies of search results are $1.00 per page.
Payment must be made prior to service. If the number of pages to be purchased is unknown, as is often the case for searches, you may submit a check with the amount fields left blank and a notation of (not to exceed) NTE $25.00 written just below the amount line. We will complete the check for the appropriate fee and enclose the receipt with your search results. Click Here for additional information and instructions.
This information is meant to give a general idea of the cost and requirements for searches. Please call (509) 667-6815 for further information.