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Recorder of Deeds Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are your hours and where are you located?
The Recorder of Deeds is located at 1101 4th Street, SW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20024, and is open from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm for purposes of recording a deed and from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm for all other services.

You may contact our Customer Service staff by calling (202) 727-5374.

What are the requirements for recording a document?
Please read the Recorder of Deeds-Recording Requirements [PDF] and Real Property Tax Database Search.

What forms are needed to add/remove a person from a deed?
Visit Recorder of Deeds-Tax Forms/Publications (ROD 1 and ROD 2 forms).

What evidence does the Recorder of Deeds Office require in the case of transfer of title from a Surviving Tenant?
In the case of a transfer of title from a surviving tenant, the Recorder of Deeds office requires at a minimum, a copy of the death certificate of the deceased tenant.  While a recital in the deed as to the date of death of the deceased tenant is helpful, such recital is not sufficient evidence for the Recorder of Deeds Office to conduct its review of ownership and therefore it will not take the place of a death certificate.

What documentation is required for recording a deed and/or for claiming exemptions?
Visit Recorder of Deeds-Tax Forms/Publications (ROD 1, ROD 4, ROD 7, and ROD 8 forms).

Will the Recorder of Deeds Office help me prepare my document?
The Recorder of Deeds Office cannot provide legal advice or assist in completing any forms.  We can only provide the recording requirements for a particular document. We recommend contacting a legal advisor for assistance in preparing documents.

What do I need to record a Mechanic’s Lien?
You will need the Notice of Mechanic's Lien [PDF].

How do I record a foreign judgment with the Recorder of Deeds office?
Please read the Process to Record a Foreign Judgement with the District of Columbia Recorder of Deeds [PDF].

Is there information about Lower Income Tax Abatement?
Information can be found in the Lower Income Homeownership Exemption Program [PDF].

What are the filing fees to record documents?
Please read the following:

 

Deed Recordation
Tax Description Current Tax Rate
Deed Recordation Tax

The recording of all deeds to real estate in the District. The basis of the tax is the value of consideration given for the property. Where there is no consideration or where the consideration is nominal, the tax is imposed on the basis of the fair market value of the property.

DC Code Citation: Title 42, Chapter 11.

1.1 % of consideration or fair market value for residential property transfers less than $400,000; or

1.45% of consideration or fair market value on the entire amount, if transfer is $400,000 or greater.

Note: Fair market value is used when the consideration is nominal, i.e. less than 30% of FMV.

Deed Transfer Tax

Each transfer of real property at the time the deed is submitted for recordation. The tax is based upon the consideration paid for the transfer. Where there is no consideration or where the amount is nominal, the basis of the transfer tax is the fair market value of the property conveyed.

DC Code Citation: Title 47, Chapter 9. 

1.1 % of consideration or fair market value for residential property transfers less than $400,000; or

1.45% of consideration or fair market value on the entire amount, if transfer is $400,000 or greater.

Note: Fair market value is used when the consideration is nominal, i.e. less than 30% of FMV.

What is the tax rate on an Economic Interest  transfer?

Economic Interest Transfer
Tax Description Current Tax Rate
Economic Interest Tax

This tax is triggered by either one of the following two elements:

  1. More than 50% of the controlling interest of the property owner is transferred; and
  2. 80% of the assets of the property owner consists of real property located in DC; or
  3. 3.50% of the property owner’s gross receipts is from property in DC.

The consideration of an economic interest transfer is what is paid for the interest being transferred. If the consideration is nominal, then the tax will be the fair market value of the property owned by the property owner

DC Code Citation: Title 42, Chapter 11.

2.9% of consideration or fair market value

What is the fee to record a Deed and/or a Deed of Trust?
A total fee of $156.50, which consists of a fee of $150 plus the surcharge fee of $6.50, is charged for the recordation of any and all deeds of trust, mortgages, modifications to deeds of trust, amendments to deeds of trust, or amended and restated deeds of trust.

A fee of $25, plus the additional surcharge fee of $6.50 per document, (total fee of $31.50), is charged for the recordation of all other documents.

What are the forms required to record a Deed of Trust for a residential property?
The Deed of Trust document must be recorded with FP7/C (ROD 1) along with a Security Affidavit - Class 1  (if exemption is claimed).

How do I obtain a copy of my deed and other recorded documents?
You can obtain a copy of recorded documents by visiting:
       DC Office of Recorder of Deeds
       1101 4th Street, SW, Suite 500
       Washington, DC 20024
and request your copy in person.  Payment is accepted either in cash, by check, money order or credit card.

You may send a written request, along with a check or money order made payable to DC Treasurer, to the address above. Your request must contain the instrument number of your document.

You may research this information at: Office of the Recorder of Deeds or Real Property Tax Database Search.

The cost to purchase a copy is $2.25 per page plus ($2.25) per document for certification of a copied document. Your copies will be mailed promptly to you.

What is the website to research documents recorded in the Washington DC Recorder of Deeds Office?
Visit the DC Recorder of Deeds-Online Publics Record site.

Can you tell me who owns a specific property?
The Recorder of Deeds is pleased to provide access to document images and index information over the Internet. Our commitment is to utilize the latest technology to provide the highest levels of service and support to the citizens of Washington DC and around the world. The Recorder of Deeds office does not perform title searches that involve the circumstances of a purchase. You may obtain specific information about a property by visiting our Document Images.

Will you accept a notarized document from jurisdictions outside of the District of Columbia?
Yes, the statute provides that the Recorder of Deeds shall accept notarial acts of other jurisdictions as if the act had been performed in the District of Columbia.

How can I update my address information?
You may update your address information in person by visiting the Office of Tax and Revenue’s Customer Service Center.

Does your office accept documents and forms on legal size paper, 8½ x 14?
Yes, for recordation purposes, the Office of Recorder of Deeds accepts documents and forms on paper size 8 ½  x 14 and 8 ½  x 11, and double-sided.

How can I find out about tax sale properties and dates of sales?
By phone by contacting the Office of Tax and Revenue Customer Service Center at 202-727-4829 or visit www.taxpayerservicecenter.com - look under "Information” and select "Tax Sale”

Why do I have a lien on my credit report from your office?
The credit bureaus may have researched the public record and retrieved that information. You also may visit the DC Recorder of Deeds-Online Publics Record site to review any documents, liens or releases recorded in your name.

What do the letters SSL mean?
SSL is the abbreviation for Square, Suffix and Lot.

When will I receive my original document after recordation?
Please allow 4-6 weeks to receive the original recorded document in the mail.

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