Recorder's Office Frequently Asked Questions

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What’s the difference between Abstract and Torrens?

Torrens describes land which has been registered by order of either District Court or the Examiner of Titles.

What is the Certificate of Title?

The certificate is issued when land is registered. It contains the name of the owner, a description of the land and all encumbrances, liens and interests in which the estate of the owner is subject.

Can I get a copy of a DD214 military separation?

If the military release is yours and it was recorded in Ramsey County after your discharge, you may obtain a copy. Federal regulations and data privacy rules require that military separations be available only to the veteran or those with a tangible interest (spouse, family member, etc.).

Can I get a Certificate of Possessory Title?

Yes. These are issued administratively, not through the courts. Go to the Examiner of Title’s website for more information.

When do I need to file a Well Disclosure Certificate?

All transfer deeds – Including Contracts for Deed – require:

  • A completed well disclosure certificate (PDF) and a $50 fee, OR
  • One of the following statements that apply must appear on the deed:
    • “The Seller certifies that the seller does not know of any wells on the described real property.” OR
    • “I am familiar with the property described in this instrument and I certify that the status and the number of wells on the described real property have not changed since the last previously filed well disclosure certificate.”

Will you notarize documents for me?

Yes. Notary services are available during regular business hours at our service counter. The individual signing the document must be physically present with proper ID.

Will you record Corrective Documents?

For most document types yes, but they must have new signatures and new acknowledgements along with a correction statement noted on the document itself.

How can I record and register documents that cover both registered and unregistered land?

Documents that cover both registered (Torrens) and unregistered (Abstract) land must be submitted for Abstract recording and Torrens registration in one of two ways:

  • Submit two sets of original documents and separate recording fees, one set to the County Recorder for Abstract recording and the second set to the Registrar of Titles for Torrens registration, or
  • Submit one set of original documents and recording fees for either Abstract recording or Torrens registration, first; then when the recorded documents are returned to you, submit those recorded documents (including the cover page with the recording data showing the recorded document number and any Mortgage Registry Taxes or State Deed Taxes paid) to the second area for recording along with required fees. This change is being made at the request of our customers.

Do you provide blank forms for the public to use?

No. You can contact an attorney, title company, real estate company, legal form vendor or search for forms at MN Uniform Conveyancing Blanks.

Can I get help preparing a document at your office?

We cannot advise you on the kind of forms that you may need, help you fill out forms or give you legal advice. Document preparation questions should be directed to your legal advisor.

How do I get my original documents back?

All documents will be sent to the submitter of the document.

What type of liens are recorded by the recorder’s office?

Several types of liens are recorded: mechanics liens, attorney’s liens, medical liens, judgement liens from the courts, hospital liens and Federal and State tax liens.

How is a lien removed?

For almost every type of document that places a lien on the real estate, a related recordable document (such as a satisfaction) reverses the original action. These are called releases, satisfactions, terminations or cancellations. The lien and the satisfaction remain as a permanent record on the property.

What if a lien is still listed on my credit report after it’s been paid?

If a lien is still listed on a credit report after you have paid off the amount of the lien, please contact the organization or person who filed the lien against your property. They must provide the recordable document that states that the lien has been released.

How do I remove a racial covenant from my property record?

In June 2022 the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution to join the Just Deeds coalition in an effort to highlight the importance of discharging and releasing historical racial covenants on property records. The action aligns with the county's plan to build a foundation for more inclusive communities and eliminate future disparities within the county.

The county is recording the resolution in the tract index for all properties to provide notice that discriminatory covenants are unenforceable, against public policy and of no legal effect. Residents are encouraged to record an affidavit formerly discharging any racial covenants on their property. Residents are exempt from paying the filing fee for removing racial covenants.