Recorder FAQ's

What is the Recorder's Office?
The Recorder of Deeds Office records documents pertaining to land ownership and military discharges and maintains their preservation as permanent records. We also issue, record, maintain, and preserve marriage licenses.

What is a Deed of Trust?
A Deed of Trust is a lien on the property to insure payment of the money due to the lender.

How do I know if my Deed of Trust has been recorded as paid?
The lender (Grantee) must give the borrower (Grantor) 

  1. The note marked "PAID" and signed by all persons who have been a party to the lenders;
  2. The original Deed of Trust;  and
  3. A Deed of Release which must have the Grantees signatures notarized. This is on Deeds of Trust made before January 1, 1986.  After January 1, 1986, a Deed of Release will suffice to get the document marked paid or satisfied.  If a document (note) made before January 1, 1986, is lost or destroyed and cannot be found,
  4. Release with Affidavits of Lost Notes must be filed.

Can I locate the mortgage on my property?
Yes, the mortgage (Deed of Trust) normally follows the recording of your Warranty Deed as to document number and date. In regards to a Deed of Trust, you are the grantor and the lender is the Grantee. If more than one Deed of Trust is recorded against the property, it can be identified as a "second" mortgage or such but the first filed Deed of Trust, unless subordinated, has first call on proceeds if the  property is foreclosed.

What if I have lost my Deed?
The primary evidence of ownership of land is not so much as to the deed itself as to the recording of the deed.  Once recorded, the deed is returned to the new owner who usually deposits it in a safe place with his or her important papers.  However, if misplaced or lost, a copy may be obtained from the Recorder's Office and certified with the Recorder's signature and official stamp or seal.  This will suffice for the original deed.

How do I find the Deed if I don't recall when the house was purchased?
The Recorder maintains ownership of all property in the county. By simply searching the owner's name, the deeds can be located.  If the owner's name is not known, it becomes much more difficult to look up a property by street address, but it is possible.

How do I know my Warranty Deed has been recorded?
Recordable documents are affixed with a stamp, on the first page, that includes the recording date and time as well as the identifying document number.

What else is the Recorder of Deeds Office responsible for?

  • Marriage Licenses - The Recorder of Deeds office takes Marriage License applications, issues Marriage Licenses, files the license after the marriage, and maintains a permanent record, alphabetically, of both male and female and the date of the marriage.
  • Surveys & Plats - The Recorders office also receives Surveys and Plats of Subdivisions which are put on record as to date and time.  They are microfilmed for public use and the plat is kept in the Recorders office.
  • Armed Forces document - The Recorder also files Armed Forces Document (D.D. 214) which provides a free service for all Veterans who have resided in Franklin County.

What happens to a document that is brought into the Recorders Office?
A document goes through a number of steps before the document is returned to the patron.

  1. The document is checked for "recordability", meeting state requirements as outlined in RSMO 59.310.
  2. If all information is correct, the document is accepted and priced according to the number of pages it contains.
  3. The document is then processed, assigned a document number, and audited for indexing errors.
  4. The document is microfilmed. Microfilm is stored and maintained for archival purposes as outlined in state statute.
  5. Documents are available to search online, for a fee, and in the Recorder's Office, at no fee, by Grantor, Grantee, and legal description.

Can I make my own Deed(s)?
Yes, you can, but the recorder always recommends the retention of an attorney or title company for this important process.  The Recorders Office is a recording agency and is prohibited by state law from drafting deeds or answering questions pertaining to legal matters.

How do I find the deed to my property?
There is a digital index of Grantor and Grantee information that is available in the Recorder's office for public use.  Grantor means the seller and Grantee means the buyer.  In order to locate a copy of your deed, you would search for your name as the Grantee since you are the one that last bought the property.   Once you ascertain the year that you purchased the property, you will utilize either the computer index (1870 to present) or the Grantee Book (1819 through 1869) to further look up your deed.  Within these indexes, you will find your full name arranged alphabetically, which will refer you to a book and page number to then locate within the digital index.

How far back do the recordings go?
The county was established in November of 1821.  Our records go back to 1819.  All records pertaining to Franklin County are on file in our research room.  All Deeds of Trust, all Marriages, the date that licenses were purchased, and any other recording made in Franklin County is on file or film in our offices.

Can you record property not located in Franklin County?
No, property must be recorded in the county in which it is located.

Are the Recorder's records current?
Yes, documents are of public record once recorded. They are time stamped and Grantee and Grantor are listed as well as the document number. 

How long will it take for a Deed to be returned to the patron?
There are a number of functions that take place when a document is accepted for recording. It must be date and time stamped, checked for errors, processed, and audited. Recorded documents are available for release and mailed, or picked up, on the next business day.

What fees are charged regarding the documents and services provided by the Recorder of Deeds office?
The State Legislature sets the fees that the Recorder is allowed to charge for recording documents. The fees charged go, in part, to the State Land Survey Office to update the state surveys and to keep vital land records and surveys.  The State Land Survey Office also police the registered surveyors. For a list of fees, click here.