Frequently Asked Questions
Register of Deeds
Court House
200 E Grand River Ave
Howell, MI 48843
Monday – Friday
8am – 5pm
Phone: 517.546.0270
Tract Phone: 517.546.2530
Fax: 517.546.5966

Frequently Asked Questions

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Do you furnish abstracts/titles to property?,


Can I get blank document forms from your office?,

No, you may obtain blank forms from an office store, or online (make certain they meet margin requirements, see Definition of a Page).

What payment methods do you accept?,

Cash and Check, and Credit Cards but with an added service fee pro-rated to the total amount of the Transaction. Please call the Treasurer's office for info on the Service Fee Schedule.

The Service Fee does not apply to online Credit Card purchases.

Do you have standard document requirements?,

Yes, see Document Requirements Page.

What information is needed to do a search?,

​A search may be done by:  name or legal description.

To cross-reference an address with a name or parcel #, the Treasurer's Property Search.

***Because tax code numbers and addresses are NOT required for recording, be aware that searches by either of these will return incomplete results.

Is there a fee to search records by Grantor (seller)/Grantee (buyer)?,

No, Grantor (seller)/Grantee (buyer) searches are free.​

What is a tract index search?,

A search done by the legal description.​

Is there a fee to search properties other than my own by legal description?,

​Yes, $10 per hour or any portion thereof.

Do you do genealogy searches?,

We do not do the searches for you.  However, you may ​use our records for your inquiries.

How far back are the records on computer?,

Documents recorded since Feb. 4, 1982 are both Indexed and Imaged on the computer; Liber 1035 p.399 forward.

How far back are the Images on the computer?,

​All documents since February, 1982; Liber 1035 p.399 forward.

Libers 1 through 37 and Libers 192 through 655 have images on the computer but are not Indexed.

When was my house built?,

We cannot answer that.  We only deal with land records.  Check with your township or the State Archives.​

Where do I go to get a new address assigned?,

See the Addressing Page for more information.​

Are there Notaries on your staff?,

Yes, for the purposes of document recording.​

Do you have a survey of my property?,

Only if it has been surveyed and recorded.​ Only Certified Surveys may be recorded; no Mortgage Surveys or sketches.

Do you have a record of mortgage surveys?,


Do you require a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) for return of recording?,

​Yes, for return of Recorded Documents.

Is there a limit of documents to be recorded we can send you with 1 check?,


Can I record a fax or copy of a document?,

No, only documents with original signatures can be recorded.​

Even electronic recording services must scan only original documents for recording.

Can I bill my recording fees?,

Recording Fees are due and payable at the time of recording.  They cannot be billed.​

Can I record a True Copy of a court document?,

No, court documents must be Certified to be recorded.  This applies to Death Certificates as well.​

Can you fax me a copy of a recorded document?,

​Only if you have a current charge account in good standing with us.

When are Sheriff's Deeds recorded?,

A Sheriff's Deed is recorded at the close of the auction, usually within 2 weeks.  Prior to recording, contact the Sheriff's department (517-546-2440).​

What is transfer tax?,

Tax paid by the seller of the property based on the consideration shown on the deed, equal to .086 of sale amount.  Note:  the sales price is rounded up to the next nearest $500 for purposes of calculating transfer tax.

​Example: A house was sold for $100,000 =

House Sales Price:  $100,000

State Transfer Tax fee is:  $750.00

County Transfer Tax fee is:  $110.00

Total Transfer Tax fee is:  $860.00

If a house sold for $100,00.01, we would use the figure $100,500 for the sales price =

House Sales Price for transfer tax purposes:  $100,500

State Transfer Tax fee is:  $753.75

County Transfer Tax fee is:  $110.55

Total Transfer Tax fee is:  $864.30

Are there any transfer tax exemptions?,

​Transfer Tax Exemptions:

County Transfer tax link

State Transfer Tax link


What if my property is located in more than one county?,

The document must be recorded in each county.  For deeds with a sale amount, Transfer Tax is pro-rated and paid to each county. (The value of each land portion must be stated on the document for each county.)

How do I get to the Register of Deeds office?,

We are located in downtown Howell in the brick and sandstone old Courthouse with a clock tower. The old Courthouse is in the 200 block of E. Grand River Avenue, on the north side. Our office is on Floor 3; use the elevator.