Recording Requirements
Register of Deeds
Court House
200 E Grand River Ave
Howell, MI 48843
Monday – Friday
8am – 5pm
Ph: 517.546.0270
Tract Ph: 517.546.2530
Fax: 517.546.5966

Recording Requirements

NOTICE: Effective January 2023, our County uses the Swift program for hard-copy submissions (mail or over-the-counter). Supply your email and we will return a recorded copy of your document as soon as it's Indexed (same-day). 

WE WILL ONLY RETURN THE ORIGINAL HARD COPY WHEN POSTAGE IS PAID. Specify if you want the hard copy IN ADDITION TO or INSTEAD OF the official email. Postage-paid means either an SASE of appropriate size, or $1 paid at the time of recording.

Common document errors include incorrect fee, missing drafter name & address, name not typed beneath signature, notarial certificate incomplete, attachments which should be recorded as separate documents, multiple Notary Counties of Commission, and Return To missing from the face of document.

**Notice- June 2017: MCL 565.221 Sec.1 has been amended and the Marital status is no longer required for male grantors & mortgagors. **

Statutory Recording Requirements:

  • 2-1/2" margin at the top of the first page and 1/2" on remaining sides and additional pages. MCLA 565.201 Sec 3, Sec 1(f)
  • Signatures must be original and names must be typed, stamped or printed beneath all written signatures.  MCLA 565.201 (a)(e)
  • No discrepancy in the names shall exist between the printed names of such person, as appears, either in the signature, and the acknowledgment or jurat.  MCLA 565.201 (b)
  • The address of grantee must appear on any instrument by which title to any interest therein is conveyed or assigned. MCLA 565.201 Sec 1(d)
  • The name and address of the person who drafted  the document must appear on the documents executed in Michigan.  MCLA 565.201 Sec 1a, 565.203
  • Documents purporting to convey or encumber real estate executed in Michigan must have an acknowledgement by a notary public.  MCLA 565.8
  • Effective 4/01/04 through 5/26/06 acknowledgement must state "Acting in the county of ______________" (even if the county matches the County of Commission). MCLA 55.287
  • Documents must display on the first line of print on the first page a single statement identifying the single recordable event that the instrument evidences. MCLA 565.201 Sec 1(f)(ii)
  • A certified copy of a death certificate or proof of death (a separate recordable event) must be recorded prior to the instrument of conveyance which states "survivor" in the grantor's section. MCLA 565.48
  • The recorded death certificate's Document # MUST then appear on the instrument of conveyance with a grantor/"survivor"; if the two documents are submitted together, allow a blank space for us to insert the Document #. MCLA 565.48
  • Court orders must be certified and sealed by the clerk of the court to be eligible for recording.  MCLA 565.401, 565.411
  • The date of the document must appear, and must show in the Notary Acknowledgement if Notarized.
  • Documents must show a Return To on the face of one of the recorded pages.
  • If the property conveyed is unplatted, the following statements are to appear on deeds: 
    • "The grantor grants to the grantee the right to make ___ division(s) under section 108 of the land division act, Act No. 288 of Public Acts of 1967.  (If no number is inserted, the right to make divisions stays with the portion of the parent tract retained by the grantor; if all of the parent tract is conveyed, then all divisions rights are granted.) This property may be located within the vicinity of farmland or a farm operation.  Generally accepted agricultural and management practices which may generate noise, dust, odors, and other associated conditions may be used and are protected by the Michigan Right to Farm Act."

The definition of a page:  
  • Minimum size of page to be recorded:  8.5 x 11 inches
  • Maximum size of page to be recorded:  8.5 x 14 inches
  • Top margin, first page:  Minimum size 2.5 inches blank across full width of top of page
  • Subsequent pages:  Minimum top margin is .5 inch
  • Remaining margins size:  .5 inch
  • Document Type:  Identified on the first line of print (at 2.5 inches down or farther)
  • Minimum Font Size:  10 pt. type
  • Paper color:  White
  • Color of ink:  Black
  • Paper weight:  20 pounds (standard copy paper weight)

e-Recorded documents

Only the ORIGINAL signed document may be scanned and submitted for e-Recording (through an accredited e-Recording service), the same as if presented in-person or by mail.

The scans must be legible, must still meet the minimum Font requirement of 10-pt (legal-sized pages may not be reduced to a letter size), and it's suggested that the minimum DPI be 300.