A deed is a document that indicates property ownership. When you purchase a house, the local jurisdiction -- often the county recorder's office -- makes a record of the deed and returns a copy of the title to you or your attorney. You need the deed to prove ownership of your house such as when taking out a second mortgage or selling the house. If you or your attorney doesn't have a copy, locate the deed at the county recorder of deeds office. Many deeds can be located by accessing your jurisdiction's online records.
Visit Recorder’s Website
The location of your house determines the direction of your inquiries. So, you can either use a search engine to find your county recorder's website or use the services of an online title search company. If you choose to go for the latter option, provide details about the state and county where your house is located, along with other details such as your name and address. You need only to wait to receive information about your deed.
Search the Database
Once you find the correct jurisdictional website, search the database for the record of your house deed. The search criteria vary from county to county and from system to system. You may need to search using your 14-digit property index number, usually indicated on your property tax bill. Alternatively, search the database using your personal details including your name, Social Security number and physical address of the house.
Review the Record
On finding the record of your deed, check to ensure that it accurately reflects the chain of ownership. Since the office of the county recorder does not have a mandate to verify deeds and other property ownership documents before recording them, it is possible for someone to subsequently file a false claim on your house. If you discover any irregularities, visit the recorder's office with your attorney to sort out the issue. Make a habit of periodically reviewing your deed record to mitigate the possibility of interference with the document due to the activities of scammers.
Request a Copy
If satisfied that everything is in order, request a copy of the deed. The county recorder uses its records to respond to your request and issue you with a certified copy. Although you can request a copy online, some recorders require you to do so in person or by mail. Submit proof of your identity such as your driver's license or utility bill. You also need to pay fees for the copies per page and for certification before you can receive a certified copy of the deed.