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Real estate deeds that transfer property in Florida can be recorded to provide constructive notice of the transfer. No conveyance of real property will be good and effectual in law or equity against creditors or subsequent purchasers for valuable consideration and without notice unless the instrument is recorded as required.
To entitle any instrument concerning real property to be recorded, the execution of the instrument must be acknowledged by the party executing it, proved by a subscribing witness, or legalized or authenticated by a civil-law notary or notary public who affixes his or her official seal in the manner provided by Florida law.
Real property records are maintained by the office of the Clerk of Court or their respective recording division in the county where the property is located. They review the submitted documents to make sure they meet Florida Statute requirements. Appropriate fees and stamp tax are collected. Consecutive Clerk's numbers and Official Record book and page numbers along with the date and time of recording are printed on the document. The tax is also printed on the document, if required. An alphabetical official record index and numeric index is created by compiling names contained in each document. Each document is digitally imaged and film is created from that image. The quality of the created film images is then verified. The original document is returned to the party indicated on the document.
A deed transferring an interest in Florida real property between husband and wife, including when a spouse's name is added to a deed, is subject to the documentary stamp tax. In most cases, the amount of tax is based on half of the amount of the unpaid balance of any mortgages. Documentary stamp taxes are not due if the marital home is transferred within a year of a divorce and if the transfer occurred on or after July 1, 1997.