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Stephenson County, Illinois

Recorder Offices

Stephenson County Clerk and Recorder

50 West Douglas, Suite 500, Freeport, Illinois 61032

8:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday

Phone: (815) 235-8289

Register of Deeds

You are NOT on the Stephenson County official website, you are on, a private website that is not affiliated with any government agency.

Illinois - Stephenson County Recorder Information

The County Clerk and Recorder is responsible for maintaining property records in Stephenson County.

Recording Fees

*Documents up to four pages
per document $50.00
Additional pages $1.00 per page
Additional references to document
$1.00 per page
Documents without legal descriptions
$1.00 per page

*All assignments (including mortgages) up to four pages per document $50.00
Additional pages
$1.00 per page
Additional assignments with same instrument
$7.00 each

*Mechanics Liens, Lis Pendens
$50.00 per document

*Judgment Memos, and Releases
$40.00 per document

*Corporation records, up to four pages
$40.00 per document
Additional pages $1.00 per page

*Plat - Condominiums - Subdivisions
(Maximum size of 30 x 36, submit original and four copies)
$88.00 per document
Additional pages $1.00 per page

The Recorder shall charge an additional fee, in an amount equal to the fee otherwise provided by law, for recording a document (other than a document filed under the Plat Act.) that does not conform to the following standards, per 55 ILCS 5/3-5018:

1) The document shall consist of one or more individual sheets measuring 8.5 inches by 11 inches, not permanently bound or not a continuous form.
2) The document shall be legibly printed in black ink, by hand, typewritten or computer generated. (at least 10 point type is recommended). Signatures and dates may be in contrasting colors if they will reproduce clearly.
3) The document shall be on white paper of not less than 20-pound weight and shall have a clean margin of at least one-half inch on top, bottom and each side. Margins may be used for non-essential notations that will not affect the validity of the document, including but not limited to form numbers, page numbers, and customer notations.
4) The first page of the document shall contain blank space measuring at least 3 inches by 5 inches.
5) The document shall not have any attachment stapled or otherwise affixed to any page.

All other copies $1.00 per page

Please provide a self address envelope for the return of your documents.

No refunds will be given for over payment of recording received by mail. If the over payment is more than $10.00, they will return your documents.

County recording fees are subject to change without notice. We recommend to contact the local recorder's office to verify this information.

Document Formatting Requirements

Documents should consist of one or more individual sheets of white paper measuring 8.5 x 11 inches. Individual sheets should not be permanently bound or in a continuous form. Graphic displays measuring up to 11 x 17 inches accompanying a document will be recorded with the document without additional fees. If an attached rider needs to be recorded with a deed, the rider should be permanently attached as an additional page on the back of the deed.

Use legible printing or typing, black ink, and a font size of at least 12 point. Signatures and dates can be in contrasting colors so long as they will reproduce clearly.

Deeds presented to the county recorder should have a blank space measuring 3 x 5 inches in the upper right corner on the first page, set aside for the recorder’s use. Failure to include this will not affect the validity of the deed, but will incur additional fees. All other margins in the document should be at least ½ an inch and free from all markings.

When a deed is made a matter of record, it shall have the names of the parties signing the instrument typed or printed below or next to the signatures, including the witnesses, if any, and the names of the parties or officers taking acknowledgment.

Signatures of the parties executing the instrument shall be acknowledged by a notary public.

A deed must contain the name and residence of the grantor, the consideration exchanged for the property, any covenants of warranty, the grantee’s name and address, and a legal description of the real property, including street address and PIN. In addition, the grantor’s original signature must be present.

Provide the name and address of the owner to whom subsequent tax bills are to be sent.

Include the name and address of the person who prepared the deed.

Whenever a metes and bound description is used in the legal description of real property, the metes and bounds description should contain the section, township, and range with an identifiable point of beginning.

An affidavit for purposes of the plat act is required to accompany a deed when 1) a metes and bounds legal description is given, 2) when roadway easements and right of way (ingress or egress) are designated, or 3) when a division of land five acres more or less is noted on a deed of transfer.

An Illinois Real Estate Transfer Declaration (PTAX-203) must be filed with deeds and any non-exempt transactions. The information requested on this form is requested by the Illinois Real Estate Transfer Tax law. All parties involved in the transaction must complete the form truthfully. This form is used to collect sales data and to determine if a sale can be used in assessment ratio studies. It is also used to compute equalization factors, which are used to help achieve a statewide uniform valuation of properties based on their fair market value.

If the property transfer is exempt from transfer tax, the PTAX-203 form is not required. A specific exemption number should be noted on the deed presented for recording. The Illinois Department of Revenue webpage has a list of exempt transactions. The form can be completed online or as a hard copy.

Effect of Recording:
Deeds, mortgages, and other instruments of writing that are authorized to be recorded will take effect and be in force from and after the time they are filed for record as to all creditors and subsequent purchasers, without notice. All such deeds and title papers will be judged void as to all such creditors and subsequent purchasers, without notice, until the same is filed for record.

From the time they are filed for record, deeds, mortgages, and other instruments of writing related to real estate shall be deemed notice to subsequent purchasers and creditors, though not acknowledged or proven according to law; but the same shall not be read as evidence, unless their execution be proved in the manner required by the rules of evidence applicable to such writings, so as to supply the defects of acknowledgment or proof. Real Estate Deeds

Nothing on this website should be considered a substitute for the advice of an attorney.

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