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The Circuit Court Clerk's Office is responsible for recording and maintaining real property records in Saint Mary's County.
* $20.00 for an instrument involving solely a principal residence, regardless of length (except as provided in next item)
* $10.00 for a release nine (9) pages or less in length (this does not apply to a termination of a financing statement)
* $20.00 for any other instrument nine (9) pages or less in length
* $75 any other instrument ten (10) pages or more in length
Recording Surcharge: $40.00 (collected on all instruments recorded in land records or financing statement records, other than a Power of Attorney, Request of Notice (Foreclosure sale), plats, and homeowners' association disclosures)
TRANSFER & RECORDATION TAX
State recordation tax - $4 for every $500 or fraction thereof of consideration (exemptions in Tax Property Article, 12-108)
State transfer tax - one half of 1% of the consideration (exemptions in Tax Property Article, 13-207), one-fourth of 1% for deeds to a first-time Maryland homebuyer
County transfer tax - 1% (charged after first $30,000 of consideration)
* A document should consist of individual pages measuring no larger than 8.5 x 14 inches with printing on one side only.
* The text should be in black ink with a minimum font size of 9 point.
* The first page must have a blank 2-inch top margin. All other margins should be at least 1 inch.
* A deed must be prepared by an attorney, or under an attorney's supervision, or by one of the persons named in the document. The preparer of the document must be listed on the first page and can be given in the following format: "This is to certify that the within instrument has been prepared by a party to the instrument." This statement is to be followed by the signature of the preparer.
* Corresponding names should be printed, stamped, or typed beneath all signatures.
* A legal description of the real property being conveyed should be included in the instrument. The legal description includes the municipality and state, as well as the parcel ID number. Previous recorded information should also be referenced.
* The clerk of the circuit court may record an instrument that effects a change in ownership if it is endorsed with the certificate of the collector of taxes in the county in which the property is assessed.
* Any deed containing the names of the grantor and grantee, a description of the property sufficient to identify it with reasonable certainty, and the interest or estate intended to be granted, is sufficient, if executed, acknowledged, and recorded.
* The relationship, if any, of the grantor and grantee, should be stated in the document.
* An affidavit of consideration is required for a mortgage or deed of trust. A mortgage or deed of trust is not valid unless there is contained in, endorsed on, or attached to it an oath of affirmation of the mortgagee or the party secured by a deed of trust that the consideration recited in the document is true and bona fide as set forth.
* Documents must also be accompanied by a completed intake sheet. A completed intake sheet should describe the property by at least one of the following property identifiers: the property tax account identification number, if any; the street address, if any; and if the property is a lot within a subdivided tract, include the lot and block designation. If the property is part of a tract that has been subdivided informally and there is neither an assigned tax account identification number for the parcel nor a lot and block designation, then provide the street address or the amount of acreage. If the property consists of multiple parcels, the designation "various lots of ground" or "Var. L.O.G." can be used.
* A completed intake sheet should also name each grantor and grantee; state the type of instrument; state the amount of consideration payable, including the amount of any mortgage or deed of trust indebtedness assumed or the principal amount of debt secured; state the amount of recording charges due, including the land records surcharge and any transfer and recordation taxes; identify by citation or explanation, any exemption from taxes; for an instrument effecting a change in ownership, provide a tax bill mailing address; and indicate to whom the instrument is to be returned.
* A document should be accompanied by a certificate of residency and/or an affidavit of total payment amount of the non-resident withholding tax.
* An instrument sent through the mail will be recorded if it meets all the requisites for recording, is accompanied by correct fees and taxes, and is accompanied by a letter from an attorney or party to the instrument requesting or directing its recordation.