Real Estate Deeds
Register of Deeds

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Massachusetts - Bristol County Recorder Information

Bristol County is divided into three recording districts: Bristol North, Bristol South, and Fall River.

The Fall River Registry communities are: Fall River, Somerset, Swansea, Freetown-Assonet.

The Northern Registry communities are: Taunton, Attleboro, Raynham, Dighton, Easton and surrounding communities.

The Southern Registry communities are: New Bedford, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Westport, Acushnet.

Recording Fees

A deed or easement is $125 to record, regardless of the number of pages.

A mortgage is $175 to record. A mortgage discharge is $75.

A foreclosure deed with an affidavit is $125 to record.

A declaration of homestead is $35, a declaration of trust $225, and most other documents are $75.

Non-statutory marginal references are $1.

Certified copies are $1 per page.

The current Excise Stamp rate is $4.56 per $1,000.00 (round up to the nearest $500 before calculating), consideration of $100.00 or less is exempt.

A $1 postage fee will be assessed per document unless a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage is provided at time of recording. Electronically recorded documents are exempt from this fee.

Checks should be made payable to the Bristol County Registry of Deeds, ND.

Document Formatting Requirements

* Documents must be on white paper of sufficient weight to reproduce in registry scanners. All document pages and attachments must be on paper that is no larger than 8.5 x 14 inches. The minimum size is 8.5 x 11 inches.

* Pages with printing on both sides will not be accepted. Printing must be sufficiently dark to be legibly reproduced on registry scanners. Use black ink and a font size of at least 10 point.

* Documents requiring acknowledgments will not be recorded unless they are notarized in accordance with Massachusetts laws.

* The first page must contain a "recording information area" in the upper right hand corner measuring 3 inches from the top edge of the document and 3 inches from the right edge of the document that is free from all writing and printing. Other margins must be of sufficient size to be legibly reproduced on document standards. 1-inch margins should be of sufficient size.

* Below the 3 x 3 inch blank area on the first page, provide a document title.

* The address (street number, street name, town, and condominium unit number, if applicable) of the property on a deed, mortgage, or a discharge of a mortgage shall be typed or printed clearly on a prominent location on the first page. If the address is not on the first page, it should be placed in the left margin on a succeeding page.

* The name and mailing address of the grantee must be clearly stated on the first page.

* Deeds and mortgages must reference the book and page of the deed associated with the property.

* Corresponding names should be stamped, typed, or printed beneath all signatures.

* The document must specify whether it is registered land and is to be recorded in the Land Court.

* If the document refers to attached exhibits, the exhibits must be attached and included at the end of the document.

* A legal description of the property must be provided.

If a document is written in a language other than English, it will not be recorded unless it is accompanied by a certified English translation. In such case, the document to be recorded shall consist of 1) the English language translation with signatures typed and preceded by "/s/" to indicate signature; 2) a certification of the accuracy of the translation, signed by the translator and acknowledged; and 3) the original foreign language document.


In most cases, the requirements for Registered Land documents are the same as those for Recorded Land; however, the additional requirements should be noted:

* Documents relating to Registered Land must note the Certificate of Title number, relevant document number, and book and page number of the Certificate.

* Deeds require a lot number, a plan number, a grantee address, consideration, property address, and "being" clause. The grantor must be the same as that on the current Certificate of Title.

* Mortgages are required to have an exhibit containing the property description, which must have the certificate number, plan number, and a lot number.

* When one tenant by the entirety named on a Certificate of Title has died, a Death Certificate and Certificate of No Divorce must be filed.

* If the property in question relates to both Registered and Recorded Land, submitters must either obtain two sets of originals (one for Registered Land and one for Recorded Land), or register the documents first, have certified copies made of the Registered Land documents, and then record the certified copies as Recorded Land.

Documents held by the Registry of Deeds are public information and are available for viewing at the registry office. The Northern Bristol County Registry of Deeds holds property records in two locations: Taunton and the Attleboro Registry of Deeds. The Attleboro Registry does not record Registered Land documents. Bristol also has a Southern District Registry of Deeds and a Fall River Registry of Deeds. Deeds, mortgages, and other instruments relating to real property in Bristol County can be recorded at any of the three registries (except for Registered Land documents at the Attleboro registry) in Bristol County.

A conveyance of an estate in fee simple, fee tail or for life, or a lease for more than seven years from the making thereof, or an assignment of rents or profits from an estate or lease, shall not be valid as against any person, except the grantor or lessor, his heirs and devisees and persons having actual notice of it, unless it, or an office copy as provided in section thirteen of chapter thirty-six, or, with respect to such a lease or an assignment of rents or profits, a notice of lease or a notice of assignment of rents or profits, as hereinafter defined, is recorded in the registry of deeds for the county or district in which the land to which it relates lies.