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Berrien County, Michigan

Recorder Offices


Berrien County Register of Deeds

701 Main St, St. Joseph, Michigan 49085

8:30 to 5:00 M-F

Phone: (269) 983-7111 Ext. 8562


Register of Deeds

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Michigan - Berrien County Recorder Information

The Register of Deeds is responsible for recording and maintaining records for real property located in Berrien County.

Recording Fees

Regardless of the number of pages, all documents will cost $30.00 to record, this cost is inclusive of the Michigan Remonumentation and Register of Deeds Automation fees.

For a document that assigns or discharges more than 1 instrument $3.00 for each instrument assigned or discharged (in addition to the $30.00 flat fee).

Tax certificate: Warranty deeds, deeds that contain a covenant of warranty, land contracts, or assignments of land contracts must have a tax certificate from the County Treasurer's Office.
For up to 25 descriptions in a document, the fee is $5 per document. Each description beyond that is 20 cents.

Transfer taxes are based off the total consideration. The transfer tax imposed shall be collected unless the transfer is exempt from either or both taxes (state and county). Any exemptions must be stated on the face of the instrument presented for recording.
The county tax rate is 55 cents for each $500 or fraction thereof.
The state tax rate is $3.75 for each $500.

Document Formatting Requirements

* Documents must be submitted on 8.5 x 11 inch white paper or 8.5 x 14 inch paper not less than 20 pound weight.

* Black or dark ink should be used, in a minimum font size of 10 point. The notary signature should be in black ink.

* On the first page, use a top margin of 2.5 inches. This is to remain blank for recording purposes. All other margins should be a minimum of 1/2 an inch.

* On the first line of print on the first page, a document title should be given. This should be a single statement that identifies the single recordable event that the instrument evidences.

* Names must be typed, stamped, or printed beneath signatures in the document. No discrepancy shall exist between names recited in the notary acknowledgment or jurat and as typed, stamped, or printed beneath the name of the person.

* Instruments that convey or mortgage property must state the marital status of all male grantors.

* The name and address of the grantor and grantee must be given on instruments that convey or encumber real estate.

* Include the name and address of the person who prepared the document.

* Documents purporting to convey or encumber real estate executed in Michigan must be acknowledged by a judge, clerk of the court of record or by a notary public. Instruments conveying land or interest in land executed in Michigan acknowledged by a notary shall include the public acknowledgment with signature, county of certification, name of party(ies) being acknowledged and commission expiration date as well as state and county where the document was executed.

* A certified copy of a death certificate or other proof of death must be recorded or have been recorded and referenced by Liber and Page on said document when "survivor" is indicated.

* The total value of the real property must be stated on the face of a document. If this is not stated, a real estate affidavit must be attached.

* If a document includes a full social security number, the first five numbers are removed or obscured before the document is recorded.

* A seller's disclosure form should be submitted with any transfer of residential real property. Details of this can be found in the Michigan Code of Laws, section 565.957.

* A legal description of the real property should be included, and should correctly cite the municipality, state, and county. Any previous recorded information is required.

* The following forms should accompany deeds: Form L-4260 (Property Transfer affidavit) and Form L-4258 (Real Estate Transfer Tax Valuation Affidavit). If the valuation affidavit is not submitted with the document, the full consideration must be included in the deed. There is no filing fee for the Real Estate Transfer Tax Valuation Affidavit, but a statement must be made on the face of an instrument that a real estate valuation affidavit is being filed.