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Real property transactions involving property located within the City of Falls Church must be recorded with the Arlington County Circuit Court. The Clerk is responsible for maintaining real property documents, as well as for assessing and collecting the recordation tax and preserving the record of the document.
The basic deed processing fee is $20 (charged when there is a state grantee tax assessed). A clerk fee of $14.50 as well as other miscellaneous fees are added to that amount depending on the type of deed or document to be recorded.
For a detailed list of fees and taxes, see the fee schedule posted under supplemental documents. A deed calculator is available by following the link for the cover sheet.
A credit/debit card convenience fee is charged and may vary from court to court. Contact the land records division of the local court.
* As of January 2016, the Virginia Land Record Cover Sheet (VLRCS) is no longer required in Arlington County.
* All documents presented for recording must be originals and must be signed and notarized. Faxed copies will not be accepted. Signatures must be in ink, must be originals, and must have a corresponding typed or printed name beneath them.
* Submit documents on white unglazed paper, size 8.5 x 11 inches.
* Printing or typing should be black, solid, and uniform throughout the document. A font size of 9 point or larger is required.
* Margins should be a minimum of 1 inch on the top, left, and bottom. A margin of at least 1/2 an inch can be used for the right side.
* Notarized documents must also include the notary expiration date, the location of the act (i.e. Commonwealth of Virginia), and an acknowledgment statement.
* The clerk has the authority to reject a document unless the following conditions are met: each individual's surname only, where it first appears in the writing is underscored or written entirely in capital letters; each page of the instrument is numbered; the Code section under which an exemption from recordation taxes is claimed is clearly stated on the face of the writing; the names of all grantors and grantees are listed and if a cover sheet is used, the names of all grantors and grantees should be the same as on the instrument; and the first page bears an entry showing the name of the person or entity that prepared the instrument.
* After recording, the document will be returned to the grantee, unless an alternate return address has been clearly indicated on the face of the document.
* A clerk may refuse to record a document in which the name or names of the person under which the document is to be indexed does not legibly appear or is not otherwise furnished.
* The names of grantors and grantees should be provided in the first clause. The clerk may refuse to record an instrument that includes a grantor's, grantee's, or trustee's social security number.
* Include a legal description of the real property, as well as the property address, of the property being conveyed.
* A deed conveying no more than four residential dwellings should state on the first page of the document the name of the title insurance underwriter insuring such statement or a statement that the existence of title insurance is unknown to the preparer.
* If the locality has a unique parcel identification system, the Circuit Court may require that any deed or instrument conveying or relating to an interest in real property bear, on the first page of the deed, the tax map reference number or numbers of the affected parcel. Check with the Circuit Court in Arlington to see if this is required for Falls Church City residents. If the tax map number is required, it should be typed or written in the top left-hand margin of the first page.
* Instruments claiming an exemption from the recordation tax by virtue of the tax having been previously paid must recite on the front page of the instrument the basis of the exemption, and the recording reference for the instrument on which the tax was paid.
* The consideration amount or assumption balance (if applicable) should be typed or written in the top left-hand margin of all deeds.
* On all refinance deeds of trust with the same lender, the refinancing statement should be on the first page of the trust. Preferably, this should be after the property description. In this statement, provide the book and page number of the existing trust on record, specifically state "refinance with the same lender," and certify the amount of original debt. A payoff statement should also accompany this document.
* On the first page of the document, the name of the individual person or firm that prepared the document must be given. Papers or documents prepared outside of the commonwealth do not need a preparer's statement.