The Register of Deeds office is where all transactions pertaining to real estate (land) including certain types of liens and mortgages are recorded and maintained so that the public is made aware of their existence. This office also records financing statements and security agreements under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).
What is a deed?
A deed is an instrument by which a buyer obtains title to the piece of property being sold. A deed comes in many forms. The most common source of passing title is called a warranty deed. The seller warrants that he has a good and clear title and guarantees that his predecessors have no interest in the title. There is also a quit claim deed. This is used to obtain a lease from a person who is believed to have some interest or claim to the property. By this form of deed, the grantor "quits" any claim he might have to the property.
What if I lose my deed?
The primary evidence of ownership of land is not so much the deed itself as the recording of the deed. Once recorded, the original deed is returned to the new owner who usually places the deed in a safe place along with other important papers. If your deed is lost or misplaced, a copy may be obtained from the Register of Deeds office and certified with an official stamp. The copy may then be kept among the buyer's personal records. There is a fee for the copy and the certification.
Does a deed have to be recorded?
Although there is no time limit on recording deeds, a deed should be recorded as promptly after the transaction as possible. Failure to record a deed could render the transfer or mortgaging of the property impossible and create numerous legal difficulties.
What is a lien?
Many times the owner of property may owe money to various creditors. The lien allows creditors a means of preventing the property from either being sold or mortgaged until the debt is paid. Some of the types of liens recorded in the Register of Deeds are: Tax Liens (for non-payment of taxes), and Mechanic Liens (such as repair or work done on a vehicle). They are filed in the UCC area of the Register of Deeds office. Mechanic Liens for labor and materials furnished in construction on land are filed in the Clerk of the District Court office. State sales and state income tax liens are also filed in the Clerk of the District Court office.
What happens to a document when it is brought to the register of deeds office?
There are a number of steps that are taken when a document is brought or mailed in to be recorded before the original document is mailed back to the concerned party. The document is first evaluated for obvious errors and recordability and the correct fee is ascertained. If sufficient space is not provided for the necessary recording information and certification on a document, the recording information will be placed on an additional sheet and counted as an additional page. Beginning indexing information is entered to create a receipt, fees are collected and a barcode is generated that provides a document/film-page number, this unique number is applied to all pages of the document. Then the document is scanned and the remaining indexing information is entered into the computer. Upon completion of indexing the information, the document is verified to ensure that the information entered matches the information on the image. The imaged documents are then placed on our web site along with the indexing information. Please be advised that State Statutes prevent us from recording any document before 8:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m.
An index is the system by which a document can be located after recording. The Register of Deeds office has different mechanisms to retrieve indexed information: Document number, Grantor, Grantee, Legal Description, Film/Page number. All of these indexes can be accessed on any computer.
How long will it take for a deed or other document to be returned?
Upon completion of the scanning, indexing, and verification of the document the documents are sorted and returned to the respective party. This process normally takes 7-10 business days.
How do I find the deed to my house? Can I locate the mortgage on my house in the register of deeds office?
The Register of Deeds Office has prepared an online document search available on our website. This will allow you to search all records recorded after January 1, 1969. The records can be located using your name, the legal description, document number, or the film/page number. If your property was acquired before 1969, you can call the County Clerk’s office (660-9200) and ask for the last transfer date with the address or legal description. We can then use that information to find your deed in our indexing books. Yes. You can find all records pertaining to your property through our website using your name, the legal description, document number, or the film/page number..
What if I don't recall when the house was purchased? How do I find the deed?
If you cannot remember the date when the house was purchased you can call the Real Estate Records located in the County Clerk's office (660-9200), and ask for the last transfer date, and they can tell you the last transfer date from the address or legal description of the property. Then you can proceed to locate the name contained in the Grantee book that has the proper date or locate the name contained in the computer Grantee Indexes.
May I make out my own deed?
Yes, you can, but the Register of Deeds and staff always recommend the retention of an attorney or title company. The Register of Deeds office is a recording agency and therefore cannot make out deeds or answer those questions which pertain to legal matters.
Can you record property in the Sedgwick County Register of Deeds office if the property is not located in this county?
No. The property or part of the property has to be located in Sedgwick County.
Can the register of deeds office tell you if you have a good and clear title?
No. Professional title examiners or abstractors use the records in our office as well as search records in other offices to determine if the title is good and clear.
What other kinds of records would I find in the register of deeds office?
Besides deeds, mortgages and liens, there are oil and gas leases, plats of additions to the cities in Sedgwick County, honorable discharges from the armed services and powers of attorney.
How far back do the records go?
The earliest records in the Register of Deeds office, written in elaborate manuscript, date back to the 1870's. Among the early records are the Patent Deeds recorded when land was bought from the United States government that are signed by President Ulysses S. Grant.
What is Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)?
Uniform Commercial Code, more commonly known as UCC, became effective in Kansas in 1966. As the name implies, it was a code that was developed for uniform filings on personal and real estate property throughout the USA. Like all "uniform" attempts, fees and other things are different, but the basic concepts of security regulations are more uniform. The filing of a UCC Financing statement is what perfects or secures the loan on consumer goods, personal and real estate property. UCC filings are indexed by debtors and secured parties.
July 1, 2001, the Kansas law concerning UCC filings changed. Financing statements covering consumer goods, and personal property are filed in the office of the Secretary of State in Topeka, KS. Financing statements covering fixtures, timber to be cut, and as-extracted oil, gas and other minerals that contain real estate are filed with the Register of Deeds in the county where the land is located.
Who is the Register of Deeds?
The Register of Deeds is an elected official for a four-year term who makes certain that the documents are recorded properly according to the laws of the state and maintains and preserves those records. The current Register of Deeds is Tonya Buckingham.
Where is the Register of Deeds office located?
The office is located in the Sedgwick County Courthouse at 525 North Main in Wichita, Kansas, on the 2nd floor, Room 227. Send all mail to:
Bring the original Member 4 document that says Honorable Discharge to our office. You will receive up to five copies at no charge. Thank you for your service!
How do I get a copy of my DD214?
Please complete the Request for DD214 Form and mail it to our office with a legible copy of your driver’s license. This form cannot be faxed or emailed. We must have an original signature. We will send you up to five copies at no charge by certified mail. You may also come directly to our office and receive your copies that day. Thank you for your service!
What is eRecording?
eRecording is a process for businesses who deal directly with real estate to submit documents for recording online and have them reviewed, recorded and returned back to the submitter electronically.
Does the Register of Deeds keep records forever?
Yes. All records are microfilmed, and recordings date back to 1969 to the present are digitzed. Many original records are stored at Strataca in an underground salt mine located in Hutchinson, KS.
What is microfilm?
A length of film containing microphotographs of records. If we do not have your records digitized, and you have a property transfer date, we can use our office microfilm readers to look up your document and print a copy.