Recording Checklist

  1. Document Standards Format - All Documents to be recorded must comply with document standards. See Document Standards Format for complete details
  2. Prepared By: Statement - All documents recorded must have the Prepared by Statement, giving the full name, address and telephone number of the person preparing the document. This may be in the left half only of the top 3 inch margin of the first page. This went into effect on July 1, 1994 and any documents prepared and dated before then are exempt from the law. No documents may contain any personal identity information of the parties involved.
  3. Addresses - The full post office address of the purchaser must be on the document.
  4. Legal Description - The complete and correct legal description must be on the document.
  5. Deeds/Certificate of Real Estate Value - All Deeds, Contract for Deed, Memos of Contract for Deed, Assignment of Contract for Deed or any other document that conveys the interest of title from one person to another is required by law to be accompanied by a completely filled out 'Certificate of Real Estate Value' form. This is effective for any document dated after July 1, 1988. The form must be filled out completely, signed and dated. This form is also available at the South Dakota Department of Revenue.
  6. Transfer Fees - When a sale is being transferred, a transfer fee must be collected. The transfer fee is figured at 50 cents for every $500 of the sale price. If a deed is exempt from a transfer fee the Exempt From Transfer Fee Statute must be typed on the face of the deed. The wording should be as follows: Exempt from Transfer Fee Per SDCL 43-4-22 ( ) (the applicable subdivision must be put in the parenthesis). View the Transfer Fee Exemption Statute (PDF).
  7. Seals - Documents that must be signed and acknowledged in front of a Notary Public must bear their seal. Corporate Seals must be also affixed to documents if a corporate entity signs the document. All banking institutions and municipalities must have their corporate seals on documents. If there is no corporate seal, please state 'No Seal' on the document.
  8. Mortgages - Mortgage documents must have the legal description, amount of the mortgage, the date it is due and the complete post office address of the lender/Mortgagee.
  9. Satisfactions, Partial Releases, Assignments, Subordinations, Etc.- All documents that reflect back on a previously recorded mortgage must have the following included on them in order to be recorded:
    1. A legal description
    2. The book and page number of the original mortgage being affected
    3. The date of the original mortgage
    4. The names of th mortgagors (borrowers)
    5. The name of the mortgagee (lender)
    6. The county and state
    7. If being assigned, the name and address of the assignee
    8. A completely filled out execution of acknowledgment in front of a notary public
    9. A corporate seal if any, if not, state 'No Seal' on document


The checklist is only meant to be a tool in helping to avoid common errors when having documents recorded in the Register of Deeds office. It is offered as a convenience to you and is in no way meant to be taken as legal advice on how to convey a valid and legal transaction. The Register of Deeds strongly recommends seeking legal advice when preparing any and all documents to be recorded. This checklist, in no way, reflects the laws that pertain to the transfer of property in South Dakota.