Standard format requirements for recorded documents. 59.43(2m)(a)(a)
Except as provided in pars. (d)
, no document may be recorded in the office of a register of deeds unless it substantially complies with all of the following on the first page of the instrument:
The name of the instrument is clear and is located not less than 0.5 inch nor more than 3 inches from the top of the document. If more than one instrument name is given, the first name given shall be used for indexing purposes.
A horizontal area within 3 inches of the top of the instrument in the upper left corner of the instrument, not less than 0.5 inch by 2 inches, is left blank for the unique document number.
An area in the upper right corner of the instrument, at least 3 inches by 3 inches, is left blank for recording information.
A horizontal area for the return address, at least one inch by 3 inches, is on the instrument in one of the following areas:
Directly below the recording information area described under subd. 3.
Directly below the name of the instrument if the return address does not extend further than 3 inches from the top of the instrument.
Subject to subd. 5. b.
, a space and a line are provided directly below the return address information and the line is labeled as “parcel identifier number", “parcel identification number", “parcel ID number", “parcel number" or “PIN".
If multiple parcels are affected by the instrument, the line described under subd. 5. a.
may be used to refer the reader to another area of the instrument where the parcel identifier number is located.
Subdivision 5. a.
applies only in a county whose board requires the use of a parcel identifier number.
Except as provided in pars. (d)
, no document may be recorded in the office of a register of deeds unless it substantially complies with all of the following:
The page width is 8.5 inches and the page length is either 11 inches or 14 inches. The maximum deviation from any of these measurements may not exceed 0.25 inch.
A multipage instrument is not hinged or otherwise joined completely at the top or sides.
The entire document is clear and the letters, numbers, symbols, diagrams and other representations in the document are large enough and dense enough to be reproduced or read by a copy machine and a microfilm camera or optical scanner to the extent that the image captured is legible.
The ink is black, blue, or red, except that signatures and coded notations on maps may be other colors.
The top margin of each page is 0.5 inch, except that company logos may appear within this margin if they do not interfere with any of the other requirements of this subsection.
The bottom and side margins of each page are at least 0.25 inch.
The register of deeds shall provide, upon request, a blank form which a person may complete and use as the first page of an instrument that the person seeks to record. The blank form shall be provided without charge and shall conform to the provisions of pars. (a)
Copies of documents that are certified by the state or by a city, village, town or county, or by a subunit or instrumentality of any of the foregoing.
Every instrument that the register of deeds accepts for recordation under this subsection shall be considered recorded despite its failure to conform to one or more of the requirements of this subsection, if the instrument is properly indexed in a public index maintained in the office of the register of deeds.
Register of deeds; deputies.
Every register of deeds shall appoint one or more deputies, who shall hold office at the register's pleasure. The appointment shall be in writing and shall be recorded in the register's office. The deputy or deputies shall aid the register in the performance of the register's duties under the register's direction, and in case of the register's vacancy or the register's absence or inability to perform the duties of the register's office the deputy or deputies shall perform the duties of register until the vacancy is filled or during the continuance of the absence or inability.
Register of deeds; microfilming and optical disk and electronic storage. 59.43(4)(a)
Except as provided in par. (b)
, upon the request of the register of deeds, any county, by board resolution, may authorize the register of deeds to photograph, microfilm, or record on optical discs or in electronic format records of deeds, mortgages, or other instruments relating to real property or may authorize the register of deeds to record on optical discs or in electronic format instruments relating to security interests in accordance with the requirements of s. 16.61 (7)
or 59.52 (14)
and to store the original records within the county at a place designated by the board. The storage place for the original records shall be reasonably safe and shall provide for the preservation of the records authorized to be stored under this paragraph. The register of deeds shall keep a photograph, microfilm, or optical disc or electronic copy of such records in conveniently accessible files in his or her office and shall provide for examination of such reproduction or examination of a copy generated from an optical disc or electronic file in enlarged, easily readable form upon request. Compliance with this paragraph satisfies the requirement of sub. (1c) (a)
that the register of deeds shall keep such records in his or her office. The register of deeds may make certified copies reproduced from an authorized photograph, from a copy generated from optical disc or electronic storage, or from the original records.
The register of deeds may microfilm or record on optical discs or in electronic format notices of lis pendens that are at least one year old, in accordance with the requirements of s. 16.61 (7)
or 59.52 (14) (b)
. The register of deeds shall keep a microfilm or optical disc or electronic copy of notices of lis pendens in conveniently accessible files in his or her office and shall provide for examination of such reproduction or examination of a copy generated from optical disc or electronic storage in enlarged, easily readable form upon request. Compliance with this paragraph satisfies the requirement of sub. (1c) (a)
that the register of deeds shall keep such records in his or her office. The register of deeds may make certified copies reproduced from a copy generated from microfilm or from optical disc or electronic storage. The register of deeds may destroy or move to off-site storage any notice of lis pendens that has been microfilmed or recorded on optical disc or in electronic format under this paragraph.
With regard to any instrument filed with or recorded by a register of deeds before April 1, 2006, which the register of deeds makes available for viewing or download on the Internet, the register of deeds shall make a reasonable effort to make social security numbers from the transferred instrument's electronic format not viewable or accessible on the Internet.
No later than March 31 annually, every register of deeds of a county that has not completed making social security numbers from electronic format records not viewable or accessible on the Internet under par. (c)
shall submit to the department of administration a report regarding the progress made by the county during the preceding year in making social security numbers from electronic format records not viewable or accessible on the Internet under par. (c)
, including a statement of the number of instruments transferred to an electronic format in the preceding year, the number of these instruments from which social security numbers were made not viewable or accessible on the Internet in the preceding year, the number of instruments remaining from which social security numbers remain to be made not viewable or accessible on the Internet, and the estimated time needed to review the remaining instruments for making social security numbers not viewable or accessible on the Internet.
Including name of person drafting instrument. 59.43(5)(a)
No instrument by which the title to real estate, or any interest therein or lien thereon, is conveyed, created, encumbered, assigned or otherwise disposed of shall be recorded by the register of deeds unless the name of the person who, or governmental agency which, drafted such instrument is printed, typewritten, stamped or written thereon in a legible manner. An instrument complies with this subsection if it contains a statement in the following form: “This instrument was drafted by .... (name) ....".
does not apply to an instrument executed before May 9, 1957, or to:
An instrument that is executed or acknowledged outside of this state.
Effect of certain omissions in registers' records.
The validity and effect of the record of any instrument in the office of register of deeds shall not be lessened or impaired by the fact that the name of any grantor, grantee, witness or notary was not printed or typed on the instrument or by the fact that it does not comply with sub. (5)
Including parcel identification number. 59.43(7)(a)
In counties with a population of 750,000 or more where parcel identification numbers are used in the tax roll for taxes based on the value of property in municipalities, any conveyance, as defined in s. 706.01 (4)
, of any interest in real estate located in such a municipality shall contain reference to the parcel identification number affected. The parcel identification number shall be required for the recording of the conveyance.
In counties with a population of less than 750,000 where parcel identification numbers are used in the tax roll for taxes based on the value of property in municipalities, any conveyance, as defined in s. 706.01 (4)
, of any interest in real estate located in such a municipality shall contain reference to the parcel identification number affected if the county in which the parcel is located enacts an ordinance that requires the use of such a number in a conveyance. The parcel identification number shall be required for the recording of the conveyance, for administrative purposes only, if the county enacts an ordinance under this paragraph.
Required signature and seal on survey document for filing or recording.
It is unlawful for the register of deeds of any county or any proper public authority to file or record a map, plat, survey, or other document within the definition of the practice of professional land surveying under s. 443.01 (6s)
, which does not have impressed thereon, and affixed thereto, the personal signature and seal of a professional land surveyor under whose responsible charge the map, plat, survey, or other document was prepared. This subsection does not apply to any deed, contract, or other recordable document prepared by an attorney, or to an order, including any map or other document filed with the order, that is recorded under subch. I
or VI of ch. 77
A register of deeds shall maintain an index for the real estate record series that contains at least all of the following:
Document number assigned under sub. (1c) (f)
to the instrument that is consecutive and unique within the record series and, if given on the instrument, the volume and page where the instrument is recorded or filed.
To whom the instrument is delivered, unless the document is kept on file.
The index shall be accessible and searchable by at least all of the following means:
Document number assigned to the instrument under sub. (1c) (f)
and, if given on the instrument, the volume and page where the instrument is recorded or filed.
By tract of land parcel if the county has a tract index.
With regard to assignments, satisfactions, partial releases, and subordinations of mortgages, the index under par. (a)
shall also contain the document number of the original mortgage instrument and, if given on the original mortgage instrument, the volume and page where the original mortgage instrument is recorded or filed whenever the original mortgage instrument is referenced on the assignment, satisfaction, partial release, or subordination.
With regard to affidavits of correction of previously filed or recorded documents, the register of deeds shall include on the previously filed or recorded document a notation of the document number of the affidavit of correction, the date when the affidavit of correction is filed or recorded, and, if the affidavit of correction is assigned a volume and page number, the volume and page where the affidavit of correction is filed or recorded.
Record of attachments, lis pendens, etc.
A register of deeds shall file or record, and index in the real estate records index, every writ of attachment or certified copy of such a writ and certificate of real estate attached, every certificate of sale of real estate, and every notice of the pendency of an action affecting real estate, which may be filed or recorded in the register's office.
Destruction, transfer of documents; recording, indexing documents. 59.43(12)(a)
The board of any county may, upon request of the register of deeds, authorize the destruction of all obsolete documents pertaining to chattels antedating by 6 years, including final books of entry.
A board may, upon request of the register of deeds, authorize the destruction of all documents pertaining to town mutual insurance companies that were formerly required to be filed under ch. 202
, 1971 stats., and that under s. 612.81
no longer have to be filed and all documents pertaining to stock corporations that were formerly required to be recorded under ch. 180
, 1987 stats., and that under ch. 180
no longer have to be recorded. At least 60 days prior to the proposed destruction, the register of deeds shall notify in writing the state historical society which may order delivery to it of any records of historical interest. The state historical society may, upon application, waive the notice.
In a county where the board has established a system of recording and indexing by means of electronic data processing, machine printed forms, or optical disc storage, the process of typing, keypunching, other automated machines, or optical imaging may be used to replace any handwritten entry or endorsement as described in this subsection or in sub. (1c)
. The various documents and indexes may also be combined into a general document file with one numbering sequence and one index at any time.
The board by ordinance may require the register of deeds to keep a tract index such that records containing valid descriptions of land may be searched by all of the following:
Quarter-sections of land or government lots within the county, the boundaries of which refer to the public land survey system or a recorded private claim, as defined in s. 236.02 (9m)
Recorded and filed certified survey map and lot or outlot number.
Recorded and filed plat, by name and lot, block, outlot or unit within the plat, according to the description of the land.
No index established under par. (a)
may be discontinued, unless the county establishing the index adopts, keeps and maintains a complete abstract of title to the real estate in the county as a part of the records of the office of the register of deeds of that county.
If the board determines that a tract index system is unfit for use, the board may, by resolution, establish a new and corrected tract index. Any person who is authorized by the board to compile the new tract index shall have access to the old tract index and any other county records that may assist the person in compiling the new tract index. Upon completion, and approval by the board, of the new tract index system, the old tract index system shall be preserved as provided in s. 59.52 (3) (b)
. The resolutions of the board ordering, approving and adopting the new tract index systems, certified by the clerk, shall be recorded in each volume of the new tract index system and upon the resolution of the board adopting the new system, such a system is the only lawful tract index system in the register of deeds' office.
History: 1995 a. 201
; 1995 a. 225
; 1995 a. 227
; 1997 a. 27
, 9456 (3m)
; 1997 a. 35
; 1999 a. 96
; 2001 a. 10
; 2001 a. 16
; 2003 a. 33
; 2003 a. 48
; 2003 a. 206
; 2005 a. 25
; 2005 a. 41
; 2009 a. 98
; 2013 a. 20
; 2015 a. 48
; 2017 a. 102
; 2017 a. 207
; 2017 a. 334
See s. 779.97
for fees for filing federal liens and releases of liens.
See s. 182.01 (3)
for the requirement that certain corporate documents must bear the name of the drafter of the instrument before it may be filed by the department of financial services.
The express powers to appoint and discharge deputies under this section are separate from those of the county and are not subject to a collective bargaining agreement entered into by the county. Crawford County v. WERC, 177 Wis. 2d 66
, 501 N.W.2d 836
(Ct. App. 1993).
, 177 Wis. 2d 66
(1993), is restricted to its facts. Deputized employees, apart from a chief deputy, are exempt from the terms of collective bargaining agreements only to the extent that they are managerial or supervisory employees. Eau Claire County v. AFSCME Local 2223, 190 Wis. 2d 298
, 526 N.W.2d 802
(Ct. App. 1994).
Except for their elected superior's power to appoint and discharge, chief deputies are subject to the Municipal Employment Relations Act, ss. 111.70 to 111.77, and are not excluded from a collective bargaining unit as a matter of law. Oneida County v. WERC, 2000 WI App 191
, 238 Wis. 2d 763
, 618 N.W.2d 891
A register of deeds does not have authority to correct an original recording of a deed made by a predecessor. 61 Atty. Gen. 189.
In a county maintaining a tract index system, the register of deeds must enter into the index any deed, mortgage, or other recorded instrument that affects title to or mentions an indexed tract or any part thereof. 63 Atty. Gen. 254.
Section 59.513 [now sub. (5)] does not apply unless the instrument affects real estate in the manner described in the statute. 63 Atty. Gen. 594.
Registers of deeds have no obligation to file or record “common-law liens" or “common-law writs of attachment." 69 Atty. Gen. 58.
Registers of deeds entering into contracts under sub. (2) (c) may insist on provisions protecting the identity and integrity of records obtained under the contracts and protecting the public. Authority to require provisions directly prohibiting the contracting party from selling or disseminating copies of the records is not prohibited and may reasonably be implied from the general contracting authority under sub. (2) (c). OAG 1-03
The fee requirements of sub. (2) (b), not those of s. 19.35 (3), apply to electronic copies of records obtained pursuant sub. (4), unless the requester has entered into a contract authorized by sub. (2) (c). OAG 1-03
Under s. 706.05 (1), only instruments that affect an interest in land are entitled to be recorded. A land patent is the instrument by which the government conveys title to portions of the public domain to private individuals. “Land patents," “updates of land patent," and other similarly-titled documents filed by private individuals that purport to be grants of private land from private individuals to themselves or other private individuals are not true land patents and are invalid on their face and not entitled to recording under s. 706.05 (1). OAG 4-12
County abstractor; appointment; duties; fees.