Register of Deeds
 

Document Recording

How to Record Real Estate Documents

Document Recording

Real Estate Document Examination and Recording

Documents are not recorded immediately. They are recorded in the order of receipt, generally within three to five business days.

Documents are recorded in Room 103 in the Milwaukee County Courthouse between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  If you visit us in person, please arrive by 4:00pm in order to allow sufficient time for review of your documents. Documents with proper fees may be mailed and payable to: Register of Deeds, 901 N. 9th Street, Room 103, Milwaukee, WI 53233.

All pages shall be letter or legal size, on white paper and typed/printed legible in black ink.

The fee for recording a real estate document is $30 regardless of the number of pages, excepting plats, which are $50. Check payable to the Register of Deeds or cash.

We are not allowed to give legal advice.

Visit Wisconsin Register of Deeds Association to find document forms.

You may email us or call (414)278-4005 between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

 

Document Recording Requirements

For a document to be accepted for recording, it must conform to standard format requirements of s. 59.43(2m). One may use a cover sheet and add title, return address (and PIN if required), to make the document conform. Certified copies are exempt from s.59.43(2m) but a cover sheet may be needed to record the document.

The standard requirements are as follows:

  • The upper righthand 3”x3” corner of the document must be completely blank for our official recording stamp
  • The name and return address must be either directly under the recording area, or on the left side of the page and within the top three inches
  • The PIN must be placed directly under the return address. PIN should be valid and not missing any digits
  • The title of the document must be within the top three inches of the page but not in the 3"x3" right corner left blank for our recording stamp
  • The entire document must be legible and reproducible s.59.43(2m)(b)(4)
  • The paper is white, standard weight, and letter or legal-sized
  • All ink must be black or red. Signatures can be any color
  • The top margin is a minimum of 1/2 inch for every page. Other margins are minimum of 1/4 inch
  • The pages are not hinged or folded
  • Legal description if the document refers to specific parcels of land
  • Original signatures notarized or authenticated, print notary’s name in black ink if not shown on notary ink stamp. A valid notary expiration/commission date is required
  • Proper fees accompanying the document
  • Name of the document drafter must be clearly stated
  • Wisconsin Electronic Real Estate Transfer Return (e-RETR) receipt (completed and with proper fee or exemption #) if required

The entire document must be legible except for: company logo, the loan number in the case of a mortgage, and signatures need not be legible when the name is legibly printed in black next to the signature, or in the case of a notary, the name is legible on their black seal. In the case of maps that have been greatly reduced, a disclaimer may be used to direct the viewer to use for spatial information only and to ignore the illegible text.

Electronic Recording of Documents

Electronic recording of documents began in the Milwaukee County Register of Deeds Office on July 8, 2003.

Counties reduce the manual processing effort associated with paper processing from days and weeks to just minutes. The electronic process reduces risks for title companies and reduces post-closing costs for lenders.

If you would like to take advantage of recording documents electronically, contact one of these eRecording vendors:

Mark Moats with Simplifile 
Phone: (920) 203-7746
Email

CSC Global
Phone: (866) 652-0111
Email

Ben Sherman with eRecording Partners Network
Phone: (608) 616-2314
Email

Frequently Asked Questions

Open AllClose All
  The names of both the husband and wife are on the deed, but now one is deceased. How do I remove my deceased spouse's name from my deed?
  1. Complete Termination of Decedent’s Interest form (HT-110). This form and instructions are available at the Wisconsin Register of Deeds Association forms page. Also see HT-110 sample for general guidance. This sample reflects a common scenario.
  2. e-RETR Receipt. Exemption 77.25 (11) applies. Completed on WI DOR website
  3. Certified copy of death certificate
  4. Copy of recorded ownership deed
  5. $30 fee payable to Register of Deeds

Milwaukee County no longer requires a copy of the real estate tax bill.

  A transfer on death document was recorded and the property owner has died. How do I remove the decedent’s name from deed?
  1. Complete Termination of Decedent’s Interest form (TOD-110). This form and instructions are available at the Wisconsin Register of Deeds Association website. Also see TOD-110 sample for general guidance
  2. e-RETR Receipt. Exemption 77.25 (11m) applies. Completed on WI DOR website
  3. Certified copy of death certificate
  4. Copy of recorded transfer on death document
  5. $30 fee payable to Register of Deeds

Milwaukee County no longer requires a copy of the real estate tax bill.

  How do I make a change to property ownership (add or remove someone’s name)?

To change ownership of real estate, a new deed must be drafted and submitted for recording along with an e-RETR receipt. We do not carry deed forms in our office.

  1. A new deed is prepared (printed legibly in black ink) to reflect the change
  2. Answer e-RETR questionnaire online
  3. View instructions, system overview, e-RETR training/help
  4. To begin, click “file a return”
  5. When finished, press the “submit” button, then press “continue” to print e-RETR receipt. Contact Wisconsin Dept of Revenue at (608) 266-1594 or eRETR@Revenue.WI.gov if needed.

Documents must be completed before submitting them for recording. The owner may prepare these items or hire an attorney or title company. We can not attest to the legality of documents, nor can we assist you in preparing your documents, as we are not attorneys.

Lawyer Referral: (414) 274-6768.

  Where can I get a blank deed or other real estate forms?

We DO NOT carry any deed forms here. You can purchase blank documents at a Legal Blank Store and complete the documents yourself, or hire an attorney or title company to do this for you.

To find document forms, visit the Wisconsin Register of Deeds Association website.

On that page there is an interactive Tutorial: How to complete a standard real estate document.

Scroll down that page to find links to other organizations for downloadable real estate forms.

  I am having trouble completing the e-RETR questionnaire or I don’t have a computer?

All questions regarding the e-RETR questionnaire should be directed to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (WI DOR). This not a Register of Deed’s website. Contact WI DOR at (608) 266-1594 or email at eRETR@revenue.wi.gov

Milwaukee County Law Library - The Milwaukee County Law Library (MCLL) has computers available to the public to use and complete the Electronic Real Estate Transfer Return (e-RETR) on your own. If you need assistance, you must call to schedule an appointment call (414) 278-4900.

Located at Milwaukee County Courthouse, 901 N. 9th Street, Room G9, between 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

  How can I record my document?

Mail or drop off at the Register of Deeds Office, 901 N. 9th Street, Room 103, Milwaukee WI 53233

If coming in person to drop off document(s), it is advisable that you be here by 3:45 p.m. to allow sufficient time to review your documents.

  1. Original document(s)
  2. e-RETR receipt, if applicable (Required for all conveyance documents)
  3. Check payable to Register of Deeds or cash. NO credit or debit accepted

Each document submitted for recording requires a $30 recording fee, regardless of the number of pages.

Transfer fee if applicable. This amount will be on your e-RETR receipt.

Documents must be completed before submitting them for recording. The owner may prepare these items or hire an attorney or title company. We can not attest to the legality of documents, nor can we assist you in preparing your documents, as we are not attorneys.

Lawyer Referral: (414) 274-6768

  How much does it cost to record a document?

Each document submitted for recording requires a $30 recording fee, regardless of the number of pages.

Transfer fee if applicable. This amount will be on your e-RETR receipt, which is required for all conveyance documents.

Check payable to Register of Deeds or cash. NO credit or debit accepted.

  How long does it take to get my deed/document back?

It takes three to five business days to be recorded. All documents are then mailed back to the name and return address on the document within one to two weeks. The actual document submitted for recording is mailed back. The Register of Deeds does not create new documents.

  How do I obtain a copy of recorded deed, mortgage or other real estate document(s)?

In Person: Milwaukee County Register of Deeds, 901 N. 9th Street, Room G6, Milwaukee WI 53233

If you visit the Register of Deeds in person, you should arrive by 3:30 p.m. to allow sufficient time to process your copy order.

Phone: (414) 278-4001 Email: researchdeeds@milwaukeecountywi.gov

  How do I find out if my document was recorded and obtain the recording information?

In Person: Milwaukee County Register of Deeds, 901 N. 9th Street, Room G6, Milwaukee WI 53233

Phone: 414-278-4001 Email: researchdeeds@milwaukeecountywi.gov

  Still have questions regarding preparation of real estate documents?

The Milwaukee County Register of Deeds cannot provide legal advice. Contact an attorney, title company or one of the resources listed here.

Marquette Volunteer Legal Clinic: Provides free, confidential and brief legal advice.

House of Peace Community Center, 1702 W. Walnut Street, (414) 933-1300, Tuesdays 4 - 6 p.m. (Sign-in starts at 3:30 p.m.)

Lawyer Referral & Information Service: You will speak with a representative who will refer you to one of the highly trained and screened lawyers or a community resources that best fits your needs. Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. (414) 274-6768 or www.findmilwaukeelawyers.org

Real Estate Terminology

Deeds (Instruments of Conveyance)

Legal instruments such as warranty deeds, quit claim deeds, etc., that convey title from one property owner to new owner, are usually drafted by attorneys, or paralegals or legal secretaries under the supervision of an attorney.

The forms used for various types of deeds are available at office supply businesses or online. You can read our document definitions for deeds, or contact your attorney to determine the appropriate deed for your situation. The entire document must be legibly printed/typed in black ink so that the document will scan properly.

The grantor and grantee (seller and buyer) must be identified on the deed. The grantor’s signature which has been notarized, and a legal description of the property being conveyed must be on the deed. The return address of the person who is to receive the deed after it has been recorded is required. The parcel identification number, found on the property tax bill, must be placed on the document under the return address. Only the original deed with original signatures may be recorded with the Register of Deeds – not photocopies.

The moment that a correctly prepared deed is handed from one owner to the next is the moment of actual conveyance. It is wise to protect your interest by recording the deed with the Register of Deeds at 901 N. 9th Street, Room 103, Milwaukee, WI 53233. The recording fee is $30 per document, plus transfer fee if applicable.

An e-RETR receipt must accompany most conveyance documents for it to be recorded in the office of the Register of Deeds. The transfer fee to be paid (if any) calculated and the recording fee must accompany the deed and e-RETR receipt when you submit it for recording.

See guidelines at the Wisconsin Department of Revenue website.

The Register of Deeds cannot give legal advice.

Lawyer Referral:  (414) 278-6768

Electronic Real Estate Transfer Returns

Section 77.22(1) of the Wisconsin Statutes provides that “...submission of a completed real estate transfer return and collection by the register of the fee shall be prerequisites to acceptance of the conveyance for recording.” All information on the transfer return is useful to the local assessor, other municipal and county officials and staff of the Department of Revenue who have a statutory responsibility in the administration of Wisconsin tax laws. ·

A deed and an eRETR must be completed to convey title to real estate.

Blank deed forms and deed instructions are not available for download from the DOR's website. You can obtain blank deeds from an office supply business or a title company.

If you need additional information in regards to your inquiry you will have to consult with a title company or an attorney.

Computers may be available for the public to prepare and print an eRETR receipt in the Milwaukee County Law Library, located in the Milwaukee County Courthouse, 901 N. 9th Street, Room G9 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or call (414) 278-4900 for an appointment if you need assistance.

Submit your e-RETR.

If you have any questions or comments, call (608) 266-1594 or email.

This site is powered by the Northwoods Titan Content Management System

Menu

X