Q. What is the Register of Deeds Office (ROD)?
A. The R.O.D. Office is a place where all transactions having to do with land, including deeds, liens, and mortgages are recorded and maintained so that the public is made aware of their existence. This is also the place where financing statements and security agreements are filed on personal property and the Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.).
Q. What happens to a document when it is brought into the ROD Office?
A. There are a number of steps taken when an original document is brought or mailed in to be recorded before it is returned to the concerned party. First, the document is evaluated for obvious errors and recordability and the correct fee is ascertained. Then it is given a document number and book and page number is assigned to each page. There is a reception book in which the information for each document is written in the order the document is received in the office.
Q. What is a deed?
A deed is an instrument by which the buyer obtains title to a piece of property. 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. A Quit-Claim deed would be used to obtain a release from any person who is believed to have some interest in or claim to the property. By this form of deed the grantor "quits" any claim he might have.
Q. Should a deed be recorded with the ROD Office?
A.Yes. A deed should be recorded as promptly as possible after the transaction. Failure to record a deed could render the transfer or mortgaging of the property impossible and create numerous legal difficulties.
Q. What if I lose my deed?
A. 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 owners who usually will place it in a safe place. If the property is mortgaged at the time of sale, the original recorded deed is sometimes returned to the mortgage company who in turn gives it to the owner when the mortgage is satisfied. If your deed is misplaced or lost, a copy may be obtained from the R.O.D. Office and certified with its official stamp.
Q. How long does it take for a document to be recorded?
A. Most documents are completed and returned with 4 to 5 days unless problems occur during processing.
Q. May I make out my own deed?
A. Yes, you could, but the R.O.D. Office always recommends the retention of an attorney, licensed abstractor of a land title company. We are a recording agency and cannot make out deeds or answer those questions which pertain to legal matters.
Q. Can you record property in the Dickinson County ROD Office if the property is not located in Dickinson County?
A. No. The property has to be located in Dickinson County.
Q. Can the ROD office tell you if you have a good & clear title to your property?
A. No. Professional title examiners or abstractors use the records in our office, along with their own records and records of other offices to determine if the title is good and clear.
Q. Can I locate the mortgage on my house in the ROD office?
A. Yes. Normally the mortgage follows the recording of the deed. If not, then we would go to our tract index for that piece of property and find the mortgage that way. The index will give you the book and page and recording information of your mortgage.
Q. What is a lien?
A. Many times the owner of the property may owe money to various creditors. The lien allows the creditors a means of preventing the property from being sold or mortgaged until the debt is paid. Among the many types of liens are Tax Liens (for non-payment of taxes) or mechanic's liens (for labor and materials furnished for home repair). Mechanic's liens on home repairs are filed in the district court. The mechanic's liens that are filed in the R.O.D. office are for repairs to automobiles.
Q. What is uniform Commercial Code?
A. Uniform Commercial Code, more commonly known as UCC, became effective in Kansas in 1966. As the name implies, a code developed for uniform filing on all personal property. The filing of UCC financing statements is what perfects or secures the loan on consumer goods or personal property.
Q. What other kinds of records will I find in the ROD office?
A. Besides deeds, mortgages and liens, we have land patent books, vital statistic books, old county officer books, old county Atlas books, oil and gas leases, plats of additions to the towns and subdivisions in Dickinson County, county schools records and teacher records, along with honorable military discharges from the armed services, powers of attorney and corporate records.
Q. How far back do the records go?
A. The earliest records found in our office date back to 1859. Among the early records are the patent deeds recorded when land was bought by the U.S. Government and are signed by some of our early presidents.
Q. Can the ROD Office help me find records of my ancestors?
A. If they owned land in Dickinson County, probably.
Q. Who runs the ROD Office?
A. The ROD Office is administered by a duly elected official called the Register of Deeds, who in turn, has a Deputy Register of Deeds and a Clerk that perform various duties within the office.
Q. When should a death certificate be filed in the ROD Office?
A. When an individual dies and is listed as an owner of record on a Joint Tenancy deed, a certified copy of the death certificate should be filed. We must have one of the original certificated copies from the State that has issued the certificate. When no death certificate is available, a title company or lawyer can advise you as to documents that could be filed in the District Court.
Q. Should I record my military records (DD-214, etc) with the ROD Office?
A. Yes, there is no charge to our veterans to record any military papers. We recommend recording the DD-214 for safe keeping.
Q. Can I get forms from the ROD Office for my use?
A. The only forms provided by our office are request forms for birth, death or marriage certificates obtained from the State of Kansas.