Frequently Asked Questions

Deed Preparation

How do I add or change names on a deed?

This office is not permitted to complete forms, help customers fill out forms, or to check forms. We can only check to see that the document presented meets the minimum legal requirements for recording. If the customer needs help, he/she can get a book from the library or book store to help guide him/her, but the better solution is to have the deed - or any legal document - prepared by an attorney. Read more on the Changing the Name on the Deed page.

How do I remove the name of a deceased owner from a deed?

One of the questions this office is most frequently asked is how to remove the name of a deceased person from the deed to property or how to otherwise "clear up" the deed, so that the property can be conveyed.

Unfortunately, this is not a process that is so easily accomplished that individuals can be assured of doing it correctly without the assistance of an attorney. Many factors must be taken into consideration including, but not limited to, future interests, trusts and taxes.

Read more on the Changing the Name on the Deed page.

Why might my document get rejected?

By ensuring that your documents do not violate the following requirements you can significantly reduce the chances that your document will be rejected for recording. Read a listing of some of the most common reasons why documents are rejected for recording and returned to the submitting party on the Document Rejection page.


Marriage Licenses

What do I need to get married?

In the state of Missouri, in order to be legally married, you must have obtained a marriage license prior to your marriage ceremony. The ceremony must take place in the state of Missouri within 30 days of the application. The Recorder of Deeds Department can issue you a marriage license. This license is valid in any county in Missouri.

Where do I apply for a marriage license?

Jackson County  you may apply for a marriage license at

Historic Truman Courthouse
112 W Lexington
Suite 30
Independence, Missouri 64050

Phone: 816-881-4608

How do I apply for a marriage license?

A marriage application will need to be completed prior to issuance of your license. The application can be completed either:

  • During your visit at our office, or to save you time
  • On line, please click here.

What information is required to obtain a marriage license?

Both parties must be present at the time of application. Visit the Marriage Identification Requirements page

How much does a marriage license cost?

The fee for applying for a marriage license is $50. Cash, credit (except American Express) or debit accepted. This fee is non-refundable. If you are going to change your name after the wedding ceremony, a certified copy of the marriage license is available for $10. Read more on the License Fees page.

Is a blood test required for a marriage license?

No. A blood test is no longer required.

After I apply for the marriage license, how soon can I get married?

Pursuant to changes in Missouri Law, there is no longer a 3-day waiting period. The marriage license is now issued at the time of application. The marriage must take place within 30 days from the date of issuance and be performed within in the State of Missouri. After 30 days, the license is void and must be returned to the Recorder of Deeds Department.

Can someone at the Recorder of Deeds perform my marriage?

Employees of the Recorder of Deeds Department are not licensed to perform marriage ceremonies.

Who can perform a ceremony?

Find out who can perform a ceremony on the Performing a Ceremony page.

Is there any special information I need if I am getting married after being divorced?

Previously married individuals must provide the date that their last marriage ended. There is no waiting period after a divorce before an individual may apply for a marriage license.


Uniform Commercial Code

What are the fees for filing a UCC?

You can read more on the Recording Fees page.

Can I call in and do an UCC search over the telephone?

No. Jackson County ordinances specifically prohibit UCC searches over the telephone.


Document Copy Services

What types of documents are available through Recorder of Deeds Department?

Copies of recorded real estate documents, marriage licenses and UCC filings are available from the Recorder of Deeds Department. For more information about available documents and the services provided by the Recorder of Deeds Department, read the Searching Public Records page.

How do I obtain a copy of my birth certificate?

Learn how to acquire birth certificates on the Vital Records page.

What is the procedure for obtaining a copy of a document?

Representatives of the Recorder of Deeds Department are available to assist you in obtaining copies of recorded real estate documents, marriage licenses and UCC filings. They will instruct you in how to search for a document utilizing the indexes, microfilm viewers and PC online Search System. These instructions are limited to 10 minutes.

What are the fees for obtaining copies?

The fees for copies can be found on the Recording Fees page.

Is it possible to receive a copy by mail?

Yes. Just send in a written request to our office in Independence:

Historic Truman Courthouse
Recorder of Deeds Department
112 W Lexington
Suite 30
Independence, MO 64050

Checks should be made payable to the "Recorder of Deeds."

Can you do a document search for me over the telephone?

No. Telephone searches are not conducted. You may come into the Recorder of Deeds Department and search our database for the information you need, mail in a request enclosing a check for the copy fees applicable (see above), or you may perform your search online by accessing our website.

Can you help me complete a records search?

Yes, we can assist you in reviewing indexes, microfilm, computer records, etc.; however, please be advised that we are prohibited by state statute from making determinations on records stored in this office. Professional title companies and real estate abstracters do engage in authoritative searches of this nature, and can assist in these endeavors.


Real Estate Filings

How much does it cost to file a real estate document?

The filing fee for a 1-page document is $21. If there are any additional pages, there is a $3 charge for each additional page. Any material on the back of the page will be counted as an additional page and an additional $25 non-standard fee will be assessed. This same $25 fee will be assessed if the document does not meet the Missouri standard formatting requirements, but the fee may only be charged once per document.

Where do I file the documents?

Real Estate located in Jackson County, irrespective of location, can be recorded at the

Historic Truman Courthouse
Recorder of Deeds Department
112 W Lexington
Suite 30
Independence, MO 64050

Important Note: The Recorder of Deeds processes its mail at the department’s Independence office. Please send all documents for recording to the Independence address listed here.

Our real estate records date back to 1826 and copies of these documents are available to the public at either courthouse location. Documents may be filed in person or they may be mailed with your check.

To whom should I make the check payable?

Checks should be made payable to the "Recorder of Deeds Department."

Does each document need to be notarized?

Real estate documents must be notarized with a full acknowledgement.

What is the required information contained in any real estate filing?

Effective January 1, 2002, the State of Missouri implemented new formatting laws affecting all documents presented for recording. Please see the section relating to this standardization law for a listing of the new requirements. As a point of clarification, when the law references the required legal description, please note that this is different from the street address. The county assessment department can help you obtain this information.

The legal description contained on your tax bill is not necessarily a complete legal description, so please do not use it without verifying it. In addition, all instruments affecting real estate must contain a mailing address of at least one of the grantees. If the original Deed of Trust is dated prior to January 1, 1986, the original Deed of Trust must be included with a Deed of Release. If the original note has been destroyed or lost, affidavits may be presented with the deed of release. An attorney can help you with this.

Can you help me fill out the documents?

No. By statute this office can only file or reject the documents which are presented to us. If assistance is needed, it is always best to consult an attorney.

What is required in filing plats and surveys?

In order to file a plat, two mylar copies and two paper copies must be presented at the time of recording. They must be notarized and contain the proper seals, approvals and forms. The fee for recording a plat up to 18 inches by 24 inches is $41.00 for the first page and $25.00 for each additional page.  Plats larger than 18 inches by 24 inches are $66.00 for the first page and $50.00 for each additional page. 

For each survey filed, two mylar copies and two paper copies must be presented. These must contain the surveyor's seal. Signatures must be notarized. The fee for recording a survey up to 18 inches by 24 inches is $41.00 for the first page and $25.00 for each additional page.  Surveys larger than 18 inches by 24 inches are $66.00 for the first page and $50.00 for each additional page.

(Plats or Surveys larger than 24 inches by 36 inches are not accepted) 

Jackson County's Plat and Survey archives are now available on DVD and CD. You can learn more on the Platbook Archives page.

What do I do if my original recorded document is lost?

If you have lost or misplaced your original deed (or other legal document which has been recorded), you can obtain a certified copy from the Jackson County Recorder of Deeds. A certified copy has the legal validity of the original document.

The Jackson County Recorder of Deeds can provide certified copies of documents recorded here since the 1800s. Copies of all documents pertaining to the ownership of real estate located in Jackson County are available from this office. Learn more on the Lost Documents page