The Register of Deeds is an elected official who is required by the Laws of the State of Kansas to record all documents submitted by the public which are QUALIFIED to be recorded; maintain an up-to-date and accurate set of indexes which show the correct ownership of land in the entire county and perform all functions of a clerical and technical nature to accomplish that objective.
This office records many different kinds of documents. Examples of some documents include but are not limited to are: deeds, mortgages and liens, oil and gas leases, plats of additions to cities, military discharge records, power of attorneys, corporation records, cemetery records, and county school records, which were once the property of the County Superintendent. These records are used to provide name and age information for Social Security purposes and to certify early teaching records.
Attorneys, financial institutions, buyers, sellers, real estate developers, surveyors, landlords, tenants, and abstract and title insurance companies, to name just a few, all rely upon the correct recording of instruments relating to real estate.
All of the services offered by the Register of Deeds office are fee based, these fees being set by a state statute. The Register of Deeds office generates a sizable income that is deposited into the county general fund and administered by the Board of County Commissioners.
Taxation of real property is the cornerstone for financing local governmental operations. Determining the ownership of real property is thus essential to the tax assessment function. The County Appraiser and County Clerk depend on the records in the Register of Deeds office to accurately reflect the tax roll process.
The Register of Deeds office performs some very important functions. Other organizations, local government departments, and individuals depend upon the accuracy of the information provided to them by the Register of Deeds office. The earliest records in the Recorders office, written in elaborate manuscript, date back to the 1800’s. Among the early records are the Patent Deeds recorded when land was privately purchased from the United States government and are signed by the President of the United States.
It is essential that the records in the Register of Deeds office, as well as other county records from the early years to present, are preserved for future generations to come.