Recording Requirements

NOTICE: Effective January 2023, Livingston County began using the Swift program for hard-copy submissions (mail or over-the-counter.) When you supply your email, we will return a recorded copy of your document the same day it is indexed. 

We will only return the original hard copy when postage is paid. Postage-paid means either an self addressed stamped envelope of appropriate size, or paying a minimum of $1 for postage at the time of recording. Larger packages will require additional postage. 

Most Common Document Errors

The following are the most common reasons for a document to be returned for corrections:

  1. Notary Acknowledgment errors: The venue commonly appears above the notary acknowledgment statement and signatures. This is the county and state where the document was executed. The county and state in the venue must match the county and state in which the notary is “acting in.”  The names printed beneath the signatures must match the names printed in the notary acknowledgment exactly. An individual signing for a trust or company must have their name, title, and the company or trust’s name at the signature line.
  2. The majority of documents are required to include a complete legal description. This is the legal description found on a deed or survey. Not acceptable are: Tax legals, street address, or a parcel ID, which you would find on your tax bill or from the township/city/village.
  3. Drafter’s name and address must be on the document. 
  4. Documents with consideration (price) shall be subject to transfer tax unless appropriate exemptions are stated on the document or a Real Estate Transfer Tax Valuation Affidavit is filed. It cannot state “and other good and valuable consideration”. MCL 207.505 Sec.5 & MCL 207.526 Sec.6

Statutory Recording Requirements

  • 2-1/2″ margin at the top of the first page and 1/2″ on remaining sides and additional pages. MCLA 565.201 Sec 3, Sec 1(f)
  • Signatures must be original and names must be typed, stamped or printed beneath all written signatures. MCLA 565.201 (a)(e)
  • No discrepancy in the names shall exist between the printed names of such person, as appears, either in the signature, and the acknowledgment or jurat. (The name must match throughout the entire document. MCLA 565.201 (b)
  • The address of grantee must appear on any instrument by which title to any interest therein is conveyed or assigned. MCLA 565.201 Sec 1(d)
  • The name and address of the person who drafted the document must appear on the documents executed in Michigan. MCLA 565.201 Sec 1a, 565.203
  • Documents purporting to convey or encumber real estate executed in Michigan must have an acknowledgement by a notary public. MCLA 565.8
  • Effective 4/01/04 through 5/26/06 acknowledgement must state “Acting in the county of ______________” (even if the county matches the County of Commission.) MCLA 55.287
  • Documents must display on the first line of print on the first page a single statement identifying the single recordable event that the instrument evidences. (Document Title) MCLA 565.201 Sec 1(f)(ii)
  • A certified copy of a death certificate or proof of death (a separate recordable event) must be recorded prior to the instrument of conveyance which states “survivor” in the grantor’s section. MCLA 565.48
  • The recorded death certificate’s Document # MUST then appear on the instrument of conveyance with a grantor/”survivor”; if the two documents are submitted together, allow a blank space for us to insert the Document #. MCLA 565.48
  • Court orders must be certified and sealed by the clerk of the court to be eligible for recording. MCLA 565.401, 565.411
  • The document must be dated and the date must show in the Notary Acknowledgement when Notarized.
  • Documents must include a Return To address.
  • If the property conveyed is unplatted, the following statements are to appear on deeds:
    • “The grantor grants to the grantee the right to make ___ division(s) under section 108 of the land division act, Act No. 288 of Public Acts of 1967. (If no number is inserted, the right to make divisions stays with the portion of the parent tract retained by the grantor; if all of the parent tract is conveyed, then all divisions rights are granted.) This property may be located within the vicinity of farmland or a farm operation. Generally accepted agricultural and management practices which may generate noise, dust, odors, and other associated conditions may be used and are protected by the Michigan Right to Farm Act.”

Definition of a Page

  • Minimum size of page to be recorded: 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Maximum size of page to be recorded: 8.5 x 14 inches
  • Top margin, first page: Minimum size 2.5 inches blank across full width of top of page
  • Subsequent pages: Minimum top margin is .5 inch
  • Remaining margins size: .5 inch
  • Document Type: Identified on the first line of print (at 2.5 inches down or farther)
  • Minimum Font Size: 10 pt. type
  • Paper color: White
  • Color of ink: Black
  • Paper weight: 20 pounds (standard copy paper weight)

E-Recorded Documents

Only the original signed document may be scanned and submitted for e-Recording through an accredited e-Recording service. This is the same as if the document was presented in-person or by mail.

The scans must be legible, must meet the minimum Font requirement of 10 point (legal-sized pages may not be reduced to a letter size,) and it is suggested that the minimum DPI be 300. Unclear or poorly imaged documents will be rejected and returned to the submitter for corrections.


A document may be returned to the submitter once recorded through our SWIFT program. Check SWIFT for more information. 

Register of Deeds
Jenny Nash, Livingston County Treasurer

Brandon Denby
Register of Deeds

Brandon Barefield
Chief Deputy



(517) 546-0270


Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Closed County Holidays

Historical Courthouse

200 E Grand River Ave
Howell, MI 48843