register of deeds

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A city or county government office where one can file real estate documents in the public records. Most are deeds, mortgages, liens, and leases. The specific officer charged with maintaining the register of deeds is referred to as the recorder of deeds, and even may be an elected official. Filing a document with the register of deeds is referred to as recording the document. For example, New York City has an Office of the City Register where citizens can record property-related documents online. The register of deeds is related to the office of the county clerk, as that office also files formal documents. The register of deeds focuses more on real estate documents, however. 

[Last updated in April of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]