RECORDING STANDARDS FOR THE REGISTRY OF DEEDS

POSTED 31 AUGUST 2020. EFFECTIVE 31 OCTOBER 2020.
This notice is required to be posted for 60 days prior to its effective date.

PLEASE READ THIS FIRST:

The Registry will not accept any records that do not follow New Hampshire law, as promulgated under the Revised Statutes Annotated, Title XLVIII, Chapter 478. We cannot deviate from these standards. Read 478 first, as our recording standards are found there, and always follow the latest version of 478, no matter when these instructions were updated.

PUBLIC ACCESS TO RECORDS

CHAPTER 91-A ACCESS TO GOVERNMENTAL RECORDS AND MEETINGS

Our office is committed to complying with the public's right-to-know law, which is codified in NH RSA 91-A. That law allows us to collect small fees for physical copies of documents, whether procured online or in the office. Our web site carries our index of property records free of charge. It does not carry viewable documents free of charge. You may order a pdf online for a small fee, or you may come to our office to look at the record free of charge.

GENERAL STANDARDS

CHAPTER 478 REGISTERS OF DEEDS

The sections below may clarify or interpret certain sections of Chapter 478, when the law allows, but do not supersede it.

DOCUMENTS / RECORDS

478:4-a Form of Records.

I:(b) “In the first sentence of the first description paragraph, the names of all municipalities in which the property is located.”

Examples: Certain parcel(s) of land situated in Concord. Certain parcel(s) of land situated in Concord, Bow and Bradford.

I.(c) “printed or typewritten under the signature.”

When written, only ink signatures were contemplated. The signature shall be an original signature in permanent blue or black ink.

We have since allowed signatures using DocuSign. (Please call this office if you have not used DocuSign before.)

II. “suitable for reproduction.”

Only original documents with original signatures are allowed. This is defined as follows.

Original documents must be just that: no machine or fax copies are allowed.

Paper shall be American letter or legal sized, white, non-transparent, without watermark.

Printing must be on one side of the page only.

The first-page top margin must have 3 inches of clear space on the top to allow for docket markings. All other margins must be a minimum of one inch.

Print shall be clear and legible, black, and of a clear print font size at least Times New Roman 11. No highlighting is allowed.

Signatures shall be original signatures executed in dark blue or black ink. Signatures using Docusign, while technically an “electronic signature” will be accepted as original signatures. No other electronic signatures will be accepted.

Notary seals shall be pressed firmly and clearly; Justice and Notary expirations must be printed clearly in black ink. The name of the Justice must be printed legibly or typed under the signature.

Stamps and seals must not obscure pertinent information, however a stamp may cover a signature.

Other than ribbons, no foreign object may be attached or glued to pages. No continuous forms or bound sheets.

A certified copy MAY be accepted at the register’s discretion when the original document is on record in another government office.

PLANS / PLATS

Registry filing requirements for plans are found in RSA 478:1-a.

II. “Each register shall specify adequate space, on the plat, for recording the registry plan number and recording information.”

We require an area no smaller than 7” long and 1” wide in the upper left-hand corner, inside any border.

IV. “The material composition of the plats shall be suitable for electronic scanning and archiving by the register of deeds.”

We require the following:

1. Original (Mylar) or photographic (Washoff) mylar or Inkjet reproductions are acceptable.

2. The plan must be drawn with permanent black ink.

3. The plan must have original signatures in permanent black ink.


Plans and Plats are subject to other NH RSA regulations, as follows:

Section 672:14 Subdivision.

Section 674:37 Recording of Plats.

CHAPTER 676 ADMINISTRATIVE AND ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES

676:18 Register of Deeds. –

I. A register of deeds who files or records a plat of a subdivision without the approval of a planning board shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

NOTE: WE CHECK THIS CAREFULLY BECAUSE WE ARE ON THE HOOK.


PAYMENTS

Transfer Tax

CHAPTER 78-B TAX ON TRANSFER OF REAL PROPERTY

Transfer taxes are imposed by the state but collected by the registries of deeds. The filer is charged with knowing the amount of the transfer tax plus the applicability of any exemption found under RSA 78:B-2. Such exemptions must be stated on all deed transfers.

In general, all property transfers are presumed taxable by this office, at the rate of $.75 per $100 or fractional part thereof, except when the price or consideration is $4000 or less, then the tax is presumed to be $40. Taxes are rounded to the nearest whole dollar.

The Department of Revenue Administration has a website that explains this.

Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT)

Recording Fees and Surcharge

478:17-g Recording Fees and Surcharge.

The registry collects fees for its recording services. These fees are set by law in this section, and the Registry cannot deviate from them.

A simple chart is included HERE.

LCHIP fee

On sale or transfer of property, we also collect the Land & Community Investment Program fee, commonly known as “LCHIP.”

This is authorized by RSA 227-m.

CHAPTER 227-M COMMUNITY HERITAGE INVESTMENT PROGRAM

Additional information may be found on the LCHIP website.

Http://www.lchip.org

Equipment Surcharge

Typically there is a $2 surcharge thot goes directly into the Registry's equipment account. This ensures that our equipment and database software is up to date.

Section 478:17-g Recording Fees and Surcharge.

Method of payment

Chapter 478 does not specify method of payment. However, we have the following requirements:

Separate checks are required for: (1) Recording fee, (2) Transfer Tax; and (3) Land & Community Heritage Investment Program (“LCHIP”). Checks must be payable to Merrimack County Registry of Deeds.

If you wish to file electronically, please call our office.

If you wish to file by mail, please read the instructions HERE.

Small services such as copies can be purchased in-house. We take cash and personal checks, but are not set up to take credit cards.

FRAUDULENT FILINGS

Please make sure your filings are within the law. Possible violations are listed below.

In the New Hampshire criminal code:

Section 638:2 Fraudulent Handling of Recordable Writings.

In New Hampshire's Uniform Commercial Code:

Section 382-A:9-518 Claim Concerning Inaccurate or Wrongfully Filed Record.

Section 382-A:9-625 Remedies for Secured Party's Failure to Comply With Article.

There may be other civil and criminal laws and regulations of which we are not aware.