Department of Records - City of Philadelphia
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RECORDS : General Information

Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTIONS

  1. May I record a document myself?

  2. What do I need to do in order to record a document?

  3. What fees are associated with the recording of my document?

  4. When must the Philadelphia Realty Transfer Tax Certification and the Realty Transfer Tax Statement of Value Form be submitted?

  5. Can the Department of Records reject a document that is submitted for recording?

  6. How can I check the recording status of documents?

  7. What do I do when I get a Registry Discrepancy Notice?

  8. How do I get a copy of a police or fire report?

  9. How do I search for information about a property?

  10. What are the Philadelphia County document recording requirements?

  11. What are the regulations regarding the Recording Information Summary (RIS)?

  12. What are the current Common Level Ratio factors?

  13. How are Certificates of Stock Transfer recorded?

  14. Must I visit City Hall to obtain copies of documents?

  15. Are document-recording forms available on line?

  16. How do I record my Notary Commission?

  17. What is the Document Notice Program? 

        

ANSWERS

 
   

May I record a document myself?

 

Anyone may record a document. It is recommended, however, that you obtain legal assistance to be certain that all legal requirements are met. Department of Records personnel are not qualified or authorized to provide legal advice.

 

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What do I need to do in order to record a document?

 

In order to have your documents accepted by the Department of Records for recording, you must comply with Philadelphia County Document-Recording Requirements. You may also view information on recording-related fees and taxes by clicking here.

 

Click here for additional helpful hints to record your document.


 

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What fees are associated with the recording of my document?

 

Click for all Department of Records fees.


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When must the Philadelphia Realty Transfer Tax Certification and the Realty

Transfer Tax Statement of Value Form be submitted?

 

Two copies of the Philadelphia Realty Transfer Tax Certification Form (City tax form) and one copy of the Realty Transfer Tax Statement of Value Form (State tax form) must be submitted when:

the full value/consideration is not set forth in the deed, the deed is without consideration, or by gift, or a tax exemption is claimed.


Please note that the Realty Transfer Tax Statement of Value Form (State tax form) is not required if the transfer is wholly exempt from tax based on:

 

(1) family relationship, or
(2) public utility easement.


[CLICK HERE] to view, fill out on line, and/or print the Philadelphia Realty Transfer Tax Certification Form (City tax form)


[CLICK HERE] to view and print the Realty Transfer Tax Statement of Value Form (State tax form) 
 

 

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Can the Department of Records reject a document that is submitted for recording?

 

Yes, when the document does not comply with Philadelphia County Document-Recording Requirements. In that event, your document will be returned to you with a Document Rejection Notice advising you of the corrections that need to be made. Once corrected, the document, accompanied by the Document Rejection Notice, may then be resubmitted for recording.

 

[CLICK HERE] to view the Document Rejection Notice

 

 

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How can I check the recording status of documents?

 

You may call 215-686-2260 for the information. When prompted by the main-menu message, press 1 for the Recorder of Deeds, then press 3 for document pick-up dates.

 

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What do I do when I get a Registry Discrepancy Notice?

 

A Registry Discrepancy Notice advises you of a conflict between the official property address or the legal metes-and-bounds perimeter description of each property of a deed and the City's official tax maps. It is the document-filer's responsibility to resolve the discrepancy, and you may do so by requesting assistance from the Department's Mapping Unit in Room 170 of City Hall, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

[CLICK HERE] to view the Registry Discrepancy Notice

 

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How do I get a copy of a police or fire report? 

You may request a copy of a police accident or incident report or a fire report in person in Room 168 of City Hall, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Requests must be accompanied by a check in the amount of $25.00 made out to the City of Philadelphia.

Requests for these reports may also be made by mail. Please provide the following information: your name, address, date and location of the accident or incident, the names of the persons involved, and, in the case of police reports, the police district control number. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a check for $25.00 made out to the City of Philadelphia.

 

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How do I search for information about a property? 

Property records are available for public research in Room 154 of City Hall, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Information may be obtained free of charge. In addition, you may obtain a copy of a document at a cost of $2 a page.

 

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What are the Philadelphia County document recording requirements?

 

Click to view Philadelphia County Document Recording Requirements.
 

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What are the regulations regarding the Recording Information Summary (RIS)?

 

Effective July 31, 2004, it will not be necessary to submit the Recording Information Summary Sheet ("RIS") with each document presented for recording.

 

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What are the current Common Level Ratio factors?

 

Common Level Ratio Real Estate Valuation Factors are determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

 

Use the links below to connect directly with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?s web site to view the current table of values as well as a history for all Counties in Pennsylvania.

 

[CLICK HERE] To View The Current Common Level Ratio Real Estate Valuation Factors From PA State Web Site.

 

[CLICK HERE] To View The History of Common Level Ratio Real Estate Valuation Factors for Philadelphia County

 

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How are Certificates of Stock Transfer recorded?

 

Certificates of Stock Transfer will be recorded using the code "DST". When searching records after recording please remember to enter the code "DST" or select "Certificate of Stock Transfer" from the drop-down list. The code "DST" will be grouped with the Deed Document Group within the database.

 

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Must I visit City Hall to obtain copies of documents?

 

If you are unable to come to City Hall and you wish to obtain a copy of a record, your request can be handled by mail. You must include the fee for the copy (most documents do not exceed five pages) as well as a $17 research fee. Please note that Department of Records employees cannot provide property information over the telephone.

 

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Are document-recording forms available on line?

The following forms (pdf format) are available for downloading. 

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How do I record my Notary Commission?

 

Click here for details regarding Notary Commissions
 

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What is the Document Notice Program?

 

Click here to view an informative brochure regarding the Document Notice Program

 

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