About the Register of Deeds

The Register of Deeds is the official recording office for all land records in Berrien County and was established by the first Constitution of Michigan in 1835.  The Register of Deeds is the elected representative of the people tasked with the critical role to review, record and maintain in perpetuity documents pertaining to the transfer or encumbrance of land within Berrien County.  

In accordance with state statute, the Register of Deeds office records documents that affect real property such as deeds, land contracts, liens, mortgages, master deeds, surveys, declaration of trusts, and court documents to name a just to few.  It is strongly suggested you consult with legal counsel when preparing a document.

Documents may be presented for recording in-person, by mail, or  electronically.  Each document is carefully reviewed to assure state statutory requirements are met prior to recording.  Effective October 1, 2016, Michigan has a flat recording fee of $30.  Please call our office if you have questions regarding recording  fees.  

Once a document is recorded it becomes public.  All of Berrien County’s recorded land records have been digitized and are searchable from 1831 to present - excluding mortgages, discharge of mortgages and assignment of mortgages which are searchable from 1950 to present.  Our staff is working to transfer all images to our land records database.

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The Register also serves as chair of the County Plat Board.  The Land Division Act 288 of 1967 established minimum standards for subdividing land and uniform procedures for the submission of and approval of platted subdivisions.  The County Plat Board will review and give final approval to all subdivision plats within Berrien County.

 Pursuant to MCL 600.916 (1) Register of Deeds staff members are barred by law from giving legal advice including interpreting and drafting documents.