Recorder of Deeds

We thank you for your interest and hope you find this site beneficial for your needs. Following is a brief history of our American land system legacy along with a current overview of our statutory responsibilities.

Brief History

The United States history of the “Recorder of Deeds” office dates back to America’s first colonies and greatly expanded during the westward movement. Remember the “gold rush” days when young families ran to their local “Claims Office” to exchange gold or silver for cash?  Well those same families ran to their local federal land office and the Recorder of Deeds to officially stake-out their property rights.   Today, one-hundred and fifty years later, the Jackson County Recorder of Deeds is proud to serve a new generation of Americans with similar hopes and dreams.  Contrary to other countries where, even today, land ownership is often controlled or limited by government, today’s American land system fulfills the life-long dream of President Thomas Jefferson whereby all Americans can own their own piece of land. Today that dream continues with every new recording of a land purchase or transfer of property.

Current Responsibilities

Document Recording: Your “Recorder of Deeds Department” records almost 100 various types of documents.  Although most deal with land transactions such as  Deeds, Mortgages, Assignments, Releases and Liens, everything from “Affidavits” to “Wills” are also recorded and placed in the “public record” to serve “notice” of an action that has taken place.  Missouri is categorized as “notice state” whereby a later buyer who pays fair value for a property and does not have notice there were any other earlier conflicting interests will have priority over any later recordings.

Marriage Licenses: Besides document recordings, the Recorder of Deeds Department is responsible for the issuance of Missouri Marriage Licenses.  Of the 45,000 licenses issued across the State of Missouri, over 6,300 couples -- approximately one of every seven -- come to Jackson County to obtain their license.

For more information on obtaining a Marriage License click here.

Copy/Archival Services: The Recorder of Deeds Department maintains land, recorded documents, Marriage Licenses and other Executive, Legislative and Judicial Records dating back to the beginning of Jackson County in 1826. Paper, digital and microfilm records are preserved for timely access and retrieval at our recording offices.