A deed is a written instrument that transfers the title of property from one person to another. 

If you are filing a deed in Lee County, it must meet the requirements that are outlined in Chapter 695.26, Florida Statute. There may be other statutory requirements for making a conveyance valid. The Clerk cannot assist with completing forms. We suggest that you contact a professional who is experienced with preparing a deed to assist you.

Deed Requirements
  • Must present a photocopy of a government issued photo identification for each grantor(s) and grantee(s) listed on the deed
  • "Prepared by" statement (name and address of the "natural" person preparing the Deed)
  • Grantor(s) (Sellers-Party Giving Title) names legibly printed in the body of the deed
  • Grantor(s) mailing address
  • Grantee(s) (Buyer-Party Receiving Title) names legibly printed in the body of the Deed.
  • Grantee(s) mailing address
  • Signatures of Grantors
  • Names printed under Grantors' signatures
  • Two witnesses, with the names of witnesses printed under witnesses' signatures
  • Complete Notary acknowledgment
  • Names being acknowledged
  • Date acknowledgment taken
  • Signature of Notary
  • Name printed under signature
  • Commission expiration date
  • Ink seal
  • A 3-inch by 3-inch white space on the top right-handed corner of the first page of each document and a 1-inch by 3-inch which space on the top right-hand corner of each subsequent page of the document. This space is necessary for us to apply computerized recording information
Frequently Asked Questions

Why are IDS necessary when recording deeds?

Effective August 1, government-issued photo identification is required for filing deeds in-person or by mail in Lee County. The new requirement is a result of HB 1419, a property fraud prevention program initiated by Clerk Karnes and state lawmakers to make it harder to file fraudulent deeds in Lee County. Lee County was chosen to be the state’s pilot location for the new program.

The program requires all persons listed on a deed to provide a government-issued photo ID before the deed is processed. This will make it easier for law enforcement to verify the identity of the parties engaged in a property-related transaction and investigate fraudulent activity.

The Clerk is rolling the program out in phases. E-Recorded deeds, typically submitted by property professionals and title agencies, are not impacted at this time. Identification requirements for e-recorded deeds will be implemented after technical updates are applied to our systems. The most up-to-date requirements will be posted on this page.

Will a deed recording be suspended if the grantor/grantee name does not match the name on the ID?

Document signatures must match the name that appears on the presented identification. An abbreviated middle name may be acceptable. However, the name on the deed must not have more wording than what is on the ID.

If the notary personally knows the grantor or grantee, is a copy of their ID still required?

Yes, copies of IDs from the grantor/grantee still need to be submitted when recording a deed regardless of the notary’s personal knowledge of individuals.

Why are IDs required of the grantor/grantee rather than the individual presenting the deed for recording?

The law’s intent is to protect the property owner from fraud. By providing copies of IDs of the grantor/grantee, law enforcement can track those with interest in the transaction in the event fraud has taken place. Individuals presenting the deed for recording may or may not be parties to the transaction.

If someone presents a life estate deed do we need IDs for the remaindermen (refers to a person who stands to inherit property at a future point in time upon the termination of a preceding estate)?

No, we only need IDs from the grantor/grantee.

How do I change the name on a deed if the property owner dies?

Recording a death certificate does not remove the name from the deed. However, you can record the death certificate, and it will remove the name from the tax bill. You will need to have a new deed prepared if you want to remove a name from the existing deed of record. If a document meets the requirements to be recorded, we will record it. The Clerk’s office does not provide forms or legal advice.

Collection of Documentary Stamps

The Clerk collects documentary stamp tax at the time a deed is recorded. The tax is levied at the rate of $.70 per $100 (or portion thereof) on documents that transfer interest in Florida real property, such as warranty deeds and quit claim deeds. This tax is based on the sale, consideration or transfer amount and is usually paid to the Clerk of Court when the document is recorded. The Clerk sends the money to the Department of Revenue, which distributes the funds according to law. The sale price, transfer, or consideration amount must be on the deed or in a cover letter for recording.

This section does not apply to: 

  • An instrument executed before July 1, 1991
  • A decree, order, judgment, or writ of any court
  • An instrument executed, acknowledged, or proved outside of this state
  • A will
  • A plat
  • An instrument prepared or executed by any public officer other than a notary public