Land Records Department

NOTICE: Please note that Chapter 538 from the 2020 Session of the Maryland General Assembly provides that the current $40 surcharge on recordable instruments recorded among the land records and financing statement records will continue on and after July 1, 2020. For more information, see page 15 through 16 here.

9250 Judicial Way
Suite 1900
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Telephone: 410-313-5850

Recording Services: Hours 8:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m.

The Land Records Department acts as a custodian for the recording and maintenance of all public records connected to real estate in Howard County. Information is obtained by self-research and copies are readily available for a fee. The Clerk's Office is prohibited by law from providing legal assistance or performing title searches.

Howard County Transfer Tax Exemption

Learn more about the exemption

Does the Land Records Department prepare any documents that are to be recorded?

All documents to be recorded must be prepared before they are presented for recording. The Land Records Department does not prepare any documents for recordation.

Recent legislation prohibits inclusion of social security numbers and driver's license numbers in deeds and other instruments to be recorded with the Land Records Department of the Circuit Court which will become available over an internet website. If you wish to ““mask”” these numbers from the Internet, please send an email to the Maryland State Archives at [email protected] or Wayne A. Robey, Clerk of the Circuit Court at [email protected]. You will need to provide an adequate description of the public record including a name and address or the type and location (the location MUST be the county, book, and page) of the public record.

Recording Process for Deeds

All deeds must pass through a two step process in the following order:

  1. Finance Department
    3430 Court House Drive, 1st Floor
    George Howard Bldg.
    Ellicott City, MD 21043
  2. Land Records Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court
    9250 Judicial Way
    Suite 1900
    Ellicott City, MD 21043
How do I obtain my original deed as my mortgage is now paid in full?

Approximately one month after your settlement date, you should have received your original recorded deed. If, however, you have not received your original deed then you need to contact your lawyer or your title company to obtain your original deed. You can only obtain a copy of your deed from Land Records as the Land Record Department does not keep original deeds.

Who do I call if I have questions about a lien sheet?

Please call the Howard County Department of Finance at 410-313-2389 for questions regarding lien sheets.

Fees & Taxes

Recording Fees
  • $10.00 for a release 9 pages or less.
  • $20.00 for any other instrument 9 pages or less. or for any instrument over 9 pages if it involves solely a principal residence.
  • $20.00 for Termination of Financing Statements.
  • $75.00 for any instrument 10 page or more.
  • $40.00 for all instruments recorded except Power of Attorney, Notice of Sale and Notice of Judgment.
Recording Taxes
  • Recordation Tax is $2.50 per each $500.00 or fractional part of the consideration. (Recordation tax applies to both instruments that transfer an interest in real property and instruments that create a security interest on real or personal property, e.g., mortgage, deed of trust, etc.).
  • State Transfer Tax is ½ of 1% of the consideration (Note: State Transfer Tax applies only to instruments that transfer an interest in real property, e.g., deed, lease, easement, contract, etc.).
  • County Transfer Tax is 1.25% of the consideration (Note: County Transfer Tax applies only to instruments that transfer an interest in real property, e.g. deed, lease, easement, contract, etc.).
Miscellaneous Recording Fees
  • $5.00 per page for plats recorded in the plat records (one original on Mylar or Linen Cloth and two clack line photo-process copies on Mylar or paper).
  • $50.00 for Homeowners Depository records - initial filing.
  • $5.00 per page up to a maximum of $25.00 - amendments.
  • $15.00 for Notice of Sale and Notice of Judgment.
  • $20.00 (9 pages or less) $75.00 (if 10 pages or more) and includes any power other than sale/mortgage of real property.

Maryland Real Property Records Search System (SDAT)

(Maryland State Archives Plat Imaging Application-access can be granted with the username: plato and the password: plato#).

Please be advised that the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court is prohibited by law from rendering legal advice and from performing title searches.