skip to the main content area of this page
Clerk & Recorder
(406) 258-4752
Missoula County Seal and image of areas around the City.

Missoula County - Clerk and Recorder

Department: Clerk & Recorder
Missoula County Home

Clerk & Recorder - FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What hours is the Recording Office open?
Answer: We are open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday thru Friday.
Q: What holidays does the County observe?
Answer: The County observes the following holidays:
Q: How long will it take to get my document back?
Answer: It will be returned to you by mail within 5 to 10 working days.
Q: I just got a document called a "Deed of Reconveyance". What does that mean?
Answer: If you have recently refinanced or paid off (satisfied) a loan from a bank, mortgage company or individual, the trustee (or title company) issues a reconveyance of the interest of the property, which is then recorded by this office. This is an important document and should be kept with your other deed and mortgage records.
Q: Does the Recording Office have death and birth records?
Answer: yes, birth and death records back to 1872 are available here. Click here for complete birth and death information.
Q: Does the Recording Office accept the national form for recordation?
Answer: Yes, the Recording Office will file the national form with a standard fee of $7.00 for the filing.
Q: What kinds of documents are maintained in the Recording Office?
Answer: Deeds, Mortgages, Liens, Powers of Attorney, Homestead Declarations, Subdivision Plats, Certificates of Survey, Military Discharge, Federal Income Tax Liens, Birth and Death Certificates.
Q: How far back do your real estate records go?
Answer: Our real estate records date back to 1869.
Q: May I do recording by mail?
Answer: Yes, but please make sure all documents meet all legal recording requirements and the proper fee is enclosed.
Q: Can I get information over the phone?
Answer: General information can be obtained by phone, but for more detailed information you should come into the office or contact a title searcher or attorney. Our responsibility is for recording, reproducing, indexing, and maintaining recordable documents. Therefore, we may refer you to a qualified professional for answers to some questions. Our staff will be happy to assist you in the procedures to look for information, but due to limited staffing, we are unable to do searches for you.
Q: Can anyone look at my deed or mortgage?
Answer: Yes. All documents recorded or filed in this office are public information with the exception of Military Discharge Papers, Birth and Death Certificates. This means anyone can visit our office to look at your deed or mortgage.
Q: Can I prepare my own deed?
Answer: Yes. But it is usually a good idea to have someone with certain expertise in the field such as an attorney or title company prepare it for you to make sure it is correct. Employees of the Recording Office may not prepare a deed for you.
Q: How do I get a copy of my deed or mortgage?
Answer: You can get a copy by coming into the Recording Office or by mailing a request to the office. The charge is $.50 for the first page.  If you need the copy certified, there is an additional charge of $2.00 per document.
Q: How do I change, delete, or add a name on a deed?
Answer: Recording a new deed showing the change can only do this. A transaction must take place between the old owners and the new owners. Many people think they just come into the office and change the present deed on record. However, once a document is recorded, it cannot be changed. An attorney or a title company can prepare a new deed.
Q: If I sell a portion of my land, do I get a new deed for the remainder?
Answer: Generally no. Recorded documents show your original deed and the deed or deeds for the portion sold. Anyone searching records simply deducts the land you sold from the original deed. Again, please consult an attorney or title company concerning the necessity of a new deed.
Q: Why is a deed recorded?
Answer:  A deed is valid and binding if it is properly signed and acknowledged by the grantor.  For numerous reasons, it is in your best interest to record the deed. If you don't record the deed, the former owner might acquire a mortgage on your property since the records in our office show he or she still owns that property.  Or you may try to apply for a mortgage and be denied because the public record does not show that you have the title to your property.  The former owner may also get the tax statements.  Again, it is best to record new deeds.
Q: If I build on my lot, do I get a new deed for my house?
Answer:  No. The original deed usually covers any buildings erected on the lot now or at a later date.
Q: How can I determine the owner of a property?
Answer:  If you have an address or legal description of the property, the Recording Office can usually assist you in finding the current owner.
Q: How do I find out who the previous owners of my property were?
Answer: Through our grantor and grantee indexes you should be able to follow the property ownership chain back to the original owner.
Q: Should I record my military discharge?
Answer: Yes. It is a good idea to record it so if it is ever lost of destroyed you can obtain a certified copy. There is no fee for recording military discharge records and we will provide you with one certified copy at no charge. Military Discharge records are not available for public inspection.
Q: Does the document need to be an original or can I record a copy?
Answer: In almost all cases, the document must be an original. The only exceptions are for certified copies from certain courts.
Q: Must signatures be notarized in order for the document to be recorded?
Answer: Yes, signatures must be notarized and properly acknowledged before the document can be recorded.
Q: Does the Recording Office perform searches of the records for liens or ownership verification?
Answer: The only searches performed by this office are UCC searches and Federal Tax Lien searches. We will be happy to instruct you on how to search the records yourself or you can consult an attorney or title company.
Q: Will you fill out documents for me?
Answer: We cannot fill out the documents for you. If you need assistance, please consult an attorney or title company.
Q: Where can I purchase blank forms for recording?
Answer: Office supply and stationary stores.
Q: Do you have property tax information?
Answer: Property tax information is available from the Treasurer's Office at phone number 406-523-4847, the Department of Revenue at phone number 406-329-1400 or from the Property Information System on the Missoula County Web.
Q: What documents require that a Realty Transfer Certificate be completed?
Answer: Any document that transfers ownership.
Q: Where do I obtain a copy of a Realty Transfer Certificate?
Answer: Realty Transfer Certificates are available in this office at no charge or you can access this form on the State's website at www.mt.gov.
Q: Where do I obtain information about divorce, marriage, or probate?
Answer: Call the Clerk of District Court's office at 406-258-4780.

Site Navigation


More Information