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How to Get a Copy of Your Deed in the City of Boston

The deed to your property is an important, yet easily misplaced or forgotten document. The reason a deed is so easily forgotten is because it is only needed when you are buying or selling a house, or if there is a dispute regarding property lines. Luckily, the Registry of Deeds always has an official record of your deed if you can't find your copy.

And wouldn't you know, there have been recent attempts by private companies to try and sell you a copy of your deed at a cost of between $69 and $86, according to Boston.com and the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds. However, the cost and difficulty of getting your deed are far lower than what these companies charge.

When you bought or sold property, it was likely that all of your documents were handled by a real estate agent or attorney. That agent or lawyer then gave you copies of the recorded documents that made everything official.

The deed is the part of that package that describes exactly what property is being transferred between two or more parties. In all states, once a transfer is made by deed, the document must be filed with the local registrar of deeds. Once filed, the original deed will be sent to you and an official copy is kept on record.

It is this official copy that can be obtained from the Registry of Deeds if the original is misplaced or there is a question about the authenticity of a document.

To obtain a copy in Suffolk County, you can use the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds website (there is one for every county in Massachusetts) to first search for the document. The default search is by last name, making it easy to find your documents.

Currently, this search is only available for documents recorded after Jan. 1, 1975, but the Registry is working on scanning all of its documents.

Once you have found your document, you can order it for $0.50 per page, or $1.00 per page if you want a certified copy of the document. Be patient with the website as it is not extremely easy to use. If you cannot manage the webpage, you can visit the Registry in person to find the documents, though this might take significantly longer.

The Registry is located at 24 New Chardon St. in Boston. Note that they will not print copies after 4:15 p.m.

Good luck getting that deed.

This post is part of FindLaw's Legal U series. We are working to help you learn what to do in your city to cope with some of the legal problems, questions, or issues that come up in daily life. Please come back to learn more from future posts in this series.

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