The Land Records Department acts as a custodian for the recording and maintenance of all public records connected to real estate in Washington County. Our research room is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. 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.
E-Recording is available at any time. Recordings are accepted at the counter Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Closed for State holidays.
Preparation and content of documents
The Land Records Department is, by law, not permitted to draft or prepare any legal documents, or provide forms for land record instruments. Generally, land instruments may only be prepared by one of the parties to the instrument, or by or under the supervision of an attorney authorized to practice law in Maryland. Certain documents must include a Certificate of Preparation (see: Real Property Article 3-104 for this and other “Prerequisites to Recording”).
Recent legislation prohibits inclusion of social security numbers and driver's license numbers in deeds and other instruments to be recorded and made available on the Internet. If a previously recorded instrument contains this information and you wish to “mask” these numbers from the Internet, please send an email to the Maryland State Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org, or to the clerk’s office at email@example.com. You will need to provide an adequate description of the instrument including at minimum, the name of one of the parties to the instrument, type of instrument, and the book and page reference where the instrument is found in our land records.
If you have any questions about the location of the public record, please contact our Records Department, at 301-790-7413.
Recording Process for Deeds
All deeds must pass through a two step process in the following order:
Washington County Treasurer’s Office
35 W. Washington Street, Hagerstown, MD 21740 240-313-2110
Recording Department, Clerk of the Circuit Court
24 Summit Avenue, Hagerstown, MD 21740 301-790-7991
Return of Original Deeds
Within a few weeks after a deed is recorded, the original deed is mailed according to instructions provided on the deed. Generally those instructions tell us to mail the original to either the new property owner or to the settlement company that handled the settlement. If you do not have your original deed, you can contact our Records Department at 301-790-7413, to find out to whom it was mailed. Only a copy or a certified copy of the deed can be obtained from this office once the original has been mailed out.
Recording Fees & Taxes
Recording Fees for Land Instruments – As provided in Real Property Article, §3-601
- $10.00 for a release 9 pages or less in length [this does not include termination of a financing statement].
- $20.00 for any other instrument 9 pages or less in length.
- Except as provided in item 1 above, $20.00 for an instrument, regardless of length, involving solely a principal residence.
- $75.00 for any other instrument 10 page or more in length.
- $20.00 for Termination of Financing Statements.
Recording Fees for Other Land Related Documents
- $15.00 for a Request for Notice of (Foreclosure) Sale.
- $5.00 per page for plats of any kind.
- $50.00 for Homeowners’ Association Disclosure initial filing. $75.00 for any other instrument 10 page or more in length.
- $5.00 per page up to $25.00 maximum for amendments to Homeowners’ Association Disclosures.
In addition to the recording fees listed above, a surcharge of $40.00 is charged for every instrument recorded in Land Records except:
- Powers of Attorney;
- Restrictive Covenant Modification Under Code, RP §3-112
- Requests for Notice of (Foreclosure) Sale;
- Homeowners’ Association Disclosures.
- Washington County Recordation Tax is $3.80 per $500.00 or fractional part of the consideration. Recordation tax applies to instruments that transfer an interest in real property (e.g., deed, lease, easement, contract, etc.), as well as to 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. State Transfer Tax applies only to instruments that transfer an interest in real property (e.g., deed, lease, easement, contract, etc.). Reduced rate of ¼ of 1% for a deed to first-time MARYLAND Homebuyer(s).
- County Transfer Tax is applied only to instruments that transfer an interest in real property (e.g. deed, lease, easement, contract, etc.). The first $50,000 of consideration is exempt from the County Transfer Tax. The tax is ½ of 1% of the remaining consideration. Reduced rate of ¼ of 1% for a deed to first time WASHINGTON COUNTY homebuyer(s), defined as an individual who: Has never owned residential real property in Washington County that has been the individuals principal residence;
- Has been a resident of Washington County continuously for twelve months prior to the purchase;
- Has purchased a residence for a total consideration of less than $115,000.
For a copy of the Washington County Transfer Tax Ordinance, go to:
Agricultural Land Transfer Tax
In addition to the State Agricultural Land Transfer Tax provided in Title 13, Subtitle 3, of the Tax Property Article, Washington County imposes a County Agricultural Land Transfer (Ag) Tax. The tax is imposed at the rate of 2%, as provided in Title 13, Subtitle 5 of the Tax Property Article. The County ag tax is payable on any transfer for which State ag tax is due. Both State and County ag tax is collected by the Washington County Treasurer’s Office prior to recording with the Clerk of Circuit Court. For more information on either ag tax, contact the County Treasurer’s Office at 240-313-2110
Record Searches Online
To search our land records by party name or by book and page number, visit:
When at the mdlandrec.net site, using the menu on the left of the screen:
To search and view plat records, click on Plats.net (username: plato; password: plato#);
To search real property records by property address or map/parcel number, including to learn
the Land Record book and page reference of the most recent deed related to that property, click on SDAT.