Most Frequently Asked Questions of the McHenry County Recorder’s Office
The Recorder's Office staff employees are not attorneys; therefore, this office cannot give legal advice. For legal advice regarding real estate and recording issues, we strongly recommend you contact an attorney.
How do I obtain a copy of my deed?
You can request a copy from our office in person, by mail, e-mail, fax and by phone. However, if you’re mailing, please enclose a check for the correct amount and a self-addressed stamped envelope. If your request is by phone, email or FAX you will need to pay with a credit card. Call our office at 815-334-4110 if you wish to place a copy order.
Where do I obtain a form for recording purposes?
We have many (but not all) blank forms in our office and on our website under Recording Forms. Also, most office supply and business stationary stores sell blank forms.
When I present my document to be recorded what happens to it?
When presented for recording, your document is checked to verify that it complies with Illinois State Statute Requirements for Recordings. If the document conforms and is accompanied by the proper recording fee, it will be recorded the same day it is received. Our documents are filmed and optically scanned. Data Entry keys in the pertinent information to create an index so your document can be retrieved quickly at any time in the future. We strive to return your documents to the return address within approximately two working days.
What are the fees for recording?
Refer to the fees schedule [PDF] or call 815-334-4110 for help in determining proper charge.
Can you tell me the selling price of a piece of property?
Most but not all deeds of record will have revenue stamps reflecting the sale price. The full actual consideration is listed on the PTax-203 or MyDec Form, which may accompany the deed at time of recording. These forms are available on our free web search by entering document type: PTax or MyDec.
How can I find out if there is a lien against a property, a house in foreclosure, or a tax sale property?
You may visit the Recorder’s Office and we will assist you in your search with liens and foreclosures recorded against the property. For further information on property being sold for back taxes, contact the County Treasurer at 815-334-4072 and the County Clerk at 815-334-4242.
How do I change the ownership of a piece of property?
To change ownership a new deed is required. The Recorder’s Office suggests the use of an attorney. Deed forms are available at no charge in the McHenry County Recorder's office or call 815-334-4110 and online.
How do I add or remove a name on my property?
Your question may be answered by a title company and/or by consulting an attorney. A new deed will be required. See the above question and answer.
How do I do a title search?
Property ownership can be traced in the Recorder’s Office. You may visit our office and we will assist you in gathering information. All records in our office are located by searching the grantor (seller) or grantee (buyer) name index. By law, the Recorder's Office is not allowed to perform property title searches and we can only provide you with information we have available. A title company could perform and guarantee a full search of the property; something we are unable to do.
Can you tell me who is the owner of a property by searching with a parcel number?
You may call the Assessor’s office at 815-334-4290 to get this information. If the property has been recently conveyed, please visit the Recorder's Free Web Search.
How do I know what liens are on a property?
Once the owner of a parcel has been determined, you can check the records in this office for liens that have been recorded.
How long is a lien in effect?
This is a legal question and we advise you to consult an attorney because it can vary with different documents.
How do I remove an erroneous lien from my property?
Your question may be answered by contacting an attorney. We are not attorneys and are unable to give legal advice.
How do I get the dimensions for my property?
You can get this information from the subdivision plat, which you can obtain from our office in person or mail or email. For unsubdivided land, you may call the County Assessor’s Office at 815-334-4290. You may also have your property surveyed by a land surveyor.
Do any municipalities in McHenry County charge a separate municipality transfer tax?
At this time no municipality in McHenry County charges a separate transfer tax.
For property surveys or home building blueprints, contact the previous land surveyor and/or the original home builder. The Planning & Development Department may have information also. The County Planning & Development Department can be reached at 815-334-4560. A previous owner is also another possible source for this information.
Information regarding Voters Registration, Marriage, Divorce, Birth and Death records, can be found on the County Clerk's page.
Property Assessment information, can be found on the County Assessor’s page.
Tax bill information, can be found on the County Treasurer's site.