Real Estate Records

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Please click on a link below to see more information regarding Real Estate recording requirements. 


Is Your Document Ready to be Recorded?

Please make sure all of the following items are correct:

  • Pages must be white, standard weight, and either letter or legal sized. No hinged pages. Ink must be black.
  • Document title, party names, legal description, and return address must be legible and reproducible.
  • There must be a blank 3" x 3" space in upper right hand corner for the register's recording stamp.
  • The return address must be located either directly under the recording area or on the left within the top 3 inches of the page.
  • All pages must have a minimum 1/2" margin across the top. All pages must have minimum 1/4" margins on the sides and bottom.
  • Signatures are notarized. Notary commission date stated.
  • The proper fee must accompany the document.
  • The name of the document drafter must be present.
  • Deeds and land contracts require the Wisconsin Real Estate Transfer Receipt.
  • Parcel Identification Numbers (PIN) are required on documents that reference specific parcels of land. The PIN should be placed on a line under the return address.

    We will review your documents for these items, but the ultimate responsibility for a complete and correct document is yours. Ask assistance if you need it.


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General Information about Instruments of Conveyance


Legal instruments such as warranty deeds, quit claim deeds, etc., that convey title from one property owner to a new owner, are usually drafted by attorneys, or paralegals or legal secretaries under the supervision of an attorney.

The forms used for various deeds are available at office supply businesses in Dodge County. These office suppliers should provide you with the standard document format required by State law as of September 1, 1996. Black ink must be used so that the document will scan properly.

The grantor and grantee (seller and buyer) must be identified on the deed. The grantor's signature, which has been notarized, and a legal description of the property being conveyed must also be on the deed. The return address of the person who is to receive the deed after it has been recorded is required. The parcel identification number (PIN), found on the property tax bill, must be placed on the document under the return address. Only the original deed with original signatures may be recorded with the Register of Deeds -- not photocopies.

The moment that a correctly prepared deed is handed from one owner to the next is the moment of actual conveyance. It is wise to protect your interest by recording the deed with the Register of Deeds. The recording fee is $30.00 per deed.

A Wisconsin Real Estate Transfer Receipt must accompany a deed for it to be recorded in the office of the Register of Deeds. You file a Wisconsin Real Estate Transfer Return electronically online with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. The instructions and the return are available on the website. The transfer return form must be filled out entirely, the fee to be paid (if any) and the recording fee must accompany the deed and the transfer return receipt when you mail it or bring it in for recording. If you have any questions about filling out the Transfer Return, please contact the Wisconsin Department of Revenue or call the Dodge County Register of Deeds (920) 386-3720.

If you have any questions regarding filling out the deed form, contact your attorney.


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Standard Document Format

If you wish to record legal documents affecting real estate such as deeds, land contracts, mortgages, satisfactions and assignments, you will need to use a form which conforms to the Wisconsin standard document format. Most office supply firms offer forms which do meet the requirements of Wisconsin Statute 59.43(2m).

Use of the standard document format helps to assure that important pieces of information are not inadvertently omitted, that the document is legible, and that it is properly indexed. Use of the standard document format also makes processing and retrieval more efficient.

Most states in the Midwest require some type of standard document format. If you are from a state outside of Wisconsin, you may add a cover-sheet to your document to make it conform to the Wisconsin standard document format. You can print or type the document title, return address, and parcel identification number in the proper locations and attach the cover-sheet to the front of your document so that it becomes the first page.  Every Wisconsin County Register of Deeds will have cover sheets available in their offices.

Standard Document Form (PDF)

Requirements of the standard document format are as follows:

  • The upper right hand corner of the document must be completely blank (at least 3” by 3”) for our official recording stamp.
  • The name and return address must be either (1) directly under the recording area, or (2) on the left side of the page and within the top 3 inches.
  • The parcel identifier number must be placed directly under the return address.
  • The title of the document must be within the top 3 inches of the page but not in the 3 by 3 inch corner left blank for our recording stamp.
  • The entire document must be legible and reproducible.
  • The paper is white, standard weight, and letter or legal-sized.
  • The ink is black so that the document will scan properly.
  • The top margin is a minimum of 1/2 inch for every page. Other margins are minimum of 1/4 inch.
    The pages are not hinged.

Remember, you still need:

  • Complete legal descriptions if the document refers to specific parcels of land.
  • Original signatures notarized or authenticated.
  • Proper fees accompanying the document.
  • Name of the document drafter.
  • Wisconsin Real Estate Transfer Return (completed and with proper fee or exemption #) for deeds and land contracts. 

Standard Document Form (PDF)


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Wisconsin Real Estate Transfer Return

Instructions for filling out the Wisconsin Real Estate Electronic Transfer Return and the eRETR (electronic transfer return) are available through the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.

There is also training help available through the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's website.
If you have questions about the eRETR (electronic transfer return), you may contact the Department of Revenue by email: or by phone at (608) 264-6885, or this office at (920) 386-3720, and we will help you as best we can.

Click here to view the Dodge County Register of Deeds fee schedule for transfer returns.

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