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Washington D.C. Deed Forms

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Updated April 12, 2024

Washington D.C. deeds record the transfer of ownership of property from a seller to a buyer. Deeds reflect a description of the property, including the lot number and subdivision, and information about the parties giving title (known as grantors) and parties receiving title (known as grantees). All signatures must be notarized, and all deeds must be recorded at the DC Office of Recorder of Deeds.

Laws – Code of the District of Colombia, Title 42, Chapter 12

Recording – Must be submitted to the D.C. Office of Recorder of Deeds with the required recording fees.[1]

Signing – All deeds must be signed in the presence of a notary.[2]

Deed Types (3)

General Warranty – Guarantees that the seller owns the property and has the legal right to sell the property.

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Quit Claim – Transfers interest in a property but provides far less protection for the buyer than a general warranty deed.

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Transfer on Death – Bypasses probate to transfer real property.

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Washington D.C. Property Search (6 steps)

The first thing to do before selling a property in Washington D.C. is conduct a property or title search. This process entails extensive research into a property’s mortgages, liens, judgments, or unpaid taxes if there are any. A title search will confirm a seller’s right to sell the property. In the District of Colombia, title records are kept at the Recorder of Deeds at the Office of Tax and Revenue and can be accessed online. Here’s the process for accessing title information online:

Step 1

Access the “Online Services” at the Recorder of Deeds.

Step 2

Create a New User Account.

Step 3

Activate new username by clicking the link sent to designated email address.

Step 4

Accept the disclaimer.

Step 5

Click “Search Public Records.”

Step 6

Change the search type to Square / Lot. Input the information, which can be located at the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue database. Make sure only “DEED” is checked in the column on the right.


  1. Title 42, Chapter 4
  2. § 42–818.02