Washington D.C. Deed Forms

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Updated August 03, 2022

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 (Title 42, Chapter 4) – Must be submitted to the DC Office of Recorder of Deeds with the required recording fees.

Signing (§ 42–818.02) – All deeds must be signed in the presence of a notary.

Deeds By Type

General Warranty – A general warranty deed guarantees a buyer that the seller owns the property and has the legal right to sell the property. This type of deed serves as confirmation that there are no liens, encumbrances, or defective titles associated with the property. A general warranty deed offers the highest level of protection for the buyer.

Quit Claim – A quitclaim deed also transfers interest in a property, but provides far less protection for the buyer than a general warranty deed. This deed is often used to transfer property between family members or people who know each other and are more likely to accept the inherent risks of transferring ownership without a guarantee that there are no liens or encumbrances, for example, associated with the property.

Washington D.C. Property Search

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 – Click here to 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 DC Office of Tax and Revenue database here. Make sure only “DEED” is checked in the column on the right.