Suffolk County Clerk Departments & Services

How to Record a Deed and Avoid Rejections

More than 30% of all deeds received by the Suffolk County Clerk's Office through the mail are rejected and must be returned. The reasons for the rejection are sometimes as simple as excluding a Social Security Number, a date or not including the proper fee.

It is the policy of the Clerk's Office to examine documents for recording and to determine their legal sufficiency. Even if a correctable defect or deficiency is spotted, the Clerk's staff cannot change, alter, add to or eliminate any of the contents of documents presented for recording. Thus it is important to ensure any deed presented for recording meets the legal requirements as outlined below:

  1. Every deed must contain the names and addresses of the purchaser and the seller. A post office box address is not acceptable.
  2. The deed must contain a complete description of the property, including the state, county, township and village the property is located in.
  3. The document must be signed and properly acknowledged by a notary (notarized). If the seller (grantor) is a corporation, it must be signed by an officer of the corporation (or an attorney in- fact) and the acknowledgment must contain the address of the officer signing. The corporate seal is to be affixed if the acknowledgment indicates that the seal is affixed.
  4. Every deed must have a completed Suffolk County Recording and Endorsement Page as the first page of the document. Copies are available at the Clerk's office in Riverhead or at this site underOn-Line Forms.
  5. The signatures on the document must be notarized conforming to N.Y.S. requirements, with revisions as of 9/1/99.
  6. A deed, or portion thereof, that is illegible or not suited for microfilming, will be rejected. The entire document should be in black print and ink. Blue or other color ink is unacceptable.
  7. If a deed recites "Exhibits", such exhibits must be included with the deed at the time of recording.
  8. A transfer tax is due on all conveyances with consideration over $500.00. The amount of tax is computed at $2.00 per $500.00 or any fraction thereof. (Example: $750.00; Consideration=$4.00 tax.) Mansion Tax is due on all residential conveyances where the consideration is $1,000,000.00 or greater. Cash or a certified check payable to Suffolk County Clerk is required for payment.
  9. All deeds must be accompanied by a Combined Real Estate Form (T.P.-584) that is signed. Copies of this form are available in the Clerk's office or at this site under On-Line Forms . This form must include the Social Security numbers of all parties to the transaction. If the form indicates that a T.P.-584. 1 form is to be filed also, please complete and attach. The fee to record the T.P.-584 is $5.00. If signed by an attorney in-fact, a copy of the power-of-attorney must be attached.
  10. All deeds dated November 1, 1980 and later must be accompanied by an Equalization and Assessment Form (Form RP-5217) properly filled out and signed by the parties to the document or an attorney in-fact. If signed by an attorney in-fact, a copy of the power-of-attorney must be attached.