Land Records serves as a recording office for deeds, mortgages and many other legal documents pertaining to real estate. All of these documents are currently assigned a file number. Previous to 2002 all documents were assigned a book and page number. See below for more information on some of the most commonly recorded documents. If you have any questions about the below information, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 315-785-3200.
Preview our Fee Schedule to confirm recording fees.
Click here to view our Payment for Services Policy.
Schedule Appointment: https://jeffersoncountyclerksoffice.setmore.com/
Return of Original Documents
Documents submitted for recording on or after April 1st, 2012 must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope ("SASE") for the return of the original document(s). Please note that the “record and return to” address on the document MUST match the accompanying envelope. Any document submitted without a SASE will be kept for the legal retention period and then disposed of as provided in law.
Any document submitter who did not provide an envelope may submit a request form together with a check payable to "Jefferson County Clerk" in the amount of $1.00 for each document, to cover the cost of postage and handling. Documents will be retrieved from storage and mailed to the address provided.
Please click here for the request form.
Assumed Name Certificates are more commonly known as DBA's or "Doing Business As" Filings. This form is a legal document, that when filed in our office, will reserve your business name in Jefferson County. Forms are available in our office, or they can be downloaded through this site. Please click the link below for the appropriate form. Assumed Name Certificates, and Amended Certificates are $25.00 to file plus $1.00 for two time-stamped copies. Discontinuances, individual or partnership, are no charge.
Completed forms can be mailed to our office with payment and a self-addressed stamped envelope. If you do not have an envelope, please add $1.00 postage to your payment.
DBA Certificate Procedures - Steps for recording an assumed name certificate.
DBA Certificate - Initial form filed for individuals starting a business.
DBA Partnership - Initial form filed for two or more individuals starting a business.
DBA Amendment - Form for changing information such as addresses or business partners.
DBA Discontinuance - Form used to discontinue or cancel a filed DBA.
DBA Partnership Discontinuance - Form used to discontinue or cancel a filed Partnership.
**Please note we do not accept electronic filings at this time. Our office must have an original paper copy to be recorded. Also note, these documents must be signed in front of a notary. For your convenience we provide notary services in our office at no charge. **
For more information on how to start your business, or questions about obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN), please visit the Small Business Development Center.
Corporations & Limited Liability Companies
Corporations and Limited Liability Companies are all filed through New York State. Please call NYS at (518)473-2492, or visit their website.
Click here for the Newspaper Delegations that Limited Liability Companies (LLC's) and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP's) are required, by law, to publish notices in.
A Deed is a written instrument by which a person transfers ownership of real property to another. Deeds must be accompanied by two affidavits to be recorded. One is a Real Property Transfer Form known as an RP-5217. The other is a Transfer Tax Affidavit known as a TP-584. If the seller is a non-New York State Resident, an IT-2663 must also accompany the deed. Click here for additional information on recording a deed.
Jefferson County currently requires everyone recording a new deed to use the downloadable one page RP-5217-PDF form. Please click here for the downloadable form, instructions, and additional information. You may also download the other forms here.
***Effective March 11, 2020 there will be a $10 fee added to all residential deed recordings*** Click here for more information.
Military Discharges, also known as DD214's, can be filed in our office by the veteran or by anyone with a relationship to the veteran. Images of these documents are kept here permanently, therefore any veteran, or their designated agent, may obtain a copy or certified copy of their discharge. There is no charge for filing these records or for obtaining copies of them.
Obtaining a Copy or Certified Copy of a DD214
According to New York State Law no filed certificate or any information contained therein, shall be disclosed to any person except the veteran or parent, spouse, dependent or child of the veteran, representative of the estate of the deceased veteran or a public official, acting within the scope of his or her employment, unless such disclosure is authorized in writing by the veteran.
Anyone requesting copies of Military Discharges must present a valid photo ID. Individuals unable to visit our office must submit a written request along with a copy of their valid photo ID, and where they would like the copies returned to. Our Military Discharge Request Form may be mailed to our office at 175 Arsenal Street, Watertown, NY 13601. If the individual requesting the copy is not the veteran, we require proof of relationship to the veteran.
A Mortgage is a legal agreement that creates an interest in real estate between a borrower and a lender. Commonly used to purchase homes, mortgages specify the terms by which the purchaser borrows from the lender. Mortgage tax in Jefferson County is currently 3/4 of 1%. All assignments and discharges must reference all of the original recording information.
General Notary Public Information:
Notary Publics are commissioned by the Secretary of State, in the County where they reside. All applicants must submit an application along with a $60.00 fee to the New York State Division of Licensing Services. A "pass slip", which is acquired after the exam is taken, must also accompany the application. The application, as well as an information packet may be obtained at the County Clerk's Office. Please visit the NYS Division of Licensing Services for more information.
County Clerk's Role:
In New York State, the County Clerk maintains a record of all notary commissions and Notary signatures within their county. These are considered public records and may be requested to verify the "official" signature of the notary.
The Jefferson County Clerk's Office, by law, must offer Notary Public Services. These services are completely free of charge. When bringing in documents to have them notarized, please make sure of the following:
• The documents must be completely filled out but NOT signed.
• Bring a valid photo ID with a signature.
Notaries residing in one county but notarizing primarily in another county, may wish to file a "Certificate of Official Character" with the other county. The fee to file a "Certificate of Official Character" in our County is $10.00. There is a $5.00 fee for our office to issue this document for filing in another county.
The term of a Notary Pubic is currently four years, and the fee to renew the license is $60.00. Approximately three months before the expiration of a Notary's term, their renewal application is mailed to them. The County Clerk's office is responsible for processing and accepting the fees for renewals.
The County Clerk's Office also provides "Notarial Certificates". There is a $3.00 fee to provide this service. A Notarial Certificate is an authentication of a notary's signature and attestation of the notary's authority to sign. This is generally required to obtain an apostille.
If you have questions about a Notarial Act you can get up to date information from the National Notary Association at https://www.nationalnotary.org/.
Effective Immediately: All Oath of Office Cards to be recorded with the Jefferson County Clerk's Office should be obtained below, filled out, printed, signed originally and notarized. They must then be sent to our office for recording. Please note that there is a separate form for Commissioner of Deeds.
It is important that all elected and appointed officers of local governments execute a timely oath of office. Actions taken by a public body can be compromised if all voting officers have not been sworn in.
Section 10 of NYS Public Officers Law requires "Every officer shall take and file the oath of office required by law...". It further states "... of every officer of a municipal corporation, including a school district, with the clerk thereof; and every other officer, including the trustees and officers of a public library and the officers of boards of cooperative educational services, in the office of the clerk of the county in which he shall reside, if no place be otherwise provided by law for the filing thereof."
Section 30(1)(a) states "His refusal or neglect to file his official oath or undertaking, if one is required, before and within thirty days after the commencement of the term of office for which he is chosen, if elective office, or if an appointed office, within thirty days after notice of his appointment, or within thirty days after the commencement of such term."
The following officers must file with the County Clerk in Jefferson County:
Power of Attorney's can be recorded here in the Jefferson County Clerk's Office. There are two major reasons why this is done. The first is that many businesses require a recorded power of attorney in order for real estate transactions to be conducted. The other is to safeguard the important document. If it is ever lost or destroyed, an individual may obtain a certified copy of the recorded power of attorney from our office, which works just as well as an original. As of June 13, 2021, New York State changed the power of attorney requirements, see form here.
Uniform Commercial Code
Uniform Commercial Code Filings are essentially a credit agreement between a business and an individual. These are filed as a lien and are typically filed by the lender. When an individual purchases costly goods or equipment on a payment plan, the retailer or lender can file a U.C.C. All U.C.C.'s currently filed in the Jefferson County Clerk's Office are attached to real estate. All other U.C.C. filings are filed with New York State. Filings are good for five years, but can be renewed until the debt is paid off. Individuals looking to see if a U.C.C has been filed against them in our office, can come in and do a search of our records.
Subdivision maps are required to be filed before a portion of the property can be sold, put up for sale, leased or rented. Not all Towns or Villages in Jefferson County have a subdivision law, but either way the map will still need to be signed by the appropriate Planning Board Chairperson. For more requirements please view our full list of Subdivision Map Requirements. The Survey Map Affidavit is required to file any map within the Jefferson county Clerk's Office.