Register of Deeds
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The Register of Deeds records real estate transactions for Richland County. In 1997, the legislature passed a law changing the name of the RMC, effective January 1, 1998, from the Register of Mesne Conveyances to the Register of Deeds.
The state wide office of the ROD may be a bit confusing to you. The Office of ROD only exists in 15 of South Carolina's 46 counties. In those counties that do not have a separate ROD Office, the functions of the office are carried out by the Clerk of Court. To make matters even more confusing, in 6 of the 15 counties which have separate ROD offices, the ROD is elected. In all of the other counties, the positions are appointed and report to the County Administrator/County Council.
Whether done by the Clerk of Court or ROD, the purpose of the office is to record land records. South Carolina Code of Laws, 1976, Section 30-7-10 makes the recording of documents conveying an interest in real property essential to validity. The law states, in pertinent part, " all deeds.. all mortgages.. all leases.. all assignments, satisfactions, releases…and generally all instruments in writing conveying an interest in real estate…are valid…only from the day and hour when they are recorded in the office of register of mesne conveyances…" Thus, state law requires every county to provide an office where real estate transactions for that county can be recorded.
Forms and Information
Disclaimer - The following documents are intended as a convenience for those that are trained to complete them. These forms must completed, signed, witnessed (if applicable), and notarized. The Register of Deeds’ staff cannot assist in or provide advice in the execution of these documents.
SCDOR Affidavit of Taxable or Exempt Transfers
Mortgage Satisfaction Form
Notary Acknowledgement Form
Notary Probate Form
SCDOR Affidavit of Taxable or Exempt Transfer example:
Richland County Judicial Center
1701 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Richland County Register of Deeds
Post Office Box 192
Columbia, SC 29202
Hours of Operation:
Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Customer Service Inquiries:
Please allow one business day for response to email inquiries.
What is Recorded in the ROD?
The Richland County Office is one of the busier ROD's in the state. Each year, over 110,000 deeds, mortgages, releases, plats, tax liens, and UCC filings are recorded. This office collects approximately $11 million annually in state and county fees and taxes. The documents filed in the office are public information and can be viewed by anyone who comes to search for the information.
Who uses the Office?
The most frequent visitors to the office are lawyers, paralegals, title abstractors, mortgage company employees, and land surveyors. These people earn a living by searching the public records to determine whether a parcel of real estate can be conveyed free of any encumbrances such as a lien for unpaid taxes or an unsatisfied mortgage. Once the records are searched, a lawyer will issue an "opinion" noting all defects or "clouds" to the title. In some cases, these defects must be resolved before ownership can be transferred. Defects which are not "cured" may pass to the next owner in the "chain of title", thus it is important that caution be taken in buying or selling real property.
Other users of our information are people to come to our office, maybe once in a lifetime, to get a copy of their deed or mortgage. Still others are those interested in doing family histories and who use the office in addition to libraries, government archives, and the family bible to establish branches of the "family tree". For those of you in this category, we have employees available to help you get a copy of a document or even get you started on your research. "Searches" often take many hours to complete and, unfortunately, we do not have enough staff to do the search for you.
Those who need advice on having a name "put on" or "taken off" a deed or who want to transfer ownership of their property to another person should contact an attorney to help them. We recommend that you get competent legal advice for all real estate transactions. Employees of the ROD Office may not help you fill out a deed as this is considered the "practice of law."
If you need a lawyer, you may call the South Carolina Bar Lawyer Referral Service at 803-799-7100. An operator will take your name and address and make you a referral to a qualified lawyer for a consultation. The lawyer will charge you no more than $50 for the first 30 minutes of the consultation. After that, his fees will be at his regular rate. You may also obtain a referral through the Lawyer Referral’s online referral system at www.scbar.org/lrs. The service does not have free lawyers.
This kind of research is not easy to do over the phone because it is complex and time consuming. Therefore, "search questions" can not be handled over the telephone. We ask that you visit our customer service desk at the courthouse at 1701 Main Street or by writing us a letter a P.O. Box 192, Columbia, SC 29202. To hear a recorded message of our services after business hours, call (803) 576-1917.