Frequently Asked Questions

Sarpy County

The Register Of Deeds office makes no warranty or guarantee concerning the accuracy or reliability of the content of these pages or at other sites to which we link.


Where is the Register of Deeds Office located?

The office is located on the 2nd floor of the Sarpy County Administration Building at 1210 Golden Gate Drive, Papillion, Nebraska.


Does the document need to be an original?

The document being recorded must have original signatures except in the case of certified copies by the court or the Bureau of Vital Statistics for Death Certificates


Must signatures be notarized?

Along with the original signatures, the documents must be notarized, with a notary acknowledgement included.  The Register of Deeds office does have notaries available.  If you are having the document notarized in the Register of Deeds office, do not sign it until you present with the notary and bring a valid ID with you.


What happens when a document is brought to the Register of Deeds Office for recording?

There are a number of steps that each document goes through before it is returned to the filer.  It must first be determined whether the document is recordable and if correct fees are enclosed.  The document is given an instrument number, entered into the computer, information verified, proofed, scanned and returned to the customer the following business day via mail.


Who keeps the documents?

Once a document is recorded, it is returned to the filer. A digital copy is kept at the Register of Deeds office and a microfilmed copy is sent to a secured location for preservation.


How much does it cost to record a document?

Recording fees are set by Nebraska Statute. (See the Recording Fees).


How far back do the records in the Register of Deeds Office go?

The earliest records in the Register of Deeds office, transcribed by hand in elaborate manuscript, date back to 1857.  Among the early records are the Patent Deeds recorded after settlers acquired land from the United States government.


How is all that paper tracked?

Currently copies of the images of all records back to 1857 are available on the computers.


What information do I need to obtain a copy of my deed?

Generally, most documents can be located by simply giving us the document number on the document.  Other information you may be requested to give is the legal description, name, and approximate recording date.


What is a lien?

A lien allows a creditor a way of preventing property from being sold or mortgaged until a debt against the property is paid.  There are many types of liens such as tax liens and construction liens.


Can I get someone to do research for me?

You can hire a title company or attorney to do research for you, or you can do an in-depth research in our office using our public access computers.


Can I find out who owns a particular piece of property?

All parcels of land in Sarpy County are listed in the computer along with the current owner of record.  A call or visit to the Register of Deeds Office with a legal description will allow you to look up that information.  Another valuable tool is the Sarpy County GIS Website (  You can locate parcel ownership, subdivisions, land sections, etc.


Are there liens against my property?

The records in the Register of Deeds office will list liens such as mortgages, and Uniform Commercial Code filings.  State and federal tax liens are filed against an individual. However, not all liens are filed in this office. You may wish to check with the Clerk of the District Court and Treasurer for other liens


What is meant by "indexes"?

An index is a system by which each real estate record is listed in a specific place that applies to a specific subdivision, or section, township and range.  This enables us to track the history of each parcel back as far as necessary.


How do I find information about easements on my property?

You may come to our office and attempt to locate easements on a property by searching the indexes for your property.  Our records will show any easements that have been recorded in our office.  Some easements are also recorded on deeds and may not be easily located.  Easements are often difficult to find because many of them have not been recorded in our office.  The services of a lawyer or abstract company may be required to sort through easement issues.


Can I find out how old my house is or get historical information about my house?

Not in our office.  The Appraiser's office may have some information regarding the date a house was built.


Where else can I look if I cannot find the information in your office?

You may find records in the Clerk of the District Court concerning probate, marriage, divorce records, etc.  The Nebraska Department of Vital Statistics has records concerning birth and death records.


What was the sale price for a particular property?

The County Assessor collects sales information which is used for property valuation purposes.


Can the Register of Deeds office tell me if I have a good and clear title?

No.  You must enlist the services of a professional title company or abstractor who search records other than those in the Register of Deeds Office to determine if the title is clear.


Is everything handled in the Register of Deeds office public record?

Everything recorded in the Register of Deeds Office is regulated by the Nebraska Open Records Act.


Can I get a copy of a birth or death certificate through the Register of Deeds Office?

No. Copies of birth and death certificates may be obtained through the Bureau of Vital Statistics


How do I record or get a copy of my military discharge?

When military members are discharged, the military encourages the discharged member to record the military discharge papers, also known as DD214's, with the Sarpy County Clerk’s office.  If you choose to record your DD214, you may bring it into Sarpy County Clerk’s office where it will become part of the permanent record.  There is no fee for this service.


What is a deed?

A deed is an instrument through which a buyer obtains title to the property being sold. There are many types of deeds.  The most common type of deed is a warranty deed. (See Glossary)


Do I need to record my deed?

A deed should be recorded as soon as possible after the transaction takes place. Numerous legal problems could arise regarding the property if not recorded.  However, there is no time limit on recording deeds.


May I record a document for real estate for another county?

No, each county records only the documents pertaining to the real estate in their county.


I want to take someone's name off my deed or change the names of the owners on my property. Can I change the deed?

No.  Any change in ownership generally requires that a new deed be recorded. Exceptions to this rule may result either from court cases (i.e. divorces, foreclosures, probate, etc.) or from deaths where certain legal verbiage exists in the document and a death certificate has been recorded in our office. In these cases, the deed itself will not change even though ownership does.  Evidence of ownership exists in the combination of the related documents.


If I sell a portion of my land, do I get a deed for the remainder?

No.  Records in the Courthouse show your original deed and the deed(s) for portions sold.


May I make out my own deed?

Yes you may, however, we always recommend consulting an attorney regarding property transfers and changes, because minor changes in the wording of the document can completely change the legal meaning of the document.  The Register of Deeds office is a recording agency only, we cannot make out deeds or answer questions regarding legal matters.


If I want to write my own deed, do you have standard deed forms available?

Yes.  See Forms link on the Register of Deeds homepage.


What if I lose my deed?

The primary evidence of ownership of land is not so much the deed itself as the recording of the deed.  If a property is mortgaged, the financial institution may hold the deed until the mortgage is satisfied.  If your deed is lost, a certified copy may be obtained from our office.


How long does it take to record a document?

A document is generally recorded the same day it is received. It then takes another 1 to 2 days to complete the process of checking data entry, scanning, etc.  The original is then returned to the filer.


What types of documents can I file in the Register of Deeds Office?

See the "Types of Documents Filed" section for a list of the most common types of documents recorded.  If you have a question as to whether you can record a particular document, please contact the Register of Deeds office for clarification.


Is it possible to obtain information about previous owners and the history of my home?

The history of a piece of real estate is comprised of information from the records in several offices.   The Sarpy County Register of Deeds’ records, date back to 1857.  Therefore, you may wish to contact a title company in our area to search this information for you.  If you choose not to use a title company, you may visit our office, and we will direct you to the necessary books.   Everything recorded here is available to the public.


What information am I able to obtain by telephoning the register of deeds’ office

If you have the legal description of the property, we can give you information about documents that have been filed pertaining to the property.


How can I record my document?

You can mail your document to our office, along with a check for recording fees made payable to the Sarpy County Register of Deeds, or you can bring the document into our office. Refer to the “recording fees” link on our homepage.


What are the requirements for recording a document?

It must contain a blank space of at least 3 inches by 8½ inches in size at the top of the first page (NE.stat.23-1503-01) for recording.  If this space in not provided, we will add a page to your document which will add an additional $6.00 to the cost of recording.   Documents shall have a one-inch margin on the two vertical sides and a one-inch margin on the bottom of the page.  It must be an original document with original signatures, properly signed and notarized with the name typed or printed under the signature.  It also must contain a legal description of the property.  Type or print must be legible, with a recommended font size no smaller than 10 point.  No tape, stickers, stamps, or watermarks over or under printed document.   Recording fees will be collected at the time of filing.  On the lower left corner of the first page of your document write the name and address of the person to whom you want the recorded document returned.


How do I make changes to the title of my property?

We are a recording office, and do not give legal advice. If you have questions, please contact a real estate attorney or a title company.


What are the most common types of deeds?

There are various types of deeds that are recorded in the register of deeds’ office.  Please seek the advice of a real estate attorney or title company for the type that pertains to your individual situation.


When is a Form 521 (transfer statement) required?

We must have a completed Real Estate Transfer Statement Form 521 with every deed, land contract, and assignment of land contract recorded in our office.


How is my document identified in the register of deeds’ office?

Prior to December 31, 1987, we identified documents using a book and page number. As of January 1, 1988, we implemented the use of a 9-digit instrument number.


What if I lose my deed?

If your deed was recorded in the Register of Deeds’ office, you can always obtain a copy or certified copy of your document. A certified copy is as good as an original.  Refer to our homepage link, “Copies/Reports” for forms and fees.


How can I obtain copies of documents?

You can obtain a copy of any document recorded in our office by coming into the office, sending in a request for a copy along with your payment. WE REQUIRE PAYMENT IN ADVANCE FOR ALL COPIES. Refer to our homepage under “Copies/Reports” for forms and fees.


Can I obtain a copy of my recorded property survey?

If there has been a survey done on your property, contact the County Public Works Department to obtain a copy of the survey.


I have paid off my mortgage.  What do I need to do?  Where do I get my deed?

Once your mortgage or deed of trust is paid in full, the bank will record a release or deed of reconveyance to release the lien. Sometimes the bank will send the release or deed of reconveyance to you to record. To release the lien, it is very important to record the release or deed of reconveyance in our office. Your deed, which is your ownership record, was recorded when you originally purchased your property. This filing placed it on public record whether or not you obtained financing. It should have been returned to you at that time. 


Do you have/sell real estate forms?

Yes, we do have real estate forms in our office, or you can print them from the Forms link on the Register of Deeds homepage.


Where can I get a copy of a Birth or Death Certificate?

Bureau of Vital Statistics
State Department of Health 

Civic Center, Room 402 
1819 Farnam Street   
Omaha, Nebraska 68183-0401
(402) 444-7204

Bureau of Vital Statistics
State Department of Health

301 Centennial Mall South
PO Box 95007
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-5007
(402) 487-2871


For questions regarding property taxes, please call the county treasurer’s office 

(402) 593-2143, or click on the link. Treasurer's Office 


For questions regarding property valuation information or homestead exemption, please call the county assessor’s office 

(402) 593-2122, or click on the link


For questions regarding marriage licenses or military DD-214, please call the county clerk’s office 

(402) 593-2105 or click on the link