County Recorder

The Lake of the Woods County Recorder is an elected position and serves a four-year term. The County Recorder is a statutory officer of the county. The duties of the office are found in MN Statute Chapter 386.

Responsibilities of the County Recorder include, but are not limited to:

  • Review and accept for recording all documents transferring, assigning, mortgaging, leasing, and conveying ownership to all real property in the county based on statutory requirements;
  • Analyze land descriptions contained in all documents for completeness, accuracy and closure and utilize resources for verification of existing and proposed land descriptions;
  • Populate and maintain indexing system database which automates the numerical, grantor, grantee and tract indexing functions, along with archiving the image of the document;
  • Attest to all preserved legal documents as being correct and factual for purposes of providing certified copies of same to those requesting it.
  • Review for completeness proposed plats of new subdivisions;
  • Accept certificates of surveys for filing.

Minnesota operates under the "Race to the Recorder" notice law, which means that the person who gets their document filed first establishes their interest first. For this reason, the Recorder's Office files documents by the minute; in the order they are presented.

Typical documents filed in the Office of the County Recorder include real estate deeds, mortgages, military service discharges, federal and state tax liens, to name a few. In all, over 200 different types of documents have been recorded in this office.

Access to the Lake of the Woods County Recorder’s office database and document images can be found at This website allows the searcher access to our records on a daily or monthly subscription basis. Terms and conditions of use can be found on this website.

The Lake of the Woods County Recorder also acts as the Local Registrar for the Minnesota Department of Health State Registrar of Vital Statistics. These duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Preparing certified and non-certified copies of birth and death certificates;
  • Accept applications for marriage licenses in accordance with statutory requirements and prepare license of such;
  • Maintain a complete index of all marriage certificates and prepare certified copies as requested;
  • Accept for filing Notary Public commissions issued by the state and maintain a complete index of said commissions.

The Lake of the Woods County Recorder is also a Passport Acceptance Agent for the U.S. Department of State. Acting in that capacity, the Recorder accepts passport applications and assists customers with other application forms on behalf of Passport Services. Passport applications are accepted daily between the hours of 8:30 am and 3:30 pm. Please contact the office to schedule an appointment. More information on the entire passport process and requirements can be found at

The County Recorder and Deputy Recorder also perform the functions of a Notary Public according to statute 358.15. Proof of identity is required. We prefer not to perform the notary function for documents that need to be recorded in this office. There is no charge for this service.

Department Forms/Applications

Rcording Fee Schedule - Effective July 1 2008 - With Fee Breakdown

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Contact Information

The Lake of the Woods County Website is intended for general information usage only. The viewer understands that, while every effort will be made to keep this site current, changes and incorrect information are possible. Therefore, it is suggested that direct contact be made to the proper county department for specific information.
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