Document Recording

Beaufort County S.C. Document

Property must be within the legal limits of Beaufort County, SC.


Documents must be fully legible, and should not be of such poor quality or condition that they cannot be read or copied legibly after scanning. Blurred or stained/disfigured documents may be brought to the attention of the filing party to replace those unreadable portions, or will be returned unFiled.

Note: Any grommets, ribbons, seals, or other material that may inhibit the scanning process will be removed from the documents prior to scanning.

Original Signatures of Executing Parties & Date of Execution

Although document may be a copy or a FAX, all required signatures must be originals.  We encourage use of blue ink for Signatures.  Indexing of Executing Parties are taken from the signature, rather than from the typed name on the face of the document.  If these names do not match, the document may be returned unfiled. The exact name spelling should be typed or printed beneath each signature. The Date of Execution must also be clearly noted on the document.

Subscribing Witnesses

Most documents require original signatures from two witnesses.  One of these witnesses may sign the "Affidavit of Probate" and the other may be the Notary Public.  The individuals who execute the document may not be witnesses. Powers of Attorney may be witnessed as provided for in the jurisdiction in which executed, but if less than two witnesses, an affidavit is required from a licensed attorney in that jurisdiction which cites the applicable law related to such execution.

Affidavits of Probate and Acknowledgements

Documents must have either the "Affidavit" or an Acknowledgement following the Execution and Witness Signatures.  The Probate provides for one of the two witnesses to confirm to either the other witness or Notary that he/she saw the grantor(s) execute the document. The Acknowledgement provides for the executing party to make oath to the Notary that he/she executed the document.

Notary Public

Documents presented for filing, except as otherwise provided by law, must be "notarized", by a licensed Notary Public, with the appropriate "Notary" statement, signature, expiration date & seal.

Description & Derivation Clause

Most documents must contain some legal description of the property involved and/or reference to an attached Plat which provides such description (see Plat Recording Guidelines). Deeds and Mortgages must include a Derivation Clause, preferably at the end of the legal description, that gives recording information for the Deed which established the Grantor's (seller's) ownership, and provides an important link in the "Chain of Title".  This clause shall include the Name of the original Grantor, and the Recording Date AND/OR Book and Page number of the Deed which originally conveyed the property to the Grantor. Quit Claim Deeds are the exception from the SC statute concerning a derivation clause.

Grantee's/Mortagee's Address

The address of the Buyer (Grantee) on Deeds, and the Secured Party (Mortgagee) on Mortgages, must be clearly noted, usually on the face of those documents.

Preparation Clause

All Deeds, other than Quit Claim, must have a clause, preferably at the end of the legal description, that provides the name & address of who prepared the document.

District, Map & Parcel No.

This information must be clearly noted somewhere on all Deeds and all Plats (preferably on the first page).  The Assessor's office will determine later if that number is correct, and if incorrect, the Filer may be required to re-record a corrected document at the Filer's cost. Also, see "Attached PLATS", below.  This DMP information is an important link between a number of shared data-bases for County staff and public access to information related to Real Property. The information may be obtained off of the old Deed, or a Tax Notice, or by contacting the Beaufort County Assessor at 843/255-2400 (last resort please).

Affidavit of True Consideration

Any conveyance of property that meets State and Local laws requiring payment of Recording Fees, Transfer Fees, etc., must indicate the "True Consideration" or value in money's worth for that conveyance (see S.C. Code Sect 12-24 as amended).  Thus, for example, if a Deed does not indicate on its face the amount paid, or if the words "and other consideration" are used, or if a trade of property is involved, there must be attached an "Affidavit of True Consideration" that reflects the actual value of the transaction.  That value is used to calculate Fees (including State & County Recording Fees, and Town of Hilton Head Island Transfer Fees) due for the recording.

Corrective Deeds

Documents that are submitted for re-recording must have either an Affidavit of Authority attached to the front of document; or a “Whereas Clause” written/typed on original document describing the reason for the correction.  (This clause must be dated and executed.)

Note: If the Filer claims an "Exemption" from any Fees established by State or Local laws, an Affidavit must also be attached which cites the specific section of the law under which such Exemption is claimed. (See S.C. Code 4-5-80;  also, see Hilton Head Island Ordinance #95-2 & 95-4 in regard to their Transfer Fees).

Missing Attachments Referenced on Document

If a document is missing a specifically referenced Plat or other attachment/exhibit, it will be returned to the attention of the Filer for completion or to have the reference removed.

Miscellaneous Recording Requirements
  • Original Signatures with two witnesses, Acknowledgment or Probate, & Notary
  • Derivation clause required except for Quit Claim Deeds.
  • Tax District, Map, & Parcel # required on Deeds & Plats
  • Preparation clause required on all Deeds except Quit Claim (name & address of preparing party).
  • All docs recorded & scanned same date received & available on web site next day.
  • Deeds of all types that transfer Timeshares must indicate "Timeshare Deed" on the face of the document.
Common Errors that may cause document to be returned:
  • Signatures don't match printed Grantor name
  • No or insufficient Witnesses
  • No Original Signatures (USE BLUE INK)
  • Too poor quality to Scan - Illegible required Recording Info
  • Grantee Address missing
  • Derivation or Preparation clauses missing
  • District, Map & Parcel Number missing from Deeds & Plats
  • Incorrect Fees
  • Missing Acknowledgment or Probate Clause
  • Timeshare Deed not indicated
Fees Paid

All required Fees must be paid in full.  We may accept over-payments as a courtesy, but will not accept a document for which all Fees have not been fully satisfied. We accept Cash, Checks or Credit/Debit Cards.


Effective 1/1/2009: A person preparing or filing a document for recordation or filing in the official records may not include a social security, driver’s license, state identification, passport, checking account, savings account, credit card, or debit card number, or PIN code, or passwords in the document, unless expressly required by law. An individual has a right to request a register of deeds or clerk of court to remove from an image or copy of an official record placed on a publicly available Internet web site used by a register of deeds or clerk of court to display public records, any social security, driver’s license, state identification, passport, checking account, savings account, credit card, or debit card number, or PIN, or passwords contained in an official record.  The request must be in writing and delivered by mail, electronic transmission or in person, to the register of deeds or clerk of court. The request must specify the identification page number that contains the social security, driver’s license, state identification, passport, checking account, savings account, credit card, debit card number, or PIN code, or passwords to be redacted. There is no fee for the redaction pursuant to request.’

As of August 1, 2019:

Deed & Deed-Hilton Head $15.00 flat fee
Plus: State/County Deed Recording $1.85 per ea $500 of Consideration or part thereof
Hilton Head Island Transfer Fee (all District Nos. in 500 range- but not 501) .0025 X the Consideration

Timeshare Deed-Hilton Head

$10.00 flat fee plus fees based on consideration

Plats (all sizes)

$25.00 per page

Mortgage/Lease/Easement/Right of Way

$25.00 flat fee

Assignments of Mortgages

Assignment of Leases & Rents

Collateral Assignment of Assessments & Security Agrmt

$10.00 flat fee + $7.00 for each book/page cited after 1st

$10.00 flat fee

$10.00 flat fee

Mort Satisfaction/Release/Modification/Subordination

Subordination Nondisturbance & Attornment Agreement

$10.00 flat fee

$25.00 flat fee

Notice of Project Commencement

Power of Attorney

$15.00 flat fee

$25.00 flat fee

Notice of Mechanics Liens

Mech Lien Releases

$25.00 flat fee

$10.00 flat fee 

Trust Certificate/Affidavit/Death Certificate/Release of Judgment

$10 flat fee
Agreements/UCCs/Mobile Home Retirement Docs/Waiver

$25 flat fee

A. General Guidelines:

1. Plats must meet State of South Carolina Standards for Plats & Surveys, and must meet all applicable Laws, Regulations and Standards at the time of recording, and must be complete and accurate depictions of conditions at the time of recording. See County Ordinance No. 95-4.

2. All Plats must be reviewed by the appropriate Planning Agency and be stamped "APPROVED" OR "EXEMPT" prior to recording. County Zoning Administrator (843/255-2170) reviews Plats for unincorporated County properties. All others are handled by the Planning/Zoning department of the Municipality in which the property falls.

3. Original & one Copy required. Should have at least two additional plats the filer may keep. Original Black Line on Bond. No Blue line, Vellum or Mylar. Copies may be Blue Line. Plat size may not exceed 8.5" X 14" if attached to Deed or Mortgage, nor exceed 24" X 36" if filed alone.

4. No changes may be made to graphic and annotative information except by surveyor whose seal & signature appear on the Plat.

5. Composite Plats or Drawings are not accepted for recording.

B. Plats and Graphics as Attachments to Other Documents:

Although not required, indicates the names under which the Plat should be filed in the Index to assist searchers. E.g., Name of Parties for whom Plat prepared, and name of Subdivision/Development.

1. Only Plats which meet County Ordinance No. 95-4 definition may be filed in the Plat Book. EXCEPT, Engineering Drawings depicting Drainage Plans and such, may be accepted if referenced as an “Exhibit or Drawing” and with no reference of it being a Plat and attached to a document. Non-compliant graphic drawings may be filed as a “PNS” concerning SC Statue 56-5-6310. Horizontal Property Regime Floor Plans may be filed in the Plat Book only as an attachment to a recordable Plat.

C. Minimum Information Required on Plats for Processing:

1. TITLE - Purpose of survey, e.g.:

a) Boundary & General Property Surveys
b) Closing Loan/Mortgage Surveys - "For Mortgage Purposes Only"
c) Topographical & Tree Surveys - if meets all survey standards.
d) Property Description Survey (Non-graphic)

2. Location Map or Description of Location
3. State, County/City where property located
4. Name of Person requesting the Survey, or Owner ("This survey prepared for _____________").
5. Date of Survey
6. Graphic and Numerical Scale, including Topo Interval (if topo lines depicted)
7. NORTH Arrow
8. Certification of Surveyor stating "Class" of Survey, e.g.:

"I hereby state that to the best of my knowledge, information and belief, the survey shown here-on was made in accordance with the requirements of the minimum standards manual for the practice of land surveying in South Carolina, and meets or exceeds the minimum requirements for a Class ____ survey as specified here-on; also, there are no visible encroachments or projections other than shown."

Additional State:

9. Notation of existing monumentation.
10. Mortgage Plats must show all man-made improvements (see Part B of S.C. Min Stds. for Surveying)
11. Surveyor's embossed Seal, Signature, Registration Number and Address
12. "S. C. Certificate of Authorization" seal on Surveys performed by or through a corporation, firm, association, partnership or other such entity, except Surveys performed by Surveyors practicing as an individual.
13. Tax District, Map, and Parcel Number
14. FEMA Flood Zone Lines must be annotated

Satisfaction by Original Mortgage

Mortgages may be satisfied by a statement typed or stamped upon, or attached to, the original document, which states that the debt has been "paid in full" or some similar wording.  This statement must be signed by an officer of the Mortgagee or secured party, with a signature of one or more witnesses, and must state the Date of the Satisfaction.

Note:  In that Mortgages are frequently "Assigned" to other Banks or Mortgage Companies, the satisfying party may be other than that of the original Mortgagee on the face of the document.  In such case, it is recommended that the recording Book & Page #s of all Assignments be referenced somewhere with the derivation information referencing the original Mortgage.

Attorney Affidavit of Satisfaction

An Attorney licensed to practice in the State of S.C., who can provide proof of payment, may record an Affidavit, duly executed in the presence of two witnesses and probated or acknowledged, which states that full payment has been made, and that evidence of such payment exists. (See S.C. Code 29-3-330 as amended 6/11/99.)

Mortgage Assignments, Transfers, Partial Releases, & Subordinations

These documents must meet the same recording requirements as the original Mortgage they affect, and must also indicate the Date, Book and Page Number of the affected Mortgage.

Effective November 1, 2019 SC State Tax Liens & related documents are no longer filed at the County level. Taxpayers and Researchers may now use a State Online Registry found at

U.S. Internal Revenue Service liens will continue to be filed here as always. Questions about such Liens filed in this office, and related reports in Credit Bureau files, must be directed to the filing agency. Incorrect or non-current data on Credit Reports must be referred to the Credit Agency from which the report was obtained. All Tax Liens are public record except Expunged Liens.

Notice of Mechanic's Liens submitted for recording must conform to S.C. Code of Laws, Title 29 as amended, et seq.  

Mechanic's Liens may be Released or Satisfied, partially or wholly by the Plaintiff or his
legal agent, or by Court Order, or may be substituted by a Cash or Surety Bond at 1.333% the value of the original lien.

Cash Bonds must accompanied by a certified check, made out to the Beaufort County Register of Deeds, in the amount of one and one third the amount of the original Lien.  Surety and Cash Bonds are typically satisfied by a notarized filing from the Plaintiff or by Court Order.

(See Sect. 36-9, S.C. Code of Laws)

Effective 7/1/2001 there were extensive changes in the UCC Code. Only UCCs secured by Real Estate may be filed with County ROD. UCCs secured by Personal Property are to be filed with the Secretary of State's Office, ATTN: UCCs, at 1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC, 29211.

Standard Forms for submission of UCCs have changed. Forms, Fees, records searches, and answers to questions about somewhat extensive new filing regulations, may be obtained from the Secretary of State's Office at the above address or on-line at "". 

Beaufort County currently partners with three companies to process electronic recording.

If interested in learning more about how to become a submitter, visit, or

E-Recording Basics:
  • Trusted Submitter Agreement must be obtained through the company and forwarded to the Beaufort County Register of Deeds.
  • SC Recording laws apply the same as with manual recording.
  • Documents received after 4:30 pm EST may not be processed until the next business day.
  • Blanks, such as the book/page of a derivation clause, cannot be filled-in by the ROD office.
  • Remember to enter names in the format: Last Name, Comma, Space, First Name, Space, Middle Initial or Name.
  • Plats cannot be electronically recorded.

Some Common Reasons for Rejection of a submission:

  • Incorrect filing fees
  • Missing grantor/grantee names
  • Pages out of order
  • Incorrect document type
  • Document missing property description
  • Deed missing DMP number
  • Timeshare Deed not indicated on document
  • Image is not legible
  • Missing a witness (2 required on most docs)
  • Notary Acknowledgment is missing
  • Needs a derivation clause
  • Deed is missing Preparation Clause
  • Document is not for Beaufort County

Original Signatures with two witnesses, Acknowledgment or Probate, & Notary
Must leave 3" X 3" space in upper right hand corner of first page,
and 1" margin at top of all other pages.
All pages should be uniform - Single sided preferred - Prefer all pages same size.
Standard paper sized 8.5" X 11" or 8.5" X 14" max.
Derivation clause required except for Quit Claim Deeds.
Tax District, Map, & Parcel # required on Deeds & Plats
Preparation clause required on all Deeds (name & address of preparing party).
Self-addressed, stamped return envelope.
All docs recorded & scanned same date received & avail on web site next day.
Return time on Originals is 4+ weeks.
Deeds of all types that involve a Timeshare must indicate "Timeshare Deed" on the face of the document.

Incorrect Fees

Signatures don't match printed Grantor name
No or insufficient Witnesses
No Original Signatures (USE BLUE INK IF NECESSARY)
Too poor quality to Scan - Illegible required Recording Info
Grantee Address missing
Derivation or Preparation clauses missing
District, Map & Parcel Number missing from Deeds & Plats
Missing Acknowledgment or Probate Clause

Timeshare Deed not indicated