Alabama Deed Requirements

Need to create a deed to Alabama real estate?

Each of our deeds is attorney-designed to meet the requirements of Alabama law and be eligible for recording in all Alabama counties. Click the link below to create a deed online to transfer Alabama real estate.

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Like most states, Alabama has state-specific requirements for validity of deeds and recording of deeds. These requirements include formatting standards, content requirements, and signature and filing requirements.

Formatting Standards for Alabama Deeds

Formatting standards deal with the arrangement and format of each of the elements of Alabama deeds. Unlike many states, Alabama law does not require any specific margin, font sizes, page sizes, or headings. But the office of the judge of probate for each county may establish its own rules, and many have. As general guidelines, Alabama deeds should meet the following formatting requirements:

  • Alabama deeds should be printed on either 8.5×11 inch paper (letter size; preferred) or 8.5×14 inch (legal size) paper using a font size of at least 10 points.
  • The first-page margin should leave room for the recorder’s stamp—customarily at least 3 inches.
  • The deed should list the mailing address of the new owner or owners (grantees).

Content Requirements for Alabama Deeds

Alabama content requirements govern the substantive provisions that must be included in each Alabama deed form. Alabama deeds must meet the following content requirements:

  • The deed must include a statement showing the name and address of the individual who prepared the instrument.1
  • To avoid questions about the homestead status of the property (and related requirements), the deed should state whether the property being conveyed is the homestead property of any person transferring the property.2
  • To be effective, the deed must also include a valid legal description that identifies the property. The legal description should almost always come from the prior deed to the property. Using the address, description from the tax records, or other self-made legal description can cause ambiguity that requires legal action to resolve.
  • If any person transferring the property (grantor) is an individual, the deed must include a statement of that individual’s marital status.3

Signing Requirements for Alabama Deeds

An Alabama deed is not valid unless it is signed as required by law. The deed should be signed by the current owner or owners, with each signature notarized using Alabama’s statutorily approved acknowledgments.4 There is no need for the new owners (grantees) to sign the deed.

Fees Required to File Alabama Deeds

The deed must be recorded in the office of the judge of probate in the county where the property is located.5 Deed recording costs can vary, but usually range from $2.50 to $11.00 for the first page and $2.50 to $3.00 for each additional page.

Unless an exception applies, a deed transfer tax must be paid when the deed is recorded.6 The amount of the Alabama deed transfer tax is $0.50 for every $500 of property value. To help the recording clerk calculate the fee, the deed must be accompanied by proof of the actual purchase price paid for the real estate or, if the property not being sold, evidence of the actual value of the property.7 As a practical matter, the reporting requirement is usually satisfied using the Real Estate Sales Validation Form (RT-1) developed by the Alabama Department of Revenue.

Each deed created by our deed preparation service is attorney-designed to meet Alabama recording requirements and comes with step-by-step instructions for filing with the office of the judge of probate and a copy of the Real Estate Sales Validation Form (RT-1).

  1. Ala. Code 35-4-10.
  2. Ala. Code § 6-10-3.
  3. Ala. Code § 35-4-73.
  4. Ala. Code § 35-4-29.
  5. Ala. Code § 35-4-50 and Ala. Code § 35-4-62.
  6. Ala. Code § 40-22-1.
  7. Ala. Code § 40-22-1.