Like most other states, Alaska has established deed formatting requirements that must be satisfied for any type of deed to be eligible for recording in the land records. Alaska law also mandates that specific content be included within a deed to transfer Alaska real estate validly from the current owner to the new owner. Failure to meet these requirements can render the deed unrecordable or invalid.
Formatting Requirements for Alaska Deeds
- Paper. Alaska deeds must be printed on white paper. The page size must be no larger than 8.5 inches x 14 inches (legal-size).1
- Margins. An Alaska deed must have a two-inch top margin on the first page and one-inch margins on all other sides and all subsequent pages.2
- Font Size. The type size of the print used within an Alaska deed must be no smaller than 10-point font. A deed’s text should be printed in black ink or a sufficiently dark color to allow for clear copying.3
- Legibility. An Alaska deed must be legible or able to be converted to legible form by the recording office. The clarity of the deed’s text must be consistent—with no broken characters and no overly-light or overly-dark areas within the text. Text clarity ensures that the imaging equipment used in the recording office can read and copy the deed. A deed must also have sufficient contrast between light and dark areas to allow the recording office’s copying camera to distinguish between text and background.4
Content Requirements for Alaska Deeds
- Title. An Alaska deed must include a title that reflects the overall purpose of the deed. A deed with a title indicating multiple functions will be only indexed for the first listed function—unless the filing party specifically requests recording and indexing for multiple purposes and pays an additional indexing fee.5
- Mailing Addresses. Alaska deeds must contain the complete mailing addresses of all persons who transfer or acquire an interest in real estate under the deed. That usually means the current owner—called the grantor—and the new owner—called the grantee.6
- Return Address. An Alaska deed must include the name and complete mailing address, including zip code, of the person to whom the recorder will return the deed after recording.7
- Recording District. A deed must identify by name the recording district in which the deed will be recorded. It is important that the recording district—and not the county—be identified.8
- Legal Description of Property. An Alaska deed must include a legal description of the real estate with sufficient detail to allow the particular parcel to be identified and located geographically. A legal description should include, at minimum, the property’s section, township, range, and meridian designation. For a subdivided property, the deed should at least identify the lot and block of the parcel and either the subdivision name or the parcel’s plat number.9
- Indexing Information. All information necessary for a deed to be properly indexed must be included and written in English. A deed must clearly identify the real estate and parties to be indexed. The necessary parties are typically the current owner and new owner.10
- Reference to Relevant Prior Instruments. If a deed amends, corrects, extends, modifies, assigns, or releases a previously recorded document, the deed must reference the affected document by book-and-page number or serial number. For example, a corrective deed addressing an error in a prior deed must identify the book-and-page number or serial number assigned to the prior deed.11
- Vesting Language. A deed must include the appropriate language indicating that the current owner’s real estate is being conveyed to the new owner and must specify the warranty of title provided by the current owner.12 If the deed conveys property to multiple owners, the form of co-ownership should also be included in the vesting language.
- Consideration. Alaska law does not expressly require deeds to state the consideration provided for the transfer. However, the optional deed forms recommended by the Alaska Legislature include a statement of consideration.13
Execution Requirements for Alaska Deeds.
- Grantor’s Signature. The original signature of the grantor—the real estate’s current owner who is making the transfer—must be included within an Alaska deed.14
- Notarization. All signatures within an Alaska deed must be acknowledged before a notary or other officer with authority to take acknowledgments.15 Nonmandatory acknowledgment formats are outlined in AK ST §09.63.100.
- Spousal Signature for Homestead: If an Alaska deed transfers a homestead property owned by a married individual, both spouses must sign the deed.16
Fees Required with Alaska Deeds.
- Recording Fee. Alaska’s current recording fees for deeds are $20.00 for the first page and $5.00 for each additional page.17 Nonstandard documents may be recorded for an additional nonstandard recording fee.18
- Transfer Tax. Alaska does not currently assess any transfer tax for real estate transfers.
- AK ST §40.17.030(d); 11 AAC §06.040(a)(10).
- 11 AAC §06.040(a)(3)(A).
- AK ST §40.17.030(a)(3); AK ST §40.17.030(d).
- AK ST §40.17.030(a)(2).
- AK ST §40.17.030(a)(4); 11 AAC §06.040(a)(5).
- AK ST §40.17.030(a)(8).
- AK ST §40.17.030(a)(7); 11 AAC §06.070.
- AK ST §40.17.030(a)(9); 11 AAC §06.040(a)(12).
- AK ST §40.17.030(a)(5); 11 AAC §06.040(a)(7); 11 AAC 06.900(13).
- AK ST §40.17.030(a)(5); 11 AAC §06.040(a)(6); 11 AAC 06.040(a)(7) and (8).
- AK ST §40.17.030(a)(6); 11 AAC §06.040(a)(9).
- See AK ST §35.15.030(a); AK ST §34.15.040(a).
- See AK ST §35.15.030(a); AK ST §34.15.040(a).
- AK ST §34.15.010(a); AK ST §40.17.030(a)(1); 11 AAC §06.040(a)(11).
- AK ST §34.15.010(a); AK ST §40.17.110(b); AK ST §09.63.010.
- AK ST §34.15.010(b).
- AK ST §40.17.030(a)(10); 11 AAC §05.200(a).
- 11 AAC §06.040(a)(3)(B).