Georgia Deed Requirements

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Georgia law does not prescribe a specific form for deeds but does include certain requirements that all deeds must satisfy.1 A deed can validly transfer Georgia real estate as long as it sufficiently describes the intended transfer and complies with the standards described below.

Formatting Requirements for Georgia Deeds

Georgia has only minimal statutory requirements that govern how deeds are formatted. A deed’s formatting should be consistent with local customs and observe the following statutory rules.

Paper and Text

A Georgia deed must be printed on white paper that is either letter-size (8½ × 11 inches) or legal-size (8½ × 14 inches).2 Georgia law does not specify the font size or ink color that deeds must use. Deeds are customarily printed in black ink using at least 10-point font.


A Georgia deed’s top margin must be at least three inches to allow space for the clerk’s notation and the return address.3 All other margins should be one inch or larger.


Georgia deeds customarily include a document title at the top of the first page. The title identifies the type of deed—such as Quitclaim Deed, Limited Warranty Deed, or Warranty Deed.4 Titles are usually positioned directly below the 3-inch top margin.

Information Requirements for Georgia Deeds

A Georgia deed must describe the transfer intended by the parties and include all of the following information required by Georgia’s real estate laws.

Current Owner and New Owner Names and Addresses

A Georgia deed must state the names and addresses of the current owner transferring the property (the grantor or transferor) and the new owner taking title through the deed (the grantee or transferee).5

Co-Ownership Form

A deed that transfers title to two or more co-owners should identify the form of co-ownership the new co-owners will use. Georgia recognizes tenancy in common and joint tenancy with right of survivorship. 6 A Georgia deed creates a tenancy in common if it transfers real estate to two or more new co-owners without specifying a co-ownership form.7

Granting Clause

A Georgia deed must have a granting clause that declares that the current owner is transferring ownership to the new owner.8 The precise wording of a granting clause varies according to the type of deed and the warranty of title provided. Georgia law recognizes three basic levels of warranty:

  1. Warranty deeds (complete warranty of title);
  2. Limited warranty deeds (partial warranty of title); and
  3. Quitclaim deeds (no warranty of title).

Attorney Practice Note: A fourth common type of Georgia deed—called a gift deed—usually transfers title with no warranty. Gift deeds may, however, provide a complete or partial warranty of title.


A Georgia deed is only valid if the new owner provides “good or valuable consideration” in exchange for the deed.9 Georgia deeds customarily state nominal consideration—for example, ten dollars and other good and valuable consideration—within the deed itself. The deed’s actual consideration is set forth in Form PT-61 (described below).10

Georgia law allows what are called gift deeds or voluntary deeds. Gift deeds transfer property for good (but not valuable) consideration.11 The consideration identified in a gift deed is typically love and affection or a moral obligation—not a dollar amount.12

Property Description

A Georgia deed must include an accurate legal description that identifies the property the deed transfers.13 Legal descriptions in Georgia typically state the property’s lot, block, and subdivision or describe the property by metes and bounds. A deed is void if its legal description is too vague or indefinite to identify the property with certainty.14

Legal descriptions are often included on a separate page attached to the deed as an exhibit. A property’s legal description can usually be found within the prior deed through which the current owner acquired the property.

Tax Parcel Identification Number

Georgia deeds should usually include the tax parcel identification number—also called tax ID number, tax parcel number, or parcel ID—that the county assigned to the property. The tax ID number should appear at the top of the first page.

Not all Georgia counties require tax ID numbers within deeds. Counties that require tax ID numbers include Fulton County, Dekalb County, and Chatham County.

Property Address

Georgia deeds customarily include the property’s physical address—though the physical address is not strictly required. The property’s address alone is not a sufficient legal description.

Derivation Clause

A derivation clause is a statement in a deed that identifies the source of the transferor’s title. Georgia law does not strictly require derivation clauses, but they are included in most deeds by custom.

Return Address and Deed Preparer

A Georgia deed must list a name and address where the deed is to be returned after recording. The “return to” address must be at the top of the first page.15

Georgia law does not require deeds to include a “prepared by” statement that identifies the person responsible for drafting the deed. Deeds often identify the preparer by name and address at the top of the first page near the “return to” address.

Attorney Practice Note: Georgia’s real estate laws include a special notice requirement for deeds that transfer real estate that has been used as a commercial landfill. A deed that transfers property once used as a landfill must include (a) notice of the landfill operations, (b) the date the landfill operations commenced and terminated, if known, (c) a legal description of the actual location of the landfill, and (d) a description of the type of materials deposited in the landfill.16

Signing Requirements for Georgia Deeds

A Georgia deed must be an original document signed by the current owner who is transferring property.17 A deed that transfers more than one person’s ownership interest in Georgia real estate must have the signatures of each co-owner who is making the transfer. An electronic signature—as defined in Ga. Code § 44-2-36(5)—is as good as a traditional wet signature if the deed meets the standards of Georgia’s electronic recording statute.18

Power of Attorney

An authorized agent can sign a Georgia deed on the property owner’s behalf if the owner has given the agent authority under a valid power-of-attorney (POA) form.19 The POA form empowering the agent must be signed by the property owner and a disinterested witness and acknowledged before a notary.20 A deed signed by an authorized agent is typically recorded with the signed POA form.

Entity Signatures

Entities that own Georgia real estate sign deeds through an authorized representative of the entity. For example:

  • A corporate officer signs for a corporation.21
  • A member or managers signs for an LLC.22
  • A trustee signs for a testamentary or living trust.23
  • An executor or personal representative signs for a deceased owner’s estate.24


Signatures in a Georgia deed must be acknowledged before a notary or other official with the power to take acknowledgments.25 Georgia law also allows officers commissioned in one of the U.S. military’s branches to notarize Georgia deeds—even if the officer is not actually a notary.26

A notary must verify the signer’s identity and attach the notarial seal to the deed.27 A notary cannot notarize a deed to which the notary is a party.28

Witness Signature

At least one disinterested witness must also sign a Georgia deed in addition to the transferring owner and the notary.29 The witness must actually see the transferor sign the deed.


A Georgia deed does not effectively transfer property until it is delivered by the current owner and accepted by the new owner.30 A new owner who accepts a deed is bound by the deed’s terms even though he or she did not sign the document.31

Recording Georgia Deeds

The clerk of the superior court for each Georgia county is responsible for maintaining the county’s land records.32 The transferee or other person who wishes to record a deed submits the original document to the superior court clerk’s office for the county where the property is located.33

Recording Fees

Georgia law authorizes superior court clerks to charge a recording fee for recording written instruments.34 The statutory recording fee for recording a deed is $25.00.35 The transferee is responsible for the costs relating to a transfer unless the parties specifically agree otherwise.36

Georgia Transfer Tax

Georgia charges a transfer tax on deeds that transfer real estate for consideration over $100.00.37 The transfer tax rate is $1.00 for every $1,000.00 (or fractional part thereof) of the consideration paid for the property.

The current property owner who signs the deed is primarily responsible for paying the transfer tax.38 The superior court clerk receives the payment when the deed is filed for recording.39 A deed cannot be recorded until the transfer tax is paid unless the deed qualifies for an exemption.40

Transfer Tax Exemptions

Georgia’s transfer tax law exempts multiple categories of recorded instruments from the tax.41 Common categories of exempt deeds include:

  • Deeds transferring property as a gift;
  • Deeds between spouses in relation to a divorce;
  • Deeds that transfer real estate to or from a trustee, guardian, administrator, custodian, executor, or another fiduciary if the transfer is made for no consideration;
  • Deeds that transfer property between one or more individuals and an LLC, corporation, partnership or other entity if the individual(s) have majority ownership of the entity;
  • Deeds created to secure debts (called trust deeds or deeds of trust); and
  • Deeds in lieu of foreclosure if the deed relates to a purchase-money deed securing a debt that was signed and recorded for 12 months prior to the deed in lieu of foreclosure.

Attorney Practice Note: Deed parties who are claiming an exemption must still identify the total consideration for the transfer in the PT-61 form described below.42

Additional Forms Required with Georgia Deeds

Georgia law requires a single additional form—Form PT-61—with all deeds. The parties may wish to submit other documents alongside a deed—depending on the nature of the deed. For example, deeds signed by an agent under power of attorney should include the power of attorney form, and deeds involving trusts often include a certification of trust.43

Transfer Tax Form PT-61

A completed Transfer Tax Form PT-61 must accompany all Georgia deeds filed for recording.44 The form provides information about the deed parties, the property, and the transfer tax owed or reason for exemption.

The person filing the deed completes Form PT-61 on the website of the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority (GSCCCA). To prepare the form, the filer inputs the information requested by the GSCCCA’s PT-61 e-filing site. Then, the filer prints the completed form from the site and submits the printed form to the superior court clerk alongside the deed.

The GSCCCA’s website has a frequently-asked-questions page with helpful information about completing Form PT-61.

Each deed created by our deed preparation service is attorney-designed to meet Georgia recording requirements and comes with step-by-step instructions for filing with the Clerk of the Superior Court.

  1. Ga. Code § 44-5-33.
  2. Ga. Code § 15-6-61(a)(10).
  3. Ga. Code § 15-6-61(a)(10).
  4. See Ga. Code § 15-6-66(a).
  5. Ga. Code § 15-6-63.
  6. See Ga. Code §§ 44-6-120; 44-6-190.
  7. Ga. Code § 44-6-120.
  8. Ga. Code § 44-5-33.
  9. Ga. Code § 44-5-30.
  10. Ga. Code §§ 48-6-2(b); 48-6-4(c).
  11. See Ga. Code § 44-5-30.
  12. Thomas v. Garrett, 456 S.E.2d 573, 576 (Ga. 1995)
  13. Wisener v. Gulledge, 306 S.E.2d 642 (Ga. 1983).
  14. Strickland v. CMCR Investments, LLC, 610 S.E.2d 71 (Ga. 2005).
  15. Ga. Code § 44-2-14(b).
  16. Ga. Code § 44-5-48(a).
  17. Ga. Code § 44-5-30.
  18. Ga. Code § 44-2-37(b).
  19. Ga. Code § 10-6B-40(g).
  20. Ga. Code § 10-6B-5(a).
  21. Ga. Code § 14-5-7(a).
  22. Ga. Code § 14-11-301.
  23. Ga. Code § 53-12-261(b).
  24. Ga. Code § 53-8-13.
  25. Ga. Code § 44-2-14.
  26. Ga. Code § 45-17-30.
  27. Ga. Code §§ 45-17-8(e); 45-17-6(a)(1).
  28. Ga. Code § 45-17-8(c).
  29. Ga. Code §§ 44-2-14(a); 44-5-30.
  30. Ga. Code § 44-5-30.
  31. Ga. Code § 44-5-39.
  32. Ga. Code § 15-6-61.
  33. Ga. Code § 44-2-1.
  34. Ga. Code § 15-6-60(4).
  35. Ga. Code § 15-6-77(f)(1)(A)(i).
  36. Ga. Code § 44-5-47.
  37. Ga. Code § 48-6-1.
  38. Ga. Code § 48-6-3.
  39. Ga. Code § 48-6-4(a).
  40. Ga. Code § 48-6-4(b).
  41. Ga. Code §§ 48-6-2(a)(1)-(11).
  42. Ga. Code §§ 48-6-2(b); 48-6-4(c).
  43. See Ga. Code §§ 10-6B-5(a); 53-12-280.
  44. Ga. Code § 48-6-4(c).