New Jersey Deed Requirements
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Each of our deeds is attorney-designed to meet the requirements of New Jersey law. Click the link below to create a deed online to transfer New Jersey real estate.
New Jersey’s deed recording requirements described below are derived from a combination of state statutes and standards developed by the New Jersey Department of State and county recording officers.1 An improperly prepared deed may be rejected by the clerk’s office or result in a failed conveyance or additional fees.
Formatting Requirements for New Jersey Deeds
A New Jersey deed’s physical appearance and formatting must be consistent with the following standards.
A New Jersey deed must be printed on paper not larger than 8½ × 14 inches (legal size). Most deeds use 8½ × 11-inch (letter size) paper.2
A New Jersey deed’s text must be sufficiently clear and legible to allow creation of clear, accurate, and permanent images of the document.3 New Jersey does not prescribe a text size, but clerks generally prefer at least 10-point font.
A New Jersey deed is only eligible for recording if it is written in the English language or accompanied by a translation to English.4
A deed must have margins with enough space for the clerk to add the recorder’s stamp. Clerks recommend a 2-inch top margin on at least the first page.
New Jersey does not specifically require deeds to include titles. Most deeds have a title at the top of the deed’s first page. The title is often the same as the type of document identified on the cover page that accompanies the deed.5
Information Requirements for New Jersey Deeds
New Jersey’s content requirements for deeds are intended to promote consistent indexing and property tax evaluation.6 New Jersey law requires all deeds to include each of the items described below.
Current Owner and New Owner Names
A deed must identify by name the current owner transferring the property (the grantor) and the new owner receiving the property (the grantee).7 The names that appear on the deed should exactly match the names that were used on the prior deed. If the names have changed, that should be noted on the deed. New Jersey deeds often state the marital status of parties who are natural persons (i.e., not entities), but that is not a legal requirement.
A deed that names two or more new owners should identify the form of co-ownership the new owners will use to hold title. A deed transferring real estate to a trust should title the property in the trustee’s name as trustee.
A New Jersey deed must state the new owner’s mailing address.8 The current owner’s address is usually included, too.
A New Jersey deed must include a granting clause—which is a statement declaring that the property is in fact being transferred.9 The granting clause’s wording depends on the type of deed and the warranty of title it provides, if any. The granting clause should specify the type of ownership interest transferred—for example, fee simple, life estate, or one-half interest.
A New Jersey deed must provide a legal description that identifies the property the deed transfers.10 The legal description may be included in the body of the deed or attached as an exhibit. It can usually be obtained from the prior deed.
The property description can be a reference by book and page number to a previously recorded document if the earlier document includes a legal description that adequately identifies the property.11
New Jersey deeds typically include the following details within or directly following the legal description:
- The municipality and county where the property is located;
- The property’s physical address; and
- A derivation clause that identifies the prior deed through which the current owner acquired the property.
Tax Map Reference
A deed must identify the property’s current tax map reference—which is either the lot and block number designated on the municipality’s tax map (if assigned) or the property’s tax account number.12 The tax map reference can usually be obtained from the prior deed. If the property has no assigned lot and block number or account number, the deed must state that no such number has been assigned.
The consideration for the transfer (typically the purchase price) must be set forth in the deed or included within an attached affidavit.13 The State of New Jersey publishes an Affidavit of Consideration for Use by Seller (Form RTF-1) that reports consideration. A New Jersey deed’s vesting clause may state nominal consideration if the transfer is made for no consideration or the actual consideration is listed elsewhere.
A deed must identify by name the person responsible for preparing the deed.14 The “prepared by” statement with the preparer’s printed name typically appears on the top of the first page. The preparer’s signature is no longer legally required.
It is customary to also list the address to which the deed should be returned (the “return-to” address) on the deed.
A deed that transfers real estate with a new construction—a new structure not previously occupied or used for any purpose—must include the words “NEW CONSTRUCTION” (in all caps) on the top of the first page.15
Signing Requirements for New Jersey Deeds
A New Jersey deed must be in writing and must include the transferring owner’s signature.16 An owner that is an entity signs through an officer, fiduciary, or other agent with legal authority to act on the entity’s behalf. For example, a trustee signs a deed to transfer property owned by a trust, and an LLC signs through an officer, member, or manager with authority to act for the company.17 New Jersey no longer requires deeds from businesses to be “executed under seal.”18
Although not strictly required, it is customary for New Jersey deeds to be signed by a witness. In practice, the notary or attorney that acknowledges the deed often signs as witness.
Signer’s Printed Name
The name of anyone who signs a New Jersey deed must be printed directly under the signature.19
Power of Attorney
A property owner can authorize an agent to sign a deed for the owner by creating a written power-of-attorney (POA) form.20 A deed signed by an authorized agent is as valid as if it were signed by the owner as long as the POA form is signed, acknowledged, and recorded in the county land records.21
Both spouses should ordinarily sign a deed that transfers New Jersey real estate owned by a married person. A non-owner spouse’s signature helps to avoid future issues with the property’s title.
Potential title problems arise from spousal property rights New Jersey law gives to non-owner spouses. For example, a spouse’s elective share attaches to New Jersey real estate a deceased spouse transferred during the marriage for less than fair consideration.22 New Jersey law also gives a non-owner spouse a right to joint possession of the family’s principal residence.23 In either case, a non-owner spouse can waive the spousal property rights and avoid future title problems by signing a deed that transfers the other spouse’s real estate.24
The current owner’s signature and any other signatures within a deed must be acknowledged before a notary.25 A deed that is not notarized may be alternatively proved through evidence presented to the circuit court.26
A New Jersey deed does not officially transfer ownership to the new owner until the deed is delivered to the new owner. In practice, a deed is not usually placed into the new owner’s hands physically. Instead, New Jersey law considers a deed to be delivered when it is recorded or acknowledged.27
Recording New Jersey Deeds
New Jersey deeds are recorded with the county recording officer of the county where the property is located. The county recording officer is either the register of deeds or county clerk—depending on the county. A recorded deed provides legal notice of the deed to third parties like future purchasers or creditors.28
New Jersey Recording Fee
The precise recording fee amount for recording a New Jersey deed varies by county and deed. The statutory recording fee is $30.00 for the deed’s first page and $10.00 for each additional page.29 New Jersey authorizes a variety of other recording-related surcharges. Counties may also charge their own fees. There is also a $20.00 fee for deeds submitted without the required cover sheet.30
A typical recording fee is $53.00, plus $10.00 for extra pages. The person requesting recording pays the recording fee to the recording officer when submitting a deed for recording.
New Jersey Transfer Tax
New Jersey’s realty transfer fee is a transfer tax that must be paid when recording a deed that transfers ownership of New Jersey real estate.31 The tax is due when a deed is submitted to the recording officer unless the deed is exempt from the tax. The current owner who is transferring the property is primarily responsible for paying the tax. Recording offices may require payment in cash or by cashier’s check, money order, or check drawn on an attorney’s trust account.
Realty Transfer Fee Rate
The realty transfer fee amount is based on the consideration given in exchange for the transfer.32 The total due for recording a deed consists of a series of related state- and county-level fees.33 Not every deed requires payment of every fee, so the actual transfer tax rate varies by deed. A typical rate is $2.00 for each $500.00 of the property’s sale price, plus an extra $1.35 per $500.00 for consideration over $150,000.00, and another $0.55 per $500.00 for amounts exceeding $200,000.00.
New Jersey Transfer Tax Exemptions
Certain types of deeds are exempt or partially exempt from New Jersey’s realty transfer fee.34 An exempt deed must be accompanied by an affidavit that states the reason for the exemption.35 Common types of exempt deeds include deeds that:
- Involve consideration of less than $100.00;
- Transfer property between spouses or between parent and child;
- Confirm or correct a deed that has already been recorded;
- Transfer property between ex-spouses within 90 days after their legal divorce;
- Perform the requirements of a court’s final judgment; and
- Transfer estate property to an heir or devisee under the deceased owner’s will or state inheritance laws.
New Jersey also provides partial exemptions for deeds that transfer:
- Low- or moderate-income housing; and
- Property owned and occupied by a senior citizen, blind person or disabled person (unless a co-owner who is not the transferor’s spouse does not qualify for the exemption).36
Additional Forms Required with New Jersey Deeds
New Jersey law requires several additional forms to accompany deeds submitted for recording:
Each county publishes its own cover sheet form that must be completed and recorded with all deeds.37 Cover sheets list information about the transaction that recording officers use to index the deed. Most counties’ forms are available on the register of deeds’ or county clerk’s website.
Affidavit of Consideration for Use by Seller (Form RTF-1)
The New Jersey Division of Taxation publishes an affidavit of consideration to be completed by the seller or transferor (Form RTF-1) and another to be completed by the buyer or transferee (Form RTF-1EE). The seller’s form states the amount of consideration for calculating the realty transfer fee or, if the deed is exempt, claims an exemption.
Form RTF-1 is required if:
- The deed or acknowledgment does not state the actual entire consideration;
- The current owner claims a full or partial exemption;
- The deed transfers Class 4 property as defined in N.J. Admin. Code § 18:12-2.2; or
- The deed transfers property with a new construction.38
See New Jersey Realty Transfer Fee, Mansion Tax, and Gross Income Tax for more information.
Affidavit of Consideration for Use by Buyer (Form RTF-1EE)
A Form RTF-1EE completed by the buyer must be attached to every deed transferring commercial property, property sold for more than $1 million, or if the new owner claims an exemption from the New Jersey Mansion Tax.
Nonresident Gross Income Tax Seller’s Residency Form
Non-resident sellers of New Jersey real estate may be required to pay estimated income tax due on a sale before a deed can be recorded.39 A deed submitted for recording must be accompanied by one of several tax forms that relate to the estimated income tax requirement.
The forms listed below are available on the New Jersey Division of Taxation’s website. The appropriate form depends on whether a seller is a New Jersey resident and whether an estimated income tax payment is required.
- Nonresidents making payment. Non-resident sellers making the estimated tax payment submit a Non-resident Seller’s Tax Declaration (Form GIT/REP-1). A seller who prepaid the tax before closing uses a prepayment receipt endorsed by the Division of Taxation (Form GIT/REP-2).
- New Jersey residents and other exempt transferors. Sellers who are New Jersey resident taxpayers or otherwise not required to make the estimated income tax prepayment submit a Seller’s Residency Certification / Exemption (Form GIT/REP-3).
- Sellers with payment waiver. Sellers who have been granted a waiver by the New Jersey Division of Taxation submit a Waiver of Seller’s Filing Requirement (Form GIT/REP-4).
- Owners recording corrective deeds. Property owners filing a corrective deed with no additional consideration submit a Waiver of Seller’s Filing Requirement for Corrected Deed with No Consideration (Form GIT/REP-4A).
New Construction Affidavit
New Jersey requires deeds that transfer real estate with new construction to be accompanied by an affidavit completed by the current owner.40 The necessary information for new construction deeds is included within Section 6 of Form RTF-1 (Affidavit of Consideration for Use by Seller). Any deed that transfers real estate with a new construction requires a Form RTF-1 completed by the transferor.
Each deed created by our deed preparation service is attorney-designed to meet New Jersey recording requirements and comes with step-by-step instructions for filing with the county clerk or register of deeds.
- N.J.S.A. § 46:26A-5(a)(2).
- N.J.S.A. § 46:26A-5(a).
- N.J.S.A. § 46:26A-6(e).
- N.J.S.A. § 46:26A-3(a)(1).
- See N.J.S.A. § 46:26A-5(b).
- N.J.S.A. § 46:26C-1(a); 46:26A-8.
- N.J.S.A § 25:1-11(a)(1).
- N.J.S.A. § 46:26A-3(a)(5)(d).
- N.J.S.A § 25:1-11(a)(1).
- N.J.S.A § 25:1-11(a)(1).
- N.J.S.A. §§ 25:1-11(a)(1); 46:26A-3(a)(5)(b).
- N.J.S.A. § 46:26A-3(a)(5)(b).
- N.J.S.A. § 46:15-6(a).
- N.J.S.A. § 46:26A-3(a)(5)(c).
- N.J.S.A §§ 46:15-6(c); 46:15-5(g).
- N.J.S.A § 25:1-11(a).
- N.J.S.A. §§ 3B:31-69; 42:2C-28.
- N.J.S.A. § 46:26A-3(b).
- N.J.S.A. §§ 46:26A-3(a)(2) and (4).
- N.J.S.A. § 46:2B-8.9.
- N.J.S.A. § 46:6-1.
- N.J.S.A. § 3B:8-3.
- N.J.S.A. § 3B:28-3.
- N.J.S.A. §§ 3B:8-5; 3B:28-3(b).
- N.J.S.A. §§ 46:26A-3(a)(3); 46:14-2.1.
- N.J.S.A. § 46:14-4.1.
- Thorpe v. Floremorre Corp., 89 A.2d 275 (N.J. App. Div. 1952).
- N.J.S.A. §§ 46:26A-6(a); 46:26A-12.
- N.J.S.A § 22A:4-4.1.
- N.J.S.A. § 46:26A-5(c).
- N.J.S.A. § 46:15-7(a).
- N.J.S.A. §§ 46:15-7; 46:15-5(c).
- See N.J.S.A. §§ 46:15-7; 46:15-7.1(a)(2); 46:15-7.2.
- N.J.S.A. § 46:15-10.
- N.J.S.A § 46:15-6(b).
- N.J.S.A. § 46:15-10.1(a)(1) and (2).
- N.J.S.A. § 46:26A-5(b).
- N.J.S.A §§ 46:15-6(b); 46:15-7.2(d).
- See N.J.S.A.§ 54A:8-8, et seq.
- N.J.S.A § 46:15-6(c).