North Dakota Deed Requirements

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Each of our deeds is attorney-designed to meet the requirements of North Dakota law. Click the link below to create a deed online to transfer North Dakota real estate.

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A North Dakota property owner may transfer or retitle real estate during the owner’s life using a signed, written deed.1 A North Dakota deed must satisfy the legal requirements described below to be eligible for recording and to legally transfer title to the new owner.

Formatting Standards for North Dakota Deeds

A North Dakota deed must be prepared according to the formatting standards set by North Dakota law. The county recorder may reject a deed that is incorrectly formatted or not legible enough to create readable copies.2

Paper and Print

North Dakota deeds are customarily printed on white, letter-size (8½ × 11-inch) paper of at least 20-pound weight. Deeds cannot use paper larger than 8½ × 14 inches (legal size).3

A deed must be printed using a font size equal to or larger than 10-point Calibri.4 Writing or print must appear on only one side of each page.5 Deeds are customarily printed in black ink.


The top margin of a deed’s first page must measure at least 3 inches. The county recorder adds the recording information within the 3-inch top margin.6 All other margins should be at least 1 inch.7 The recorder can accept a deed with noncompliant margins and charge an additional $10.00 fee.

Content Requirements for North Dakota Deeds

North Dakota’s deed laws identify certain information that deeds must contain. A deed must include all information required by law or necessary to describe the property transfer.

Current Owner and New Owner Identifying Information

A deed must identify by name the current owner who is transferring property (the grantor) and the new owner who is receiving it (the grantee).8 A deed must also list the new owner’s post office address and (if within the corporate boundaries of a city) street address.9

Property Description

A deed must provide an adequate legal description of the real estate.10 A deed cannot attach a map, survey, or drawing as an exhibit unless a registered land surveyor signs the exhibit.11

A deed that uses a metes and bounds description of the property must identify the person who prepared the description.12 The North Dakota Legislature recommends the following statement: “The legal description was prepared by (name), (address) or obtained from a previously recorded instrument.”

Granting Clause

A deed’s granting clause—sometimes called a vesting clause—states that property is passing from the current owner to the new owner.13 Different types of deeds use different wording in their granting clauses. A North Dakota deed that uses the word grant includes two implied covenants of title:

  1. The current owner has not transferred the property to another person before signing the deed.
  2. The property’s title is subject to no undisclosed liens, mortgages, assessments, or other encumbrances derived from the current owner’s ownership of the property.14


North Dakota deeds typically state nominal consideration provided in exchange for the transfer. However, many deeds must identify the actual amount paid within the new owner’s certification of full consideration (described below).15

Co-ownership Form

A North Dakota deed transferring real estate to two or more new owners should specify the co-ownership form in which the new owners will hold title. North Dakota law authorizes co-ownership as tenants in common, joint tenants with right of survivorship, or partners for partnership purposes.16

Social Security Numbers

A county recorder cannot accept a deed for recording if the deed includes an unredacted Social Security number (SSN)—unless another law requires the deed to include an SSN.17

Signing Requirements for North Dakota Deeds

The current owner who is transferring property or the owner’s agent must sign a North Dakota deed.18 North Dakota’s other rules for signing can depend on the details of the property transfer.

Spousal Signature for Homestead

Both spouses must sign a deed that transfers a North Dakota homestead owned by a married individual.19 A homestead transfer requires both spouses’ signatures even if the property is held in only one spouse’s name.

Business Entity Signature

A business entity signs a deed through an officer, manager, member, or other person with legal authority to act for the entity. North Dakota law assumes that a corporation’s officer or an LLC’s manager has the power to sign a deed for the entity.20


An owner’s signature within a deed must be acknowledged before a notary or other officer with authority to take acknowledgments.21 North Dakota provides suggested notary forms for deeds.22 As an alternative, a deed that is not acknowledged may instead be proved by a subscribing witness.23

New Owner’s Certification of Consideration or Exemption

A North Dakota deed must include one of two certifications signed by the new owner. The new owner certifies (a) the full consideration paid for the property or (b) that a statement of consideration is not required because the deed is exempt.24 No certification is necessary if a deed transfers only severed mineral interests.

Deeds Exempt from Certification of Full Consideration

North Dakota exempts several categories of deeds from the certification of consideration requirement. Exemptions are based on the nature of the transaction or the type of property transferred. Common exemptions include:

  • Deeds transferring property when the current owner and new owner are of the same family or corporate affiliate (c);
  • Deeds resulting from the settlement of an estate (d);
  • Deeds to or from religious, charitable, or nonprofit organizations (f);
  • Deeds involving an indicated change of use by the new owner (g);
  • Quitclaim deeds given to transfer ownership of property (h);
  • Deeds transferring less than 80 acres of agricultural land (j).25

North Dakota deeds typically comply with the new owner certification requirement by including one of the following two statements—either of which is immediately followed by the date and the new owner’s signature.

I certify that the full consideration paid for the property described in this deed is $_____.


I certify that the requirement for a report or statement of full consideration paid does not apply because this deed is for one of the transactions exempted by subdivision _(identify subdivision for exemption)_ of N.D.C.C. 11-18-02.2(6).

Recording Fees for North Dakota Deeds

A deed transferring North Dakota real estate must be recorded with the county recorder for the county where the property is located.26 The county recorder assigns a document number to a deed upon recording.27

The county recorder charges a recording fee to record a deed according to the following schedule:28

  • Deeds up to 6 pages: $25.00;
  • Deeds between 7 and 25 pages: $65.00; or
  • Deeds over 25 pages: $65.00, plus $3.00 per page for each page over 25.

Auditor’s Certificate of Transfer

A county recorder cannot accept most deeds for recording without a certification from the county auditor showing that (a) the transfer has been recorded by the auditor and (b) taxes and assessments are current for the property.29 The auditor’s certificate is sometimes called the auditor’s transfer stamp because it is usually added as a stamp beneath the signatures at the end of the deed.

Deeds Exempt from Auditor’s Certificate

The county recorder may accept several types of deeds without the auditor’s transfer stamp.30 Deeds that do not require the auditor’s certificate include:

  • Personal representatives’ deeds;
  • Transfer-on-death deeds;
  • Mineral deeds; and
  • Deeds following foreclosure or a sale to satisfy a court judgment.

North Dakota Transfer Tax and Additional Forms Required with Deeds

North Dakota charges no transfer tax or conveyance tax for transferring title to real estate. No additional forms are required to record a North Dakota deed. The new owner’s certification of the purchase price or applicable exemption must appear on the face of the deed itself.31

Each deed created by our deed preparation service is attorney-designed to meet North Dakota recording requirements and comes with step-by-step instructions for filing with the county recorder.

  1. N.D. Cent. Code §§ 47-10-01; 47-10-23.
  2. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-05(1)(a)(2).
  3. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-05(1)(a)(1).
  4. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-05(1)(a)(2).
  5. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-05(1)(a)(1).
  6. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-05(1)(a)(4).
  7. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-05(1)(d).
  8. See, e.g., N.D. Cent. Code §§ 47-10-06; 11-18-08(1).
  9. N.D. Cent. Code §§ 47-10-07; 47-19-05.
  10. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-05(1)(a)(3).
  11. N.D. Attorney General, Op. 2017-L-03.
  12. N.D. Cent. Code § 47-19-03.1.
  13. See, e.g., N.D. Cent. Code §§ 47-10-06; 47-10-15.
  14. N.D. Cent. Code § 47-10-19.
  15. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-02.2(1).
  16. N.D. Cent. Code § 47-02-05.
  17. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-23.
  18. N.D. Cent. Code §§ 47-10-01; 47-19-03.
  19. N.D. Cent. Code § 47-18-05.
  20. N.D. Cent. Code § 47-10-05.1.
  21. N.D. Cent. Code § 47-19-03.
  22. N.D. Cent. Code §§ 47-19-27 (for individual); 47-19-28 (for corporation); 47-19-28.1 (for LLC); 47-19-29 (for agent under power of attorney); 47-19-30 (deputy sheriff).
  23. N.D. Cent. Code §§ 47-19-21(2); 47-19-22.
  24. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-02.2(1).
  25. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-02.2(6).
  26. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-01.
  27. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-09.
  28. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-05(1).
  29. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-02.
  30. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-03.
  31. N.D. Cent. Code § 11-18-02.2(1).