An Oregon deed must satisfy the state’s technical and substantive requirements to transfer Oregon real estate successfully. A deed that does not meet Oregon’s requirements may fail to convey real estate as intended or be rejected by the county clerk’s office.
Formatting Requirements for Oregon Deeds
- Font Size. An Oregon deed’s text must be typed, written, or printed in 8-point font or larger. County clerks’ offices prefer black ink.1
- Page Size. An Oregon deed must be printed on paper no larger than 8 ½ inches wide by 14 inches long (legal size). In practice, deeds are typically printed on white, letter-size paper (8 ½ x 11 inches).2
- Paper Quality. Paper used for a deed must be of sufficient quality to allow photographic reproduction. Clerks’ offices recommend at least 20-pound weight.3
- Legibility. The text of an Oregon deed presented for recording must be sufficiently legible to produce readable photographic copies. A clerk who determines that a deed is illegible may require the person requesting recording to provide a legible substitute original document or a legible true copy for recording alongside the original.4
- Space for Recording Ticket. An Oregon deed should have a blank space in the top, righthand corner of the first page for the clerk’s recording ticket. The blank space should be at least 3 ½ x 2 ½ inches.
Content Requirements for Oregon Deeds
- First-Page Information. The following items must appear on the first page of a deed submitted for recording in Oregon:
- A clearly labeled title with sufficient detail to allow the clerk to record the deed in the appropriate records;5
- The names of the current owner of the real estate—the grantor—and the new property owner—the grantee;6
- A return address where the clerk will return the deed within ten business days after recording;7
- The “true and actual consideration” for the transfer (i.e., the actual amount paid for the property);8
- The name and address where future tax statements should be directed—identified in substantially the following form: “Until a change is requested, all tax statements shall be sent to the following address: (Name and address for tax statements).”9
The first-page information assists the clerk in properly documenting the transaction. If a deed’s first page omits the necessary information, the deed may be accompanied by a cover sheet that includes all necessary items. When used, a cover sheet becomes part of the recorded deed. County clerks charge an additional $5.00 recording fee for cover sheets. If neither the necessary first-page information nor a cover sheet is present, the clerk may still accept the deed and assess an additional $20.00 non-confirming document fee.10
- True and Actual Consideration Requirement. Oregon law requires deeds conveying complete title to real estate to identify the “true and actual consideration paid for the transfer,” stated as a dollar amount on a deed’s first page.11 In this context, consideration means cash paid and the amount of any lien, mortgage, indebtedness, or other encumbrance existing against the property or which the purchaser agrees to pay or assume. Oregon’s true and actual consideration requirement prevents the parties’ use of nominal consideration (for example, $10.00), as is common in other states. If the new owner provided non-cash consideration or the real estate is a gift—including a transfer to a trust or LLC without consideration—the deed may state that other value was part of the consideration.12
- Legal Description. A deed must include an accurate legal description of the transferred Oregon real estate. A legal description may be given
- By metes and bounds;
- By lots, blocks, and addition names;
- By recording plat parcel and partition numbers; or
- By referencing the book-and-page number of a document that has an adequate description of the property and was previously recorded in the same county.13
A property’s street address customarily follows the legal description.
- Conveyance Language. A deed must include language indicating that the deed represents a conveyance of real estate to a new owner. A deed should indicate whether it is a quitclaim deed, warranty deed, special warranty deed, bargain and sale deed, or another form of conveyance.14
- Mandatory Statement. Oregon law requires the following disclosure statement in deeds transferring full title to real estate, excluding transfer-on-death deeds:
BEFORE SIGNING OR ACCEPTING THIS INSTRUMENT, THE PERSON TRANSFERRING FEE TITLE SHOULD INQUIRE ABOUT THE PERSONS RIGHTS, IF ANY, UNDER ORS 195.300 (Definitions for ORS 195.300 to 195.336), 195.301 (Legislative findings) AND 195.305 (Compensation for restriction of use of real property due to land use regulation) TO 195.336 (Compensation and Conservation Fund) AND SECTIONS 5 TO 11, CHAPTER 424, OREGON LAWS 2007, SECTIONS 2 TO 9 AND 17, CHAPTER 855, OREGON LAWS 2009, AND SECTIONS 2 TO 7, CHAPTER 8, OREGON LAWS 2010. THIS INSTRUMENT DOES NOT ALLOW USE OF THE PROPERTY DESCRIBED IN THIS INSTRUMENT IN VIOLATION OF APPLICABLE LAND USE LAWS AND REGULATIONS. BEFORE SIGNING OR ACCEPTING THIS INSTRUMENT, THE PERSON ACQUIRING FEE TITLE TO THE PROPERTY SHOULD CHECK WITH THE APPROPRIATE CITY OR COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT TO VERIFY THAT THE UNIT OF LAND BEING TRANSFERRED IS A LAWFULLY ESTABLISHED LOT OR PARCEL, AS DEFINED IN ORS 92.010 (Definitions for ORS 92.010 to 92.192) OR 215.010 (Definitions), TO VERIFY THE APPROVED USES OF THE LOT OR PARCEL, TO DETERMINE ANY LIMITS ON LAWSUITS AGAINST FARMING OR FOREST PRACTICES, AS DEFINED IN ORS 30.930 (Definitions for ORS 30.930 to 30.947), AND TO INQUIRE ABOUT THE RIGHTS OF NEIGHBORING PROPERTY OWNERS, IF ANY, UNDER ORS 195.300 (Definitions for ORS 195.300 to 195.336), 195.301 (Legislative findings) AND 195.305 (Compensation for restriction of use of real property due to land use regulation) TO 195.336 (Compensation and Conservation Fund) AND SECTIONS 5 TO 11, CHAPTER 424, OREGON LAWS 2007, SECTIONS 2 TO 9 AND 17, CHAPTER 855, OREGON LAWS 2009, AND SECTIONS 2 TO 7, CHAPTER 8, OREGON LAWS 2010.15
- Transfer-on-Death Deeds. Oregon law authorizes transfer-on-death deeds—also called TOD deeds or beneficiary deeds—which automatically transfer real estate to a named beneficiary upon the current owner’s death. Oregon TOD deeds are subject to additional statutory requirements.16
Execution Requirements for Oregon Deeds
- Current Owner’s Signature. An Oregon deed must be signed by the current owner transferring real estate—the grantor—or a lawful agent or attorney signing for the grantor.17
- Notarization. The current owner’s signature must be acknowledged before a notary or other authorized officer.18 Oregon Revised Statute §194.285 provides recommended notary-block formats.
Fees for Oregon Deeds
- Recording Fees. Oregon deeds are filed with the county clerk of the county where the real estate is located.19 Filing fees payable to the clerk vary by county. Counties typically charge a flat fee of between $95.00 and $110.00, plus $5.00 per page.20 A clerk who accepts a non-compliant deed for recording may charge a $20.00 penalty fee.21.
- Transfer Tax. Oregon does not impose a transfer tax on real estate transfers—except transfers in Washington County, which includes Portland.22 Washington County’s transfer tax is assessed at a rate of $1.00 per $1,000.00 of consideration—payable within 15 days of recording.23 Certain transfers—such as transfers between spouses and transfers by gift—are exempt from the transfer tax.
- O.R.S. §205.232.
- O.R.S. §205.232.
- O.R.S. §205.232.
- O.R.S. §205.135.
- O.R.S. §205.234(1)(a); O.R.S. §205.236.
- O.R.S. §205.234(1)(b).
- O.R.S. §205.234(1)(c); O.R.S. §205.238.
- O.R.S. §205.234(1)(d); O.R.S. §93.030.
- O.R.S. §205.234(1)(e); O.R.S. §93.260(1).
- O.R.S. §205.234(2).
- O.R.S. §93.030(2). Failure to state the consideration does not invalidate the conveyance. See O.R.S. § 93.030(3).
- O.R.S. § 93.030(2).
- O.R.S. § 93.600.
- O.R.S. § 93.110; see Oregon statutory deed forms, O.R.S. §§93.850 – 93.870.
- O.R.S. § 93.040.
- See Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act, O.R.S. §§93.948, et. seq.
- O.R.S. §93.010.
- O.R.S. §93.010; O.R.S. §93.410.
- O.R.S. §205.130.
- O.R.S. §205.320.
- O.R.S. §205.327.
- O.R.S. §306.815.
- See Washington County Ord. 3.04.070.