Texas Deed Requirements
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Each of our deeds is attorney-designed to meet the requirements of Texas law. Click the link below to create a deed online to transfer Texas real estate.
A Texas deed must meet several requirements to be valid and eligible for recording. Texas law sets some requirements, and others are best practices based on local customs.
Formatting Standards for Texas Deeds
Texas formatting standards deal with the arrangement and format of each of the elements of Texas deeds. Texas deeds must meet the following formatting requirements:
- Paper. Deeds should be printed on white paper at least 8½ x 11 inches (standard letter size) and not larger than 8½ x 14 inches (legal-size). The paper should be of sufficient weight to prevent ink bleeding through (minimum 20-pound weight suggested).
- Legibility. A deed must be legible, printed in dark ink to allow for the creation of readable copies and photographic records.
- Title. A deed’s first page should include a title—such as Warranty Deed or Deed without Warranty—identifying the nature of the document. The title should appear at the top of the deed, below only the confidentiality notice and addresses.
- Font size. Deeds must use a font not smaller than 8-point type. Clerks prefer 10- or 12-point type.
- Margins. A deed’s margins should all measure at least one inch—except that the top margin of the first page should be at least two inches to allow sufficient space for the recorder’s stamp.
Content Requirements for Texas Deeds
Texas content requirements govern the substantive provisions that must be included in each Texas deed form. Texas deeds must meet the following content requirements:
- English language. A deed must be written entirely in the English language to be eligible for recording in Texas.1 There is an exception for deeds signed and acknowledged outside the U.S.—which may be recorded if the deed is accompanied by an accurate, certified translation of any text written in a language other than English.2
- Grantee’s address. A Texas deed will not be accepted for recording unless it lists the mailing address for each new owner (grantee) named in the deed.3 Alternatively, a deed that omits a grantee’s mailing address may be accepted for recording if the person who requests recording pays a penalty fee of either (i) $25.00 or (ii) double the regular recording fee (whichever is greater).4
- Legal description of the property. A deed must include an accurate legal description that identifies the transferred real estate with reasonable certainty.5 A deed can provide the legal description in the text of the deed, in an attachment, or by a reference to the volume and page number or clerk’s file number of a recorded document that has a valid legal description.6
- Conveyance. A deed must have language—often called a granting clause—indicating that the current owner (grantor) is transferring the real estate to the new owner (grantee). The granting clause typically identifies the warranty (if any) given by the grantor.7
- Consideration. A deed should include a statement of consideration showing that the new owner is providing value in exchange for the transfer.8 Texas deeds customarily state nominal consideration—for example, “ten dollars, cash in hand.”
- Privacy Notice; Social Security Numbers. A Texas deed presented for recording must not include any individual’s Social Security number. A deed that transfers property to or from a natural person must contain a confidentiality notice at the top of the first page.9 The notice must be written in 12-point font, boldfaced type or all caps, and must state as follows:
NOTICE OF CONFIDENTIALITY RIGHTS: IF YOU ARE A NATURAL PERSON, YOU MAY REMOVE OR STRIKE ANY OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION FROM ANY INSTRUMENT THAT TRANSFERS AN INTEREST IN REAL PROPERTY BEFORE IT IS FILED FOR RECORD IN THE PUBLIC RECORDS: YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER OR YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE NUMBER.
A clerk cannot reject a deed solely because it omits the confidentiality notice, and failure to include the notice does not invalidate the deed as between the parties or as constructive notice to third parties.10
Signing Requirements for Texas Deeds
A Texas deed is not valid unless it is signed as required by law. Texas deeds must meet the following signature requirements:
- Grantor’s signature. A Texas deed must include the original signature of each current owner making the transfer (the grantor).11 It is customary (and required in some counties) for the grantor’s name to be printed or typed immediately beneath the signature.
- Notarization. The grantor’s signature must be notarized or otherwise proved or sworn to according to law.12 The notary’s certificate of acknowledgment should be substantially similar to the statutory notary form.13 As an alternative to notarization, Texas allows a deed to be signed by two credible witnesses who observe the grantor sign and acknowledge the deed.14 It is uncommon for a Texas deed to be witnessed instead of notarized.
- Spouse’s signature for homestead. A homestead is a property that the owner possesses and uses as his or her primary home.15 Texas law requires both spouses to sign a deed that transfers a married couple’s homestead.16 Both spouses must sign if the homestead is community property or if the homestead is either spouse’s separate property.
Recording Texas Deeds
A Texas deed must be recorded with the county clerk’s office in the county where the property is located.17 An unrecorded deed does not give effective notice of the transfer to creditors and future purchasers.18
Recording Fees Required for Texas Deeds
The person who requests recording must pay a recording fee to the county clerk.19 The recording fee amount is typically $26.00 for the deed’s first page and $4.00 for each additional page—though the exact amount depends on the county and the nature of the deed.20 It is a good practice to contact the county clerk’s office to confirm the fee amount before filing a deed for recording.
Texas allows electronic recording (eRecording) of deeds in counties that establish an eRecording program.21 A deed with a notarized “electronic signature” that meets legal requirements counts as an original signed document that can be recorded electronically.22 Texas counties with electronic-recording programs must continue to accept paper deeds.23
Electronic deeds must comply with rules and standards adopted by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.24 Texas currently limits electronic filing to certain categories of filers—such as attorneys, financial institutions, title companies, and government agencies.25 Large counties can authorize additional filers by agreement.26
Texas does not charge a transfer tax or deed tax for real estate transfers. There is no transfer tax return or informational statement needed when filing a Texas deed.
Each deed created by our deed preparation service is attorney-designed to meet Texas recording requirements and comes with step-by-step instructions for filing with the clerk.
- Tex. Prop. Code § 11.002(a).
- Tex. Prop. Code § 11.002(c).
- Tex. Prop. Code § 11.003(a).
- Tex. Prop. Code § 11.003(a)(2).
- AIC Mgmt. v. Crews, 246 S.W.3d 640 (Tex. 2008).
- Tex. Prop. Code § 11.007.
- Tex. Prop. Code §§ 5.022; 5.023.
- Tex. Prop. Code § 5.022.
- Tex. Prop. Code § 11.008(c).
- Tex. Prop. Code §§ 11.008(b)–(e).
- Tex. Prop. Code §§ 12.001(b); 12.0011(b).
- Tex. Prop. Code § 12.001(a).
- Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. § 121.007.
- Tex. Prop. Code § 12.001(b).
- Wilcox v. Marriott, 103 S.W.3d 469 (Tex. App. 2003).
- Tex. Fam. Code § 5.001.
- Tex. Prop. Code §§ 11.001(a); 11.004.
- Tex. Prop. Code § 13.001(a).
- Tex. Prop. Code § 11.003(c).
- Tex. Loc. Gov’t Code §§ 118.011(a); 118.013.
- Tex. Prop. Code § 15.005.
- Tex. Prop. Code § 15.004.
- Tex. Prop. Code § 15.005(b).
- Tex. Prop. Code § 15.006.
- Texas Loc. Gov’t. Code § 195.003(a).
- Texas Loc. Gov’t. Code § 195.003(a-1).