What is the registry of
A Registry of Deeds
is the place where all transactions of a Real
Property nature are recorded so that the public is
made aware of their existence. Deeds,
mortgages, tax liens, water liens, declaration of
homestead and many other kinds of documents
regarding the title and ownership of real estate are
noted permanently in official records.
cities and towns are included in the Hancock County
Registry of Deeds?
cities and towns in the County of Hancock, in the
State of Maine are contained in the Hancock County
Registry of Deeds.
Unorganized Territories does the Hancock County
Registry of Deeds cover?
Fletchers Landing Township (formerly No. 8
Plantation), 7 SD, 9 SD, 10 SD,16 MD, 22 MD, 28 MD,
32 MD, 34 MD, 35 MD ,39 MD, 40 MD, 41 MD.
runs the registry?
The Registry of Deeds is a division of
county government. A person called the Register of
Deeds administers the Registry. There are a
number of clerks who handle various duties.
The Register is an
elected official whose term is for four (4) years and who makes certain that
documents are recorded properly. She is
responsible for maintaining all of the land records
in an accurate and correct form. The present
Register is Julie Curtis.
Where is the registry of deeds?
The Hancock County Registry of Deeds is located at
50 State Street, Ellsworth ME 04605. The Registry is
open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through
Friday, Except on State and National holidays.
Recording hours are from 8:30a.m. through 3:50 p.m.
The telephone number for the Registry is (207)
is a deed?
A deed is a written document by which the buyer
obtains record title to real property. There are
several types of deeds. The most common types in
this area are Quitclaim or Warranty Deeds. In a
Quitclaim Deed the owner states that he/she has not
encumbered any debts or liens against the title but
is unwilling to state that his/her predecessors did
not do the same. In a warranty Deed the owner
warrants that he/she has not encumbered any debts or
liens against the title and guarantees that his/her
predecessors did not encumber the title.
I lose my deed?
The primary evidence of ownership is the deed
itself, but the recording of the deed at the
Registry of Deeds is notice to the world as to
ownership. Unrecorded deeds are legally binding on
the persons who have knowledge of the deed but
recorded deeds are absolute proof of ownership. Once
recorded, the original deed is returned to the new
owner who usually deposits it in a place of
safekeeping with his or her important papers.
However, if misplaced or lost, a copy may be
obtained from the Registry of Deeds or on our
website under the "Search Public Records" link on
the top of the page. You may obtain a certified copy
at the Registry of Deeds. The certified copy from
the Registry has the same legal value as the
do I talk to in the Registry of Deeds about matters
of this sort?
clerks at the Document Receiving Counter in the
Registry of Deeds will help in answering any
questions you may have. The clerks, however, are not
attorneys and cannot give legal advice. They are
willing, however, to give ministerial advice and
assist you with your non-legal, registry related
make out my own deed?
Yes you may, but deeds are legally binding documents
that affect the rights of the parties to the deed
and also their heirs, successors and assignees.
Knowledge of legal principles is very important in
the preparation of a deed. The Registry is a
recording agency and therefore, cannot make out
deeds or answer those questions that pertain to
legal matters. We advise you to consult a lawyer.
happens to my deed when it arrives at the Registry?
When any document is brought in to be recorded,
there are a number of steps that are taken before it
is returned to the concerned party. The information
on the document is first abstracted into grantor and
also grantee indices. The document is then scanned
immediately. The images are then compared with the
original document for accuracy. It is then made
available on our public access system that can be
accessed through our computers or on our website,
www.hancockcountydeeds.com. The original
document is returned to the party that presented the
document for recording.
the stamp attached to a deed?
The State of Maine derives revenue from the sale of
real estate through the sale of state tax stamps.
The amount of the excise tax stamp differs from time
to time depending on the action of the State General
Court. In Hancock County, the seller, by custom, is
obligated to pay for the amount of this stamp just
as the buyer is accountable for paying the recording
fee for the deed and/or mortgage. The money paid for
the tax stamps is income to the Registry and is
forwarded to the State of Maine Department of
a title search?
The recording of a deed and other documents in the
Registry does not guaranty that the real estate is
free from all liens, encumbrances and other legal
problems that would cloud the ownership of the
property. A Title Search is a review of all records
(Deeds, Probate Court, Bankruptcy, Tax Liens, etc.)
and a written report of the Title Searcher’s opinion
as to the state of the record title issued. Some
people do not have a Title Search, but that is a
very dangerous practice and no bank will ever
advance money for the realty without a Title Search.
I find the deed to my house?
The Registry has a section referred to as the
Grantor and Grantee Index. Grantor means the seller
and Grantee refers to the buyer. In order to locate
your deed you are, for purposes of finding this
deed, the Grantee, since you are the one who bought
the property last. Once you ascertain the year that
your property was purchased, you may use either the
public access computers or Grantee books to find the
book and page of your deed. There are specific
instructions in the Registry on how to locate your
deed by computer or Grantee books. The deed can also
be found by accessing our website,
locate the mortgage to my own house in the Registry?
search the grantor index under your own name and the
year you obtained your mortgage. The mortgage can
also be found by accessing our website,
I don’t recall when my house was purchased? How do I
find the deed?
If you can't remember the date the house was
purchased you can contact the Assessor in the city
or town where the property is situated. They will
relay the year and then you can proceed to find the
deed as previously indicated.
back to the Registry records go?
Registry records date
back to 1790 and all the
records are available for public inspection and use
at the Registry. Some very old record books have
been “retired” but those records are available on
microfilm and online from 1731 to date. Click
un-indexed property search for record books.
current are the records in the Registry of Deeds?
All essential index information is entered into the
Registry Data Base and is immediately available
through the public access terminals and on our
internet site at
other kinds of records would I find in the Registry?
Besides deeds, mortgages, liens, tax liens,
bankruptcies and so on, there are leases, plan maps,
a small library and atlases of the Cities and Towns
located in the Hancock County.