Massachusetts is divided into 21 registry districts, with an elected Register of Deeds responsible for each office. Bristol County is divided into the Northern District (Taunton and Attleboro offices), the Fall River District, and the New Bedford District. Documents related to the ownership of real estate within the district are recorded at the local Registry of Deeds.
Once your closing has been complete, it is time for the Registry of Deeds staff to make it official. When a document or group of documents, is received at the Registry, it is reviewed to ensure recording requirements are met. If the document is acceptable for recording, the Recording Clerk enters the document information into the Registry's database. This information includes the document type, number of pages, address, and the names of the people and/or business involved in the transaction.
The Registry's recording software then calculates the fees, excise tax, or necessary surcharges. All fees are regulated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. For a complete list of fees please visit the Fees and Filings page. Excise is a tax imposed by the Commonwealth on all home sales at a rate of $4.56 per $1,000 of the purchase price (consideration of $100.00 or less is exempt). The Community Preservation Fee - $50, $25, or $0 (no fee) - varies by document type and is also regulated by the Commonwealth.
A Technology Surcharge of $5.00 applies to most documents. This too is assessed by the Commonwealth. The surcharge is levied for the purpose of improving technology at all of the Registry of Deeds throughout the Commonwealth.
Please note that all documents recorded by the Registry are considered public and can be viewed online or by visiting the Registry.