The Recorder’s office serves all in the county. We provide prompt, efficient and accurate service to the public and will continue to do so. Our top priority is to keep meeting the high standards expected by you of your public officials. I enjoy serving as your Defiance County Recorder and I appreciate the support you give me.
Within this site you can find the information necessary to understand the functions, duties, and benefits of the Recorder’s office. Please take the time to explore this site to answer all of your questions regarding this office. Also, please feel free to use the newest feature to our site, the link to US Land Records which provides access to online document index searching. I am pleased to bring this new functionality and look forward to finding new ways to better serve the public in the future.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Makes a complete, accurate and permanent record of every document pertaining to the conveyance and encumbrance of land within the county.
- Maintains permanent land records, retains them in archival form, and makes them constantly accessible to the public.
- Record Military Service discharges (DD214s). Secure recorded DD214 from public access and ensure only available to legally authorized persons.
- Enforces more than 1000 sections of state law in the Ohio Revised Code pertaining to the duties of the Recorder’s office.
- Takes great care to ensure that every document received is accurately filed, recorded and indexed.
- Serves on the county’s Record Commission which authorized the retention of county records and determines when or how these government records may be disposed.
- Collect fees owed for documents filed in the Recorder’s office. Determine allocation of fees to General Fund, Technology Fund and the Ohio Housing Trust Fund (OHTF). Retain funds for OHTF and forward on a quarterly basis.
- Maintains an accurate record of all monies appropriated to the Recorder’s office including preparation of annual budget and reports, vouchers, purchase orders, etc., and maintains all payroll records, sick and vacation leave records and other records pertaining to the Recorder’s staff.
- Files annually an ethics report, inventory of office equipment, affirmative action report, depository agreements for funds and every other report as required by law.
- Notifies Boards of County Commissioners and Township Trustees annually of their duty to file zoning resolutions, maps and amendments.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are your filing fees?
Please visit the Schedule of Fees.
How do I file a mechanic lien?
We can only record documents and are not responsible for preparing items such as liens, which must be complete before coming to the Recorder’s office. Please contact an attorney for legal advice.
Can you check to see if there are certain issues concerning my property?
The Recorder’s office cannot perform searches for the public, however, all records kept with the Recorder’s office are public record. If you have any questions regarding your property, please feel free to come to the office and perform the search yourself. We will be happy to aid you in your search.
Also, you can try the Online Document Index Search system to see if the information you need is contained within the document index.
Has my mortgage been cancelled?
We cannot perform searches on mortgages for the public, but are available to help you perform a search with the office. Also, you may search the Online Document Index Search systems to check if a release has been recorded on your mortgage.
Could you please tell me how to obtain a copy of a birth certificate?
Contact the Defiance County Health Department at (419) 784-3818 firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I obtain the property value, past sales prices, and current real estate taxes assessed on a parcel of property in Defiance County?
Visit the Auditor’s website and look up the information. If you have any problems, contact the Defiance County Auditor’s Office at (419) 784-3111.
Does your county have tract (geographical) indexing?
Does your county require a legal description with releases and assignments?
Is their a fee for marginal notations on releases and assignment?
Yes, a $4.00 fee is required.
What do you charge for copies made by the public?
$0.25 per copy
What do your charge for copies made by the Recorder's Staff?
$2.00 per copy per ORC 317.32(I)
Does your county offer on-line access? If so, is there a cost involved?
We have online access to the indexes.
What is your County Auditor's conveyance fee?
$4.00 per thousand
What is your County Auditor's transfer fee?
$0.50 per parcel
Does your county require a SASE or postage?
Does your county have Registered Land (Torrens)?
Does your county supply blank forms for purchase?
What is your county's document turn-around time?
Does your office record Soldiers Discharge Records (DD214)?
Why aren’t document images available for viewing online?
Simply put – for resident security. Early on, we determined that many documents that have been recorded and/or filed in the County Recorder’s office inadvertently contain a resident’s social security number or other personal information.
In conjunction with the logic and prudent responsibility shared by many other Ohio County Recorders, in Defiance County we chose not to place document images online to safeguard and protect our resident’s personal information.
While it may be an inconvenience to some, and it is accepted that there are certain people that would benefit from placing such valuable information on line, for the majority of the residents doing so could place them at risk. In our estimation, the risk outweighs the reward.
As a result, it is our policy to not have document images available online as it eliminates one more place that an identity thief can search to steal one’s personal information.
County Recorder History
In Ohio it is the County Recorder who has the important and indispensable task of keeping the vital records pertaining to ownership in real estate (land) and to all encumbrances or liens upon it. Without the work of the County Recorder in recording, safekeeping and organizing all documents in a competent and logical manner, it would be nearly impossible to purchase land and be assured of a clear title or to lend money with land as security.
The practice of recording real estate documents is based on law in England which traveled to the New World with the colonists. Public land registrars were appointed in colonial America to keep accurate records. A system of registration was necessary to prove the rights of persons who first made claims to property.
In 1787 the Northwest Territory was formed, encompassing all lands north and west of the Ohio River. A Recorder’s Office was established in each county. Ohio became a state in 1803 and although the state constitution did not provide for a Recorder’s office, the first state legislature mandated a Recorder be appointed in each county by the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas. In 1829 the Recorder’s office became an elective position and in 1936 the term was established at four years.
Today the County Recorder keeps and maintains accurate land records that are current, legible and easily accessible. An important aspect of the Recorder’s work is to index each document so it may be readily located. Accurate indexing makes it possible for person searching land records to find the documents necessary to establish a “chain of title” (history of ownership) and ensures that any debts or encumbrances against the property are evident. These invaluable records are utilized by the general public, attorneys, historians, genealogist and land title examiners.