Deed Certification Requirements

Beginning June 1, 2010, Allegheny County Department of Real Estate will implement a Certification Process on all deed related documents.  The purpose of Deed Certification is to assign parcel identification numbers to all deeds immediately at the time of recordation.  This process will ensure that every deed recorded will be correctly assessed to the new owner(s) in the assessment system, and that the corresponding property taxes will be forwarded to a verified payer’s address.  There will be no charge for this service.

Certification Process

When deed related documents are brought to the Department of Real Estate for recording, they will first go through the Certification Process.

  • The Certification area will be a separate room outside of the recording lines, which a submitter will go to prior to recording.  This room is clearly designated as such.
  • The Certification Clerk will review legal descriptions, grantors, and certificate of residence addresses to check their validity against the assessment system and prior recordings.
  • If these items are verified, the deed will be certified for recording and the recording process can begin.
  • If these items cannot be verified, the certification clerk will inform the submitter of the inaccuracies that need to be reviewed before the deed will be accepted for recordation.
  • Additional mapping specialists will be available for assistance on deeds that are rejected.
  • Once the deed is corrected, it will need to be reviewed for Certification again.

Certification Requirements

  • Legal Descriptions – the legal description in the submitted document must match the description within the assessment system and assessment maps and/or prior documents.
    • Legal description can consist of:
      • A prior deed reference
      • A lot/lots in a plan – with the plan name, plan book volume and page, and lot number.
      • Metes and Bounds – this can include coordinates or bounds along other properties.
  • Grantor Name – the grantor name must match what is currently on record in the assessment system and/or the prior deed.
    • Grantor names must include:
    • The spelling/name must match that of the prior deed.  Corrections to prior deeds must be referenced.
    • Reference to decedents  within the body of the deed if they are not listed as grantors
    • Reference to how grantors may have acquired the right to sell property by will or other legal document.

Time Frames

  • A deed can be brought into the Department of Real Estate for Certification at any time prior to its execution, signing, or recording.   
  • It is not required to be brought in on the same day as recording.  This is recommended for any deed related documents with lengthy legal descriptions or multiple parcels as extra time may be needed for review for certification.  This can ensure the submitter to meet a recording deadline for complex deeds.
  • It is expected that the average deed will take approximately 5-15 minutes to certify.
  • If a deed does take more time for review than the expected average, it will have to be reviewed by a mapping specialist and may need to be left with the department.
    • A receipt will be provided for the document
    • A phone call will be made to the submitter when the document has been reviewed.