Transfer Tax Forms
- Cook County Real Estate Transfer Tax Declaration
- Illinois Real Estate Transfer Tax Declaration
- Transfer Tax By Municipality
For Mail Recording:
Temporary Guidance for Certain Documents:
- Statutory deadline recording requirement (mechanics lien, court judgment, UCC or ordinance), or
- If you have a TODI.
Please overnight via a commercial carrier or drop off (Do NOT send via Signature Restriction!):
Cook County Clerk – Recordings Division
Attn: (insert type of document: UCC, TODI, Liens etc.)
118 North Clark Street, Room 228
Chicago, Illinois 60602-1387
#1 - Where to Mail Your Documents
You can mail your document(s) and payment to:
Cook County Clerk
118 N. Clark Street, Room 120
Chicago, Illinois 60602
#2 - Basic information is required on documents
Note: Your document may meet all the basic recording requirements and be recorded, however, whether the documents meet statutory/legal requirements are the filer’s sole responsibility.
Documents related to real estate must have:
- Full Name and Address of Document Preparer
- Complete Legal Description of Property (Excluding Assignment of Beneficial Interests (“ABIs”))
- Property Tax Number (PIN) (Excluding ABIs)
- Property Address
- Document “Mail To” Address
Any Deed (Quit Claim/Warranty/Etc.,) must additionally must have:
- City/State/County transfer tax declarations and stamps or transfer tax exemptions (check with the local city/village where the property sits for requirements.
- Full name and address of Grantee(s) on deed
- Statement grantor/grantee affidavit (exempt transfers and EZDec transfers)
- Name and address for future tax bill mailings
Any Mortgage and Trust Deed must have:
- State of Illinois Anti-Predatory Lending Certificate of Exemption or Compliance (www.ilapld.com)
Court Documents (Judgments/Orders)
- Submit a certified copy
#3 - Document Format
Standard document design requirements (55 ILCS 5/4-12002)
- The document shall consist of one or more individual sheets measuring 8.5 inches by 11 inches, not permanently bound and not a continuous form. Graphic displays accompanying a document to be recorded that measure up to 11 inches by 17 inches shall be recorded without charging an additional fee.
- The document shall be legibly printed in black ink, by hand, type, or computer. Signatures and dates may be in contrasting colors [example: blue] if they will reproduce clearly. (Note that red ink does not reproduce clearly).
- The document shall be on white paper of not less than 20-pound weight and shall have a clean margin of at least one-half inch on the top, the bottom, and each side. Margins may be used only for non-essential notations that will not affect the validity of the document, including but not limited to form numbers, page numbers, and customer notations.
- The first page of the document shall contain a blank space, measuring at least 3 inches by 5 inches, from the upper right corner.*
- The document shall not have any attachment stapled or otherwise affixed to any page.
A document that does not conform to these standards shall not be recorded except upon payment of the additional fee required under this paragraph. Any instrument that does not conform to the following standards shall be charged an additional fee, in an amount equal to the fee otherwise provided by law, for recording a document (other than a document filed under the Plat Act or the Uniform Commercial Code).
#4 - What are the Recording Fees
#5 - Blanket Recording Ban
A recording affecting more than one PIN will be accepted only where no more than ten properties are affected. Multiple recordings will be required where more than ten properties are affected. The Clerk's Office does not accept blanket filings.
For E-File Recording (E-Recording):
#1 - Sign up with a Submitter Company
IMPORTANT: If you only have one document to record, it will likely be easier for you to record it in person, as our process requires the use of multiple software applications and an account with a third-party submitter (see below).
If you are not currently e-recording with Cook County, you will need to create an account with an approved submitter company, which include: Simplifile; E-recording Partners Network (ePN), or CSC. Click here for more info.
You first step is to contact a “submitter” company which is required by our software – those companies are:
This is not a ‘preferred’ vendor list, but rather a complete list of all submitter companies configured to work with Clerk's Office.
Please be aware that there are currently two eligibility standards for e-recording, based on whether you plan to e-record deeds/conveyances with consideration, or not. At this time, only title companies may e-record deeds/conveyances with consideration; e-recording of fully Exempt Deeds and non-conveyance documents like Mortgages, Assignments, and Releases, is open to any entity that complies with basic recording requirements, and e-recording requirements. Click here for more info.
#2 - Make sure you are able to obtain Tax Stamps
Before you electronically submit any deeds with consideration directly, you must obtain contractual approval as a stamp authorizer – and a corresponding Settlement Agency MyDec Account – from the State of Illinois – Department of Revenue. This is a requirement to electronically record deeds and conveyances where transfer tax is owed. Once you are approved and able to transmit daily the transfer taxes owed by ACH to the Clerk's Office, you will be eligible to e-record deeds with consideration.
Put simply, a “stamp authorizer” has been given permission to record deeds in lieu of immediate payment of real estate transfer taxes so long as the total daily amount of tax owed is paid to the Clerk's Office in a reasonable time.
More info on the various Account types here:
The above Account restrictions are not in place for e-recording non-conveyance documents like mortgages, liens and releases, or fully exempt deeds.
#3 - Process to E-File
In summary, the process works like this:
- The title company/attorney/user creates their PTAX/Declarations in MyDec, ensuring all information is accurate. (NOTE: See the E-Recording Checklist below for information needing confirmation).
For MyDec support: Call 1-844-445-1114.
- The title company/attorney/user then transmits the unique Declaration ID number with their submission through their submitter; please make sure your submitter/vendor is configured with eRX to transmit this information. (IMPORTANT: attaching a scanned copy of the MyDec or PTAX and sending it with the document image is no longer needed. Going forward, any exhibits that are received with a document image will be recorded and you will be charged as a page. Refunds or re-recordings will not be processed for mistakes such as this.)
For e-recording support, please work with your vendor/submitter
- The Clerk's Office staff uses that Declaration ID to access the PTAX forms for that document; verifies the PTAX is correct; verifies that all basic and usual recording requirements are met for the document (NOTE: See the E-Recording Checklist below for information needing confirmation); and then accepts both the deed and the declarations.
- Upon acceptance, the Clerk's Office will electronically affix the transfer stamp information in the blank space reserved for our use, as shown in the image below, making stickers or adhesive stamps unnecessary. (NOTE: This is a relatively new statutory change: State of Illinois 35 ILCS 200/31-15 – Collection of Tax Cook County Sec. 74-101.)
- The system will then return the recordings to you as usual.
This is an example of how the indicia with digital revenue stamps will look:
#4 - Guidelines
By submitting deeds electronically, you agree to the following guidelines:
- To e-record all deeds with Cook County, your company must be a user of MyDec and have an agreement with a County-approved e-recording “submitter.”
- Additionally, you must be pre-cleared by the City of Chicago and Cook County so that you can authorize stamps before they are purchased. ACH transfers are required by the end of the day for all stamps used in that recording day. For more information on this process, visit http://tax.illinois.gov/LocalGovernment/PropertyTax – If you have further questions about this item, call: 1-844-445-1114 or email [email protected]
- You understand that delayed or non-payment of stamp revenue to the Clerk's Office may result in suspension of e-recording access. This is generally handled by your submitter.
- You understand that because legal descriptions are required in PTAX forms, and that because the MyDec configuration does not allow image attachments, you may not simply put SEE ATTACHED in the legal description box in MyDec. The full legal must be entered as text (or copy/pasted from an existing legal description file) in that MyDec field so it can be sent to the Clerk's Office. If we don’t see the legal in text form, the declaration, deed, and the entire payload will be rejected. Please also note that scanning a MyDec confirmation printout and sending with your document will result in that page being recorded and charged as a page.
- You must fulfill all municipal requirements such as municipal stamps and obtaining water certifications prior to submission. Our e-recording system is not configured for you to send copies of non-recorded certifications, so it is important that you affix any local stamps to your deed before scanning, as we will treat the presence of these stamps as evidence that municipal requirements were met. If a municipality only provides non-recordable certification pages (no stamp or sticker), then it is your responsibility to ensure local requirements were met before submitting. Anything sent as part of the image file of the document will be publicly recorded and charged as a page.
- Your e-recording submitter must have their software configured to allow you to send us the Declaration ID with each document.
- You agree to fix any issue that caused the rejection before resubmitting documents that were rejected. If the document is not fit for e-recording, you must record the original over the counter.
- You also agree that if a document is erroneously accepted when it should have been rejected, that this should not be considered a policy change.
- You understand that these guidelines may change or be modified, and if so, the Clerk's Office will notify you in writing.
#5 - Clerk's Office E- Recording Checklist
Please confirm that all the following tasks have been completed prior to each submission. For a more detailed list of recording requirements and e-recording requirements in Cook County, click here for more info.
Disclaimer: in addition to the tasks listed below, submitters are also obligated to follow any additional recording requirements that are not explicitly listed here.
- The name and address of the person who prepared the instrument should be listed on the document.
- Purchase My Dec revenue stamps prior to submitting document to the E-recording system (State, County) (City of Chicago & other municipalities if applicable)
- Does the conveyance meet municipalities’ requirements for recording transfer tax or transfer tax exemptions?
- Exempt transfer language (if applicable) on conveyance. Example: “Exempt under Real Estate Transfer Law Tax 35 ILCS 200/31-45 sub par ___ and Cook County Ord. 93-O-27 par __ Signature_____________ Date__________________”.
- Complete legal description typed (or copy/pasted) in the legal field on the MyDec as it appears on the instrument.
- Information from the MyDec (Name, Property Address, PIN Number, Legal Description) must match the information on the instrument.
- Property related to “Cook County” only.
- Notary seal and signature should be visible on the instrument.
- Grantor signatures on deed.
- Statement of Grantor/Grantee Affidavit (if applicable).
- No unnecessary pages sent with document image.
- Instrument states “tax bill mailing info” & grantees name and address according to “765 ILCS 5/9 & 10”.
- Document is clearly scanned as TIFF only, is legible, and all text at least 10-point font.
For general questions about getting started, send an email to [email protected] with “E-Recording” in the subject.