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Recordation Tax



SCO Application PDF 

(Note: You must submit two copies of each application.)


As of October 1, 2008, the Howard County Director of Finance is the collector of the Recordation Tax imposed on all documents recorded in the Howard County Land Records pursuant to the Howard County Code Section 11.101. Transfer taxes (Maryland and Howard County) and recording fees will continue to be collected by the Clerk of the Court.

County collection of Recordation Tax will be combined with the services currently provided by the Lien Desk and will be conducted at:

Department of Finance
Recordation Tax Office
George Howard Building
3430 Court House Drive
Ellicott City, MD 21043


The cost of a Statement of County Obligations is $35.00 made payable to the Director of Finance.  

Recordation Tax is computed at the rate of $2.50 per $500 of consideration (or any part thereof, rounding up to the next $500.00).  

Please  check here  for information regarding the routing of documents and payments required to record in Howard County.

To receive any future updates to these procedures please contact the Recordation Tax Office at 410-313-2389 or via email at recordation@howardcountymd.gov to remain on our contact list.

The following procedures which will be followed by our Department:

  • The hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • In addition to utilizing the Cashier Area to pay for a Statement of County Obligations Application (formerly Application for Lien Statement) those transactions may be conducted at the Recordation Tax Office as long as the payment is made by check payable to “Howard County Director of Finance.” Cash payments must be made in the Cashiers Area. 
  • All payments of Recordation Tax should be in the form of a check made payable to “Howard County Director of Finance.”
  • Payment of any property taxes and water and sewer fees due will still be collected ONLY in the Cashier Area and should not be included in the same check as the Recordation Tax. The Cashiers are unable to accept Recordation Tax payment and the Recordation Tax Office cannot accept property tax or water and ewer payments.
  • Checks in payment of transfer taxes and recording fees should be made payable to “Clerk of the Court” and must accompany the deed to Land Records.
  • We will strive to serve each customer submitting 5 documents or less with express service. Any document in excess of 5 must be dropped off and picked up at a later time. See Attachment B –– Express Service Policy
  • Documents submitted in bulk and/or via mail will be reviewed as quickly as possible. We will notify you when they are complete and will strive for a maximum turn-around time of 24 hours. We will guarantee a maximum turn-around time of 48 hours. To facilitate processing, all drop-offs or mail-ins are required to be accompanied by a completed Document Tracking Sheet. One sheet should be utilized for each transaction. See Attachment C –– Document Tracking Sheet
  • If desired, a bonded courier will be available to deliver all documents accepted by our office and for which the recordation tax payment was received for delivery to the Clerk of the Court Land Records Office on a daily basis at 1:30 p.m.
  • The Howard County Refinance Affidavit must be attached to all applicable Deeds of Trust. See  Attachment D ..
  • The Howard County Affidavit of Domestic Partnership must be attached to all applicable deeds. See Attachment E..
  • If an exemption from recordation tax is claimed in a transaction described below, a preview of the deed is requested and should be directed to Leslie Bennett by way of fax or drop-off:

    • commercial, industrial, or apartment transfers of $5,000,000 or more.
    • transfers with possible farm/agricultural issues or possible rezoning issues
    • transfers involving foreclosures or bankruptcies
    • condominium conversion transfers
    • vacant or unimproved land transfers with builder involved
    • transfers involving limited liability company
    • transfers involving the dissolution of a partnership, limited liability company, or corporation
    • transfers between related corporations
    • transfers to exempt organizations
  • Completed Maryland Intake Sheets are required for all documentation presented for recordation tax. The form and instructions for completing the form are available at the following website:
  • We request that each document have a top margin of 1½ inches for the certifications of recordation tax payment.
  • We request that the Preferred Language for Documents is utilized at the top of each document submitted. See Attachment F.
  • The following types of documents should not be submitted to our office prior to submission to the Clerk of the Court: 
    • Appointments of Substitute Trustees
    • Assignments of Mortgages or Deeds of Trust
    • Bankruptcy Documents
    • Condominium Declarations, By-Laws, Plats, and Liens
    • Declarations
    • Land Installment Contracts
    • Leasehold Mortgages
    • Options
    • Powers of Attorney
    • Releases
    • Subordinations  


12-108(bb) Exemption Requirements 

 IDOT Requirements  

Reverse Mortgage Notice   

 Federal Agencies as Grantor                  Water Declaration  
Purchase Agreement   2013 Legislative Changes 


Useful Recordation Documents 

IDOT Affidavit               Flowchart of Documents  Express Service Policy 
Document Tracking Form  Refinance and Supplement Affidavit 
Domestic Partnership Affidavit  Language for Deeds 
Statement of County Obligations  Partial Debt Affidavit 
Credit Line Affidavit   Reverse Mortgage Affidavit