Howard County Recordation Tax Office Procedures
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 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 sewer 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 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 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.. 
  • The Howard County Affidavit of Domestic Partnership must be attached to all applicable deeds. 
  • 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:

    o commercial, industrial, or apartment transfers of $5,000,000 or more. 
    o transfers with possible farm/agricultural issues or possible rezoning issues 
    o transfers involving foreclosures or bankruptcies 
    o condominium conversion transfers 
    o vacant or unimproved land transfers with builder involved 
    o transfers involving limited liability company 
    o transfers involving the dissolution of a partnership, limited liability company, or corporation 
    o transfers between related corporations 
    o 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. 
  • The following types of documents should not be submitted to our office prior to submission to the Clerk of the Court:
    o Appointments of Substitute Trustees 
    o Assignments of Mortgages or Deeds of Trust 
    o Bankruptcy Documents 
    o Condominium Declarations, By-Laws, Plats, and Liens 
    o Declarations 
    o Land Installment Contracts 
    o Leasehold Mortgages 
    o Options 
    o Powers of Attorney 
    o Releases 
    o Subordination's