What we do
The Essex County Register is an elected, statutory officer who is responsible under the law for recording, filing, and preserving all property transactions within the 22 municipalities of the County.
Essex County is one of the two counties in New Jersey to have this office; in the other 19 counties, the Office of County Clerk is responsible for recording.
Record Room: Open to the Public
Open Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00PM, the Office affects anyone who has owned or sold property in the County. A copy of every deed and mortgage recorded since 1637 is on file in the Register's Office. These copies are preserved in the Record Room, an area of the office which is opened to interested citizens, attorneys, title searchers, historians, and genealogists for their research, reference and study.
In addition to deeds, mortgages and equity loans, documents dealing with property transactions including liens, forclosures, and mortgage cancellations are also on file. The Office also records honorable discharges for veterans.
The Register's Office is one of the few County government offices which generates revenue through a statutory fee schedule. In the past four years, more than $32.4 million was generated, $14.6 million of which was returned back to the County Treasurer to reduce the County tax rate and $17.8 million of which was returned to the State Treasurer for State use as required by law.
Since December 1988, the recording and indexing of all documents has been computerized which has simplified the indexing process and significantly reduced the turnaround time for recording, copying, and returning documents to senders. Electronic images are available from May 2001 to the present.
When a document is received, key information is entered into the computer. It is then assigned a reference number, a book and page number, and automatically indexed by proper name. Documents are then microfilmed and copied. The copies are placed in reference books while the originals are sent back to the appropriate parties.
The Register's Office will continue to explore ways to increase the accessibility of information to the public. We hope to be able to introduce new innovations in the future.
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