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NOTICE: The Fairbanks Recorder's Office MOVED. The new address is 3700 Airport Way, Fairbanks AK 99709.

About the Process

Notice:
Recorded and/or filed documents and ALL information contained within those instruments become the permanent public record and are available for public viewing and/or purchase.

public records | why record? | what is recorded? | process | microfilming | researching

Public Records


The State Recorder’s office oversees 34 recording districts that record, index, and archive all of the documents that create the Official Public Record of the State of Alaska. Approximately 1,000 new documents are recorded and added to the record each day. Millions of documents have been recorded in the official records since prior to statehood.

All official records are public information and may be viewed by, or copied for anyone. Alaska Statutes and regulations govern the prices charged for recording and making copies of these records either on paper, film, CD or electronic formats. The public can find documents by accessing the statewide recording system database at any DNR recording office throughout the state (Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Palmer, and Kenai ), or on the Internet. We have a Grantor/Grantee alphabetical index, as well as a location index (by legal description) which reflect documents recorded from 1970 to current. Searching for information prior to 1970 requires a search of Historic Books. (Due to staffing limitations and liability risks, recording staff are not authorized to perform in-depth research of this type.)

Once a document is located from the index and the book and page number or serial number is identified, the public may then view the actual document, and/or make paper copies, by using printing equipment at home or in one of our five offices. If you need assistance in finding or obtaining a copy of a recorded document, recording personnel are available to assist you at each office. You may order and pay for a document from any district and have the document mailed to your home address or you can use our online copy request and have the document emailed to you.

Why Are Documents Recorded in the Official Records?


Documents are recorded in the Official Records of the State of Alaska to declare their enactment and existence. Individuals research the state records to identify property ownership, liens, and other recordings against real property. In general, from the time a document is recorded in the records of the recording district in which land affected by it is located, the recorded document serves as constructive notice of its contents to subsequent purchasers and mortgagees.

What Types of Documents Are Recorded?


The following list indicates some of the various types of documents that are recorded in the official records of the state of Alaska:

Deeds, Mortgages, Assignments, Modifications, Reconveyances, Notice of Liens, Claim of Liens, Release of Liens, Uniform Commercial Code Fixture Statements, Security Agreements, Judgments and Decrees from courts, Federal and State Tax Liens, Child Support Enforcement Liens, Satisfactions and Releases of such liens.

We also receive a variety of miscellaneous documents that the Recorders Office is not the normal and customary place for recording. If they meet minimum acceptance criteria, they will be accepted and placed in the public record.

The Recording Process


There are several steps that occur once you present your document for recording.

  1. Your document is reviewed to make sure it meets minimum acceptance criteria. (See list of recording requirements)
  2. Appropriate recording fees are collected along with copy fees if copies are requested. (See fee schedule)
  3. Identifying numbers are assigned to the document including a date, time, and serial number. Historically, documents have also been assigned unique book and page numbers for reference, but such numbers have been phased out.
  4. The grantor, grantee information and legal description from the document are added to the on-line, statewide alpha database exactly as they appear on the document.
  5. Your document is then imaged and microfilmed for archiving. The quality of the film image is verified for quality control.
  6. The original document is then mailed back to the party designated on the document.

Archiving Your Document by Microfilming and Imaging


Two original filmed images and an electronic image of your document are captured simultaneously on a dual-headed microfilm camera/scanner. Once your document is filmed and imaged, a series of quality control and verification checks are performed on both media. The digital image is then released to the database for viewing on the Internet. One original roll of microfilm is retained within the Archive Unit in Anchorage and the second roll is sent to State Archives in Juneau for permanent archival storage.

Researching Records


Once a document is recorded in the official public records it can be retrieved by anyone. You may access the statewide index records on the Internet. (See search menu). A variety of research options are available allowing you to search approximately 48 years of index data by district or for the entire state. Or this may be done by visiting the Recorder’s Office nearest you (See list of office locations and hours of operation) and using the on-line computers provided in the public library area. Any of the recording personnel at our offices will be happy to show you how to use the terminals to access names from the official records from 1970 to current. For documents recorded prior to this time, a name index is available in Historic Books. If not available online, copies of documents may be purchased using the online copy request or calling our Archive Unit in Anchorage.

If you are unable to come to our offices you may receive research assistance by contacting either Paula Bradley, Recorder Manager, Anchorage at (907) 269-8881, or Kelly Chesnut, Recorder Manager, Juneau at (907) 465-3425.