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.
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The State Recorders 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. (See search menu). 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 (See search menu). (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 microfilm viewing and printing equipment. PLEASE NOTE: Most recording offices maintain microfilm records for the districts they serve, only. (For example, Anchorage only maintains records for Anchorage, Iliamna, Kvichak, Bristol Bay, Aleutian Islands, Seward and Cordova districts) Fairbanks maintains records for the Northern Region; Fairbanks, Rampart, Fort Gibbon, Nulato, Kotzebue, Barrow, Nenana, Manley Hot Springs, Mt. McKinley, Bethel, Kuskokwim and Nome districts AND Juneau maintains records for the Southeast Region; Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Wrangell and Sitka. 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 another district and have the document mailed to your home address. Digital images of documents recorded from January 1, 1973 forward, are available statewide for research in all DNR recording offices. (See all districts).
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.
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 in any DNR recording office via the Intranet. One original roll of microfilm is retained within the Archive Unit for use only in the event of catastrophic events which may have destroyed the working copies retained at each recording office, or disabled the viewable electronic images. The second roll is sent to State Archives in Juneau for permanent archival storage.
Once a document is recorded in the official public records it can be retrieved by anyone. This may be done by visiting the Recorders 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 (See search menu). If not available online, copies of documents may be purchased from the district office handling the records for the specific district.
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.
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 43 years of index data by district or for the entire state.