New legislation in Michigan has amended the amounts of recording and filing fees in various sections of Michigan law to a $30 flat fee. The series of bills passed by the legislature, now Public Acts 224 through 232 of 2016, is the result of discussions and negotiations between legislators and stakeholders such as title companies, banks, and registers of deed to simplify the system of filing and recording documents. The changes will take effect October 1, 2016.

One of the main problems that the amended law is meant to address is the fact that, under current law, fees fluctuated depending on the number of pages in a document. To the extent that an error was made in calculating the number of pages in a file, the recording fee could be wrong, too, leading to the document being rejected. The flat fee model is meant to remedy this problem, thereby eliminating a common cause of delays in, for example, real estate closings.

The new laws will increase the recording fees for many documents that consist of fewer than eight pages, and decrease fees for documents containing eight pages or more. The current fee is $14 ($15 in Wayne County) for the first page, which includes a $4 fee that is deposited to the Michigan State Survey and Remonumentation (MSSR) Fund, and $3 for each additional page. In addition, all warranty deeds, land contracts, or an assignment thereof, or any deed that contains a covenant of warranty must have a tax certification from the county treasurer’s office. The fee is $5.00 per deed, up to 25 parcels, and .20 cents per additional parcel over 25.

Accordingly, without taking into account the tax certification fee, under current law the cost to record a five-page deed document would be $26, and a nine-page deed document would be $38. Under the new law, the cost of each would be $30.