Riding the Wave of Change: Your Fun Florida Guide to the New Deed Recording Rules – FL Statute 695.26: Effective January 1, 2024
Riding the Wave of Change: Your Fun Florida Guide to the New Deed Recording Rules – FL Statute 695.26: Effective January 1, 2024
October 10, 2023

By: Katelyn J. Dougherty, Esq.

Florida’s legal landscape is constantly evolving to address the needs and challenges faced by its residents. A notable change is set to take effect at the start of 2024, targeting the increasing issue of property fraud. This change pertains to FL Statute 695.26, which governs the recording of deeds. This blog aims to inform those in real estate to understand and adapt to the new requirements.

Understanding FL Statute 695.26: The Foundation

Before delving into the changes, it’s essential to understand the basis of FL Statute 695.26. This statute outlines the legal requirements for recording property deeds in Florida. A deed, which is a legal document used to transfer property ownership, must meet certain criteria to be recorded and recognized legally.

The Current State of Affairs

As of now, the statute mandates the following for a deed to be valid:

  1. Grantor and Grantee: The deed must clearly identify the grantor (the person transferring the property) and the grantee (the person receiving the property).
  2. Legal Capacity: The grantor must be legally competent and have the authority to transfer the property.
  3. Consideration: Although not always required, most deeds include a statement of consideration, which is the value given in exchange for the property.
  4. Property Description: The deed must contain an accurate and sufficient legal description of the property being transferred. This description should be detailed enough to identify the specific property.
  5. Granting Clause: This is a statement in the deed where the grantor declares the intention to transfer the property to the grantee.
  6. Signature of the Grantor: The deed must be signed by the grantor. If the property is owned jointly, all owners need to sign.
  7. Witnesses: Florida law requires that the grantor sign the deed in the presence of two witnesses.
  8. Notarization: The deed must be notarized. This means a notary public must acknowledge that the grantor has signed the deed.
  9. Delivery and Acceptance: The deed must be delivered to and accepted by the grantee. Delivery and acceptance can be actual or implied from the circumstances.
  10. Recording: Recording the deed with the appropriate county office is important for protecting the grantee’s interests and establishing a public record of the property transfer.

It’s important to ensure that all these requirements are met to avoid any legal issues regarding the property transfer. For specific situations or complex cases, it’s advisable to consult with a real estate attorney.

So, what’s changing in 2024? The rules for Witnesses.

Currently, the following is required of a witness for a deed to be valid:

  1. Witness Requirement: Deeds must be signed in the presence of two witnesses.
  2. Witness Identification: Each witness must have their name legibly printed, stamped, or typewritten beneath their signature.

These existing stipulations ensure a basic level of verification and authenticity in property transactions.

The 2024 Amendment: A Step Towards Enhanced Security

The upcoming amendment to FL Statute 695.26, effective January 1, 2024, introduces an additional requirement in the deed recording process. Here’s what’s new:

  • Inclusion of Witness’s Address: Alongside their signature and printed name, each witness will now be required to include their post office address. This address must be clearly visible and either printed, stamped, or typewritten below their signature and name.

For the “post office address” requirement concerning witnesses, there is no specific mandate for a home, business, or post office box address; hence, any valid address should be acceptable. However, the interpretation of what constitutes a valid “post office address” might differ based on the guidelines of the particular recording office involved.

Why This Change Matters

The rationale behind this amendment is straightforward yet impactful. By mandating the inclusion of a witness’s post office address, the state aims to:

  • Enhance Traceability: The address makes tracing and verifying a witness’s identity easier, which is crucial in legal and dispute resolutions.
  • Combat Property Fraud: With more detailed witness information, the chances of fraudulent property transactions are significantly reduced.

Implications for Stakeholders in Real Estate Transactions

This amendment has practical implications for various stakeholders, including property owners, buyers, attorneys, and real estate agents:

  • Increased Documentation: There’s additional information to gather and verify during the deed preparation.
  • Legal Compliance: Non-compliance with this new requirement can lead to a deed being considered invalid, emphasizing the need for meticulous attention to detail.

Preparing for the Change

As January 1, 2024, approaches, it’s crucial for those involved in real estate transactions to familiarize themselves with this change. Legal professionals, in particular, should update their practices and inform clients about this new requirement. Ensuring deeds are prepared correctly under the amended statute will be key to smooth property transactions.


The amendment to FL Statute 695.26 reflects Florida’s proactive approach to securing property transactions and protecting its citizens from fraud. While it introduces an additional requirement in the deed recording process, its benefits in enhancing security and authenticity are undeniable. As we move towards a more secure real estate environment, understanding and adapting to these changes will be essential for all involved parties.

Don’t have a business attorney? Get in touch with our team by emailing Info@harbourbusinesslaw.com.

This Blog was written by Founding Attorney, Katelyn Dougherty.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is for educational purposes only and does not offer nor substitute legal advice. This blog does not establish an attorney-client relationship and is not for advertising or solicitation purposes. Any of the content contained herein shall not be used to make any decision without first consulting an attorney. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision not to be based on advertisements or blogs. Harbour Business Law expressly disclaims any and all liability in regard to any actions, or lack thereof, based on any contents of this blog.

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