New Jersey Commissioner of Deeds – Information and History
The title of Commissioner of Deeds was established in the 19th century because only a judge could acknowledge an out-of-state deed, and it was difficult to find a judge to acknowledge a deed for a property located outside of the state. At this time, property deeds could be acknowledged only by a notary belonging to a particular state, New Jersey, for example, and a deed for a property from another state could not be acknowledged by a notary from New Jersey. The office of Commissioner of Deeds might thus be seen as a higher rank than a notary. When states came to accept the acts of notaries from other states, the office of Commissioner of Deeds was no longer needed.
In New Jersey, the person is sometimes called a Foreign Commissioner of Deeds because he could acknowledge even deeds to property outside of the U.S. These days, the Department of State strongly suggests that Secretaries of State not appoint commissioners of deeds to perform acts in a foreign country until it is made clear, with the Department’s help, that the foreign government would not object. In other words, the office of Commissioner of Deeds is outmoded. There is no evidence that the State of New Jersey is still appointing Commissioners of Deeds, and no information on how to apply for such a position; the neighboring State of New York is no longer appointing such Commissioners.
Please see our New Jersey Notary Public Search Results!
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