Torrens Title

Torrens Title Definition

Torrens is a system for registration of land under which, upon the landowner's application, the Court may, after appropriate proceedings, direct the issuance of a certificate of title.  The Certificate of Title is kept in the office of the Registrar of Titles.  With the "abstract system" an abstract is evidence of title.  In the "Torrens system" the certificate of title is the title.

In Minnesota the County Recorder is the Registrar of Titles.  The Registrar is an arm of the District Court and under its control.  The Registrar  must examine documents presented and determine that they meet the legal requirements to transfer the property and issue Certificates of Title which are proof of ownership for the purchaser.

To determine if a parcel is Torrens, search the parcel number on the GIS Map.

Registrar of Titles

When acting as the Registrar of Titles, the Clay County Recorder reviews each document before recording to determine if the document will cloud the title, similar to when an attorney examines an abstract for abstract property. When property is held in a trust, an estate, or is part of a court proceeding, the Examiner of Titles issues a directive to the Registrar of Titles regarding how to proceed.

Examiner of Titles

The Registrar also works closely with the Examiner of Titles.  The Examiner is appointed by the court and is an advisor to the Registrar of Titles.  

Chapter 508 of Minnesota Statutes provides that certain instruments may not be accepted for filing by the Registrar unless certified by the Examiner (or Deputy Examiner) or pursuant to a Court Order.

There are situations were a Directive or a Certification by the Examiner may be used instead of a Court order