PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New requirements for buyers, sellers filing Lee property deeds


Lee County Clerk of Court Kevin Karnes is announcing a new requirement for filing a property deed. Beginning August 1, government-issued photo identification will be required for filing deeds in-person or by mail in Lee County.

The new requirement is a result of HB 1419, a property fraud prevention program initiated by Clerk Karnes and state lawmakers to make it harder to file fraudulent deeds in Lee County. Lee County was chosen to be the state’s pilot location for the new program.

“Criminals shouldn’t be able to steal your property,” Karnes said. “Our goal is to make sure we know who is filing the deeds, so we can turn over that information to law enforcement if the deed is thought to be fraudulent. I’m hopeful this new ID requirement will drastically cut down on property fraud in Lee County.”

The new property fraud prevention program requires all persons listed on a deed to provide a government-issued photo ID before the deed is processed. This will make it easier for law enforcement to verify the identity of the parties engaged in a property-related transaction and investigate fraudulent activity.

The Clerk is rolling the program out in phases. E-Recorded deeds, typically submitted by property professionals and title agencies, are not impacted at this time. Identification requirements for e-recorded deeds will be implemented after technical updates are applied to our systems. The most up-to-date requirements will be posted on www.leeclerk.org/deeds.

Property owners are also encouraged to sign up for the Lee Clerk’s free Property Fraud Alert service, which notifies property owners when a deed, mortgage or other document with their name has been recorded. To learn more and register, visit www.leeclerk.org/fraudalert.

WGCU is your trusted source for news and information in Southwest Florida. We are a nonprofit public service, and your support is more critical than ever. Keep public media strong and donate now. Thank you.