Real Estate Transfer information is used by assessors, other municipal and county officials, and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR). Under state law (sec. 77.22(1), Wis. Stats.), "...submission of a completed real estate transfer return and collection by the register of the fee shall be prerequisites to acceptance of the conveyance for recording." A Register's refusal to record an instrument, which conveys an interest in real estate, is a matter of considerable consequence. Since all required eRETR fields must be complete before submitting a return, the Register of Deeds does not need to verify completion of all data fields.
The following guidelines assist in determining whether a particular Electronic Real Estate Transfer Return (eRETR) Receipt warrants rejection of a conveyance from recordation.
eRETR Receipt Review per sec. 77.22(1), Wis. Stats.
- Ensure the receipt belongs to the document being recorded and is in the proper county. You cannot "Add recording information" if the receipt and document are for a different county.
All items – document to be recorded, receipt, payment (if due). The receipt, under Instruction (2), has a list of the items needed.
Date of conveyance – must be
BEFORE the date of recording
Transfer fee amount (if due) – is the same as the amount on the check or other payment method. Note: For some transfers, there may be a fee due and an exemption.
All grantors and grantees named on the document are on the receipt
- Husband and wife with the same last name may have both first names on the first name line and only one social security number is required
- Middle initials are not a required entry field and do not have to be on the receipt
All parcels listed on the document are on the receipt. When there are five or fewer parcels, each must be listed in a separate parcel section (Add Parcel). When there are more than five, the first five must be listed separately under "Parcels" and the remainder may be listed separately here or listed under the "Legal description." If your county does not require parcel numbers on the document (they are required on the return), you can verify the property using the legal description. The return does not require a legal description when the Subdivision/Condominium section is completed, unless there are more than five parcels and the additional parcels are listed here.
If information on the receipt has been changed in any way (ex: crossing or whiting out items, inserting/adding information),
reject the recording. Changing information on the receipt creates inconsistency with the information on the eRETR. Signatures or initials may be written on the receipt, as long as the data is not changed in any way.
All data (ex: complete legal description, all grantors, and all grantees) must be entered on eRETR.
Optional eRETR Receipt Review
If the following items occur, they are not "rejects." However, they may result in a DOR audit.
- Does the tax bill address appear correct and consistent with the grantee's or agent's information?
- Does the transfer fee exemption appear correct? Generally, exemptions 2 and 8m apply when the transfer type is a sale and an exemption is taken.
When ready to "Add recording information to an eRETR filing"
- Visit DOR's eRETR website at
- To log in, select "eRETR System Login - Assessors & Local Government Officials" under "Online Services"
- Select "Add recording information"
- Verify the document number and date recorded before submitting data