Register of Deeds Criteria for an Electronic Real Estate Transfer Return


Real Estate Transfer information is used by assessors, other municipal and county officials, and DOR. Sec. 77.22(1), Wis. Stats., states “...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. In general, all required fields of the eRETR are complete before a return can be “Submitted” eliminating the Register of Deeds to verify completion of all data fields.

The following guideline will 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.:

  1. Ensure that the Receipt belongs to the document being recorded and is in the proper county as you will not be able to “Add recording information” if the Receipt and document are for another county.
  2. All items: Document to be recorded, Receipt, payment (if due), weatherization papers (if needed). The Receipt, under Instruction 2 will have a list of the items needed.
  3. Date of conveyance, must be ON or BEFORE the date of recording.
  4. Transfer fee amount, if due, is the same as the amount on the check or other method of payment. Note for some transfers, there may be a fee due and an exemption.
  5. All grantors and grantees named on the document are on the Receipt. Exceptions:
    1. Husband and wife with the same last name may have both first names on the first name line and only one social number is required.
    2. Middle initials are not a required entry field and do not have to be on the Receipt.
  6. 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 "Short 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.

Immediate Rejection:

If any information on the Receipt has been changed in any way, such as being crossed out or white out, with information inserted or added, REJECT the recording. Changing information on the RECEIPT creates an inconsistency with the information on the eRETR. It is acceptable to have signatures or initials written on the Receipt, so long as the data is not changed in any way.

No Attachments:

All data such as a complete legal description, all grantors, and all grantees must be entered on eRETR.

Optional eRETR Receipt Review:

The following items are not “rejects.” However; they may result in an audit by DOR.

  1. Does the tax bill address appear correct and consistent with the grantee's or agent's information?
  2. Does the transfer fee exemption appear correct? Generally, exemptions 2 and 8m will apply when the type of transfer is a sale and an exemption is taken.

When ready to Add recording information to an eRETR filing:”

  1. Go to DOR's eRETR website at
  2. Log in at eRETR under Assessor and Government Offices​.
  3. Select “Add recording information.”
    1. VERIFY the document number and the date recorded before submitting data.

February 13, 2012