department events

County Recorder

Recorder Picture Nov 2011 Julie Kalkbrenner, Kandiyohi County Recorder

 Kandiyohi County Recorder
Registrar of Titles
Vital Statistics Registrar

400 Benson Ave SW

PO Box 736

Willmar, MN  56201

  Phone: (320) 231-6223

  Fax: (320-231-6284



Office Hours:  8:00am - 4:30pm

(Marriage License Applicants must arrive by 4pm to allow sufficient time to complete the process)

Monday through Friday

Closed on Observed Holidays


 View Office PowerPoint Presentation


Mission Statement

To promptly record, file and permanently preserve documents accurately in an efficient, responsible and professional manner for posterity and legal purposes.

The Kandiyohi County Recorder is the custodian of all legal records pertaining to real estate (abstract and torrens), subdivision plats, tax liens, birth, death, marriage, ministerial credentials, notary public commissions and military discharges.


Real Estate - Abstract Title

Abstract title property is the most common form of title found in the United States.  An abstract of title is a condensed history of all deeds, mortgages and other documents relating to a particular piece of land, which affect the title.

All deeds, mortgages, satisfactions and other various documents are filed in the Recorder's Office.  When property is sold or mortgaged the lending institution or new owner wants to be sure the title is clear.  If the title isn't clear the lending institution may not be able to foreclose, if need be.  It is important to search the records to see how title is held and for any liens when completing any real estate transaction.  An attorney or title insurance firm is hired to review the abstract.  This is done by following the various lines of ownership from person to person and deed to deed over the years, matching mortgages with releases, etc.

Note:  Please consult a legal advisor for assistance on types of forms, how to complete forms or for legal advice, our staff can't offer assistance in these areas. 

The Recorder's Office operates under the Race Notice Law.  This means the person who files first (documents are filed by the hour and minute), wins the race with any legal documents and establishes interest first.  Before a document can be recorded, it must meet certain requirements per MN Statutes.

Without the work of the County Recorder in recording, safekeeping and organizing all your real estate documents in a logical manner, it would be nearly impossible to purchase land and be assured of a clear title or to lend money with land as a security.


Real Estate - Torrens Title

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 to the property.  Any liens or encumbrances that have been recorded are referenced on the certificate.  When ownership of the property changes, the old certificate of title will be cancelled and a new certificate will be issued in the name of the new owner.  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 also the Registrar of Titles under the Torrens System.  The Registrar is an arm of the district court and under the court's control.  The Registrar must examine documents presented to determine if the document will cloud title, similar to when an attorney examines an abstract for abstract property.  Also, determine if legal requirements of transfer are met and issue a Certificate of Title. 

We have both platted and un-platted Torrens Legal Descriptions in Kandiyohi County.  For a list of these, see Platted Torrens Legal Descriptions and/or Un-platted Torrens Legal Descriptions.  If a legal description is not found on either of the Torrens Property Lists, it is abstract.

Examiner of Titles

The Examiner is appointed by the court. The Kandiyohi County Examiner of Titles, Bradley J. Schmidt, handles district court Torrens cases, conducts hearings, issues Directives and Certifications, and provides legal advice and assistance to the Kandiyohi County Registrar of Titles.

Bradley J. Schmidt
Kandiyohi County Examiner of Titles
320 1st St SW
P.O.Box 913
Willmar MN  56201
(320) 214-6503 (direct dial)
(320-235-0480 (fax)

Chapter 508 of Minnesota Statutes provided 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.

When  property is held in trust, estate, or is part of a court proceeding, the Examiner of Titles issues a Directive to the Registrar of Titles regarding how to proceed. Please refer to the Examiner's Document List for a complete list of documents needing approval and certification by the Examiner of Titles prior to recording.  Fees for approval and certification are payable to Bradley J. Schmidt, Kandiyohi County Torrens Examiner and are in addition to recording fees.  See Examiner of Titles Fees for a current list of these.

Examiner's Review Process

All original documents requiring Approval and Certification prior to recording, as itemized on the Examiner's Document List, shall be first forwarded directly to the Kandiyohi County Examiner of Titles.  The Submitter shall forward all original documents directly to the Examiner, at the following address:

Bradley J. Schmidt
Kandiyohi County Examiner of Titles
320 1st St SW
P.O.Box 913
Willmar MN  56201

Attach all recording fees to the original documents when forwarded to the Examiner, this will allow everything to arrive together to the Registrar's Office.  Any fees related to the Examiner's review   are paid by the property owner and shall be paid directly to the Examiner of Titles. On the same date, the submitter shall present a photocopy of all documents to the Registrar of Titles.  This will allow the Registrar's Office the ability to assist in the review process, if necessary.

The Examiner shall, within 10 days, complete the approval process or contact the Submitter with questions and/or concerns, or return the documents for correction or completion.

Once the approval process is complete, the Examiner shall forward all documents directly to the Registrar of Titles for recording.


The County Recorder is responsible for the filing of "Financing Statements" covered under the Minnesota Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).  A financing statement is filed on any personal property when used as security.  By making the record public, a borrower makes public that a lien exists and allows a purchaser to be protected from buying mortgaged property.  This area is regulated by the Secretary of State and a Statewide network allows a search for liens.

Effective December 1, 2014, the office of MN Secretary of State will terminate all UCC Satellite agreements with MN counties.  Beginning December 1, 2014, all UCC filing activity must be conducted through the MN Secretary of State's Office UCC division.  Click here for UCC Online Filing Guide.  The UCC division may be contacted at; by email at; by phone at 877-551-6767; by fax at 651-215-1009.

Vital Statistics

This includes birth, death and marriage records.  The Kandiyohi County Recorder's Office is able to process requests for Certified copies of Births for the entire State of Minnesota for any birth occurring from 1935 to the present and for Deaths for the entire State of Minnesota for any death occurring from 1997 to the present in the State of Minnesota.  For births before 1935 and deaths prior to 1997 you will need to contact the county of birth/death.  Anyone can purchase plain copies of birth, death or marriage records but must prove "tangible interest" to obtain certified copies of birth or death records.  Kandiyohi County Vital Records start in approximately 1870.  If you need a certificate for someone born in another state, see the National Center for Health Statistics website for contact information.

Other Responsibilities

This includes filing and permanent retention of military discharges, notary public commissions, ministerial credentials, State and Federal Tax Liens and Bankruptcy proceedings.

Notice of Disclaimer:

Kandiyohi County makes the Web information available on an "as is" basis. All warranties and representations of any kind with regard to said information is disclaimed, including the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular use. While some of the information on this site is about legal issues or forms, it is not legal advice.  Kandiyohi County does not warrant the information against deficiencies of any kind. Under no circumstances will Kandiyohi County, or any of its officers or employees be liable for any consequential, incidental, special or exemplary damages even if appraised of the likelihood of such damages occurring.