Several Palm Beach County residents have recently received official-looking solicitations in the mail from companies selling certified copies of property deeds. I encourage everyone to be cautious of private companies trying to sell public records that can be easily obtained at the courthouse or online.

These companies often send letters advertising the government’s recommendation that all citizens have certified copies of their records, such as property deeds. They then offer copies of the records for fees ranging from $40 to $89 or even more.

Uncertified copies may be downloaded and printed for free by using the Official Records search on our website.

Certified copies of deeds and other official records can be obtained from my office for just a few dollars -- not for the excessive prices these companies are charging. You can obtain documents from the Clerk’s office for $1 per page and they can be certified for an additional $2.

In addition to property deeds, other public records available from our office include mortgages, liens, court judgments, marriage licenses, and tax deeds.

Solicitations like this may be legal, but they are misleading. Every few years, we hear from residents who have received these notices and want to know what they should do. I want to remind people that this information is readily available online and at the courthouse – there is no need to pay that kind of money to get public records.

For more information on receiving copies of your public records, please contact the Official Records Department at (352) 671-5630.