About the Register of Deeds

A little history about the Register of Deeds …

In 1853 the State Legislature passed an Act organizing Emmet County. Included in its boundary was the unorganized county of Charlevoix plus the Mormon King Strang’s domain, the Beaver Islands. Since Strang was responsible for all this, the first official affairs of Emmet County were conducted by Mormons at St. James on Beaver Island. The first Register of Deeds for Emmet County was A J Blackbird in 1853.

Contact Us: 
200 Division St. Suite 150
Petoskey, MI  49770
Phone: (231) 348-1761
Fax: (231) 348-1773

Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Karen Cosens, Chief Deputy Register of Deeds
(231) 348-0630

Karen Cosens is the Chief Deputy Register of Deeds. She had 20 + years of banking experience in the local community before working for the Emmet County ROD. Karen and her husband Jerry are lifelong residents of Petoskey and have two daughters, Katy and Shannon. She enjoys painting, gardening and watching any kind of sports.



Terri Teuscher, Clerk/Secretary
(231) 348-0628

The Emmet County Register of Deeds office welcomed clerk/secretary Terri Teuscher to its full-time staff in January 2015. Teuscher has previously worked in temporary positions in the County Building, including in the Civil Counsel office and the ROD, before becoming full-time earlier this year.

Teuscher lives in the Wallon Lake area with her husband, Jon. She has several grandchildren. She enjoys camping, reading and cross-stitch and most importantly, time with her growing family.

In the ROD office, Teuscher will work with the public in assisting them with their land record needs. “I really like working with the public and with the real estate documents that we handle through this department,” said Teuscher.

Who we serve

The Register of Deeds Office is one facet of county government that touches numerous other offices and is critical to the operation of county government.

Real estate is the most valuable monetary asset in the county, amounting to billions of dollars.

  • The courts depend on the Register of Deeds Office to record documents and give notice to the public where property is concerned, including judgments of divorce, bond notices, orders, liens and numerous others.
  • The Sheriff’s Department, Treasurer’s Office, and Clerk’s Office are required to record foreclosure sales and notices in our office.
  • Local government units, Equalization Department, and the Treasurer’s Office all receive their first notice of sales from my office, which enables them to prepare valuations for the tax rolls each year.
  • MDOT for property acquisition studies.
  • GIS accesses our records to update their records online.
  • The Community Action Agency accesses the Register of Deeds Office records to monitor the liens and mortgages of housing clients.
  • The Friend of the Court office uses the Register of Deeds records to determine eligibility for services and to place liens against parties.
  • The State and Federal government record notice of tax liens here.
  • Local attorneys file judgment liens for non payment.
  • Land is sold and mortgaged based on the Register of Deeds Office real estate records. All real estate related businesses rely on our expertise in recording, warehousing, and indexing real estate documents.
  • The Register of Deeds serves as the Chairman of the Plat Board. The Register of Deeds is responsible for organizing meetings and reviewing/recording plats conducive to county growth.
  • All land that is sold or mortgaged is recorded in the Register of Deeds Office, and hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses rely on our timeliness, accuracy and expertise.

Plat Board

The very first Constitution of the State of Michigan adopted by Congress of the United States in 1836 established the office of Register of Deeds. The Register of Deeds is the official recording officer for all legal papers and instruments pertaining to the transfer and encumbrance of lands and properties within the County.

The Register of Deeds also serves as Chairman of the County Plat Board pursuant to the Land Division Act 288 of 1967.

This act established minimum standards for subdividing land and uniform procedures for the submission and approval of Plats. The purpose of the Plat Board is to maintain those high standards and to establish written uniform procedures to permit land divisions or Plats within Emmet County.

The Emmet County Plat Board meets on an as needed basis. To present a preliminary plat, please contact the office directly, (231) 348-1761. To date, Emmet County has recorded 388 plats and 350 condominiums.

Emmet County, Michigan
200 Division Street, Petoskey MI 49770
(231) 348-1702 | Contact Us