CPT - Instruction for Registration of Title Without a Court Proceeding

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NOTE: This procedure can only be used for titles that do not contain defects. If a title has defects it must be registered through a court proceeding by the courts with the power to cure those defects.

An owner of abstract land can convert the land to the Torrens system (registered) by an inexpensive administrative procedure. This process is less expensive and takes less time than a court proceeding.

The process begins with completing an application and submitting it along with an abstract to the Examiner of Titles for approval. Once approved, the application is recorded with the County Recorder. The abstract is analyzed by the Examiner and a report is issued on the condition of title. Assuming it is a good title, notices will be mailed to the interested parties. If there is no objection, the Examiner will issue a Directive to issue a Certificate of Possessory Title (CPT). The CPT will contain all mortgages, easements and other interests that affect the land.

Reasons to register abstract land

  • Gives the land owner a CPT and the benefits of Torrens land.
  • Eliminates storing an abstract or losing it (If an abstract is lost, a new one can cost $1,000 or more).
  • Eliminates extra expenses and inconvenience of dealing with two recording offices when land is part abstract and part Torrens.
  • Gives the same protection that owners of Torrens land have against acquisition by other parties, such as adverse possession.
  • Eliminates need for affidavits of non-identity when there are judgments against persons with same/similar names.


A simple CPT registration will cost approximately $375, attorney's fees not included. The cost breaks down as follows:

  • Attorney fees: A property owner can complete this process without assistance from an attorney, but if an attorney is hired, the fees should not be as large as a court proceeding in District Court because the CPT process requires less time
  • Recording and filing fees:
    1. The recording application with County Recorder (abstract) is $46. It is an additional $2 to have a copy stamped with “Duplicate Filing Certificate.”
    2. Recording the Examiner’s original Directive with the Registrar of Titles (Torrens) is $46; this includes the issuance of the first Certificate of Possessory Title.
  • Title Evidence, Judgment, Bankruptcy and Tax Lien searches:
    1. The Examiner of Titles will inform the applicant or the applicant’s attorney what title evidence will be required.
    2. The fees for that evidence will be charged by the company retrieving that evidence.
  • Examiner of Titles examination fee:
    1. $255 for each parcel of land (set by the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners)
    2. The Examiner of Titles has the authority to determine how many parcels of land are involved.


It is recommended that the applicant or the applicant’s attorney schedule a preliminary visit with the Examiner of Titles before filing documents or order abstracting so the office can determine what evidence of title will be needed. This may save time and expense.

Responsibilities of applicant or applicant’s attorney:

  • Fill out the CPT application.
  • Obtain the abstract for the property being registered.
  • Order a judgment search from a title company.
  • Find addresses for parties identified in the Report of Examiner.
  • Prepare envelopes addressed to those parties.
  • Pay all necessary fees.


  1. Complete the appropriate CPT application. Application forms are available online.
  2. Deliver the application to the Examiner of Titles Office for approval, including:
    • The completed application.
    • A signed copy of the application.
    • The abstract of title - If an abstract or a completed abstract is unavailable, contact the Examiner of Titles office to discuss other forms of sufficient alternative title evidence.
    • Name, address and phone number for the applicant’s or applicant’s attorney.
  3. Once application is approved, the Examiner of Titles office will call and mail an approval letter. The letter will include an explanation of fees.
  4. Once fees are received, the Examiner of Titles office will record the application.
  5. The Examiner of Titles office requires a standard name search – See Title Standard No. 82. An Examiner will contact the applicant or the applicant’s attorney with instructions to obtain searches against parties in the chain of title.
    • The applicant or the applicant’s attorney must order the searches.
    • The applicant or the applicant’s attorney must have the report delivered to the Examiner’s office.
  6. Once searches are received by the Examiner, the Examiner issues a Report of Examiner.
  7. Upon receipt of the Report of Examiner, the applicant or applicant’s attorney must obtain the addresses for the parties required to be given notice. Their names and addresses must be inserted on the Notice to Examiner to Mail Notice of Certificate of Possessory Title Application (Word).
  8. Deliver or mail this form to the Examiner of Titles together with stamped envelopes addressed to the parties required to be given notice with a return address of: Examiner of Titles Office, 90 W. Plato Blvd., Suite 170, St. Paul, MN 55107
  9. If no objection is received by the Examiner within 20 days, the Examiner will prepare a Directive to issue a Certificate of Possessory Title to the applicant. A copy of the proposed directive will be mailed to the applicant along with a CPT Affidavit and instructions to send a check to the Examiner for the fees due to the Registrar for issuing the CPT and a self addressed envelope for return of the CPT.
  10. When the check and CPT Affidavit have been received, the Examiners office will record the Directive for you.
  11. The Registrar of Titles office will send the applicant or applicant’s attorney a copy of the CPT when the registration is complete, if a self-addressed stamped envelope is included.