Missouri Real Estate Practices

Attorney Involvement

Please describe any requirements under applicable state law for attorney, abstractor or other special professional involvement, for example, in the search, examination, opinion of title, signing, closing, disbursement, recording, preparation of documents, and/or policy-issuance.

An attorney is not required. A Licensed Missouri Producer must search, examine, close, record or handle any other aspects of closing and commitment and policy issuance. (License issued by the Missouri Dept. of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Licensing: MO DIFP) RSMo 381.031.19

Cancellation/Commitment Fee

Does your state permit or require a cancellation fee or commitment fee upon cancellation?

A cancellation fee is permitted but not required. An Issuing Office may invoice for a cancellation fee at the time of commitment. There is no filed commitment fee.

Certificate of Release (of Mortgage)

If anyone other than the lender (such as a title agent, settlement agent, underwriter or attorney) has the authority to release the security instrument, please describe.

Only the lender may execute a Deed of Release.


Please describe the kinds of deeds that are customary for commercial and residential transactions. Please describe the kinds of deeds that are generally not insurable.

A General Warranty Deed is customary for residential and commercial transactions. A Special Warranty Deed may be used for commercial transactions. A Quit Claim Deed or Special Warranty Deed may be insurable if approved by an underwriter after review of the title search.

Good Funds Requirements

Is there a good funds requirement in your state?

Yes, Section 381.410 (9-4-19)

Joinder of Spouses

If a non-title holding spouse is required to join in the execution of a deed or a security instrument, please describe. Any analogous rights, such as those in a civil union or equivalent, should also be addressed. 

A Non-Title Holding Spouse must execute any deed of conveyance or deed of trust. There is no civil union in Missouri.

Mortgage Tax

Is there a mortgage tax in your state? If yes, is it uniform across the state or does it vary? If it is uniform, please describe. 


Payment Customs

Who customarily pays for:
(a) Owner’s Policy?
(b) Transfer Tax & Recording Fee?
(c) Survey Charges?
(d) Closing/Settlement Fees?

(a) Seller pays for the Owner’s policy in Western MO; Buyer pays for the Owner’s policy in Eastern MO.
(b) No Transfer tax in MO; Recording fees are paid by the Buyer for the deed, by the Borrower for the deed of trust, unless the contract specifies otherwise.
(c) Borrower pays for Survey if required by Lender. Buyer also pays for Survey if required for Buyer unless contract specifies otherwise.
(d) Closing fees generally split between Buyer and Seller.

Policy Countersignatures

What kinds of countersignatures, if any, are required to issue the policy? 

Licensed Missouri Producer must countersign the policy. Producer License issued by the MO Dept. of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Licensing (DIFP)
Both Resident and Non-Resident Producer Licenses are issued.

Real Estate Taxes

Please describe the general tax year, due dates, and delinquency dates, including lien dates and payment cycle.

State and County: Tax Year is the calendar year. Taxes are due November 1 of the current tax year, delinquent December 31 of the current tax year.

Search and Examination Fees

Is it permissible and/or customary to charge a separate search and/or examination fee, and under what circumstances? If your jurisdiction is all-inclusive, please state that.

It is customary (and required in residential transactions) to disclose and charge a separate Title Service Charge which includes search and examination. Missouri is not an al- inclusive jurisdiction. We are prohibited from quoting an all- inclusive charge for residential transactions; the charges must be broken down between the Filed Risk Rate for the premium and the Title Service Charge.

Search Requirements

Is there a minimum period of time for a title search required: (a) by state law, (b) pursuant to marketable record title acts, or (c) by any other applicable title examination standards (e.g., state bar association)? Please respond to each category. If a minimum search period exists for any category, please state it.

Search must be made at a Registered Title Plant (a set of geographically indexed records registered with the DIFP) unless a search from the plant cannot be obtained at a reasonable cost in a reasonable time. The Plant must contain records which encompass at least the most recent forty-five years. RSMO 381.031.22. (A) The minimum required by state law is a search from a 45-year plant; (B) no marketable record title act; marketable title determined by case law and Title Standard; (C) Title Examination Standard of The Missouri Bar is 45 years but the base title required will generally exceed 45 years.

Security Instruments (Deed of Trust vs. Mortgage)

Please describe the customary and permissible form(s) of security instruments used in your state. 

Who can be listed as the trustee on the Deed of Trust (e.g., residency and/or natural person requirements, etc.)? Can an underwriter or title agent be designated as the trustee, and, if so, is it customary?

Deed of Trust only. The trustee must be a MO resident individual over the age of 18 or a MO corporation. If a non-resident individual or foreign corporation is named as trustee, a MO resident individual or MO corporation must be added as co-trustee.

An underwriter or a title agent could qualify as a trustee if it is a MO corporation. By custom, an attorney who is a resident of Missouri is usually named trustee. The lender/beneficiary selects the trustee.

Standard Exceptions and Requirements

Please identify the standard exceptions and requirements that are customarily used in your state.


This policy does not insure against loss or damage (and the Company will not pay costs, attorneys’ fees, or expenses) that arise by reason of:

Standard Exceptions:

1.     a.   Rights or claims of parties in possession not shown by the public records.

b.    Easements, or claims of easements, not shown by the public records.

c.     Any encroachment, encumbrance, violation, variation, or adverse circumstance that would be disclosed by an accurate and complete land survey of the Land.

d.    Any lien, or right to a lien, for services, labor or material heretofore or hereafter furnished, imposed by law and not shown by the public records.

e.     Taxes or special assessments which are not shown as existing liens by the public records.

Special Exceptions:

2.     Taxes 2007 and subsequent years.

Some issuing offices or agents add requirements. Some do not. If requirements are added, they are specific to the commitment and transaction (e.g., require a copy of the operating agreement of the LLC; require payment and release of a Deed of Trust; require execution and recording of the deed of trust to be insured).

State-specific Policy Variations

If there are state-specific changes to the provisions in the ALTA policies (e.g., Arbitration, Minerals), please describe.

Mandatory arbitration is prohibited in Missouri. The filed Arbitration Endorsement should be included with each policy.

"Minerals of whatsoever kind, subsurface and surface substances, including but not limited to coal, lignite, oil, gas, uranium, clay, rock, sand and gravel in, on, under and that may be produced from the Land, together with all rights, privileges, and immunities relating thereto, whether or not appearing in the Public Records or listed in Schedule B. The Company makes no representation as to the present ownership of any such interests. There may be leases, grants, exceptions or reservations of interests that are not listed."

Title Insurance Form and Filing Regulations

Please describe the form and/or rate filing requirements, if any, related to policies and endorsements. Please describe any applicable rating bureau. 

Commitment, policy and endorsement forms must be filed with the DIFP by the Insurer. There is no rate service organization. The Insurer files its Premium/Risk Rate for policies and endorsements with the DIFP. Title service charges made by the issuing agent are not filed. No “all-inclusive” rates or charges may be made.
See Regulations at http://sos.mo.gov/adrules/csr/current/20csr/20c500-7.pdf

Transfer Taxes

Is there a transfer tax in your state? If yes, is it uniform across the state or does it vary? If it is uniform, please describe.



Is usury coverage available?

Not available.

Withholding Taxes

What are your state’s requirements, if any, with regard to withholding proceeds from a sale, similar to but not including FIRPTA?

Not applicable.

Witness Requirements

Are witnesses required on a deed or security instrument? If so, please describe.

No witnesses required.