Division of Land Titles and Records
The Indian Land Record of Title is the official record of title documents and instruments affecting Indian land that require approval by the Secretary or other Federal officials. The Division of Land Titles and Records (DLTR), and its 16 Land Titles and Records Offices (LTRO), are the official Federal offices-of-record for all documents affecting title to Indian lands, and for the determination, maintenance, and certified reporting of land title ownership and encumbrance on Indian trust and restricted lands. All title documents affecting Indian land are to be recorded in the Indian Land Record of Title. The DLTR-LTRO is the office responsible for maintaining the Indian Land Record of Title and for examining and determining the completeness and accuracy of the records, certifying the findings of examination and reporting the status of title to Indian trust and restricted lands.
The DLTR provides for the normal day-to-day operations and maintenance costs of the Division’s 16 Land Titles and Records Offices. The mission of the DLTR is to maintain timely and certified Federal land title ownership and encumbrance services, to record, maintain, and certify land title documents, including patents, deeds, probate orders, leases, rights-of-way, cadastral surveys, plats, subdivision, and other Indian land title documents, to provide certified Title Status Reports (TSRs) that are accurate, timely, accountable and efficient, and state the complete status of title ownership and encumbrance for Federal Indian trust and restricted lands.
The Division and its LTRO perform the timely processing of all trust land titles and title documents in direct support of the trust responsibility. The examination and certification of Indian land titles requires that all the documents affecting the title to the tract of land be recorded and examined for accuracy and to verify each owner’s interest in the tract and the encumbrances on such ownership. The average time to prepare a TSR, depending upon the number of land owners, number of title documents, and the complexity of the title issues, may range from as little as one hour to as much as several days.
The modernization of automation of the recording process, including the creation of digital images of recorded title documents in the Trust Asset and Accounting Management System (TAAMS) Title Image Repository (TIR), and the management of ownership and encumbrance, has increased the efficiency, effectiveness, and the delivery of land title services, documents, and reports, on all Indian trust and restricted lands.
Locations of Land Titles and Records Offices
To see what region you are in, refer to the map of the regions.
The DLTR-LTRO is responsible for various major functions. They are as follows:
Real Property-Based Automated System of Title Ownership and Encumbrance
The DLTR-LTRO is the custodian of Bureau of Indian Affairs’ automated land titles and records system-of-record: TAAMS – Title Module.
Recording Title and Encumbrance Documents
The recording of all conveyance and encumbrance documents affecting title to trust and restricted Indian lands, and to certain government lands under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, that law and regulations require to be managed by the Secretary of the Interior. Functions are similar to those performed by a county recording office.
Examination, certification, and issuance of Title Status Reports (reports that report current ownership and encumbrance information of tracts of Indian land), including the maintenance of Indian and government ownership records. Functions are similar to those performed by an abstract or title company. This function also includes issuance of Probate Inventory Reports for the estates of deceased Indian individuals, and the Individual or Tribal Interest Reports that reports all of an individual landowner’s land ownership.
Indian Probate Curative Actions
Identification and issuance of administrative modifications to a probate order is issued to correct probate errors that are clerical in nature and which do not affect vested property rights or involve questions of due process or law. If the error is not clerical in nature, notification of the appropriate Deciding Official, as defined in the probate regulations, while making a notice in the Indian Land Record of Title that an error exists. Once a Deciding Official corrects an error in a probate order and submits a probate order modification evidencing the correction, the modification is recorded and the land title is corrected and updated.
Title Document Certification
The reproduction and certification of a copy of a title document as a true and accurate representation of the original title document for all evidentiary, legal, and financial purposes.
Title Status Map Maintenance
Creation and maintenance of land status maps (the representation of ownership on a map of one or more tracts of Indian land), which illustrates comprehensive ownership and boundaries of all tracts within an Indian reservation or land area. This function is in the process of redesign and reengineering for operation within the TAAMS Title environment.
Special Reports or Projects
Special reports and projects required by the DLTR-LTRO, the bureau or department, other Federal agency, or requested by executive or congressional offices, etc., which include, but are not limited to the following:
Title Image Repository
The TAAMS TIR is the document imaging and management function that is part of TAAMS to support TAAMS Title and Leasing with certified images of title documents. The TIR is designed and operated as the official Federal repository for all Federal Indian title documents, including patents, deeds, probate orders, leases, land or resource contracts, rights-of-way, easements, covenants, title status reports, cadastral surveys, and other documents affecting the title to Indian trust and restricted lands.