Realty Transfer Certificate

Realty Transfer Certificate - Form 488 (RTC) Important: This is a legal size document. Please update your printer settings to 8-1/2 x 14.

The Realty Transfer Act, 15-7-300, MCA, serves two purposes. First, it is intended to identify all transfers of real property in order that the property tax record in each county may be updated in a timely and accurate manner, reflecting the names and addresses of the people to whom property taxes are to be assessed. Second, the Realty Transfer Act provides market information on the current selling price of land and improvements that the department uses for the mass appraisal of real property in Montana.

A completed realty transfer certificate (RTC) must be filed with the County Clerk and Recorder when the instrument or deed evidencing a transfer of real estate is presented for recording. Real estate includes land, growing timber, buildings, structures, fixtures, fences, and improvements affixed to land. The name of the grantor (seller) reflected on the RTC must be identical to the name of the grantor (seller) reflected on the accompanying deed. The name of the grantee (buyer) reflected on the RTC must be identical to the name of the grantee (buyer) reflected on the deed.15-7-304, 15-7-305, MCA

All information requested on the RTC needs to be accurately furnished by the preparer in order for an ownership to be changed on real property for property tax purposes.This includes the disclosure of the last four digits of the social security number or federal employment identification number of those individuals or entities involved in the transfer. If the transfer of real property involves foreign nationals, an individual taxpayer identification number needs to be provided. A current mailing address and phone contact number for the grantee (buyer) is invaluable for verification and correspondence purposes, if questions arise.

A realty transfer certificate filed for the following transfers do not need to disclose the amount paid or to be paid for the real estate transferred. 15-7-307, MCA

- Gift
- Transfer in contemplation of death without consideration
- Transfer between husband/wife or parent/child for nominal consideration
- Transfer of property of the estate of a decedent
- Transfer by government agency
- Correction, modification, or supplement of previously recorded instrument, no additional consideration
- Termination of joint tenancy by death
- Termination of life estate by death
- Transfer pursuant to court decree (except sheriff's sale)
- Tax deed
- Merger, consolidation or reorganization of business entity
- Land eligible for timberland/forestland classification (15-44-103, MCA)
- Land eligible for agricultural classification (15-7-201, MCA)
- Transfer to a revocable living trust


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