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Property (Real Estate) Transfer


Before a deed for the sale or transfer of real estate within the City of Park Ridge can be recorded with Cook County, the seller or owner of the real estate must purchase a City transfer stamp.   Owners selling or transferring real estate in Park Ridge must ensure a transfer stamp is purchased and affixed to the deed.  The Cook County Recorder of Deeds will not record the deed without this transfer stamp.

The City’s transfer stamp approval process is briefly described below:

  1. Final water meter reading and payment of final water bill.  (See below for additional information on how to coordinate this.)
  2. Submission of a Park Ridge Real Estate Transfer Declaration form to the City.  (See below for additional information.)
  3. Submission of MyDec / PTAX-203 form.  (See below for additional information.)
  4. Submission of Deed.
    1. For exempt stamps, a copy of the deed needs to be submitted, and/or other documents that verify the exemption being claimed.
    2. For non-exempt stamps, the original deed must be brought into City Hall so City staff can affix the transfer stamp.  This can be done at time of transfer stamp pick up.  Alternatively, applicants can forward the original deed at any time in the process.
  5. Payment of transfer fee and other debts.  Upon submission of the documents above, the City will review records to ensure all parties’ debts to the City have been paid.  The City will notify the contact person and confirm the transfer stamp fee amount as well as any other debts that need to be paid to the City.
  6. In-person visit to City Hall when staff will affix the transfer stamp to the original deed.   Payment of fees and debts and affixing stamp can be done on the same visit.


Pursuant to Municipal Code Section 2-18-6 certain transactions (typically when the property is being retained by the same owners, but title is being changed for estate planning or financing reasons) require only an exempt stamp. The cost of an exempt stamp is $25.00.The process for obtaining an exempt stamp is the same as the process for obtaining a transfer stamp. Exempt stamps cannot be issued until all outstanding fees and debts to the City are paid. The application must include the signed property transfer declaration setting forth basis for the exemption.

For a complete list of properties that qualify for exempt stamps, consult the attached sheet or Section 2-18-6:


Due to COVID-19, on-site meter readings are not being conducted at this time. The City will accept a photo of the water meter in lieu of an actual on-site reading. Please email the photo of the water meter to Final payment can be made in person at City Hall (505 Butler Pl). Cash, credit card, cashier’s check, or attorney’s check will be accepted. Final water can be paid separately or with transfer stamps.

Once payment is received, please take your paid receipt to the Department of Community Preservation and Development (2nd Floor of City Hall). CP&D will not release transfer stamps unless the water account is paid in full


Applicants must submit a Park Ridge Real Estate Transfer Declaration form to the City.

This form can be found at   Real Estate Transfer Declaration Form

The form can be emailed to

Do not send the form to an individual staff member’s email, as the absence of that staff member could delay processing the application.  You must indicate a contact name and email address on this form.   City staff will use this email address to confirm that the Real Estate Transfer Declaration form has been received and will use the address to provide status updates.  Due to the high volume of phone calls received by the Department of Community Preservation & Development, staff prefers all communication via email.


The application procedure has been recently streamlined, and many documents previously required by the City no longer need to be submitted.  In addition to the Real Estate Transfer Declaration form, the City now requires only a MyDec / PTAX-203 prior to pick up of the transfer stamp.  This form must be submitted at the same time as the Park Ridge Transfer Declaration form.


The information from the Real Estate Transfer Declaration Form and/or PTAX-203 is used by the City to search records in order to ensure all fines, fees and other debts to the City have been paid in full.  When the records search is complete, staff will notify the contact person listed on the Real Estate Transfer Declaration form and advise the contact if there are any outstanding debts to the City, and if so, provide the nature and amount of the debt(s).  Again, City preference is to use email for this notification.  This information is normally provided within three working days, but applicants should allow at five working days for the review.   In most instances there should be no need for applicants to call and request a status update.


Payment for the stamp and any outstanding obligations can be made by cash, cashier's check, MC, Visa, Discover, or Attorney's Check. Personal checks including real estate company checks are NOT accepted.  Recognized, established Title Company checks are approved on a case-by-case basis. The cost of the stamps, and all outstanding obligations can be paid with the same check. Checks should be made payable to the City of Park Ridge.




The [real estate property] tax imposed by this Chapter shall not apply to the following transactions:

  1. transactions involving property acquired by or from any governmental body or by any corporation, society, association, foundation or institution organized and operated exclusively for charitable, religious or educational purposes.
  2. transactions which secure debt or other obligation.
  3. transactions in which deeds without additional consideration, confirm, correct, modify or supplement deeds previously recorded.
  4. transactions in which the deeds are tax deeds.
  5. transactions which are releases of property which is security for a debt or other obligation.
  6. transactions of partitions.
  7. transactions made pursuant to merges, consolidations or transfers or sales of substantially all of the assets of a corporation pursuant to plans of reorganization.
  8. transactions between subsidiary corporations and their parents for no consideration other than the cancellation or surrender of the subsidiary corporation's stock.
  9. transactions representing transfers subject to the imposition of a documentary stamp tax imposed by the government of the United States.
  10. transactions involving deeds or trust documents executed prior to the effective date of this ordinance.
  11. transactions involving transfer by an executor or administrator to a legatee, heir or distributee where the transfer is being made pursuant to will or by intestacy.
  12. transactions effected by operation of law or upon delivery or transfer in the following instances:
    1. from a decedent to his executor or administrator;
    2. from a minor to his guardian or from a guardian to his ward upon attaining majority;
    3. from an incompetent to his conservator, or similar legal representative, or from a conservator or similar legal representative to a former incompetent upon removal of disability;
    4. from a bank, trust company, financial institution, insurance company, or other similar entity, or nominee, or trustee therefore, to a public officer or commission, or person designated by such officer or commission or by a court, in the taking over of its assets, in whole or in part, under state or federal law regulating or supervising such institutions, not upon redelivery or retransfer by any such transferee or successor thereto;
    5. from a bankrupt or person in receivership due to insolvency to the trustee in bankruptcy or receiver, from such receiver to such trustee or from such trustee to such receiver, nor upon redelivery or retransfer by any such transferee or successor thereto;
    6. from a transferee under paragraphs 1 to 5, inclusive, to his successor acting in the same capacity, or from one such successor to another;
    7. from trustees to surviving, substitute, succeeding or additional trustees of the same trust;
    8. upon the death of a joint tenant or tenant by the entirety, to the survivor or survivors.
  13. Transactions in which the actual consideration is less than $100.00.

No other instrument purporting to transfer a fee interest in real estate, including but not limited to deeds, pursuant to a judicial sale, shall be exempt. Every deed or other instrument which is exempt pursuant to this Section shall be presented to the Director so as to be appropriately marked by said Director as an exempt deed or instrument eligible for recordation without the payment of tax. At such time as a deed or instrument is presented to the Director, a certificate setting forth the facts which justify exemption shall be presented, together with the declaration required in Section 2-18-4 and a $25.00 processing fee.

(Ord. No. 2001-52, 12-17-2001; Ord. No. 2008-09, 02-11-2008)


Related Forms

Real Estate Transfer Form Instructions

     listing Exemptions
   (see Chapter 18)


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