Mark McGaha, Register Of Deeds

My name is Mark McGaha I am the Register of Deeds in Cocke County. I began working in the office in September 2010 and was appointed as Register of Deeds by the CLB after the retirement of Linda Benson on December 2016. I was born and raised and Cocke County and proud to call it home. In 2012 I received my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Tusculum College. I then went on to earn my Masters of Business Administration degree in 2014.


The office of Register in Tennessee can be traced back to the period when this region was part of the English colony of Carolina. The office was provided for in the colony’s first fundamental law, known as the “Concessions and Agreements” of 1665. This office was patterned along the English model. The Register’s general duties have always been to record various types of legal instruments and transactions, particularly those conveying title to land. The Register’s office in Carolina continued under the colony’s “FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTION” of 1715. The qualified voters elected three freeholders who became candidates for the office. The governor then appointed one of these three small landowners to be the Register. The Register was to serve during good behavior.

When Tennessee became a state in 1796, the first constitution included a provision for a Register to be elected by the county court in every county. The term of office was indefinite and the Register was to serve “during good behavior.” The TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION of 1835 provided for the popular election of the Register for a term of four years, reflecting the trend of the Jacksonian era. TENNESSEE’S CONSTITUTION of 1870 retained the office of Register and continued the term of office at four years. The 1978 amendments to the TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION retained the four-year term for the Register.

TENNESSEE’S CONSTITUTION does not specify any duties for the office of Register. Therefore, the Legislature is free to determine the duties of the Register by statute and has done so.

The duties of the Register first centered on registering or recording, by transcription, deeds to real property. This basic function, in regard to land titles, remains a vital one. However, over the years, other types of instruments have been added to those eligible for registration. Today, many of the basic duties of the office are listed in Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 8-13-108.

The duties of the Registers office is to record documents that are required by law or that the law allows to be recorded. Strict directives are followed on how documents are recorded, indexed, scanned and how records are maintained. Accurate records are kept on the fees, taxes and commission collected by our office. The county receives reports on the fees and commissions collected. The Tennessee Department of Revenue receives reports on the transfer and mortgage taxes collected by the office. It is always wise to have a licensed Tennessee attorney prepare any real estate documents that will be filed.

Donna Gilland – Deputy Register

Denise Fox – Clerk

Terry Poe Wilson – Clerk

Recording Fees

Fees mandated by TCA §8-21-1001

All Documents, except releases and charters, must show the name and address of the person or company preparing the instrument


$10.00 – One or Two Pages Releasing One Lien + $ 2.00 – Data Processing Fee

$ 5.00 – Each Additional Page

$ 5.00 – Each Additional Deed Reference


$ 5.00 – Up To And Including Five Pages + $ 2.00 – Data Processing Fee

.50 – Each Additional Page

Assignments and Modifications

$10.00 – One Or Two Pages With One Assignment + $ 2.00 – Data Processing Fee

$ 5.00 – Each Additional Page

$ 5.00 – Each Additional Deed Reference

Each Assignment and Modification must contain the following statement: “Maximum Principal Indebtedness for Tennessee Recording Tax Purpose is $ “0”

Financing Statements

$ 15.00 – Fixture Filing (Real Estate Records)

$ 15.00 – Each Additional party to be indexed

.50 – Each Page Exceeding Ten Pages

(A husband and wife are considered two names for UCC record indexing purposes and the extra $15 will be charged)

All Other Documents including:

Warranty Deeds, Quit Claim Deeds, Deeds of Trust, Amendments, Leases, Restrictions, Agreements, Liens, and Judgments.

$ 5.00 Per Page

$ 10.00 Minimum Charge + $ 2.00 – Data Processing Fee

Probate Fee

$ 1.00 – Collected Only When State Tax Paid

State Tax

Conveyance: $ 3.70 per $1000 (.0037 x $1000)

Mortgage: $ 1.15 per $1000 (.00115 per $1,000) (First $2,000 is exempt)

Certified Copies

$1.00 + $1.00 per page

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Fraud Alert

I wanted to inform everyone of a fraud alert system that I have implemented in the Register of Deeds Office. Follow the above link and it will take you to a website where you will enter in a first and last name along with an email address and anytime after that if a document is recorded in our office under that name an email alert will be sent to the address given that something has been recorded under that name. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at 423-623-7540 and I will be happy to help in any way I can.

Filing Requirements

The registers office may not prepare documents or perform title searches, as we are neither bonded nor licensed attorneys.

Important Information

Cocke County Register of Deeds

111 Court Avenue Suite 102
Newport, Tennessee 37821

Phone: 423-623-7540

Fax: 423-623-7556



Monday- 8:00 to 4:30
Tuesday- 8:00 to 4:30
Wednesday- 8:00 to 12:00
Thursday- 8:00 to 4:30
Friday- 8:00 to 4:30
Saturday- 8:00 to 11:00