Frequently Asked Questions

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Uniform Parcel Identifier System FAQs

  
Uniform Parcel Identifier System General Questions

For questions regarding a PIN Certification, contact the GIS Department at 610-782-3443.

What is a Uniform Parcel Identification Number, hereinafter referred to as a PIN?

A PIN is a series of numbers that identifies each separate tract, lot, or parcel of real estate in Lehigh County and will allow the identification of a particular parcel of real estate by number, instead of having to describe it by legal description.  The PIN is made up of a PIN and PARNUM.  The PIN format is a twelve (12) digit number (PIN) followed by the PARNUM which can be up to five (5) digits: 

Example  000000000000 0.

 In addition to the current method of searching by owner(s) of the real estate, you will be able to search for ownership, mortgages, easements (i.e., utility rights-of-way), and other matters affecting real estate, by entering a PIN.

 What is the effective date of the UPI Ordinance?

The effective date is January 4, 2010, Lehigh County Ordinance 2009-NO.201. 

 Who assigns PINs?

The GIS Bureau, the permanent depository of all county tax maps, assigns a PIN, to each parcel of real estate recorded in Lehigh County and certifies each existing PIN on documents to be recorded. 
 

Where do I find a PIN for a piece of property?

A PIN and PARNUM for each parcel of real estate in Lehigh County is found in the County Assessment Records. Assessment data is available on the Lehigh County website, www.lehighcounty.org , under SERVICES, ASSESSMENT RECORDS.  There are public computers available in the Assessment Office and the Recorder of Deeds Division.  Searching can be done by property location or PIN.  A PIN and PARNUM must be on each document when electronically sent to the GIS Bureau for certification.

 

Where should the PIN be placed on the document?

Each applicable PIN and PARNUM, provided by the person seeking to record a document, shall be placed at the top of the first page of the document to be recorded. 

What documents need a PIN prior to recording?

Any type of Deeds, Easements, Right-of-Ways, Mortgages, Assignment of Mortgages, Release or Satisfaction of Mortgages, 

And as stated in Lehigh County Ordinance 2009-201:

“…Any writing evidencing an interest in realty in the County of Lehigh, Pennsylvania, and which transfers or

otherwise affects an interest in real estate and which is to be recorded in the Recorder of Deeds Division, other

than a Will, a General Power of Attorney, or a Deed of Dedication to a municipality for a road.

 Included in the definition of ‘Document’ shall be a:

                                    (1) Deed, Quitclaim Deed, Declaration of Taking by Condemnation, Sales Contract or Agreement, Notice of Taking by Adverse Possession,

                                    (2) Right-of-Way, Easement, Ground Lease, Lease Occupancy Agreement, Memorandum of Lease of other Agreement,

                                    (3) Mortgage, Assignment of Mortgage, Extension, Postponement or Subordination of

 

Mortgage, Release or Satisfaction of Mortgage, Power of Attorney to Satisfy Mortgage,

                                    (4) Decree Awarding Real Estate, Award in Condemnation, Bankruptcy Notice or Order, or other Order of Court affecting real estate,    

                                    (5) Power of Attorney to sell specific real estate, Financing Statement, Clean and Green Application or Amendment thereof, Subdivision or Land Development Plan.

                                    This list is not exclusive and other documents or instruments may be added by the issuance of additional regulations promulgated by the Lehigh County GIS Bureau, or by interpretation by the Recorder of Deeds Division.  It is the intention of this Ordinance that every instrument recorded in the Recorder of Deeds Division have a Uniform Parcel Identifier Number, or Numbers, certified thereon, except for the named exceptions.”

Where do I get a PIN certified?

All documents are first submitted to the Recorder of Deeds Division, where they are scanned and electronically sent to the GIS Bureau for certification.  The PIN and PARNUM must be on each document when it is submitted.  The GIS Bureau, located on the third (3rd)  floor of the Lehigh County Government Center, 17 S. Seventh Street, Room 350, Allentown, PA 18101, will be accepting documents electronically for certification via the Recorder of Deeds Division from 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.  Please note: the Recorder of Deeds Division will accept documents that do not require PIN Certification for recording up to 4:15 p.m.  
For questions regarding a PIN Certification, contact the GIS Department at 610-782-3443.

 

How quickly will PIN certifications be made?

The GIS Bureau intends to promptly respond to all certification requests. Legally there is a twenty-four (24) hour, or one business day, turnaround for the County to assign or verify the PIN.  The amount of time that it takes to verify a PIN will vary due to the verification of information in a document.  When all documentation is in proper order, certification should be completed within one day.  For in person requests, depending upon volume, it is anticipated that certification will normally take place upon presentation of a document.

Why must I have my PIN certified?

A PIN is certified in order to ensure that the PIN on the deed or other documents matches the County’s records for the parcel of real estate involved and the listed owners of that real estate, etc.  With the ability to search real estate records by the PIN, the County needs to ensure that the document and corresponding PIN is correct BEFORE the document is recorded

Who is responsible if the PIN is incorrect?

The person recording the document is responsible for ensuring that the correct PIN is set forth on the document and certified by the GIS Bureau.

How much is the fee for the PIN certification and where is the fee collected?

The fee is Ten ($10.00) Dollars for each PIN affixed and certified.  In the event of a single instrument relating to multiple PINs, a separate Ten ($10.00) Dollar PIN certification fee must be paid for each PIN affixed and certified to each document.  The fee shall be payable to the Recorder of Deeds Division, as the agent for the County, at the time the document is presented for recording with the Recorder of Deeds Division and shall be included with the recording fees.

What is the process of certifying a PIN?

The GIS Bureau will review the documents to determine whether the information provided denotes a PIN to be certified or requires a new PIN to be assigned.  There are five main components which are reviewed to accept a PIN for certification:

 1.  An existing PIN and PARNUM number 

2.   Name on Document (ex. Grantor, Mortgagor)
 
3.   Property location

4.   Municipality

5.   Legal Description and/or property address with correct municipality, not mailing address

Once the determination is made, the PIN(S) will be certified.  The LCGIS Registry UPI Certification Stamp, including date and initials of person certifying, is displayed on the ending page which becomes a permanent part of each document upon recording.

What are the procedures for certifying a PIN and recording documents?

 

For in person requests - After review by the Recorder of Deeds Division and deemed recordable, document(s) will be scanned and electronically forwarded to the GIS Bureau Staff for review and PIN Certification, then electronically sent back to the Recorder of Deeds Division for recording.  The LCGIS Registry UPI Certification Stamp will appear on the ending page which is attached to each document when it is recorded.   If the document does not have the required PIN and PARNUM and/or has erroneous information, the document and a rejection notice with a reason why it is being rejected will be given back to the person submitting the documents for corrections to be made. 

 

For documents sent through the mail or overnight delivery to the Recorder of Deeds Division - After review by the Recorder of Deeds Division and deemed recordable, the documents will be scanned and electronically forwarded to the GIS Bureau for review and PIN Certification, then electronically sent back to the Recorder of Deeds Division for recording.  The LCGIS Registry UPI Certification Stamp will appear on the ending page which is attached to each document when it is recorded.  Any documents without the required PIN and PARNUM or with erroneous information will be returned by mail unrecorded with a rejection notice that includes an explanation of the reason(s) why the document is being returned and will be charged a rejection fee, as set forth in the fee schedule. 

 

For e-recording submissions - After review by the Recorder of Deeds Division, recordable documents will be electronically forwarded to the GIS Bureau for review and PIN Certification, then electronically sent back to the Recorder of Deeds Division for recording..  The LCGIS Registry UPI Certification Stamp will appear on the ending age which is attached to each document when it is recorded.  All e-recording documents without the required PIN and PARNUM or with erroneous information will be rejected electronically, along with an explanation of the reason(s) why the document is being returned.

 

Can I still do a perimeter deed for a subdivided area?

An owner may convey multiple lots, carrying a separate PIN, by means of a single perimeter description, without amalgamating the lots into a single tract with a single PIN.  However, the owner should clearly state that the deed is intended to convey the separate lots, and that they are to remain as separate lots, subject to the previously recorded subdivision plan.  Conversely, if the deed is to effect an amalgamation (consolidation) of the lots into a single parcel, the deed should also so state. In either instance, all the applicable PINs must be listed.  A fee is paid for each PIN.

Can I still do a perimeter deed for a subdivided area, with excepted lots?

Yes…with all of the PINs set forth, and with the direction as to whether or not the conveyance is intended to cause an amalgamation of the lots.  For example, an owner may convey a development to a successor developer by means of a perimeter description for the entire original tract, “Less However” the lots already conveyed out of the development, so long as all of the PINs are set forth and the deed clearly states whether or not it is intended to cause an amalgamation of the lots.

What PIN is to be placed on a document when a lot owner grants a utility easement over or under a portion of owner’s lot?

The PIN for the owner's lot.

As it relates to the recording of subdivision plans, how will PIN(s) be assigned and fees levied?

The PIN(s) will include only the existing PIN(s) that comprise the subdivision plan.

What PIN is to be placed on a document when a lot owner grants an easement for a right-of-way to a neighbor?

The PIN for the owner’s lot. The deed should clearly state the purpose for the instrument; i.e. granting an easement or right-of-way.