Basics for Document Searches
- You don't have to fill in every field on the page.
- Start by selecting the document type from the dropdown list. This may substantially narrow down
the results list. If you don't know what type of document you're looking for, search using
"Any Document Type". *Note: The "Clear" button will not reset the Document Type dropdown,
if a chyange is needed you will need to make the selection.
- If you happen to know the document number (DM ID), lease number, easement number, permit number,
instrument number, or some other accession number for the document you want,
put it in the Document/Instrument Number field, leave the rest of the fields empty,
and click Search. *Note: "00" precedes all Uplands Lease (CUL) numbers, all Submerged Lands
Leases (CSL) numbers should be 9 characters (numbers and letters accepted) with a preceding zero
if applicable, and any other number for this field that might have preceding zeros should be entered
as such; "00001".
- If you do not know the document/instrument (DM ID) number, easement number, then start by
filling in one or two fields that you do know. You may get a long
list of matching land documents, but that's a good start.
- If you're not sure of the section, township or range (physical location) - start by specifying the county.
- Document numbers with dashes are not accepted in the Document/Instrument Number field. You will
have to search by Document Type, Section, Township, Range and Document Date.
- If the document has been recorded in one of the 67 Florida Counties, you can search for it using the information
by entering the County Recorded Book and Page which is located on the first page of the
document. When entering Book and Page do not add preceding zeros.
- Generally, the fewer search fields you fill in (besides
Document/Instrument Number), the more hits you are likely to get.
The trick is to not get so many that the list of matching documents
is too big to be useful.
- Many search fields (like people names, grants, and subdivisions)
accept wildcards. Wildcards let you search for a match just
on a few characters of a name, without having to know the full name
or correct spelling. See the wildcards discussion below.
- Because grant and subdivision names can be rather long, the search engine
will return documents with grant or subdivision names that match in any
part what you type in. For instance, if you enter WEST GATE for the subdivision,
the search engine might return documents with sudivision names LAUDERDALE WEST GATE,
SOUTHWEST GATE NUMBER 12, and WEST GATE GATOR RANCH.
In certain card games, some cards in the deck are designated wild cards.
These special cards can assume any value you happen to need. Similarly,
in our land document search engine, you can use the percent sign "%" and
the underscore "_" as wild cards for characters (in some fields) when
you search the land document database.
Wildcards help you find variations on spellings. The First Name,
Last Name, Grant, and Subdivision search fields let you enter
incomplete spellings of names, using the wildcards characters
to mark the characters your are not certain of. The percent
sign will match any number of characters in the search field.
Underscore matches any one single character.
Using the "%" Wild Card
The percent sign will match any sequence of zero, one, or more characters
in the search field. For instance, if you enter EDWARD% in the grantor/grantee
last name field, the search engine will find all grantor or grantee last names that
begin with the letters E D W A R D and having any characters (or none) after it,
such as EDWARD, EDWARDS, and EDWARDSLY.
Using the "_" Wild Card
The underscore works a lot like the percent sign, but it matches any one
single character in the search field. For instance, if you enter _ _ R O N
in the grantor/grantee last name field, the search engine will find all five-character
last names that end in RON, such as AARON and ELRON, but not MIYRON.
General Uses For Wild Cards
You would typically use wildcards when you are unsure of the exact spelling of a name.
If you know the characters at the beginning or the end of the name you are looking for,
use the percent sign to fill in for the characters you donít know.
Another use would be to work around the limits we impose on the number of documents
our search engine will return in the search results list. Suppose you are searching for
a common last name like SMITH. You will probably receive a message about an
"administrative limit" on the number of hits because there are more Smiths
than we can handle in one list. But, if you put SMITH in the last name field and
A% in the first name field you will get hits for the last name SMITH and any first
name beginning with A. By trying B, and C, and so on successively, you will eventually be able to
retrieve all the SMITH land documents.