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 Environment > Search
   Search Tips   
     

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.

Wildcards

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.