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Plats & Corners

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Plats and Corner Certificates on-line


A “Plat” is a map of a tract of land subdivided into lots, with streets, alleys, etc. drawn to scale showing dimensions.  Usually an owner of a tract of land chooses to plat the land so lots can be sold.  Instead of a metes and bounds description, a lot, block and name of a plat are used to describe the property.  For more information about subdividing land, contact the city planner of the city where the land is located or the Clay County Planning and Zoning Department, if outside of city limits within Clay County.   

See Minnesota Statute 505 Plats; Coordinates; Surveys

In most cases, in Clay County, the word “Addition” is used when subdividing land within city limits.  The word “Subdivision” is used when subdividing land outside of city limits.  


A “Certificate of Location of Government Corner,” also known as a “Corner Certificate”, is a document developed by a licensed land surveyor to mark a corner within a section of land.  A section is a parcel of land generally comprised of one square mile or 640 acres.  Thirty six sections make up a township.  When a survey or plat is made, proper recording of Corner Certificates is required, consisting of a minimum of two or more appropriate controlling government corner locations.  

Corner Certificates can be searched by section number, township number and range number. 

See Minnesota Statute 381 Surveys, Section Corners, Township Landmarks.

Tips for Using Corners

When searching for Corner Certificates, also search abutting sections or townships.  For example, the SW corner of section 1 is also the SE corner of section 2, as shown in the diagram below.

Example of Abutting Sections

36 31 32 33 34 35 36 31
1 6 5 4 3 2 1 6
12 7 8 9 10 11 12 7
13 18 17 16 15 14 13 18
24 19 20 21 22 23 24 19
25 30 29 28 27 26 25 30
36 31 32 33 34 35 36 31
1 6 5 4 3 2 1 6


Return to Plats and/or Subdivisions

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