15.28 Patents


Texas Patents

A “Texas Patent“ is an instrument by which the State of Texas conveys title to public land. The patent is a conveyance and is required to pass title of the fee from the State. Legal title remains in the State until the patent is issued.A patent for public land is issued and signed by the General Land Office in the name of the State of Texas.Because of its history, land titles in Texas were granted to individuals by Spanish and Mexican Governments, by the Republic of Texas and the State of Texas.  Upon admission to the U.S., Texas retained title to all unpatented state lands.Unless a patent is void on its face, it is not subject to collateral attack. Mistakes will be corrected by the court or by the Land Commissioner when clearly proven.


State And Territories Patents

This section intentionally deleted.  See prior section (15.28.1) for discussion.


Recording The Patents

Certified copies of patents should be recorded in the county where the land is located.


Patent Reservations


Vacancies and Excess Lands



Since title to all land not conveyed to an individual remains in the State of Texas, there are frequently instances where a surveyor discovers that there is a gap between two patented tracts.  The land in this gap is a vacancy with title in the State.  A survey of this land must be done by a Licensed State Land Surveyor (licensed by the General Land Office-as distinguished from a private Registered Professional Land Surveyor licensed by the Board of Professional Land Surveyors.)  Upon application and payment of fees and a consideration, the vacant land will be patented to a good faith claimant.  A person with a deed to the vacant land, holding it under a chain of title originating on or before January 1, 1952, and has paid the taxes may request the state to release the surface but not the minerals (Art VII Sec 2B Texas Constitution)

Excess Land

After land has been patented, any land that exists in fact that was not stated in the patent remains titled in the state.  For example, if the original patent contained 300 acres and there are 15 excess acres discovered, there is 5% undivided excess in the patent.  This means that the land tract subdivided from the parent tract has 5% more acres than were paid for.  Upon application and payment for the excess land and a proper survey, the state will convey the excess land to the owners to the extent they own a portion of the original 300 acres.  For example, if a person bought 25 acres of the original 300 acres, the deed of acquisition would provide them with an additional 1.25 acres and when they convey their 25 acres the description will now convey 26.25 acres.  (See Sec. 51.242 Nat. Resource Code).