UPI Basic Information

The Uniform Parcel Identifier (UPI) Ordinance, adopted in 1997, is based upon legislation from 1988 when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania passed a permanent referencing system for land records. This is referred to as the UPI Act, which allows local government to implement a UPI verification program, and an accompanying fee was then established to cover the cost of handling services under this act. Chester County requires the Uniform Parcel Identifier, or UPI number, to be placed on the first page of each land record document submitted for recording. This process fosters interconnectivity between multiple offices that work with land records and makes it easier to identify the links between multiple instruments with a given UPI as well as the county records that they reference.

The primary purpose of the Bureau of Land Records (BLR) is to verify each UPI number on each document. All documents are reviewed and by the BLR prior to being recorded by the Recorder of Deeds and verified if correctly formatted (see below).

The UPI fee has increased to $20 since adopting the ordinance in 2008. Current charges will always be listed on our Fee Schedule page. 

Format of the UPI

In Chester County, the UPI number and the Parcel Identification Number (PIN) are NOT the same number. The UPI is a standardized version of the PIN. As there were various forms of the PIN, an exact UPI format is needed on recorded documents. 

  1. The UPI number will consist of some or all of the following components:
    Municipality identifier (a number from 1 to 73). It identifies in which municipality a property is located. This number is always followed by a dash.
  2. Map sheet number, with a possible alpha suffix. Map alphas, if present, are always upper-case. The map sheet number is always followed by a dash.
  3. Parcel number.
  4. Sub-parcel number. Always preceded by a decimal point.
  5. Sub-parcel alpha suffix. Always upper-case and never an "I" or an "O".
The following is a valid UPI number. Note that the dashes and decimal points are important and that leading zeros are never used.

 This property is located in Downingtown Borough, on map sheet 5A, as parcel number 26.6B

Note that suffixes to the PIN, such as E, U, or T are not part of the UPI and should not be included.

Placement of the UPI

The UPI number Should be typed or legibly printed on the first page of each document directly below the “Return To:” party name. A typed or computer generated label, containing the valid UPI, affixed to the first page is acceptable. Documents containing numerous UPI numbers must list the first UPI on the first page; the remaining UPIs may be listed on a separate sheet of paper after the first page. If the UPI number is illegible, unscannable, or possibly ambiguous, the document will be returned to secure a legible, scannable, unambiguous UPI number.

A document which states that the parcel is “Part of” a UPI will be accepted if the parcel has not, at the time of recording, been assigned an individual UPI number. Submitters are responsible to make this determination.

To verify a UPI number, please call the Bureau of Land Records at 610-344-4561.
Documents not containing a correct, verifiable, properly formatted, legible, scannable UPI number on the first page will be returned unrecorded and a $10 return fee will be due on resubmission of corrected document. 

View Document Recording Requirements