I am not a lawyer. But, I taught basic real estate law for Broker candidates for several years. A deed is an instrument that conveys title to an individual or individuals. It only needs to be signed by the Grantor to be valid. It conveys ownership or other title benefits that the Grantor had. In some states there are so called "race" laws. Not based on etnicity but the fact that whomever has a claim of title is first to record. There is no law requiring recording a deed. But, recording a deed gives "notice" to all third parties, or, if you will, to the world as to the claim that the Grantee has that first recorded the document. That is called "constructive notice" as opposed to actual notice. There is a very old Supreme Court case from the 1800's that affects a huge parcel of land in Texas. I do not remember the names in the case. But, a farmer sold a huge tract of land to another farmer. That farmer received a deed but did not record it. The Grantor farmer died. His son, not knowing of the sale, 25 years later sold the same tract to the U.S. Government. The Government promptly recorded the deed. On hearing this, the farmer who had purchased the land 25 years previously, and had a deed to it, albeit not recorded, sued the government. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court where the court held that the U.S. Government was the owner as the original grantee farmer had failed to record and thereby failed to give notice. That tract of land is where today you will find Lackland Air Force Base. Look it up.