The NC Secretary of State recently announced the addition of Wayne County to the list of Registers of Deeds now able to accept survey maps by eRecording. As of the beginning of October 2023, this is an option in 48 counties, with 37 counties having already successfully eRecorded maps.
Electronic recording of other types of real estate documents has become commonplace in North Carolina, with some form of eRecording being available in 96 of the 100 counties. The convenience of recording documents electronically without physically presenting documents for recording at the Register of Deeds or waiting for postal/courier delivery has been an option under NC General Statutes since 2005.
Since then, the number of jurisdictions accepting those documents and the volume of documents received via that method have increased. Still, a notable spike occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many counties that typically reported volumes of eRecordings around 50-60% prior to 2020 now see 70-80% of their recordings received electronically.
While deeds and other real estate documents are more commonly executed as paper documents, signed and notarized before being scanned for eRecording, lending institutions often do fully electronic closings where all documents are signed electronically and eRecorded.
Electronically Recorded maps generally follow this same model: a surveyor creates a digital version of their map, obtains all necessary approvals through electronic signatures, and then electronically records that approved document.
The process not only provides advantages for the surveyor’s time –not spent physically walking a map through the various approval and recording steps — it also provides a much clearer end product for their client and public record, as scanned documents, especially those scanned from plastic Mylar film — the most common recording medium — frequently have legibility issues. These eRecorded maps have all the clarity in the final recorded document as that which the surveyor digitally created.
Approving and accepting maps electronically is accomplished at no additional costs to the jurisdictions. The Register of Deeds is already set up to accept electronic recordings, and this is just an additional document type that they now accept. Local jurisdictions that must approve and sign the maps before recording do so via a secure cloud-based system with the service paid for by the surveyor.
No special software, equipment, or accounts are needed. Access to approvals is controlled by secure links delivered by email, and the signing process is handled using any standard web browser. While the surveyor does incur some additional expenses, the materials, equipment, and time savings can significantly exceed the additional costs for eSignature and eRecording services.
The NC Secretary of State’s Land Records Management Division provides free training to local governments and surveyors’ professional groups to facilitate greater adoption of electronic recording of maps as a part of its efforts to encourage modernization and enhancement of Land Records in the State.
The Wayne County Register of Deeds office is excited to be a part of the growing number of jurisdictions that make this modern option available to residents and businesses in the county.