Document Recording Requirements
For a list of our statutory fees, click fee schedule.
Document Standards Checklist
Effective October 1, 2011 (G.S. 161-14): all instruments executed on or after July 1, 2002, shall
- Be presented on 8-1/2" x 11" or 8-1/2" x 14" paper.
- Have a 3-inch blank margin at the top of the first page and a 1/4-inch blank margin on the remaining sides of the first page and on all sides of subsequent pages.
- Be typed or printed in black on white paper.
- State the type of instrument at the top of the first page (below the 3" blank margin)
- Be in a legible font no smaller than 9 points.
- Blanks in an instrument may be completed in pen; corrections to an instrument may be made in pen (preferably in black ink).
- Text must be typed or printed on one side of a page only.
PLEASE NOTE: If an instrument does not meet these requirements, the register of deeds shall record the document after collecting the non-standard document fee of $25.00, as required by GS 161-10(a), in addition to the recording fee (see above).
Font Size- The Register of Deeds has the discretion to waive the non-standard fee if a font smaller than 9 points is used. The print must be legible and reproducible. To avoid problems, the use of a font size greater than 9 point is recommended.
Does not apply to any form of cancellation/satisfaction or to Military Discharges. G.S. 161-14(d) states that the standards apply to instruments "for which a fee is collected under G.S. 161-10(a)".
If the National Standard form is used for Uniform Commercial Code filings, it is exempt.
Plats/Maps presented for recording, as separate documents, are not required to meet the document recording standards and are governed by NCGS 47-30 of the N.C. General Statutes. Those attached must comply with the Document Standards.
Attachments must meet the requirements to avoid the non-standard fee, with the exception of a trailer sheet attached to a recorded document by another Register of Deeds. A recording fee is charged for that trailer page, but if the trailer page was the only thing that caused the document to be non-compliant, the non-standard fee is not charged.
Certified copies of instruments recorded in another county in which the register certified the document by placing the certification on the back of a page, is not charged the non-standard fee if the document would have been compliant except for this certification.
- Deeds and Deeds of Trust prepared in North Carolina must show the name of either the person or law firm who drafted the instrument on the first page.
- Deeds must have grantee's mailing address affixed on the face of the document for tax billing purposes.
- If the document is one that requires notarization, an acknowledgment must appear on the document having been signed by the proper official authorized to take notarizations, along with their official seal and date of expiration.
- Comply with document recording standards (see above).
- Affix proper recording fees. For a complete schedule of fees, click Fee Schedule.
- Indicate amount of NC Excise Stamps on conveyance instruments on the face of the document. With certain exceptions, this state tax must be paid before an instrument conveying an interest in real property may be registered. The grantor (seller) is required to report and pay the tax to the Register of Deeds at a rate of $1 per $500 or fractional part thereof of the consideration or value of the interest or property conveyed. To compute the tax: If the amount paid for the property is not a multiple of $500, the consideration amount or value is rounded up to the next multiple of $500 before computing the tax. For example, if the amount paid for the property was $27,900, the taxpayer would round the amount up to $28,000, and the tax would be $56. If the amount paid was $32,200, the taxpayer would round the amount up to $32,500, and the tax would be $65. If no excise tax is due, please write NTC (no taxable consideration) on the face of the document.
- Because a document recorded with the Register of Deeds is a public record, any person preparing or filing a document for recordation or filing in the official records may not include a social security, employer taxpayer identification, drivers license, state identification, passport, checking account, savings account, credit card, or debit card number, or personal identification (PIN) code or passwords in the document, unless expressly required by law or court order, adopted by the State Registrar on records of vital events, or redacted so that no more than the last four digits of the identification number is included.
- Instruments may be recorded in person or mailed in. Do not send cash in the mail. Make your check or money order payable to the "Register of Deeds."
- There will be a $25 fee for returned checks.
- Please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Minimum Standards For Indexing Real Property Instruments
In order to find records, Registers of Deeds maintain indexes containing the names of the parties to instruments with a reference to the book and page where the image of the instrument can be viewed. The Minimum Standards for Indexing Real Property Instruments (Minimum Standards) was developed by the North Carolina Association of Registers of Deeds, approved by the North Carolina Bar Association, and promulgated by the North Carolina Secretary of State. The purpose of the Minimum Standards is to attempt to address the common situations with guidance on how names should be indexed.
Indexing Standards effective July 1, 2012 can be viewed by clicking here.
Other helpful documents include the Important Notice About Real Property Document Indexing and ASCII Sort Order.
Maps & Plats
To view information, click Maps & Plats.
To view information, click Satisfactions.
Effective October 1, 2008:
- The statutes no longer authorize recording of "altered documents" besides the wording "Rerecording" on the first page.
- The statutes no longer authorize recording of altered documents with un-notarized "statements of explanation."
- If a document is submitted as a recording of an original document, the register checks for (a) recording information indicating it was previously recorded, and (b) conspicuous marking on the first page as "Rerecording."
- If a document is submitted as a certified copy of a previous recording, the register checks for the recording office marks indicating that it is a certified copy.
- A document conspicuously identified as a corrective or scrivener's affidavit in its title is verified the same way as any affidavit, and it is indexed as a subsequent instrument (which includes indexing information in the affidavit identifying the affiant and the parties to the instrument being corrected and its recording information).
Uniform Commercial Code Filings (UCC)
Policy For Recording Real Estate Documents
The office records documents Monday-Friday, 8:00-4:30, excluding holidays. If you are in line at 4:30 pm, your document will be processed that day. If you arrive after 4:30 pm, your document will not be accepted by the recording staff for recording that day.
Customers who appear in person at the recording counter and their document(s) are personally accepted by the recorder, reviewed by the recorder, and that meets the requirements for registration, are recorded first.
- Electronic recordings (e-Recordings) upon being opened by the recorder, reviewed by the recorder, and that meets the requirements for registration, are recorded next.
- Priority mail (such as UPS, FedEx, etc.), upon being opened, reviewed and that meets the requirements for registration, are processed next.
- Regular mail once opened, reviewed, and that meets the requirements for registration, are recorded.
NOTE: If the document is of such importance that the recording date is significant, you should deliver the document in person to the office, present to the recording staff, have them review, and wait to be sure the document is recorded before leaving.
We are a recording agency. We are not attorneys and cannot assist you in completing forms or in performing a title search.
Notice - Do Not Include Private Information On Documents To Be Recorded
Because a document recorded with the Register of Deeds is a public record any person preparing or filing a document for recordation or filing in the official records may not include a social security, employer taxpayer identification, drivers license, state identification, passport, checking account, savings account, credit card, or debit card number, or personal identification (PIN) code or passwords in the document, unless expressly required by law or court order, adopted by the State Registrar on records of vital events, or redacted so that no more than the last four digits of the identification number is included as per G.S. 132-1.10(g)( 1).
Certain Private Information Can Be Removed From Internet Records (Redaction)
All records in the Register of Deeds office are deemed public. As to Internet records - Pursuant to NCGS §132-1.10(f) -"Identity Theft Protection Act"
Any person has a right to request a register of deeds or clerk of court to remove, from an image or copy of an official record placed on a register of deeds' or clerk of court's Internet Website available to the general public or on an Internet Website available to the general public used by a register of deeds or clerk of court to display public records, any social security, employer taxpayer identification, drivers license, state identification, passport, checking account, savings account, credit card, or debit card number, or personal identification (PIN) code or passwords contained in an official record.
The request must be made in writing and delivered by mail, facsimile, or electronic transmission, or delivered in person, to the register of deeds or clerk of court. The request must specify the personal information to be redacted, information that identifies the document that contains the personal information and unique information that identifies the location within the document that contains the social security, employer taxpayer identification, drivers license, state identification, passport, checking account, savings account, credit card, or debit card number, or personal identification (PIN) code or passwords to be redacted. No fee will be charged for the redaction pursuant to such a request. Any person who requests a redaction without proper authority to do so shall be guilty of an infraction, punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each violation. Click here for the Redaction Request form.
The Register of Deeds is not responsible for the content of recorded documents. This responsibility lies with the preparer of the document.