The Register of Deeds Office provides numerous services to the professional community and to the general public. The Register of Deeds Office is provided for in the General Statutes of North Carolina, and performs procedures and services in accordance with the General Statutes of North Carolina. These services include, but are not limited to:
- Recording instruments pertaining to real estate transactions and maps.
- Issuing marriage licenses.
- Certifying documents.
- Administering Notary oaths.
- Filing financing statements and other personal property records under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).
- Serving as custodian of births, deaths and marriages occurring in Johnston County.
- Serving as custodian for other miscellaneous legal records such as Power of Attorneys, separation agreements, and business names.
The Register of Deeds serves as custodian and manager of a large number of public records. Registers of Deeds are elected to four-year terms by the citizens of the County the Registrar serves. By law, the Register of Deeds is charged with the integrity, completeness, accuracy, and safekeeping of these public records. It is the mission of the Johnston County Register of Deeds to preserve the integrity of the records and to make them accessible to you.
The Johnston County Register of Deeds Office has real estate records dating back to the mid-1700s. Marriage bonds are available from 1760, and marriage records from 1894. Birth and death records are available from 1913. All records can be searched through hard copy indexes located in the Register of Deeds Office on the second floor of the Johnston County Courthouse in Smithfield. Some records are available through research terminals in the office.
- Reduced copying fees from $.25 to $.10 a copy
- Implemented a system to tract copies and stopped wasteful use.
- Since 2003, implemented a recording software system to record documents and provide instant turn around and instant availability on line. Saving over $500,000 of taxpayers’ dollars.
- Placed an emphasis on customer service by allowing employees to take part in customer service classes.
- Developed a secure website for genealogists to search vital records.
- More enhanced website that allows for public searches on records, along with recent land transactions for 7, 15, or 30 day increments.
- Developed online marriage application to reduce wait time when applying for a marriage license.
- As of December 1, 2005, the Register of Deeds can redact ID numbers (Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, etc) off of documents online. Request from the public only.
- May 24, 2007, became the first county in NC to accept an eRecording using the NC Secretary of State’s guidelines.
- We now offer digitized land records back to the start of the county, 1746, and we have digitized all vital records for easier access.
- Accepting Visa/MasterCard (credit/debit cards) in our Vital Records Department.
- Recipient of the 2008 Ralph Ketner Award for innovation and efficiency in government service.
- Worked with Senator David Rouzer to help introduce a bill for a stronger Identity Protection Act. Bill passed July 2009, allowing Register of Deeds to go on and remove Social Security Numbers and Drivers License numbers from documents without customer’s request.
- Implemented software to go through all of our documents and automatically find and flag all Social Security Numbers and Drivers License numbers. This is without the public request.
- Redacted sensitive numbers such as social security numbers back 78 years.
- Offered shredding events for the public to bring their personal documentations to be disposed of safely.
- February 2010, First County in the Nation to electronically record survey map.
- February 2010, awarded The Honorary Keeper of the Constitution for strived to modernize how public records and filings are kept in a way that secures them to the highest level of historical safety while also making them far more accessible to the public for its use as electronically accessible documents. Also the continuing effort has made the Johnston County Register of Deeds Office a model in NC of how public records can be kept for the maximum use by both citizens and businesses.
- November 2010, issuance of statewide births (1972-current)
- Currently, we are indexing documents from 1989-1746 in a digitize format.
- Implemented online ordering of vital records, saving time and money to the citizens.
- Since 2002, returned $2million in unused funds back to the county saving the taxpayer’s money.