SMITHFIELD – Johnston County Register of Deeds Craig Olive says his office continues to work hard to serve Johnston and surrounding counties during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, since the onset of COVID-19 in March 2020 the office has generated nearly $2 million in revenue.
During these unchartered times, for various reasons, some register of deeds offices across the state have limited their office hours and services or temporarily closed their offices to the public.
“Here in Johnston County, we have remained open and continue to provide all of our services to the citizens of Johnston County, as well as citizens from other counties,” Mr. Olive said.
Issuance of marriage licenses to couples from other counties in North Carolina, as well as couples from other states, such as New York and Virginia, has increased since March. In addition, overall marriage licenses issued in Johnston County has increased by more than 50 percent. For example, in the month of July 2020, 157 marriage licenses were issued. On average, the office issues 97 marriage licenses per month.
The Johnston County Register of Deeds Office is able to access the North Carolina Office of Vital Records database to retrieve birth certificates for children born in other counties in North Carolina. The office has also seen an increase in these requests.
“Our office is able to assist customers needing a birth certificate from other NC counties. We can quickly access the NC system to certify these records for our customers in a very timely manner. We have seen an increase in this service because the public needs these records. Our office has a fast turn around and will allow customers in our office while some offices have not been able to do that,” states Olive.
“While customers come to our office from other parts of our state and also other states across the country, my employees are at risk of infection yet are still providing these services to everyone, no matter where they reside. I am very proud of my dedicated staff,” Mr. Olive said. “Back in 2002 when I first took office, I had a vision for more automation in the Register of Deeds Office. That vision has served us well, especially during these troubled times.”
Electronic recordings continue to increase and allow citizens to have their documents recorded while never having to enter the Register of Deeds office. 84 percent of documents recorded in the Johnston County Register of Deeds office are electronically recorded.
“It is my hope that my staff, as well as the citizens of this great county, will remain healthy. My doors are always open to anyone in need. I am proud of our reputation across the state for providing excellent customer service. We will continue to live up to this reputation”, Mr. Olive said.
The Johnston County Register of Deeds Office is located inside the Johnston County Courthouse in Smithfield. The office can be reached at 919-989-5160.