Craig Olive, Johnston County Register of Deeds, took time on Thursday to discuss his office’s role during this turbulent time in history.
Mr. Olive said his office and other Register of Deeds offices across the state are vital to keeping the economy moving and is doing his part to remain open as much as feasible to assist attorneys and other professionals as they record legal documents. “I would like to commend my staff as well as other Register of Deeds and their staff throughout our state in continuing to provide excellent customer service, staying strong and dedicated in a daily-changing environment and for their perseverance during this Pandemic,” states Mr. Olive.
According to Governor Cooper’s Executive Order No. 120, released on March 23, 2020, he listed Register of Deeds office as essential and directed these offices to continue to exercise their duties as required by North Carolina general statute. “I applaud Governor Cooper for acknowledging how essential and vital the Register of Deeds offices are to the economic activity in our state,” Olive said.
Olive’s office has placed a drop box by his door so that documents can be dropped off for recording and then mailed out. Also, couples wishing to obtain a marriage license should call 919-989-5161 for an appointment. “Our office continues to perform the duties to which we are required by North Carolina general statutes to perform; however, we are exercising caution and limiting public contact as much as possible,” Mr. Olive said.
Being proactive is nothing new to Mr. Olive and his staff. His office was the first in the nation to electronically record a plat map in 2010, according to the NC Secretary of State’s office. In addition, they have been electronically recording legal documents since 2007 and were one of the first Register of Deeds offices the in state to do so. During the last 12 month period, 73% of the office’s land records are recorded electronically.
“We were ready for limited public contact as we already electronically record of our land records. My office has always been innovative in its thought processes to help the citizens of Johnston County. That is proven with the high volume of electronically recordings we were already experiencing.” states Olive.
He expects this number to increase as electronic recording venders are waiving the initial set-up fee for professionals wanting to begin electronic recording. In addition, his office already makes it easier for funeral homes to obtain certified copies of death certificates by having the records scanned immediately by the Health Department when they are received there. His staff is able to record them quicker and have the certified copies ready for pickup by the funeral homes.
Lastly, Mr. Olive wants the public to know that his office is available 24/7 via his website. Records can be accessed, certified copies of vital records can be ordered and marriage applications can be started all by going to his website, www.jcrod.org. “The Register of Deeds offices are vital and essential to the economic flow in our state and we are striving to serve the public as best as we can during these difficult times, states Olive. The public is encouraged to call the Register of Deeds office at 919-989-5160 or 919-989-5161 if there are any questions.