We recently learned from some local government offices across North Carolina that some North Carolina citizens have been receiving a letter from one “Local Records Office” offering them a copy of their deeds for $89. This letter is not from the Local Records Unit, and does not appear to be from any government agency. The Attorney General’s Office has posted an alert, with more information about the mailings, here.
Persons requesting copies of public records may request that the copies be certified or uncertified. The fees for certifying copies of public records shall be as provided by law. Except as otherwise provided by law, no public agency shall charge a fee for an uncertified copy of a public record that exceeds the actual cost to the public agency of making the copy. (emphasis added)
Fees that the County Register of Deeds may charge are outlined in G.S. 161-10.
If you work for a local government, please let your citizens know about the Attorney General’s alert. If you are a citizen, please remember that public records in North Carolina are the property of the people. North Carolina public records law ensures citizens’ rights to access their records at “free or minimal cost.”