Rule 44. Proof of official record.

(a) Authentication of copy. - An official record or an entry therein, when admissible for any purpose, may be evidence by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record, or by his deputy, and accompanied with a certificate that such officer has the custody. If the office in which the record is kept is without the State of North Carolina but within the United States or within a territory or insular possession subject to the dominion of the United States, the certificate may be made by a judge of a court of record of the political subdivision in which the record is kept, authenticated by the seal of the court, or may be made by any public officer having a seal of office and having official duties in the political subdivision in which the record is kept, authenticated by the seal of his office. If the office in which the record is kept is in a foreign state or country, the certificate may be made by a secretary of embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice-consul, or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the United States stationed in the foreign state or country in which the record is kept, and authenticated by the seal of his office.

(b) Proof of lack of record. - A written statement signed by an officer having the custody of an official record or by his deputy that after diligent search no record or entry of a specified tenor is found to exist in the records of his office, accompanied by a certificate as above provided, is admissible as evidence that the records of his office contain no such record or entry.

(c) Other proof. - This rule does not prevent the proof of official records specified in Title 28, U.S.C. 1738 and 1739 in the manner therein provided; nor of entry or lack of entry in official records by any method authorized by any other applicable statute or by the rules of evidence at common law. (1967, c. 954, s. 1.)