§ 47-30. Plats and subdivisions; mapping requirements.
(a) Size Requirements. - All land plats presented to the register of deeds for recording in the registry of a county in North Carolina after September 30, 1991, having an outside marginal size of either 18 inches by 24 inches, 21 inches by 30 inches, or 24 inches by 36 inches, and, for landscape format, having a minimum one and one-half inch border on the left side or, for portrait format, one and one-half inch border on the top side and a minimum one-half inch border on the other sides shall be deemed to meet the size requirements for recording under this section. Where size of land areas, or suitable scale to assure legibility require, plats may be placed on two or more sheets with appropriate match lines. Counties may specify either:
(1) Only 18 inches by 24 inches;
(2) A combination of 18 inches by 24 inches and 21 inches by 30 inches;
(3) A combination of 18 inches by 24 inches and 24 inches by 36 inches; or
(4) A combination of all three sizes.
Provided, that all registers of deeds where specific sizes other than the combination of all three sizes have been specified, shall be required to submit said size specifications to the North Carolina Association of Registers of Deeds for inclusion on a master list of all such counties. The list shall be available in each register of deeds office by October 1, 1991. For purposes of this section, the terms "plat" and "map" are synonymous.
(b) Plats to Be Reproducible. - Each plat presented for recording shall be a reproducible plat, either original ink on polyester film (mylar), or a reproduced drawing, transparent and archival (as defined by the American National Standards Institute), and submitted in this form. The recorded plat must be such that the public may obtain legible copies. A direct or photographic copy of each recorded plat shall be placed in the plat book or plat file maintained for that purpose and properly indexed for use. In those counties in which the register has made a security copy of the plat from which legible copies can be made, the original plat may be submitted in the form of black line on white paper instead of transparent and archival and may be returned to the person indicated on the plat.
(c) Information Contained in Title of Plat. - The title of each plat shall contain the following information:
(1) The property designation.
(2) The name of the owner; provided, however, that the name of owner shall be shown for indexing purposes only and is not to be construed as title certification.
(3) The location, to include county and State, and the township or city, if applicable.
(4) The date or dates the survey was made.
(5) The scale or scale ratio in words or figures and bar graph.
(6) The name and address of surveyor preparing the plat, including the firm name and firm license number, if applicable.
(7) The dates and descriptions of revisions made after original signing.
The information required pursuant to this subsection shall be listed prominently on the plat. Information listed in the notes contained on the plat does not satisfy the requirements of this subsection.
(d) Certificate; Form. - There shall appear on each plat a certificate by the person under whose supervision the survey or plat was made, stating the reference source for the boundary information for the surveyed property shown on the plat, including recorded deed and plat references shown thereon. The ratio of precision or positional accuracy before any adjustments must be shown. Any lines on the plat that were not actually surveyed must be clearly indicated and a statement included revealing the source of information. Where a plat consists of more than one sheet, only one sheet must contain the certification and all other sheets must be signed and sealed. Multiple sheet plats shall be identified as a map set.
The certificate required above shall include (i) the source of information for the survey, (ii) data indicating the ratio of precision or positional accuracy of the survey before adjustments, and (iii) the seal and signature pursuant to Chapter 89C of the General Statutes, and shall be in substantially the following form:
"I, ______, certify that this plat was drawn under my supervision from an actual survey made under my supervision (deed description recorded in Book ____, page ____, etc.) (other); that the boundaries not surveyed are clearly indicated as drawn from information found in Book ____, page ____; that the ratio of precision or positional accuracy as calculated is ____; that this plat was prepared in accordance with G.S. 47-30 as amended. Witness my original signature, license number and seal this ____ day of ____, A.D., ____.
Seal or Stamp
Professional Land Surveyor
Nothing in this requirement shall prevent the recording of a map that was prepared in accordance with a previous version of G.S. 47-30 as amended, properly signed, and notarized under the statutes applicable at the time of the signing of the map. However, it shall be the responsibility of the person presenting the map to prove that the map was so prepared. The presence of the personal signature and seal of a professional land surveyor shall constitute a certification that the map conforms to the standards of practice for land surveying in this State as defined in the rules of the North Carolina State Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors.
(e) Method of Computation. - An accurate method of computation shall be used to determine the acreage and either the ratio of precision or the positional accuracy shown on the plat. Area by estimation is not acceptable nor is area by planimeter, area by scale, or area copied from another source, except in the case of tracts containing inaccessible sections or areas. In such case the surveyor may make use of aerial photographs or other appropriate aids to determine the acreage of any inaccessible areas when the areas are bounded by natural and visible monuments. In such case the methods used must be stated on the plat and all accessible areas of the tract shall remain subject to all applicable standards of this section.
(f) Plat to Contain Specific Information. - Every plat shall contain the following specific information:
(1) An accurately positioned north arrow coordinated with any bearings shown on the plat. Indication shall be made as to whether the north index is true, magnetic, North Carolina grid ("NAD 83," "NAD 27," or other published horizontal datum), or is referenced to old deed or plat bearings. If the north index is magnetic or referenced to old deed or plat bearings, the date and the source (if known) the index was originally determined shall be clearly indicated. North Carolina grid reference shall include the horizontal datum and the realization reference.
(2) The azimuth or course and distance of every property line surveyed shall be shown. Distances shall be in U.S. Survey feet or meters and decimals thereof. The number of decimal places shall be appropriate to the class of survey required.
(3) All plat distances shall be by horizontal ground or horizontal grid measurements. All lines shown on the plat shall be correctly plotted to the scale shown. Enlargement of portions of a plat are acceptable in the interest of clarity, where shown as inserts. Where the North Carolina grid system is used the combined grid factor shall be shown on the face of the plat. If grid distances are used, it must be indicated on the plat.
(4) Where a boundary is formed by a curved line, the following data must be given: actual survey data from the point of curvature to the point of tangency shall be shown as standard curve data, or as a traverse of bearings and distances around the curve. If standard curve data is used the bearing and distance of the long chord (from point of curvature to point of tangency) must be shown on the plat.
(5) Where a subdivision of land is set out on the plat, all streets and lots shall be accurately plotted with dimension lines indicating widths and all other information pertinent to reestablishing all lines in the field. This shall include bearings and distances sufficient to form a continuous closure of the entire perimeter.
(6) All corners which are marked by monument or natural object shall be so identified on all plats, and where practical all corners of adjacent owners along the boundary lines of the subject tract which are marked by monument or natural object shall be shown.
(7) The names of adjacent landowners, or lot, block, parcel, subdivision name designations or other legal reference, where applicable, shall be shown where they could be determined by the surveyor.
(8) All visible and apparent rights-of-way, watercourses, utilities, roadways, and other such improvements shall be accurately located where crossing or forming any boundary line of the property shown. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to modify the notification responsibility of persons engaged in excavation or demolition pursuant to G.S. 87-122.
(9) Where the plat is the result of a survey, one or more corners shall be labeled with coordinates on the plat, shown as "X" (easting) and "Y" (northing) coordinates, traceable to a published geodetic datum or the North Carolina State Plane Coordinate System, or both. The plat should include, at a minimum, the referenced horizontal datum and realization (i.e., "NAD 83 (2011)") as well as the data or method used to establish those coordinates, or both. If the bearings shown on the map are not referenced to the same datum as the grid coordinates shown, then either (i) the coordinates of a second point shall be labeled and the two labeled points tied together by a single azimuth or course and distance or (ii) the plat shall include, in written and graphical form, the conversion from plat bearings to reference bearings. Control monuments within a previously recorded subdivision may be used in lieu of grid control. In the interest of consistency with previously recorded plats, existing bearing control may be used where practical. Where no horizontal control monument of any United States or State agency survey system, such as the North Carolina Geodetic Survey, is located within 2,000 feet of the subject property, ties to other appropriate natural monuments or landmarks may be used in lieu of grid coordinates. In all cases, the tie lines shall be sufficient to reproduce the subject lands from the control or reference points used.
(10) A vicinity map (location map) and legend shall appear on the plat.
(11) Notwithstanding any other provision contained in this section, it is the duty of the surveyor, by a certificate on the face of the plat, to certify to one of the following:
a. That the survey creates a subdivision of land within the area of a county or municipality that has an ordinance that regulates parcels of land.
b. That the survey is located in a portion of a county or municipality that is unregulated as to an ordinance that regulates parcels of land.
c. Any one of the following:
1. That the survey is of an existing parcel or parcels of land or one or more existing easements and does not create a new street or change an existing street. For the purposes of this subsection, an "existing parcel" or "existing easement" is an area of land described in a single, legal description or legally recorded subdivision that has been or may be legally conveyed to a new owner by deed in its existing configuration.
2. That the survey is of an existing feature, such as a building or other structure, or natural feature, such as a watercourse.
3. That the survey is a control survey. For the purposes of this subsection, a "control survey" is a survey that provides horizontal or vertical position data for support or control of other surveys or for mapping. A control survey, by itself, cannot be used to define or convey rights or ownership.
4. That the survey is of a proposed easement for a public utility as defined in G.S. 62-3.
d. That the survey is of another category, such as the recombination of existing parcels, a court-ordered survey, or other exemption or exception to the definition of subdivision.
e. That the information available to the surveyor is such that the surveyor is unable to make a determination to the best of the surveyor's professional ability as to provisions contained in (a) through (d) above.
If the plat contains the certificate of a surveyor as stated in sub-subdivisions b. or c. of this subdivision, nothing shall prevent the recordation of the plat if all other provisions have been met. However, if the plat contains the certificate of a surveyor as stated in sub-subdivisions a., d., or e. of this subdivision, then the plat shall have, in addition to said surveyor's certificate, a certification of approval, or no approval required, as may be required by local ordinance from the appropriate government authority and the county review officer as provided in G.S. 47-30.2 before the plat is presented for recordation. The signing and sealing of the certification as required in subsection (d) of this section shall satisfy the certification requirement contained in this subsection.
(g) Recording of Plat. - In certifying a plat for recording pursuant to G.S. 47-30.2, the Review Officer shall not be responsible for reviewing or certifying as to any of the following requirements of this section:
(1) Subsection (b) of this section as to archival.
(2) Repealed by Session Laws 1997-309, s. 2.
(3) Subsection (e) of this section.
(4) Subdivisions (1) through (10) of subsection (f) of this section.
A plat, when certified pursuant to G.S. 47-30.2 and presented for recording, shall be recorded in the plat book or plat file and when so recorded shall be duly indexed. Reference in any instrument hereafter executed to the record of any plat herein authorized shall have the same effect as if the description of the lands as indicated on the record of the plat were set out in the instrument.
(h) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prevent the filing of any plat prepared by a professional land surveyor but not recorded prior to the death of the professional land surveyor. However, it is the responsibility of the person presenting the map to the Review Officer pursuant to G.S. 47-30.2 to prove that the plat was so prepared. For preservation these plats may be filed without signature, notary acknowledgement or probate, in a special plat file.
(i) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to invalidate any instrument or the title thereby conveyed making reference to any recorded plat.
(j) The provisions of this section shall not apply to boundary plats of State lines, county lines, areas annexed by municipalities, nor to plats of municipal boundaries, whether or not required by law to be recorded.
(k) The provisions of this section shall apply to all counties in North Carolina.
(l) This section does not apply to the registration of highway right-of-way plans provided for in G.S. 136-19.4 or G.S. 136-89.184.
(m) Maps attached to deeds or other instruments and submitted for recording in that form must be no larger than 8 1/2 inches by 14 inches and comply with either this subsection or subsection (n) of this section. A map submitted for recording pursuant to this subsection shall conform to one the following standards:
(1) An original map that meets the requirements of subsections (c) through (f) of this section and that bears the signature of a professional land surveyor and the surveyor's seal as approved by the State Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors.
(2) A copy of a previously recorded map that is certified by the custodian of the public record to be a true and accurate copy of the map.
(n) A map that does not meet the requirements of subsection (m) of this section may be attached to a deed or other instrument submitted for recording in that form for illustrative purposes only if it meets both of the following requirements:
(1) It is no larger than 8 1/2 inches by 14 inches.
(2) It is conspicuously labelled, "THIS MAP MAY NOT BE A CERTIFIED SURVEY AND HAS NOT BEEN REVIEWED BY A LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY FOR COMPLIANCE WITH ANY APPLICABLE LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS AND HAS NOT BEEN REVIEWED FOR COMPLIANCE WITH RECORDING REQUIREMENTS FOR PLATS."
(o) The requirements of this section regarding plat size, reproducible form, and evidence of required certifications shall be met with respect to a plat that is an "electronic document," as that term is defined in G.S. 47-16.2(3), if all of the following conditions have been met:
(1) The register of deeds has authorized the submitter to electronically register the electronic document.
(2) The plat is submitted by a United States federal or a state governmental unit or instrumentality or a trusted submitter. For purposes of this subsection, "a trusted submitter" means a person or entity that has entered into a memorandum of understanding regarding electronic recording with the register of deeds in the county in which the electronic document is to be submitted.
(3) Evidence of required certifications appear on the digitized image of the document as it will appear on the public record.
(4) With respect to a plat submitted by a trusted submitter, the digitized image of the document as it will appear on the public record contains the submitter's name in the following completed statement on the first page of the document image: "Submitted electronically by __________ (submitter's name) in compliance with North Carolina statutes governing recordable documents and the terms of the submitter agreement with the __________ (insert county name) County Register of Deeds.
(5) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the digitized image of the plat conforms to all other applicable laws and rules that prescribe recordation. (1911, c. 55, s. 2; C.S., s. 3318; 1923, c. 105; 1935, c. 219; 1941, c. 249; 1953, c. 47, s. 1; 1959, c. 1235, ss. 1, 3A, 3.1; 1961, cc. 7, 111, 164, 199, 252, 660, 687, 932, 1122; 1963, c. 71, ss. 1, 2; cc. 180, 236; c. 361, s. 1; c. 403; 1965, c. 139, s. 1; 1967, c. 228, s. 2; c. 394; 1971, c. 658; 1973, cc. 76, 848, 1171; c. 1262, s. 86; 1975, c. 192; c. 200, s. 1; 1977, c. 50, s. 1; c. 221, s. 1; c. 305, s. 2; c. 771, s. 4; 1979, c. 330, s. 1; 1981, c. 138, s. 1; c. 140, s. 1; c. 479; 1983, c. 473; 1987, c. 747, s. 20; 1989, c. 727, s. 218(6); 1991, c. 268, s. 3; 1993, c. 119, ss. 1, 2; 1997-309, s. 2; 1997-443, s. 11A.119(a); 1998-228, ss. 11, 12; 1999-456, s. 59; 2000-140, s. 93.1(b); 2001-424, s. 12.2(b); 2008-225, s. 9; 2010-180, s. 1; 2011-246, s. 7; 2012-142, s. 12.4(f); 2017-27, s. 1; 2019-35, s. 2.)