North Carolina General Statutes § 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 having a minimum one and one-half inch border on the left 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 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: property designation, name of owner (the name of owner shall be shown for indexing purposes only and is not to be construed as title certification), location to include township, county and state, the date or dates the survey was made; scale or scale ratio in words or figures and bar graph; name and address of surveyor or firm preparing the plat.

(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 origin of the information shown on the plat, including recorded deed and plat references shown thereon. The ratio of precision 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.

The certificate required above shall include the source of information for the survey and data indicating the ratio of precision of the survey before adjustments 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 as calculated is 1: ____; that this plat was prepared in accordance with G.S. 47-30 as amended. Witness my original signature, registration number and seal this ____ day of ____, A.D., ____.

Seal or Stamp



                                                                                    Registration Number"

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.

(e)        Method of Computation. - An accurate method of computation shall be used to determine the acreage and ratio of precision 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" or "NAD 27"), 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.

(2)        The azimuth or course and distance of every property line surveyed shall be shown. Distances shall be in 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 or 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 grid factor shall be shown on the face of the plat. If grid distances are used, it must be shown 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)        Where control corners have been established in compliance with G.S. 39-32.1, 39-32.2, 39-32.3, and 39-32.4, as amended, the location and pertinent information as required in the reference statute shall be plotted on the plat. All other 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 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.

(9)        Where the plat is the result of a survey, one or more corners shall, by a system of azimuths or courses and distances, be accurately tied to and coordinated with a horizontal control monument of some United States or State Agency survey system, such as the North Carolina Geodetic Survey where the monument is within 2,000 feet of the subject property. Where the North Carolina Grid System coordinates of the monument are on file in the North Carolina Geodetic Survey Section in the Division of Emergency Management of the Department of Public Safety, the coordinates of both the referenced corner and the monuments used shall be shown in X (easting) and Y (northing) coordinates on the plat. The coordinates shall be identified as based on "NAD 83," indicating North American Datum of 1983, or as "NAD 27," indicating North American Datum of 1927. The tie lines to the monuments shall also be sufficient to establish true north or grid north bearings for the plat if the monuments exist in pairs. Within a previously recorded subdivision that has been tied to grid control, control monuments within the subdivision may be used in lieu of additional ties to grid control. Within a previously recorded subdivision that has not been tied to grid control, if horizontal control monuments are available within 2,000 feet, the above requirements shall be met; but in the interest of bearing consistency with previously recorded plats, existing bearing control should be used where practical. In the absence of grid control, other appropriate natural monuments or landmarks shall be used. In all cases, the tie lines shall be sufficient to accurately reproduce the subject lands from the control or reference points used.

(10)      A vicinity map (location map) 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 and does not create a new street or change an existing street;

2.         That the survey is of an existing building or other structure, or natural feature, such as a watercourse; or

3.         That the survey is a control survey.

d.         That the survey is of another category, such as the recombination of existing parcels, a court-ordered survey, or other 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.

However, if the plat contains the certificate of a surveyor as stated in a., d., or e. above, 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 before the plat is presented for recordation. If the plat contains the certificate of a surveyor as stated in b. or c. above, nothing shall prevent the recordation of the plat if all other provisions have been met.

(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 registered land surveyor but not recorded prior to the death of the registered 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 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, nor to the registration of roadway corridor official maps provided for in Article 2E of Chapter 136 of the General Statutes.

(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. Such a map shall either (i) have the original signature of a registered land surveyor and the surveyor's seal as approved by the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, or (ii) be a copy of a map, already on file in the public records, that is certified by the custodian of the public record to be a true and accurate copy of a map bearing an original personal signature and original seal. The presence of the original personal signature and seal shall constitute a certification that the map conforms to the standards of practice for land surveying in North Carolina, as defined in the rules of the North Carolina State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.

(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.


(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).)

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Last modified: March 23, 2014