The Office of the REGISTER of DEEDS

Your county’s official recordkeeper.


Collect information on county residents, businesses, and land parcels.

Ensure official documents are available for personal and business needs.


  • Giving birth
  • Getting married
  • International travel – (passport services)
  • Military discharge
  • Buying a house
  • Buying land
  • Researching local history or genealogy


  • Real Estate  
  • Starting a business
  • Documenting partnerships, assumed business names, and incorporations
  • Developing commercial property or other issues related to land use.

Some common documents provided by the Register of Deeds:

  • Marriage License
  • Certified copies of Birth, Marriage, and Death certificates.
  • Plats (property line maps based on survey)
  • Right-of-way plans
  • Passports

Keeping track of information:


Indexing is key for efficient data retrieval.

INDEXING is a method used to categorize or summarize data, making it easier to search.  


The Register of Deeds indexes the information stored in every filing cabinet and in every computer database.

Indexing in the olden days.


In 1887, marriage licenses were filed in alphabetical order by BRIDE.

However, if you needed to search for a particular GROOM, the hand-written INDEX listing both parties provided the answer without having to look at each license.

Indexing in the computer age.

Recording and indexing data now only takes seconds thanks to computer processing and storage. 

Input can be sorted on demand by category, allowing for instant retrieval of specific data or generation of index lists.

Even maps and illustrations can be indexed by assigning relevant search tags to digital reproduction files.

The Register of Deeds helps preserve history.

As an agent of the State of North Carolina, Orange County has been keeping records for almost 250 years, which provides a valuable and irreplaceable resource for anyone looking for information on local history or genealogy.
More and more of the older county records are being digitized for safekeeping and to expand the searchable data set.

Researchers can find information on births, deaths, and marriages, as well as property and business ownership.

More on the Register of Deeds

Maintaining up-to-date systems

10% of the fees collected by the Register of Deeds goes toward the data and imaging technology required for public record storage and preservation.

Notary public oversight

The Register of Deeds, the local expert at keeping records in accordance with state laws, takes the oath of public notaries within the county.

Stamp of

Each county has an official seal for use by the Register of Deeds: “the size shall not exceed one and five-eighths inches in diameter.”

Check out Penny's plan for providing efficient, quality service as the Register of Deeds.