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publicrecords

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Public Records

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Chris H. Smith

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Information Technology Services

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Why does Wake County make my information available?

boards_public_records.pngGovernment records in North Carolina are public in nature unless identified as confidential pursuant to law. Wake County must adhere to the North Carolina Public Records Law, found at N.C.G.S. Chapter 132, which provides that “the public records and public information compiled by the agencies of North Carolina government or its subdivisions are the property of the people.  Therefore, it is the policy of this State that the people may obtain copies of their public records and public information free or at minimal cost unless otherwise specifically provided by law.”

The Law states that public records "shall mean all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data-processing records, artifacts, or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions."
 
Examples of public records include (but are not limited to):
  • Real estate data
  • Deed information
  • Tax bill information
  • Arrest records
  • Certain voter registration information

N.C.G.S. 132-1.2 and N.C.G.S. 14-113.20 define "confidential information" and "identifying information."  Wake County acknowledges and adheres to these definitions and the direction provided in N.C.G.S 132-1.

Examples of confidential and identifying information include (but are not limited to):

  • Trade secrets
  • Account numbers for electronic payment
  • Date of birth
  • Driver’s license number
  • Social Security number or portion thereof

Why does Wake County make public records available online?

Making information available via Internet access saves Wake County taxpayers money and time in many ways, including:

  • Residents do not have to go to a county office to obtain information.
  • Maintenance of physical records is greatly decreased.
  • Business and community organizations have on-demand access to information.
  • Fewer staff members are needed to provide on-site service.

Wake County seeks to balance public privacy concerns with prevailing public information laws; therefore, we have established a position that adheres to State and federal laws governing the retention, disclosure and security of public information.

Emailing Us

Email to and from Wake County is subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law, and may not be secure or confidential.  If you email us, send only the information that is necessary for us to answer your question or process your request. Wake County cannot guarantee the safety or security of confidential information that is emailed from outside of our network.

We discourage emailing personally identifiable information such as:
  • Social Security number
  • Bank or credit card account numbers
  • Health and medical information
  • Driver’s license number

Subscribing to Mailing Lists

In accordance with North Carolina General Statute §132-1.13, Wake County does not provide copies or allow copying of electronic mailing lists; however, they are available for public inspection. If you opt to have County information emailed to you, then your email address may be included in a subscriber list and subject to public inspection.

Examples of Wake County mailing lists include (but are not limited to):
  • Parks newsletter
  • Library book club mailing lists
  • Media mailing list

Privacy Policies for Linked Sites

Our site provides links to other websites. The privacy policies described here do not necessarily apply to websites to which we link. Look for the privacy policies on those websites. Be informed. You are the person best qualified to protect your own privacy.

Questions?

Tax Bills/Real Estate Data Search
For questions related to data found in tax bill and property searches, contact the Wake County Revenue Department at revhelp@wakegov.com or call 919-856-5400.

Register of Deeds
For questions related to data found in real estate deeds, recording of legal documents, marriage licenses, birth and death records or notary oaths, contact the Register of Deeds Office at recording@wakegov.com or call 919-856-5460.

Voter Records
For questions related to voter data searches, contact the Board of Elections office at voter@wakegov.com or call 919-856-6240.

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Content Type: Article Page
Version: 8.0
Created at 9/18/2012 9:19 AM by Chris H. Smith
Last modified at 3/6/2013 3:59 PM by Chris H. Smith
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