- 5000 scaletop
- 20000 slidetop
Efficient and effective.
Laura Riddick oversees a Wake County Register of Deeds office that has won recent state and national awards for its ground-breaking and cost-saving customer service initiatives. Outside experts frequently recognize it as one of North Carolina’s top Registries.
But what does it do?
The Register of Deeds office might at first seem obscure, but in fact it is vital to all citizens. The office documents and preserves the public’s personal records and legal agreements regarding life, marriage, and property. It records all Wake County property records, including property deeds and home mortgages. It also issues birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage licenses. It certifies various official documents and administers the oaths of the county’s notary publics. And, most notably to many people, the office maintains a large online database that allows citizens to view each and every county property record – dating back to the very first one, filed in 1785, two years before the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and six years before the founding of Raleigh – anywhere, at any time, free of charge.
The office has an annual budget of $2.6 million, which Laura manages with great care. Laura’s initiatives are not just technological advances, they’re also big cost savers for Wake County’s taxpayers. For example, putting the county’s hundreds of thousands of property records online – which, when introduced in 1999, was the first system of its kind in North Carolina – has allowed the office to shrink in physical size, because less space is needed for deed books. In the new Wake County Justice Center, scheduled to open next year, this will save county taxpayers more than $800,000 in construction costs, plus annual operational savings. With a staff of 39 highly-trained employees serving North Carolina’s largest county of almost 1 million residents, the Register of Deeds Office is extremely lean, highly efficient, and yet exceptionally effective.
Open and responsive.
With an eye toward constant improvement of the office, Laura invites and welcomes feedback from every citizen who uses it, from new parents to couples getting married and the real estate lawyers and paralegals who rely on its services every day. Laura and the rest of the staff continually look for ways to make the office run better.
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Courteous and professional.
With a master’s degree in public history from N.C. State University and a professional background in archival management, Laura cares deeply about the preservation of our public records. She has made sure that the office staff is fully cross-trained to promote maximum efficiency. As a result, the office runs like a customer-oriented business. Professionalism and superb customer service are required of all employees, starting
at the top with Laura.