Assistant registers of deeds record, index and store demographic information and also information about land transactions. Women interested in working as an assistant registrar of deeds will follow in some pretty big footsteps. Mirabeau Lamar Cole Looney was elected registrar of deeds in Oklahoma in the early 20th century. And in 1881, a time when many women didn't work outside the home, Jeannette Leonard Gilder served as a copyist in the Newark, New Jersey, office of the registrar of deeds.
To comply with state statutes, anyone who buys or sells a home, leases property or is involved in other property-related transactions must file a record of the transaction with the appropriate registry of deeds. When you receive this paperwork, you have to make sure it is completely filled out. If it isn’t, you can explain the changes that must be made. Once the paperwork is filled out completely, you can file it, which makes the transaction part of your town’s permanent archive.
As the assistant register of deeds, you’ll play a small part in a family or individual's major life events. For example, you will issue and record marriage licenses and issue certified copies of military, birth and death records. You can also change these records when necessary, such as when someone changes her name. You may also help your customers fill out the right paperwork so they can get the records they need. Part of your job involves collecting the fees associated with getting copies of the records and also giving your customers receipts for their payment. Depending on the office where you work, you may serve as a notary public and can notarize documents that someone wants to file.
You'll likely learn on the job your town or city's procedures for recording, indexing and coding legal documents. Part of this training will cover the terms you should know to succeed as an assistant register of deeds as well as any relevant policies you need to follow. To succeed as an assistant registrar of deeds, you should be detail-oriented, have excellent communication skills, and be able to work well with others and on your own. You may also need a valid driver’s license and clean driving record.
Education and Experience
How much education and experience you'll need varies by employer. For example, to work as an assistant register of deeds in Nash County, North Carolina, you need an associate’s degree in business administration or a related field and previous experience working in a register of deeds office. The county will also combine an applicant's education and experience when reviewing an application. In Cabarrus County, North Carolina, you need the equivalent of a high school diploma and considerable experience at a register of deeds office to work as an assistant register of deeds.
Since you'll spend most of your day in front of a computer, you should be fairly familiar with common word-processing software and programs, such as Microsoft Word. Knowing how to quickly and accurately file and find electronic and paper documents will also come in handy. Since interacting with the public is a big part of your job, you should know how to deliver high-quality customer service.
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- Harvard University Library Open Collections Program: Jeannette Leonard Gilder (1849–1916)
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