North Carolina/South Carolina Boundary Re-Surveyed Effective January 1, 2017

By Will Martin, NC REALTORS® Legal Counsel

NOTE: Much of the following information has been taken from a memo from the Real Property Section of the NC Bar Association and the NC Land Title Association. The full memo is available on the Bar Association’s website and may be viewed at

In 1995, North and South Carolina created a Joint Boundary Commission to research and tweak the 334-mile border between them. The original border was established in the 1700s, but over many decades, the landmarks for the original boundary have disappeared or become corrupted. What people thought was the state line in some counties wasn’t the actual state line. People have developed, conveyed and improved properties based on an erroneous assumption of the location of the legal boundary.

After 20 years of negotiations, surveys, and research, the governments of the two states reached an agreement about where the state border lies. The boundary has been re-surveyed based on historical monumentation and research back to original colonial records. Effective January 1, 2017, some parcels (or portions of larger tracts) previously believed to be in South Carolina are now confirmed to be in North Carolina, and vice versa.

The re-survey could affect properties in any of the counties along the NC/SC boundary from Polk County east (including a portion of Polk County).  Although some counties may not have very many properties that show the line incorrectly, a case-by-case determination will need to be made by an attorney reviewing a property’s title.

A “Notice of Affected Parcel” based on taxpayer listings has or will be recorded in the office of the Register of Deeds of each county, along with the re-survey maps. The Notice should contain certain information concerning each parcel potentially affected by the boundary certification, including the following:

The recording reference for the final survey of the confirmed boundary.

The names of the record owners of the affected parcel.

The property address of the affected parcel.

A tax parcel identification number or other applicable identifier for the affected parcel used by a county tax office, if available.

A brief description of the affected parcel, if available.

The Notice should be indexed in the names of all record owners of the affected parcels (or at least the names of the taxpayers identified in the county’s property tax rolls).

Information regarding the surveys is available on-line at the office of the North Carolina Geodetic Survey at These surveys do not indicate owners or tracts. They only show the location of the monuments of the border found. Surveyors will have access to these surveys to be able to identify them on the ground when they do a survey.

This article came from the February 2017-Vol47-3 edition of the bulletin.