Carolyn Garris files for re-election as Register of Deeds

Published 3:04 pm Sunday, December 10, 2023

Beaufort County Register of Deeds Carolyn Garris has filed for re-election. 

A Republican, Garris was appointed by the Beaufort County Commissioners to fill the unexpired term of Jennifer Whitehurst.  She was sworn into office on January 3, 2023.

The Register of Deeds office maintains official land records, vital records, and other documents for Beaufort County.

“Public service has been my calling for over thirty years and I remain dedicated to my community,” Garris said.  “The team at the Beaufort County Register of Deeds Office is our biggest asset, and we have been able to accomplish many projects together to update our services and provide additional services to the community.”

In her first year in office, working with the Register of Deeds team, Garris has initiated a number of new services.  An online vital records (birth, marriage, and death certificates) ordering system has been put in place so these records can be ordered online without a trip to the office.  A property fraud alert system, which is free to citizens, called the Recording Notification System has been implemented that warns citizens who register their name if any document has been recorded that contains their name or business.

Other new services include installation of card readers for debit and credit cards for the convenience of citizens in paying various fees payable to the Register of Deeds, and preparing a Recording on the Go Box that would allow the office to continue to function in the event of a prolonged emergency.

A future project Garris plans is to digitize real estate records back to 1917 so that they can be accessed online in addition to being available to citizens in the office.  She also stressed that the current facilities of the Register of Deeds office are out of space, limiting some of the things they can do, and that one of her priorities will be working with the county commissioners to secure needed additional space. 

“There is still much work yet to accomplish and we will continue to strive to meet those challenges,” Garris said.

Garris received her Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Mount Olive College, with a major in Computer Information Systems.  She has completed the Register of Deeds School of the UNC School of Government, and attended additional workshops on land records. 

Garris is a member of the North Carolina Association of Registers of Deeds and the Property Records Industry Association.

Prior to becoming Register of Deeds, Garris served as Admin/Environmental Education  Coordinator for Pitt County Soil and Water Conservation.  She was a North Carolina Certified Environmental Educator and describes environmental education as having been a “passion” of hers while working in soil and water conservation. Garris also served on the Board of Directors of the Unnatural Resources Institute for several years.

A longtime Beaufort County resident, Garris lives with her husband Stanley in the Woodards Pond precinct. Her son C.J. is currently serving in the US Air Force in England, and her daughters Priscilla and Faith are employed locally.