Are all Land Survey’s Recorded?

  • Are all Land Survey’s Recorded?

    Posted by BRETT BAY on August 23, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    Just a general question on Land Survey in California (San Bernardino County).

    Are all land survey ALWAYS recorded?

    Have a purchase contract where it was agreed upon to have a Land Survey by XYZ Survey Company.    Nothing specifically stated it has to be RECORDED.

    So is it a given that all Land Surveys are record in the eyes of the law?

    peter-ehlert replied 4 years, 6 months ago 8 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Norman_Oklahoma


    August 23, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    Laws vary by state.  In Oregon it is possible to do a boundary survey without filing a Record of Survey if no corner monuments are set.  Some might argue that such a survey is not a boundary survey. In Washington it would be possible if monuments in substantial agreement with the record are found at all corners. A rare thing, indeed.  In both cases if any monuments were set there would have to be an ROS, and I’m sure that is the case in California, too.   

  • holy-cow


    August 23, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    The simple answer to that question is “no”.  Even in recording States. 

  • dave-karoly


    August 23, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    It depends on the type of lot that was surveyed. If monuments were set then the minimum is a Corner Record filed with the County Surveyor but a Record of Survey may be required such as in the case of a lot described by metes and bounds.

  • dave-lindell


    August 24, 2019 at 12:52 am

    Since January 1, 1985 ALL boundary surveys in California are required to be recorded, as Dave Karoly says either by Corner Record or Record of Survey.

    Some engineers who are allowed to do surveys by virtue of obtaining their civil engineer license before 1982 still think you only have to file if there is a material discrepancy.  WRONG!  Any and all boundary surveys, including ALTA surveys, even without having set monuments are included.  Read the Land Surveyor’s Act!

  • a-harris


    August 24, 2019 at 3:14 am

    Your deed can contain a copy of your survey when specified by you and the original will be recorded and returned to you by mail at your request.

    Many times I will return to a property that I have surveyed in the past and to other properties that I know other surveyors have done and the record deed does not show that because they decided to not have the recent survey recorded.

    I find that strange because it makes no sense and in many cases hides the fact that there are problems with the boundaries that the owners intend to hide from the public and/or there are more acres involved that they do not want to pay taxes for.

    Recording of surveys should be a requirement when the property is in a transaction between two parties.

  • dave-karoly


    August 24, 2019 at 1:37 pm


    California doesn’t work that way. The vast majority of transactions have no Survey and use the same description since time immemorial, especially residential.

  • peter-ehlert


    August 24, 2019 at 3:07 pm
    Posted by: @brett-bay

    So is it a given that all Land Surveys are record in the eyes of the law?

    No, absolutely not.

    despite the short answers you are getting…. Many surveys in California are performed that are Not required to be Recorded (filed for record).
    You should ask the Surveyor if he/she will be recording his survey. If the answer is no, then ask why not. Most surveyors are able to answer in a “user friendly” manner that you will understand.
    The actual findings of the survey, the history of that particular land, and how the findings are presented may Not require any record to be filed.




  • Mark Mayer

    Mark Mayer

    August 24, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    My reading of Section 8762 of the California Business and Professions Code tells me that a ROS could be avoided if everything is found to be in substantial conformance with the record, much like Washington. Which would be a rare thing, unless a survey had been recently recorded.

    I see above that other posters have expressly contested my interpretation.  But it would be unreasonable to expect every surveyor to file every time they tie to a couple of boundary monuments.  

  • peter-ehlert


    August 24, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    hmmm… the BRETT BAY profile says you are a California PLS.
    so, why the question Sir? This is quite basic, but a bit controversial.

    please explain a bit.




Log in to reply.