reach us at 206.326.9912 or

record of survey

what is a record of survey?

A legal description of a property survey is a way to accurately pinpoint where a particular parcel is located. They are typically based on existing township grids and use a combination of alphabetical abbreviations and numbers to locate points and boundaries.

Unlike a property address, the legal description is a totally unique identifier for properties. In order to be valid, it must close, meaning the lines describing the start and end must eventually meet. It must also be clearly defined. If there are two parcels of property with the same legal description, this is a potentially huge issue that will cloud the owners’ titles and possibly lead to litigation.

record of survey


There are various reasons that may necessitate the need for records of survey, such as verifying the acreage of your parcel of land, checking for possible encroachments by adjoining properties, or for the development of your property.

Upon completion of a field survey, a land surveyor may file the record of survey with the appropriate county surveyor for review and approval in the county in which the parcel of land is located. A land surveyor is required to file a record of survey when the field survey when it is found that there is evidence of physical change, a discrepancy with prior record information, lines that are not shown on a prior map, or establishment of a lost corner.

In creating a record of survey, a land surveyor or civil engineer is providing their professional opinion on the physical land boundaries or property lines for a specific parcel of land. They are not however determining the physical ownership of those boundaries as only a court of law can make such a determination.