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Mayer register of deeds in S.D.

By Staff | Dec 19, 2014


A former Pierce County, N.D., and current Pennington County, S.D., resident has a variant of a job she held previously.

Donna Mayer, of Rapid City, S.D., has been the Register of Deeds since 2000, and was reelected to the office in June beating her opponent, Jordan Mason, by a 70 to 30 percent margin according to the Rapid City Journal. Mayer held the register of deeds (now the county recorder) position in Pierce County from 1983 to 1988.

“A lot of people don’t understand why the register of deeds office exists, or what it does,” Mayer said.

A register of deeds and a county recorder are similar in that they are custodians of files regarding personal and real estate property, including deeds, mortgages, easements and liens. In South Dakota, Mayer said, the register of deeds can also issue documents from the state’s Department of Vital Records, including birth, marriage and death certificates.

Mayer said while in Pierce County, part of her deeds included backing up records to film.

Mayer said some huge challenges in her duties as register of deeds are making sure a clear and complete record is in place, and the media in which that it is recorded can stand the test of time.

“We have to make sure records are available 100 years down the road,” Mayer said.

Mayer said that while records in South Dakota are computerized, in addition to previously being recorded in books and backed up on film, North Dakota has one thing over its neighbor. N.D. has a website NDRIN.com in which recorders from around the state can view records. The website was put in place as an extension of a 1999 FEMA disaster-proofing grant in place after the 1997 Grand Forks flood.

Pennington County is the largest county in South Dakota in terms of area at 2,784 square miles but second-largest in terms of population, with about 110,000 people during the 2010 census.

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