Local Politics

Bill would remove personal information from online property records

Posted March 25, 2009 12:46 p.m. EDT

— A state senator has proposed a change to the way county records are published as a way to better protect personal information from identity thieves.

When county registers of deeds publish property information online, those documents may contain Social Security numbers, checking account numbers and drivers' license numbers.

A WRAL investigation found thousands of online records that contained personal information.

The state's Identity Theft Protection Act, passed in 2005, only allows a register of deeds to remove a Social Security or bank account number at a citizen's request. The burden is on the individual, many of whom don't realize they need to make the request.

State Senator David Rouzer will introduce a bill to allow a registrar of deeds to redact that information without a request.