The Richland County Register of Deeds Office has adjusted its appointment policy to help limit wait times.
After closing to the public because of COVID-19, the office reopened in June by appointment only to allow customers to complete necessary searches and copy documents. Because of social distancing guidelines and limited staffing, the office is now limiting appointments to attorneys and abstractors who are familiar with conducting document searches.
Services are still available to all residents by email. People who need documents from the Register of Deeds but are unfamiliar with the search process should email Customerservice.email@example.com for assistance.
Visiting by Appointment
For customers who are familiar with the document search process, appointments at the Register of Deeds Office are available on weekdays during three time intervals: 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., noon-1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Visitors to the office must wear face coverings as required by the City of Columbia’s mask ordinance. At their appointment time, visitors will first enter a pre-entry area, where they will be screened to ensure they are complying with protocols, including not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
People can be exempt from the mask requirement if they meet one of the exemptions:
- Religious beliefs that prohibit wearing a mask
- A medical condition that would be aggravated by a mask
Those who contact the office will receive an email listing the COVID-19 protocols in place. Before visiting, individuals must reply to the email confirming they understand the protocols and agree to follow them.
Along with requiring face coverings by visitors and staff, the office is following additional protocols to halt the spread of COVID-19:
- No more than six visitors at a time are allowed in the research area.
- Workstations in that area are spaced 8 feet apart, allowing visitors to maintain the 6-foot space requirement for social distancing.
- Staff workstations are secured away from the research area.
- Customers who need to record and drop off physical documents will be directed to use the drop box in the Judicial Center lobby at 1701 Main St.
- People using the workstations may retrieve or copy documents at no cost.
To make an appointment, email the Register of Deeds at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have difficulty making an appointment by email, call 803-587-9693.