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AGO 1950 No. 324 - August 24, 1950
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington


County engineers are required to accept for recording the survey of registered engineers and land surveyors only, and to make a record of said survey by said persons.

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                                                                 August 24, 1950

Honorable D. J. Cunningham
Prosecuting Attorney
Lewis County
Chehalis, Washington                                                                                                      Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 324

Dear Sir:

            We acknowledge receipt of your inquiry of August 17, 1950, in which you ask:

            "May the office of the county engineer refuse to record a survey which appears to have been made in accordance with the laws of the State but made by an engineer or surveyor who isnot a registered engineer or land surveyor?"

            Our conclusion may be stated as follows: Under present law no one but registered engineers and land surveyors may operate in this state to make land surveys and the county engineers would, therefore, not be required to accept surveys by unauthorized persons.


            Section 5, chapter 136, Laws of 1895 (Rem. Rev. Stat. 4150) provides:

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            "Each county engineer shall record in a suitable book all surveys made by him and his deputies, * * * and he shall make a complete record of all construction notes, and shall also record the survey of any other surveyor, which shall be made in his county, whenever demanded by any person: Provided, the fees for recording the same shall be paid the same as provided for county auditors:  Provided further, that such survey appears to have been made in accordance with the laws of the state.  * * *"

            It appears that in 1895 there was no limitation upon the term "land surveyor."  The legislature, however, by sections 1 et seq., chapter 283, Laws of 1947 (§ 8306-21 et seq. Rem. Supp. 1947) has seen fit for the purpose of safeguarding life, health and property, to provide a limitation upon who shall qualify as engineers and registered surveyors and who shall be authorized to practice as such in the State of Washington, and said act requires registration of said persons, who are defined by the act, and the minimum requirements for registration are therein set forth.

            The 1947 act accordingly has amended the survey recording act by defining the term "surveyor" and it therefore follows that unless the surveyor who made the notes was registered he is not a surveyor under the 1895 act, as amended, and the county engineer accordingly would not be required to accept his notes for recording.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General

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