Common Questions and Concerns

Here we’ll address some common questions and concerns, and link to a few helpful resources.

How can I find out if a survey exists for my property?

The Multnomah County Surveyor’s Office has a research website called SAIL (Survey and Assessor Image Locator), where you can research for surveys, plats, assessor maps and other records. If you need assistance navigating our site, or if you are having problems, or if you find something out of place, please call (503) 988-3600. 

Will the County survey my property for me?

The County does not perform survey work on private property. If you want your property surveyed, you must hire a private land surveyor. You can also visit SAIL to determine if any recent surveys have been registered in your neighborhood. The Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon’s website is also a good resource. The County Surveyor’s Office does not make recommendations.   

Who can legally perform a land survey?

In the State of Oregon only a Professional Land Surveyor (PLS) can legally assume the responsibility for a land survey. Professional Land Surveyors are professionals with the specialized background, training and skills required to survey land. Only Professional Land Surveyors licensed by the State of Oregon are qualified to practice land surveying in Oregon.   

How do I locate a land survey professional?

Clients usually hire a surveyor based on personal recommendations of satisfied clients, or through attorneys, real estate companies, and title companies who frequently handle real estate transactions. The Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon’s website is also a good resource. While the County Surveyor’s Office cannot make recommendations, we may be able to provide you with the names of surveyors who have worked in your neighborhood. Surveyors should be able to provide you with references for their previous work.   

What information should I furnish the surveyor?

Furnish the Land Surveyor with an explanation of why the survey is desired (if requested, he/she will maintain confidentiality). With the client’s purpose in mind, the Professional Land Surveyor can work more efficiently and thus reduce costs. If you have a deed or mortgage description, aerial photograph of the land, or an abstract, give a copy to the Land Surveyor. In addition, if you have knowledge of an existing monument—such as a stone marker, wooden stake, iron rod or pipe, etc.—on or near your property, pass that information along to the Land Surveyor.   

What will the land surveyor furnish me?

The Land Surveyor’s final product will vary with each survey (depending upon the reason for the survey). Generally you will be furnished with a copy of a signed and stamped plat or map showing what the Land Surveyor has done, showing the corners monumented or otherwise identified. A narrative on the map will describe why and how the survey was performed.  

How do I find out why a survey crew is working in my neighborhood or on my land?

Contact the crew and ask them what they are doing and who they are working for. You may have to get their company phone number and call their supervisor for more information. You can also try to get a company name from their vehicle. New survey monuments are required to be marked with caps with the surveyor’s registration number or company/business name on them. If you find such a monument, you can call the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (OSBEELS) at (503) 362-2666. They can provide you with information on how to contact the surveyor or the company.   

The County Surveyor’s Office crews use clearly marked trucks. You can get information regarding a County survey crew by calling (503) 988-5573 or (503) 988-5050, ext. 28169.   

Additional Questions or Comments?

Please direct questions, comments or concerns to the Multnomah County Surveyor.