ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey Standards

The American Land Title Association, together with NSPS (National Society of Professional Surveyors) have worked on the latest version of the minimum standard detail requirements for ALTA/ACSM land title surveys. These standards were initially adopted in the early 1960s and have been revised seven times to date. The latest version became effective on February 23, 2016.  ALTA/ACSM land title surveys are specifically for commercial purposes and surveyors follow a uniform set of standards to conduct them correctly. Hence, it is important to hire professional and licensed land surveyors who are guaranteed to follow ALTA/ACSM land title survey standards.

Here are some of the important things you need to know about the latest version of these standards:

  • The 2016 ALTA/ACSM land title survey standards address the issue that have been around since, 2011. Some of the issues were the result of unintended consequences when that version was rewritten. It helped clarify the responsibilities of clients and surveyors on certain items, too.
  • One of the most significant revisions is the clarification of the precision with which the features are to be found on the ground and listed on the map or plat of the survey.
  • Better guidance for locating and depicting abutting roads and streets.
  • If surveyors prepare a new description, they should include a note explaining why it was needed and how the new description relates to the previous description from the records.
  • Observed utility features must be shown at all times instead of making them optional in Table A.
  • Eliminate the mandatory requirement where the names of adjoiners must be shown on the map/plat of the survey and adding them to the optional Table A, item 13.
  • Explain any Table A items, which were negotiated in a different manner than how they were depicted in the ALTA/ACSM land title survey standards.



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