ALTA Survey Requirements Changes to Take Effect in 2021

What is happening with the ALTA survey requirements?

On February 23, 2021, changes will take effect for the Minimum Standard Detail Requirements (ALTA Standards) for American Land Title Association (ALTA)/National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) Land Title Surveys. Often referred to simply as ALTA surveys, these boundary surveys are created pursuant to a set of minimum standards adopted jointly by ALTA and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM). Lenders often require an ALTA survey in connection with their financing of a real estate purchase. However, even if the purchase is not being financed or the lender doesn’t require an ALTA survey, every commercial property buyer should strongly consider conducting an ALTA survey, in order to be aware of restrictions, easements, or other encumbrances that could affect development plans for the property.

Why is this significant?

If you engage in performing or obtaining ALTA surveys, whether for your own projects, or for clients who obtain them, you should be aware of the changes, since they could impact the information conveyed to the client and their lender, attorneys, or design professionals. In the past, revisions to these ALTA Standards have caused confusion and misunderstandings between clients, design professionals, and surveyors, namely when surveys are completed to the old Standards requirements. For example, changes in ALTA standards may include renumbering of some Table A Optional Items. As a result, clients familiar with the older standards may think they are requesting one item but are, in fact, requesting another. If you unknowingly request unnecessary information or fail to request information that is needed, this can have potentially large impacts on the cost of an ALTA survey, and thus, the overall project budget.

How can Dudek help?

Dudek’s mapping and surveying experts are up to date with the latest ALTA Standards and can perform ALTA surveys both in house and through partners in all 50 states. Using a hybrid approach, we combine traditional ground survey methods and equipment with unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) LiDAR and imagery to perform surveys in less time and less expensively, but with more deliverable options available than by using conventional methods alone. By employing UAS technology where appropriate, we deliver projects faster, saving our clients time. With fewer hours required to complete a project, our fees are reduced, saving clients money.

Where can I learn more about the new ALTA survey requirements?

Register for our webinar, New ALTA Survey Requirements. Sessions are available on February 2nd, 4th, and 10th at 9 am PST, and will inform you on:

  • What the changes to the Standards entail
  • When they go into effect, and
  • What project types may be impacted.

Plus, you’ll have the chance to ask our experts directly about how the changes may affect your land or energy development project. You can also contact Mapping and Surveying Practice Director Steve Hochart for more information on how our experts employ knowledge of the latest ALTA survey requirements with a hybrid survey approach to realize time and cost savings for our clients without compromising quality.