More than 600 counties in 36 states now are able to record documents electronically, according to the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA), a coalition of government agencies and businesses within the property records industry. The announcement preceded PRIA’s Annual Winter symposium held March 2-4 in Washington, DC.
Electronic recording — or eRecording — is the automated process in a land records office of receiving, recording and exchanging documents and information in digital form. The trend also signals a potential increase in opportunities to have land records electronically notarized and could help drive the expanded use of electronic notarization because so many notarizations involve real estate-related transactions.
“It’s exciting to see so many counties embracing this technology” said PRIA President Richard Bramhall. eRecording improves the quality of information recorded and reduces turn-around times, providing significant cost savings over manual recording processes.
The latest benchmark represents about 17 percent of approximately 3,500 jurisdictions that record real estate documents in the U.S. Only 66 counties are can handle fully electronic transactions — documents that are created, signed, notarized and recorded in digital form. The rest still can only accept paper documents, which are then scanned and recorded in digital form.
But the pace of progress is accelerating. According to PRIA’s tracking system, it took from the late 1990s until August 2006 to reach the 200 eRecording counties mark. Since then, the number of counties implementing eRecording has more than tripled.