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Counties Accepting Electronic Documents Passes Milestone

September 17, 2013

A new milestone in the number of recording jurisdictions that are electronically recording documents has been reached. With its initial electronic recorded document, Alamance County, N.C., became the 1,000 recording jurisdiction to enable the e-recording process in the United States.

David Ewan, underwriting counsel for Westcor Land Title Insurance Co., and president of the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA), was elated with this announced milestone which took place during the association’s 2013 Annual Conference being held in Minneapolis.

“PRIA is a standard setting body that promotes and monitors the adoption of eRecording throughout the United States,” Ewan said. “In the past year, we have witnessed a significant boost in the number of recording jurisdictions enabling eRecording in an effort to streamline their office workflows and increase both efficiencies and turnaround times for their submitters. PRIA congratulates Alamance County, N.C., on its commitment to excellence in the recording industry.”

E-recording is the automated process in a land records office of receipt, examination, fee calculation and payment, endorsing of recording information and return of recorded electronic documents to the submitter. “Between June 2012 and August 2013, the number of counties committing to the e-recording process increased by more than 25 percent,” said Larry Burtness, Washoe County (Nevada) recorder and co-chair of PRIA’s Technology Committee. “As the PRIA e-recording standards continue to mature, the number of counties leveraging this technology continues to expand.”

According to PRIA’s tracking system, it took from the late 1990s until August 2006 to reach the 200 e-recording counties mark. Close to 1,200 counties are expected to be electronically recording documents by the end of 2013 which equates to one-third of all recording jurisdictions in the country.

PRIA, the national standard-setting body for the land records industry, maintains a list of counties that have implemented e-recording technology and posts the list on its website. The list includes counties whose implementations have been confirmed by PRIA.

“We are confident the actual number of eRecording counties is higher than what we publish, but the list is limited to those counties that have been accurately verified,” said Chris Walker, clerk in Jackson County, Ore. and co-chair of PRIA’s eRecording eXcellence Work Group.

The names of the eRecording counties are available to the public, while PRIA members have access to a more detailed list which includes contact information for the counties, as well as the individual county’s technology vendor(s). The list is continually updated by the PRIA administrative staff that works with key volunteer resources to find and report new e-recording-enabled counties.

“Working internally through its Technology Committee and eRecording eXcellence Work Group, PRIA has steadily and conscientiously developed XML standards while promoting industry adoption of this essential technology,” said Kate Teal of Ernst Publishing and co-chair of PRIA’s Technology Committee. “E-recording is experiencing unprecedented success with recorders who have installed the technology most of whom report significant savings in their office operations.”

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