How would you like to walk away from the recording counter with your recorded original document stuffed snuggly in your briefcase? A new program at the registry of deeds in Worcester is allowing that to happen with selected documents. Here’s how it works: the document is recorded in the usual manner with the registry clerk entering all applicable indexing data and then collecting the appropriate fee. Once the financial part of the transaction is entered into the cashiering terminal, the computer system assigns that document a book and page number and notes the time of recording. A receipt and a bar code label which is affixed to the document are also produced. At this registry, we then hand the customer the receipt and we keep the original document, scanning it within a few hours. Once the document is scanned, we shoot microfilm from a paper print of the scanned document image, but we hold onto the original document until the microfilm is developed and we view it frame by frame to confirm that good images have been obtained for all documents. Then, we either return documents to those who have pickup boxes or who have provided us with self-addressed, stamped envelopes or we place the document in our unclaimed “no postage” storage area. Either way, it’s a laborious and time consuming process. Worcester’s experimental program has eliminated much of this work. There, immediately after the document is recorded and while the customer is still standing there at the counter, the registry clerk scans the document at a scanner that’s immediately adjacent to the cashiering terminal. The clerk then opens the newly scanned image in the Search program to ensure it was captured adequately, and prints it for backup purposes. If all is in order, the clerk hands the original document back to the customer. There registry doesn’t have to worry about storing or handling that document ever again. Right now, Worcester is experimenting with this process for documents of only a few pages. Handling a multi document, multi mortgage transaction in this way wouldn’t work very well – there’s be too many pages to scan while the customer stood there. But it’s certainly a start and an idea we are looking into.