The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell
Tony Vigliotti, the Register of Deeds for the Worcester District, recently sent me an interesting article from the February 2006 edition of the National Notary Bulletin on eNotarization. A variation of the article is available on the National Notary Association’s website. This new program, just instituted in Pennsylvania, allows notaries who have registered with the state to notarize “electronic documents.” Understanding this process requires some knowledge of the different levels of electronic recording. While the “level” concept may be an outdated term, I still find that it’s a useful way to illustrate the various methods of electronic recording. Since last June we have recorded nearly 1000 documents that were submitted to us electronically. All of those submissions were scanned images of traditional paper documents or what is known as Level 2 electronic recording. With Level 2 electronic recording, the notary function is pretty much the same as with a regular paper recording (i.e., the person signing does so in the presence of the notary who acknowledges the person is who they purport to be and then signs and affixes a stamp to the document). But with Level 3 electronic recording, there is no paper. The document exists only electronically. As such, it is probably more easily altered than a paper document (although it is easier to alter a paper document than most people realize). Consequently, this concept of eNotarization involves the authenticity and completeness of the electronic document as well as the traditional notary functions. We will be investigating this concept and perhaps speeding its way to Massachusetts.
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