Senate Bill No. 26
(By Senator Foster, By Request)
[Introduced January 11, 2012; referred to the Committee on Interstate Cooperation; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §39A-4-1, §39A-4-2, §39A-4-3, §39A-4-4, §39A-4-5, §39A-4-6 and §39A-4-7, all relating to real property; enacting the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act; providing for the recording of electronic real property documents by county clerks; and validity of real property documents with electronic signatures.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §39A-4-1, §39A-4-2, §39A-4-3, §39A-4-4, §39A-4-5, §39A-4-6 and §39A-4-7, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4. UNIFORM REAL PROPERTY ELECTRONIC RECORDING ACT.
§39A-4-1. Short title.
This article may be cited as the "Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act".
As used in this article:
(a) "Document" means information that is:
(1) Inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and that is retrievable in perceivable form; and
(2) Eligible to be recorded in the land records maintained by a county clerk;
(b) "Electronic" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic or similar capabilities;
(c) "Electronic document" means a document that is received by a county clerk in an electronic form;
(d) "Electronic signature" means an electronic sound, symbol or process attached to or logically associated with a document and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the document;
(e) "Person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, public corporation, government or governmental subdivision, agency or instrumentality or any other legal or commercial entity; and
(f) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
§39A-4-3. Recording of electronic documents.
(a) In this section, "paper document" means a document that is received by the recorder in a form that is not electronic.
(b) A county clerk:
(1) Who implements any of the functions listed in this section shall do so in compliance with standards established by the Joint Commission on Technology, in consultation with the county clerks of West Virginia, pursuant to section five of the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act;
(2) May receive, index, store, archive and transmit electronic documents;
(3) May provide for access to, and for search and retrieval of, documents and information by electronic means;
(4) Who accepts electronic documents for recording shall continue to accept paper documents as authorized by state law and shall place entries for both types of documents in the same index;
(5) May convert paper documents accepted for recording into electronic form;
(6) May convert into electronic form information recorded before the recorder began to record electronic documents;
(7) May accept electronically any fee that the county clerk is authorized to collect; and
(8) May agree with other officials of a state or a political subdivision thereof, or of the United States, on procedures or processes to facilitate the electronic satisfaction of prior approvals and conditions precedent to recording and the electronic payment of fees.
§39A-4-4. Administration and standards.
(a) The Joint Commission on Technology, in consultation with the county clerks of West Virginia, shall adopt standards to implement the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act.
(b) To keep the standards and practices of county clerks in this state in harmony with the standards and practices of recording offices in other jurisdictions that enact substantially the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act and to keep the technology used by recorders in this state compatible with technology used by recording offices in other jurisdictions that enact substantially the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, the Joint Commission on Technology, in consultation with the county clerks of West Virginia, so far as is consistent with the purposes, policies and provisions of the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, in adopting, amending and repealing standards shall consider:
(1) Standards and practices of other jurisdictions;
(2) The most recent standards promulgated by national standard-setting bodies, such as the Property Records Industry Association;
(3) The views of interested persons and governmental officials and entities; and
(4) The needs of counties of varying size, population and resources.
§39A-4-5. Uniformity of application and construction.
In applying and construing the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act, consideration shall be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.
§39A-4-6. Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.
The Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act modifies, limits and supersedes the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act but does not modify, limit or supersede Section 101(c) of that act or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in Section 103(b) of that act.
§39A-4-7. Secretary of State; liability.
The Secretary of State, serving as authority and repository of signature keys for governmental entities shall revoke any signature key when the secretary has reason to believe that the digital signature key has been stolen, fraudulently used or otherwise compromised. This article creates no liability upon the Secretary of State for any transaction compromised by any illegal act or inappropriate uses associated with electronic signatures.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.