As a result of the enactments of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) in Georgia, and the Global National Commerce Act (E-sign) at the federal level, it is now possible to have sale contracts, mortgage instruments, and promissory notes memorialized in electronic form with the electronic signatures of the parties involved in the transaction. However, real estate transactions require another step not addressed by UETA or E-sign. Real estate transaction documents must be recorded on public records in order to protect the current interest in the real estate and clarify who owns title to the property.
Real estate records establish a chain of title which is based upon the originality and authenticity of the paper documents presented for recording. There must be an orderly conversion of recording offices for implementation of an electronic recording system. The essential starting point for this monumental process is the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (URPERA), promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 2004.
In Georgia, URPERA was introduced during the 2009-10 legislative session as House Bill 127 and was signed into law on May 5, 2009. URPERA establishes a board to set statewide standards and requires that these uniform standards must be implemented in every recording office. O.C.G.A § 44-2-39 identifies the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority (the Authority) as the entity mandated to fulfill this duty. Accordingly, O.C.G.A § 44-2-38(1) states that a Clerk of Superior Court who implements any of the functions listed in this code section shall do so in compliance with standards established by the Authority.
Real Estate Electronic Recording Standards for the State of Georgia