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By:  Alexandra Neifert, Esquire

On May 8, 2018, Governor Hogan signed Maryland House Bill 1093, also known as the Maryland Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (the “Act”). The Act is codified in Title 3, Subtitle 7 of the Real Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. With an effective date of October 1, 2018, the Act establishes uniform procedures for the electronic recording of real property records. The Act also provides that electronic documents and signatures satisfy laws that require documents to be in a specific form or signed as a condition of recording, for example, a Deed of Trust.

E-recording was first established in Maryland through a pilot program in the spring of 2015. On January 21, 2016, the Court of Appeals issued an Order that Land Records e-recording Programs could be expanded to every circuit court in the state. According to Simplifile, an e-recording platform, e-recording is available in the Land Records offices for the following counties: Alleghany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore County, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Washington, Worcester, and Wicomico. The following counties are not yet on the e-recording platform: Baltimore City, Calvert, Caroline, St. Mary’s, and Somerset.

Prior to the effective date of the Act, most Land Records offices throughout Maryland would only accept documents with original signatures. In other words, even those Land Records offices that participated in the e-recording platform still required original signatures on documents that were e-recorded. The Act brings the recording process for real property records in line with other electronic filing programs in the state, like the Maryland Electronic Court System (“MDEC”). Similar to MDEC, the Act allows electronic documents with electronic signatures to satisfy recording requirements. Most notable is the Act’s acceptance of electronic notary signatures to satisfy recording requirements. While the majority of Maryland’s Land Records’ offices have moved to e-recording, paper documents remain an accepted method of recording.

Alex Neifert is an Associate in the firm’s Corporate and Real Estate Group.  She graduated cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2016. After graduating from law school, Alex was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Audrey J.S. Carrión in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, where she drafted bench memoranda and judicial opinions on a variety of civil, criminal, and domestic matters, including contracts, business transactions, post convictions, and district court appeals. She can be contacted at 443-275-0644 or aneifert@pklaw.com.

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