While working on proposed legislation to update Maryland’s notary laws and allow for remote notary, the MLTA’s Legislative Committee discovered a gap between the current e-recording practices in the Land Records and the lack of a clear statutory basis for e-recordings in Maryland. Prior to the passage of HB1093 – the Maryland Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act (URPERA) , e-recordings were simply being undertaken on the basis of the January 2016 Order by the Maryland Court of Appeals that accepted the Baltimore County e-recording pilot project that was approved by the Legislature in 2007, but not implemented until 2014. When the Court accepted that the program was working, the statutory basis for e-recording went away. To fill this gap, the MLTA championed the passage of URPERA as modified to fit in with Maryland’s current laws. The bill establishes uniform procedures for the electronic recording of real property records. Both the Administrative Office of the Courts and the State Archives supported MLTA’s efforts. The bill is curative in nature and applies retroactively to authorize any instrument recorded electronically on or before October 1, 2018.
Governor Larry Hogan signed the bill on May 8th with MLTA’s Lobbyist, Bill Pitcher, and Kevin Swanson, Senior Director of Records and Access at the State Archives, in attendance. The MLTA Board Directors were not able to attend because the signing occurred at the same time as the monthly Board meeting. Timing is everything!