Article 1A.

Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act.

47-16.1. Short title.

This Article may be cited as the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act. (2005-391, s. 1.)

 

47-16.2. Definitions.

In this Article:

(1) "Document" means information that is:

a. Inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form; and

b. Eligible to be recorded in the land records maintained by the register of deeds.

(2) "Electronic" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.

(3) "Electronic document" means a document that is received by the register of deeds in an electronic form.

(4) "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.

(5) "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. (2005-391, s. 1.)

 

47-16.3. Validity of electronic documents.

(a) If a law requires, as a condition for recording, that a document be an original, be on paper or another tangible medium, or be in writing, the requirement is satisfied by an electronic document satisfying this Article.

(b) If a law requires, as a condition for recording, that a document be signed, the requirement is satisfied by an electronic signature.

(c) A requirement that a document or a signature associated with a document be notarized, acknowledged, verified, witnessed, or made under oath is satisfied if the electronic signature of the person authorized to notarize, acknowledge, verify, witness, or administer the oath, and all other information required to be included, is attached to or logically associated with the document or signature. A physical or electronic image of a stamp, impression, or seal need not accompany an electronic signature. Nothing in this act shall prohibit the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors from requiring that the image of a seal accompany any plat or map that is presented electronically for recording. (2005-391, s. 1.)

 

47-16.4. Recording of documents.

(a) In this section, "paper document" means a document that is received by the register of deeds in a form that is not electronic.

(b) A register of deeds:

(1) Who implements any of the functions listed in this section shall do so in compliance with standards adopted by the Secretary of State.

(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 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 register of deeds began to record electronic documents.

(7) May accept electronically any fee or tax that the register of deeds is authorized to collect.

(8) May agree with other officials of this State or a political subdivision thereof on procedures or processes to facilitate the electronic satisfaction of conditions to recording and the electronic payment of fees and taxes. (2005-391, s. 1.)

 

47-16.5. Administration and standards.

(a) Standard-Setting Agency. - The Secretary of State shall adopt standards to implement this Article upon recommendation of the Electronic Recording Council. The Secretary of State may direct the Council to revise any portion of the recommended standards the Secretary deems inadequate or inappropriate. Technological standards and specifications adopted by the Secretary of State to implement this Article are engineering standards for the purposes of G.S. 150B-2(8a)h.

(b) Electronic Recording Council Created. - The Electronic Recording Council is created in the Department of the Secretary of State to advise and assist the Secretary of State in the adoption of standards to implement this Article. The Council shall review the functions listed in G.S. 47-16.4 and shall formulate and recommend to the Secretary standards for recording electronic documents and implementing the other functions listed in G.S. 47-16.4. The Council shall report its findings and recommendations to the Secretary of State at least once each calendar year. The Council shall advise the Secretary of State on a continuing basis of the need to adopt, amend, revise, or repeal standards. The Council may advise the Secretary of State on any other matter the Secretary refers to the Council.

(c) Council Membership, Terms, and Vacancies. - The Council shall consist of 13 members as follows:

(1) Seven members appointed by the North Carolina Association of Registers of Deeds. It is the intent of the General Assembly that the North Carolina Association of Registers of Deeds shall appoint as members a representative selection of registers of deeds from large, medium, and small counties, urban and rural counties, and the different geographic areas of this State.

(2) One member appointed by the North Carolina Bar Association.

(3) One member appointed by the North Carolina Society of Land Surveyors.

(4) One member appointed by the North Carolina Bankers Association.

(5) One member appointed by the North Carolina Land Title Association.

(6) One member appointed by the North Carolina Association of Assessing Officers.

(7) The Secretary of Natural and Cultural Resources or the Secretary's designee.

In making appointments to the Council, each appointing authority shall select appointees with the ability and commitment to fulfill the purposes of the Council.

Appointed members shall serve four-year terms, except that the initial appointments by the North Carolina Bar Association, the North Carolina Bankers Association, the North Carolina Association of Assessing Officers, and three of the initial appointments by the North Carolina Association of Registers of Deeds shall be for two years. All initial terms shall commence on the effective date of this Article. Members shall serve until their successors are appointed. An appointing authority may reappoint a member for successive terms. A vacancy on the Council shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made, and the term shall be for the balance of the unexpired term.

(d) Council Meetings and Officers. - The Secretary of State shall call the first meeting of the Council. At the first meeting and biennially thereafter, the Council shall elect from its membership a chair and a vice-chair to serve two-year terms. Meetings may be called by the chair, the vice-chair, or the Secretary of State. Meetings shall be held as often as necessary, but at least once a year.

(e) Council Compensation. - None of the members of the Council shall receive compensation for serving on the Council, but Council members shall receive per diem, subsistence, and travel expenses in accordance with G.S. 138-5 and G.S. 138-6, as applicable.

(f) Staff and Other Assistance. - As soon as practicable and as needed thereafter, the Council shall identify the information technology expertise it needs and report its needs to the Secretary of State. The Council shall also report any other expertise needed to fulfill its responsibilities. The Secretary of State shall provide professional and clerical staff and other services and supplies, including meeting space, as needed for the Council to carry out its duties in an effective manner. The Secretary of State may appoint additional committees to advise and assist the Council in its work.

The Council shall consult with the North Carolina Local Government Information Systems Association, and may consult with any other person the Council deems appropriate, to advise and assist the Council in its work.

(g) Uniformity of Standards. - To keep the standards and practices of registers of deeds in this State in harmony with the standards and practices of recording offices in other jurisdictions that enact substantially this Article and to keep the technology used by registers of deeds in this State compatible with technology used by recording offices in other jurisdictions that enact substantially this Article, the Secretary of State and the Council shall consider all of the following in carrying out their responsibilities under this Article, so far as is consistent with its purposes, policies, and provisions:

(1) Standards and practices of other jurisdictions.

(2) The most recent standards adopted by national standard-setting bodies, such as the Property Records Industry Association.

(3) The views of interested persons and other governmental officials and entities.

(4) The needs of counties of varying size, population, and resources.

(5) Standards requiring adequate information security protection to ensure that electronic documents are accurate, authentic, adequately preserved, and resistant to tampering. (2005-391, s. 1; 2015-241, s. 14.30(t).)

 

47-16.6. Uniformity of application and construction.

In applying and construing this Article, consideration shall be given to promoting uniformity of interpretation of the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act among states that enact it. (2005-391, s. 1.)

 

47-16.7. Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

This Article modifies, limits, and supersedes the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (15 U.S.C. 7001, et seq.) but does not modify, limit, or supersede section 101(c) of that act (15 U.S.C. 7001(c)) or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in section 103(b) of that act (15 U.S.C. 7003(b)). (2005-391, s. 1.)