Chapter 113
Enacted 06/29/2018

A N   A C T

Introduced By: Senators Crowley, and Seveney
Date Introduced: January 23, 2018

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
     SECTION 1. Title 34 of the General Laws entitled "PROPERTY" is hereby amended by
adding thereto the following chapter:
     34-13.2-1. Short title.
     This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Uniform Real Property Electronic
Recording Act."
     34-13.2-2. Definitions.
     As used in this chapter:
     (1) "Document" means information that is:
     (i) Inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and
is retrievable in perceivable form; and
     (ii) Eligible to be recorded in the land records maintained by the recorder 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 recorder 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) "Jurisdiction" means any municipality, city, or town incorporated in the state of
Rhode Island.
     (6) "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.
     (7) "Recorder of deeds" means the officer who has authority under state law to accept
documents for recording in the land records office. This could include such officers as the
"registrar", "clerk", and/or the "recorder".
     (8) "State" means the state of Rhode Island.
     34-13.2-3. 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 chapter.
     (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 perform that act, 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.
     34-13.2-4. Recording of documents.
     (a) In this section, "paper document" means a document that is received by the recorder
of deeds in a form that is not electronic.
     (b) A recorder of deeds:
     (1) Who implements any of the functions listed in this section shall do so in compliance
with the most recent standards and best practices.
     (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 of deeds
began to record electronic documents.
     (7) May accept electronically any fee or tax that the recorder of deeds is authorized to
collect pursuant to § 34-13-7.
     (8) May agree with other officials of other cities or towns within the state, on procedures
or processes to facilitate the electronic satisfaction of prior approvals and conditions precedent to
recording and the electronic payment of fees and taxes.
     34-13.2-5. Administration and standards.
     To keep the standards and practices of recorder of deeds in this state in harmony with
other jurisdictions in this state, the recorder of deeds, so far as is consistent with the purposes,
policies, and provisions of this chapter, in adopting, amending, and repealing standards, shall
consider the following:
     (1) Standards and practices of other jurisdictions;
     (2) Best practices that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective;
     (3) The views of interested persons and governmental officials and entities;
     (4) The needs of municipalities of varying size, population, and resources; and
     (5) Standards requiring adequate information security protection to ensure that electronic
documents are accurate, authentic, adequately preserved, and resistant to tampering.
     34-13.2-6. Relation to electronic signatures in global and national commerce act.
     This chapter 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
§ 101(c) of that act (15 U.S.C. § 7001(c)) or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices
described in § 103(b) of that chapter (15 U.S.C. § 7003(b)).
     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect on July 1, 2019.
LC004023/SUB A