Morrisville, N.C. – On April 13, the Board of Directors of the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) gave final approval to the paper on "Best Practices for Certifying Copies for Land Records" published by the Certified Copies Work Group, under the auspices of the Real Property Law and Legal Issues Committee.
This paper focuses on best practices for certified copies for land records. PRIA acknowledges that there may be additional and different issues related to certifying documents which are contained in other government offices. PRIA does not have the appropriate expertise to determine what those best practices might include; thus, the limitation of this paper is to recorded documents.
Brian Ernissee, director of document completion, Nationwide Title Clearing, and co-chair of the Certified Copies Work Group, explains, "I was pleased with this opportunity to share my knowledge on certified copies. To me, it is incredibly important to be engaged in PRIA’s efforts to promote understanding and uniformity in recording. These Best Practices are the result of PRIA members from both the government and business sectors bringing their collective knowledge and experience to the wider discussion of how best to advise stakeholders on practices that can work for everyone."
According to PRIA President Mark Ladd, vice president of regulatory and industry affairs for Simplifile, "It was surprising to find so little statutory guidance around such a well-established practice. This is an important step forward for the industry."
Joyce Watts, clerk-register, Allegan Co, Mich., and government sector co-chair of the Certified Copies Work Group, adds, "Having clear, concise standards for production of certified copies is beneficial to recorders in providing assurance the copies they produce for customers will address title clearance issues. Standardization of practices benefits our offices, our records and our customers."
While statutory language could not be found to define the content of a certification, PRIA acknowledges that the practice of making and sending certified copies is well-established. This paper exists to define content and best practices so that movement towards a national consistency will evolve.
The Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) develops and promotes national standards and best practices for the property records industry. PRIA is a coalition of government and business partners collaborating to formulate positions on issues of common interest. PRIA strives to identify areas of consensus within the industry, leading to recommendations for national standards pertaining to recordable documents. For more information on PRIA, visit www.pria.us.