August 14, 2020
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Senate Bill 2038

Senate Bill sb2038er

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  1                                 

  2         An act relating to real property electronic

  3         recording; creating s. 695.27, F.S.; providing

  4         a short title; providing definitions; providing

  5         for the validity of electronic documents

  6         relating to real property; providing for the

  7         recording of electronic documents by the county

  8         recorder; granting the Department of State

  9         rulemaking authority; creating the Electronic

10         Recording Advisory Committee; providing the

11         committee with certain powers and duties;

12         providing for membership and meetings of the

13         committee; providing that committee members

14         shall serve without compensation and may not

15         claim per diem and travel expenses from the

16         Secretary of State; providing guidelines for

17         the department, in consultation with the

18         committee, to consider in adopting, amending,

19         and repealing standards; providing for the

20         termination of the committee; providing for

21         uniformity of application and construction;

22         specifying the relation to a federal act;

23         amending s. 201.01, F.S.; providing that such

24         electronic documents are subject to the same

25         taxes as paper documents; amending s. 201.022,

26         F.S.; providing for the electronic filing of

27         certain required returns; providing an

28         effective date.

29  

30  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

31  


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 1         Section 1.  Section 695.27, Florida Statutes, is

 2  created to read:

 3         695.27  Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording

 4  Act.--

 5         (1)  SHORT TITLE.--This section may be cited as the

 6  "Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act."

 7         (2)  DEFINITIONS.--As used in this section:

 8         (a)  "Document" means information that is:

 9         1.  Inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in

10  an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in

11  perceivable form; and

12         2.  Eligible to be recorded in the Official Records, as

13  defined in s. 28.222, and maintained by a county recorder.

14         (b)  "Electronic" means relating to technology having

15  electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical,

16  electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.

17         (c)  "Electronic document" means a document that is

18  received by a county recorder in an electronic form.

19         (d)  "Electronic signature" means an electronic sound,

20  symbol, or process that is executed or adopted by a person

21  with the intent to sign the document and is attached to or

22  logically associated with a document such that, when recorded,

23  it is assigned the same document number or a consecutive page

24  number immediately following such document.

25         (e)  "Person" means an individual, corporation,

26  business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability

27  company, association, joint venture, public corporation,

28  government or governmental subdivision, agency,

29  instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity.

30         (f)  "State" means a state of the United States, the

31  District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin


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 1  Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the

 2  jurisdiction of the United States.

 3         (3)  VALIDITY OF ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS.--

 4         (a)  If a law requires, as a condition for recording,

 5  that a document be an original, be on paper or another

 6  tangible medium, or be in writing, the requirement is

 7  satisfied by an electronic document satisfying the

 8  requirements of this section.

 9         (b)  If a law requires, as a condition for recording,

10  that a document be signed, the requirement is satisfied by an

11  electronic signature.

12         (c)  A requirement that a document or a signature

13  associated with a document be notarized, acknowledged,

14  verified, witnessed, or made under oath is satisfied if the

15  electronic signature of the person authorized to perform that

16  act, and all other information required to be included, is

17  attached to or logically associated with the document or

18  signature. A physical or electronic image of a stamp,

19  impression, or seal need not accompany an electronic

20  signature.

21         (4)  RECORDING OF DOCUMENTS.--

22         (a)  In this subsection, the term "paper document"

23  means a document that is received by the county recorder in a

24  form that is not electronic.

25         (b)  A county recorder:

26         1.  Who implements any of the functions listed in this

27  section shall do so in compliance with standards established

28  by rule by the Department of State.

29         2.  May receive, index, store, archive, and transmit

30  electronic documents.

31  


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 1         3.  May provide for access to, and for search and

 2  retrieval of, documents and information by electronic means.

 3         4.  Who accepts electronic documents for recording

 4  shall continue to accept paper documents as authorized by

 5  state law and shall place entries for both types of documents

 6  in the same index.

 7         5.  May convert paper documents accepted for recording

 8  into electronic form.

 9         6.  May convert into electronic form information

10  recorded before the county recorder began to record electronic

11  documents.

12         7.  May agree with other officials of a state or a

13  political subdivision thereof, or of the United States, on

14  procedures or processes to facilitate the electronic

15  satisfaction of prior approvals and conditions precedent to

16  recording.

17         (5)  ADMINISTRATION AND STANDARDS.--

18         (a)  The Department of State, by rule pursuant to ss.

19  120.536(1) and 120.54, shall prescribe standards to implement

20  this section in consultation with the Electronic Recording

21  Advisory Committee, which is hereby created. The Florida

22  Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers shall provide

23  administrative support to the committee and technical support

24  to the Department of State and the committee at no charge. The

25  committee shall consist of nine members, as follows:

26         1.  Five members appointed by the Florida Association

27  of Court Clerks and Comptrollers, one of whom must be an

28  official from a large urban charter county where the duty to

29  maintain official records exists in a county office other than

30  the clerk of court or comptroller.

31  


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 1         2.  One attorney appointed by the Real Property,

 2  Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar Association.

 3         3.  Two members appointed by the Florida Land Title

 4  Association.

 5         4.  One member appointed by the Florida Bankers

 6  Association.

 7         (b)  Appointed members shall serve a 1-year term. All

 8  initial terms shall commence on the effective date of this

 9  act. Members shall serve until their successors are appointed.

10  An appointing authority may reappoint a member for successive

11  terms. A vacancy on the committee shall be filled in the same

12  manner in which the original appointment was made, and the

13  term shall be for the balance of the unexpired term.

14         (c)  The first meeting of the committee shall be within

15  60 days of the effective date of this act. Thereafter, the

16  committee shall meet at the call of the chair, but at least

17  annually.

18         (d)  The members of the committee shall serve without

19  compensation and shall not claim per diem and travel expenses

20  from the Secretary of State.

21         (e)  To keep the standards and practices of county

22  recorders in this state in harmony with the standards and

23  practices of recording offices in other jurisdictions that

24  enact substantially this section and to keep the technology

25  used by county recorders in this state compatible with

26  technology used by recording offices in other jurisdictions

27  that enact substantially this section, the Department of

28  State, in consultation with the committee, so far as is

29  consistent with the purposes, policies, and provisions of this

30  section, in adopting, amending, and repealing standards, shall

31  consider:


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 1         1.  Standards and practices of other jurisdictions.

 2         2.  The most recent standards adopted by national

 3  standard-setting bodies, such as the Property Records Industry

 4  Association.

 5         3.  The views of interested persons and governmental

 6  officials and entities.

 7         4.  The needs of counties of varying size, population,

 8  and resources.

 9         5.  Standards requiring adequate information security

10  protection to ensure that electronic documents are accurate,

11  authentic, adequately preserved, and resistant to tampering.

12         (f)  The committee shall terminate on July 1, 2010.

13         (6)  UNIFORMITY OF APPLICATION AND CONSTRUCTION.--In

14  applying and construing this section, consideration must be

15  given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with

16  respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.

17         (7)  RELATION TO ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES IN GLOBAL AND

18  NATIONAL COMMERCE ACT.--This section modifies, limits, and

19  supersedes the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and

20  National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. ss. 7001 et seq., but this

21  section does not modify, limit, or supersede s. 101(c) of that

22  act, 15 U.S.C. s. 7001(c), or authorize electronic delivery of

23  any of the notices described in s. 103(b) of that act, 15

24  U.S.C. s. 7003(b).

25         Section 2.  Section 201.01, Florida Statutes, is

26  amended to read:

27         201.01  Documents taxable, generally.--There shall be

28  levied, collected, and paid the taxes specified in this

29  chapter, for and in respect to the several documents, bonds,

30  debentures or certificates of stock and indebtedness, and

31  other documents, instruments, matters, writings, and things


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 1  described in the following sections, or for or in respect of

 2  the vellum, parchment, or paper, or any other medium whether

 3  tangible, electronic, or otherwise, upon which such document,

 4  instrument, matter, writing, or thing, or any of them, is

 5  written, or printed, or created electronically or otherwise,

 6  by any person who makes, signs, executes, issues, sells,

 7  removes, consigns, assigns, records, or ships the same, or for

 8  whose benefit or use the same are made, signed, executed,

 9  issued, sold, removed, consigned, assigned, recorded, or

10  shipped in the state. Unless exempt under s. 201.24 or under

11  any state or federal law, if the United States, the state, or

12  any political subdivision of the state is a party to a

13  document taxable under this chapter, any tax specified in this

14  chapter shall be paid by a nonexempt party to the document.

15  The documentary stamp taxes shall be paid on all recordable

16  instruments requiring documentary stamp tax according to law,

17  prior to recordation. With respect to mortgages or trust deeds

18  which do not incorporate the certificate of indebtedness, a

19  notation shall be made on the note or certificate that the tax

20  has been paid on the mortgage or trust deed.

21         Section 3.  Subsections (1) and (3) of section 201.022,

22  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:

23         201.022  Consideration for realty; filing of return

24  condition precedent to recordation; penalty; compensation of

25  clerks; failure to file does not impair validity.--

26         (1)  As a condition precedent to the recordation of any

27  deed transferring an interest in real property, the grantor or

28  the grantee or agent for grantee shall execute and file a

29  return with the clerk of the circuit court, who may accept the

30  return electronically. The return shall state the actual

31  consideration paid for the interest in real property. The


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 1  return shall state the parcel identification number maintained

 2  by the county property appraiser in a manner prescribed by the

 3  department. If the parcel is a split or cutout parcel, the

 4  return shall state the parent parcel identification number if

 5  the parcel identification number has not been assigned. The

 6  return shall not be recorded or otherwise become a public

 7  record and shall be confidential as provided by s. 193.074,

 8  and shall be exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1),

 9  except that the Department of Environmental Protection or,

10  through the Department of Environmental Protection, its

11  contract appraiser, shall have access to the return to verify

12  the consideration paid in any transfer of an interest in real

13  property, when such transfer is considered as part of an

14  appraisal for a proposed land acquisition project conducted

15  pursuant to any Department of Environmental Protection land

16  acquisition program. The Department of Environmental

17  Protection or its contract appraiser shall not disclose the

18  contents of the return to any other public or private entity.

19  The original return shall be forwarded to the Department of

20  Revenue, and a copy shall be forwarded to the property

21  appraiser.

22         (3)  If the return required by this section is not

23  executed and filed, the clerk of the circuit court is required

24  to execute and file the return, on paper or electronically,

25  with the department.  The clerk shall be compensated 1.0

26  percent of the tax paid on deeds as the cost of processing the

27  return required by this section in the form of a deduction

28  from the amount of the tax due and remitted by the clerk, and

29  the department shall allow the deduction to the clerk paying

30  and remitting the tax in the manner provided by the

31  department. However, no deduction or allowance shall be


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 1  granted when there is a manifest failure to maintain proper

 2  records or make proper reports. The compensation provided

 3  herein shall be in addition to that provided in s. 201.11(2).

 4         Section 4.  This act shall take effect upon becoming a

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