Senate Bill 94 Aims to Modernize and Enhance Accessibility through Electronic Recording


Senator Andrew Brenner (R-Delaware) and Senator Al Landis (R-Dover) have taken a significant step toward modernizing the recording process by introducing Senate Bill 94 (SB 94), which is a reintroduction of HB 237 from the last General Assembly. This legislation, which has been referred to the Senate Financial Institutions & Technology Committee, seeks to facilitate electronic recording and ensure remote accessibility. With a target implementation date of January 1, 2025, SB 94 aims to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and support the overall growth of commerce in Ohio.

The proposed legislation mandates that Ohio counties shall provide electronic means for recording instruments and accessing recorded instruments by the specified deadline. This move will eliminate the need for manual paperwork, reduce bureaucratic delays, and enable stakeholders to conduct their transactions conveniently from any location. By embracing electronic recording, Ohio is poised to keep pace with technological advancements and enhance efficiency within the county recorder offices.

Furthermore, SB 94 grants county recorders the authority to impose a document preservation surcharge of $10. This additional fee will support the maintenance and preservation of essential records, ensuring their long-term accessibility and safeguarding valuable information for future generations.

To address evolving needs, the bill proposes an increase in the recording fee for living wills, health care powers of attorney, and instruments related to personal property. This adjustment acknowledges the importance of these instruments in modern society and aims to ensure that the associated costs reflect their significance. This increase in fees will contribute to the sustainability and continued improvement of the county recorder system.

The bill includes amendments advocated for by the OBL. The first amendment focuses on updating the public towing code, aligning it with the private towing code section. This change ensures that lienholders receive timely notice if a vehicle is to be disposed of, addressing concerns raised by numerous members in the auto lending industry. The second amendment addresses an issue related to recodification efforts and seeks to clarify the amendment process for boards of Ohio corporations, including state banks.

The OBL, which supports the legislation, submitted written testimony this week in its favor and, along with other organizations such as the Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association, the Ohio REALTORS, the Ohio Credit Union League, and the CBAO, has formed a coalition to advocate for the bill's passage. To read a copy of the written testimony by the OBL click here.

By embracing electronic recording and facilitating remote access to recorded instruments, this legislation ensures that commerce remains open and accessible to all stakeholders. Furthermore, the bill's provisions, such as the document preservation surcharge and increased recording fees, demonstrate a commitment to maintaining essential records and supporting the overall sustainability of the county recorder system.