Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That § 55-108 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted, and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Chapter 6 of Title 55 an article numbered 7, consisting of sections numbered 55-142.10 through 55-142.15 as follows:
§ 55-108. Standards for writings to be docketed or recorded.
If a writing which does not conform to the requirements of this statute or the standards for instruments adopted under § 17.1-227 and § 42.1-82 of the Virginia Public Records Act is accepted for recordation, it shall be deemed validly recorded and the clerk shall have no liability for accepting such a writing which does not meet the enumerated criteria in all the particulars.
§ 55-142.10. Definitions.
As used in this article:
"Commission" means the Commission on the Offices of the Clerks of the Circuit Court created by the General Assembly to carry out the purposes of this act.
"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 clerk of circuit court.
"Electronic" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.
"Electronic document" means a document that is received by the clerk of circuit court in an electronic form.
"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.
"Paper document" means a document that is received by the clerk of circuit court in a form that is not electronic.
The term "person" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 1-13.19.
"State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
§ 55-142.11. Validity of electronically filed documents.
A. If a law requires, as a condition for recording, that a document be an original, on paper or other tangible medium, or in writing, an electronic document satisfying this act satisfies the law.
B. If a law requires, as a condition for recording, that a document be signed, an electronic signature satisfies the law.
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 is not required to accompany an electronic signature.
§ 55-142.12. Recording documents.
A. A clerk of circuit court who implements any of the functions described in this section shall do so in compliance with standards established by the Commission.
B. A clerk of circuit court may receive, index, store, archive, and transmit electronic documents.
C. A clerk of circuit court may provide for access to, and for search and retrieval of, documents and information by electronic means.
D. A clerk of circuit court who accepts electronic documents for recording shall continue to accept paper documents and shall place entries for both types of documents in the same index.
E. A clerk of circuit court may convert paper documents accepted for recording into electronic form. The clerk of circuit court may convert into electronic form information recorded before the clerk of circuit court began to record electronic documents.
F. Any fee or tax that a clerk of circuit court is authorized to collect may be collected electronically.
G. A clerk of circuit court and other officials of a state or a political subdivision thereof, or of the United States, may agree 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.
§ 55-142.13. Uniform Standards.
A. The Commission, in consultation with the Joint Commission on Technology and Science, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency, the Supreme Court of Virginia, and interested parties, shall adopt standards to implement this act.
B. The Commission shall promote harmony and uniformity in the standards and practices of clerks of circuit court and other governmental recorders of court or land records in states that use electronic recording under this act or a substantially equivalent law, consistent with the purposes, policies, and provisions of this act. When adopting, amending, or repealing standards, the Commission shall consider standards and practices of other jurisdictions; consider the most recent standards promulgated by national standard-setting bodies, such as the Property Records Industry Association; consider the views of interested persons and other governmental entities; and consider the needs of localities of varying size, population, and resources.
§ 55-142.14. Uniformity of Application and Construction.
In applying and construing this act, consideration shall be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.
§ 55-142.15. Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.
To the extent allowed by law, this act 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 § 104 of that act (15 U.S.C. § 7004), or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in § 103(b) of that act (15 U.S.C. § 7003(b)).
2. That the provisions of this act shall become effective on July 1, 2006.