County gets the e-deed done
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Sep 18, 2000
Virginia digital signature pilot
With the click of a mouse, the first electronic deed was transferred and
recorded recently at the Wise County Circuit Court in southwestern Virginia.
Jack Kennedy Jr., the court's clerk, said the Big Stone Gap Housing
Authority recorded the land deed. He said he believed it is the first such
digital document to be recorded in Virginia and possibly the East Coast.
Such transactions were made possible by the Electronic Signatures in
Global and National Commerce Act, or E-Sign, signed this summer by President
Clinton. E-Sign, which is designed to eliminate legal barriers to electronic
commerce, enables people to make legally binding contracts online. Digitally
signed documents carry encrypted codes unique to a specific user.
In addition to being safe, the method is also convenient, according
to Kennedy, who said it practically eliminates the time and effort to physically
record a document. He said the program eventually will extend to sewer and
The Wise County project was done in collaboration with Fairfax, Va.-based
Mixnet Corp., a data conversion and Web development company.