Florida putting records online

Following passage of legislation last year mandating the system, the Florida Association of Court Clerks & Comptroller has signed a five-year development deal with NIC to develop online access to official records such as marriage and death certificates, deeds, mortgages, liens and other property records.

The Web-based Florida Integrated Public Access System (IPAS) — one of the first such statewide systems — will enable businesses and citizens to conduct searches for records. IPAS will also enable online payment of such things as traffic tickets and child support.

An index of all county records is scheduled to be online by the beginning of 2002. By 2006, the system will enable people to download images of certified documents.

"As well as the requirement of the legal mandate, the clerks of the court saw the Web portal as an easier way to keep accounts paid," said Beth Allman, director of communications for the association. "They believe it's a great opportunity."

Initially, users who identify documents they wish to purchase will have to get the certified paper document sent to them by the appropriate office. But over time, a system will be put in place that will enable the ordering, payment and delivery of documents to be done completely online, according to Chris Neff, senior director of marketing for NIC.

However, it's unclear if or when the certified documents themselves will be available through the system, Allman said.

NIC, which manages official government portals for 13 states and eight local governments, also announced last week the official launch of Dallas County's new public portal, Dallas County Online (www.dallascounty.org). Payment of vehicle registrations and property taxes are the first available services.

The portal was built and will be managed by Texas Local Interactive, an NIC subsidiary.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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