There are several steps that must be completed in order to start recording documents electronically. These high-level steps include:
Each of these high-level steps are documented in the following paragraphs:
Each year, the California Attorney General's office distributes a letter to all California County Recorders, to identify the California counties that will be participating in the electronic recording process for the upcoming calendar year. This communication includes a Letter Of Intent (to participate) form that must be completed and returned by each California County Recorder. The Letter Of Intent initiates a process for determining the annual fee that is paid to the Attorney General's ERDS Program office and for establishing an MOU between the County Recorder and the Attorney General's ERDS Program office.
For additional information about the Letter Of Intent or the ERDS Program, you can contact the Attorney General's ERDS Program Office by clicking this Contact Form link.
Counties must obtain a board resolution before they can start recording documents electronically. CeRTNA can provide a template resolution document to help get you started.
The DOJ Electronic Recording Delivery System (ERDS) regulations state that ERDS workstations must be sole-purpose. This means that those workstations are used only for the purpose of electronic recording. Depending on your availability requirements, you will need to purchase one or more computer workstations. Counties that plan to process Government To Government (G2G) transactions will need a second workstation to transport the G2G transactions and the G2G workstation can serve as a failover option should the primary ERDS workstation fail. Agent-Submitters should also consider acquiring and certifying a secondary workstation to ensure uninerrupted access to the CeRTNA ERDS.
Workstation specifications are documented in CeRTNA's APEX HW & OS Requirements document, which is available to registered users on the CeRTNA Wiki.
Individuals that will be responsible for transporting electronic recording transactions must complete a fingerprint and background check process, along with some additional forms. The following sections outlines the process for adding individuals to CeRTNA's ERDS platform.
IMPORTANT: It can take approximately 3-4 weeks to receive the Secure Access approval letter once your LiveScan process is completed. The completed LiveScan form (BCIA 8016 ERDS) form and approval letter are included in the application package that is submitted to the DOJ, by CeRTNA, when adding a county to the CeRTNA ERDS platform.
There are classifications of users for CeRTNA - Reports Only User or Secure-Access User.
If your are requesting a Reports Only User, please email a completed and signed ERDS 0012 to CeRTNA (Rich Sherman). Please write the employee’s email address and phone number on the ERDS 00012 Form. Forms without the e-mail address and form numbers written on them will be rejected. Including the information in the e-mail is not sufficient because the forms are filed in a folder and the e-mail may be purged.
Adding an employee with a 'Secure Access' role to CeRTNA, requires a fingerprint & background check. The following steps are required to complete this process:
California residents will send the employee to local Live Scan provider utilizing a BCIA 8016ERDS form. Please fully complete the employee and employer sections prior to the appointment. Note that this form is a fillable PDF and utilizing acrobat to complete the form really helps the legibility.
Non-California residents should contact CeRTNA to obtain a 'Roll-Card' which will be taken to one of your local agencies to complete the fingerprint roll process. Your local police and/or sheriff departments typically offer this service.
IMPORTANT: Scan and send the completed Live-Scan or Roll-Card along with a completed and signed ERDS 0012 to CeRTNA (Brett Zamora) for submission to the DOJ. Please add the employee’s email and phone number to the Form 12.. Forms without the e-mail address and form numbers written on them will be rejected. Including the information in the e-mail is not sufficient because the forms are filed in a folder and the e-mail may be purged.
The employer and employee should each receive a results letter from the DOJ within 3-4 weeks from submission.
Upon receipt, scan and send CeRTNA a copy of the DOJ results letter to CeRTNA (Brett Zamora) and put a copy of the Approval Letter in your ERDS binder so that it is available for future audits.
The token remains the property of CERTNA and must be surrendered upon termination, or a change in role no longer requiring access to CERTNA, or upon request.
The CeRTNA ERDS platform uses a shared folder in the clients local evironment to exchange transaction files. (CeRTNA Standardized XML structures.) How the client puts XML files in the shared folder or picks up XML files from the shared folder is managed by the client.
Counties will need to speak to the vendor that provides their recording/cashiering software application to determine if their vendor supports an electronic recording interface with CeRTNA. Several vendors currently provide a CeRTNA interface, however, some level of vendor specific installation and configuration is typically required. Please contact your recording/cashiering software vendor for additional information about integrating with CeRTNA
Agent-Submitter firms that intend to create CeRTNA Standard XML files and place them in the shared folder will need to review the CeRTNA Systems Integration Guide and the CeRTNA Standardized XML schema definitions to gain an understanding of how to create XML files that can be picked up and delivered to the counties by CeRTNA.
For counties, one of the requirments of the preliminary certification/audit process is to create a County ERDS Operating Procedures Document. CeRTNA can provide a template document that can save you time in completing this step.
Once you have received and installed your ERDS and/or G2G workstation(s), you will need to install CeRTNA's APEX software. APEX is the CeRTNA client-side application that provides the functionality required to transport secure electronic recording transactions between Agent-Submitters and Counties. Additional information about APEX can be viewed in the APEX User Guide which is available to registered users on the CeRTNA Wiki.
Before a county can start e-recording, they must receive a certification number from the DOJ. In order to receive a certification number the county must complete an initial audit that is conducted by a DOJ certified security auditor. The security auditor will review the various documents, some that have already been referenced in this Getting Started With Electronic Recording document. These include: