Register O’Donnell Announces Filing of Registry of Deeds Legislation

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell  today announced the filing of House Bill 1493, a cost saving measure which, if enacted, would remove the requirement that Registries must store original reqistered land documents at their facilities.

Register O'Donnell noted, "The current practice of scanning these documents on-line along with being microfilmed would be continued but the requirement to keep original document on-site would be removed. That document would go back to the homeowner or their designee."

Register O'Donnell added, "Due to current state law, several Registries of Deeds offices in the Commonwealth are facing a storage crisis when it comes to fulfilling their obligation to retain hard copies of documents relating to registered land. Elimination of this requirement would result in future tax dollars being saved since Registries of Deeds will not feel compelled to find greater office space to house an ever expanding number of reqistered land documents.

"The security and accessibility of registered land documents would be retained by utilizing scanned image and microfilm technology, processes that are already in place at Registries of Deeds across the Commonwealth. A copy of each document is housed off-site in a secure storage facility and available to be retrieved in the event a catastrophic event takes place at the Registry," noted the Register.

With  these steps taken, the documents would be available for viewing on-line by consumers. If an individual wants a printed copy it will cost them $1 per page. Most deeds are 2 pages. For those who utilize registry services often, they can continue to purchase an on-line printing account.

The Register stated that House Bill 1493 will in no way affect the process of recording registered land documents. The legislation has been endorsed by the Massachusetts Register of Deeds and the Assistant Register of Deeds Association. There is no visible opposition to this legislation.

In conclusion, O'Donnell stated, "I want to express my appreciation to the Norfolk County legislative delegation, and in particular lead sponsor Rep. Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham), for their support of this important legislation. The legislation is an excellent example of county and state government officials working together to identify best practices and reduce the burden on taxpayers."

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at or follow us on @NorfolkDeeds.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High Street, Dedham is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Department via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or on the web at




The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds will be closed on Thursday, July 4th in celebration of Independence Day. We are open Friday, July 5th.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is closed Today, July 4th in celebration of Independence Day. We are open Friday, July 5th.