Registry of Deeds Reform Legislation Passes Through House

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell today announced the Massachusetts House of Representatives has passed reform legislation to alleviate a growing problem for Registries across the Commonwealth when it comes to storing land court documents. The legislation (H.3862) now moves to the Senate Ways and Means committee for their consideration.


The bill, according to Register O’Donnell, will save a great deal of money and make documents more readily accessible to the public by removing the requirement that all registered land documents must be stored in hard copy in the Land Court, which the Registries of Deeds oversees.


O’Donnell stated,  “The collection of land related documents such as deeds, homesteads, mortgages, mortgage releases and Declarations of Trust on the Land Court side have been  piling up for decades after decades. Today, we have more than 1.3 million land-related documents just on our Land Court side. Other registries of deeds are facings similar situations.”


“Under this proposed legislation,” noted Register O’Donnell, “These documents can now be scanned and microfilmed with the originals being sent back to the landowner or their designee. In addition, this administrative reform will no longer require registries to look for additional leasing space or require the purchase of a bigger building to store these ever increasing documents. It’s a win-win situation for the Registry of Deeds, it’s customers and the taxpayers.”


Register O’Donnell is hopeful that the legislation will be reported favorably by the Senate Ways and Means committee and approved by the full State Senate given that it has 51 legislative co-sponsors and no apparent opposition.


Register O’Donnell concluded, “I want to thank the 51 Representatives and Senators for their co-sponsorship and hard work in the passage of this bill. Having the legislation before the Senate is hopefully a major step to its passage into law.”


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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 Center 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.