Yesterday was my 20th anniversary as Register of Deeds of the Middlesex North District. It was on January 5, 1995 that I took the oath of office for the first time. My tenure has passed so quickly that the actual anniversary date slid by unnoticed.
Due primarily to the information revolution that has coincided with my time as register, the changes in operations from 1995 to now have been substantial: no more books, everything available on the internet and electronic recording are some of the biggest changes.
The change process is far from over. This is the registry's 160th year of existence and all of them have been spent at this same location, but when the new judicial center opens in Lowell (hopefully in 2018) the registry will move into it. Technical changes are also on the horizon. These include linking registry records to those of the local assessors to provide true one-stop-shopping for land-related information. Electronic recording which now accounts for nearly 40% of our incoming documents will continue to grow with municipalities likely to embrace the technology as a means of filing documents such as tax takings and lien certificates in the next year or two. Electronic signatures and notarizations should also become a reality during the same time. Even registered land recordings could find their way into the electronic recording process. There is much to be done in the coming years.