Friday, July 22, 2016

Technology makes accessing documents fast and easy - by Randee McDonald

One of the main responsibilities of a title company is to ensure all official documents from a property transaction are officially recorded for posterity. This includes documents such as deeds, mortgages, power of attorney, discharges and more.

In this wonderfully accommodating age of technology, long gone are the days of walking to the Registry to hand deliver or mailing these documents out and waiting for them to return the recorded documents back to us. The majority of our counties now allow for e-recording of documents, making the entire process fast, easy, convenient and a major timesaver. (Shout out to Maine’s counties – especially Cumberland – for the sheer volume alone that they handle in such a timely manner.)

Did you also know that you can get something for nothing? Yes, you read that correctly. In fact, each county allows every person up to 500 free copies of any documents they have on record right from their website. You don’t need to be a title company, anyone is eligible for these free documents. This can be especially important – and handy – for realtors and brokers when searching for deeds.

Here’s a quick lesson on how to search for records online (and print your free copies):
Let’s use Cumberland County as an example. If you do a quick Google search you’ll find their website, Once you’re in the website, you’ll see at the top that you can search by Name, Volume (book and page), Date or Document. “Name” is the most common and easiest way to search, we’ll choose that option, and as an example let’s search under “City of Portland” (in the interest of not singling out a particular name). Once you enter that, all documents filed under that name will be listed. If you’re looking for a particular document type or date of filing, etc, you can click the header in that column and it will sort them for you to make searching easier (alphabetical or chronological, as applies).

When you find the document you wish to view/print, just click on it and the link will appear to the right side. Click on “view images” for a peek of the document to make sure it’s what you want. If you want to print a copy, click on the “print” icon on the right.
  • Print
  • “Non Subscribers”
  • Enter email address
  • Print
Remember, you are entitled to 500 free copies from each Registry, not to mention just having the ability to access that information at your fingertips. Isn’t technology swell?

Randee McDonald is owner, along with her husband Matthew J. McDonald, of Cumberland Title Services. She can be reached at, and be sure to check out their YouTube channel for “Buying and Refinancing a Home in Maine.”

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