Washoe County Recorder Kalie Work provided information to commissioners on Tuesday about recent projects that include easier public access to various documents, some that pre-date statehood.
A large-scale digitization project is almost complete. It includes land records dating back to 1862 and marriage records to 1965, Work said. The Territory of Nevada was formed in March 1861 and lasted until Nevada was granted statehood on Oct. 31, 1864.
Although paper records are backed up on microfilm, Work said the quality of microfilm tends to degrade over time.
“This project should be exciting for historians because anyone interested in historical artifacts will now have access to these documents,” Work said.
The Recorder’s office also provides access to financing documents, mining claims and other legal forms.
Approximately 350,000 additional documents are currently pending upload, along with about 1 million marriage licenses. Work said this should be completed within the next month and records will then be available for online search and ordering immediately after upload.
Commissioner Alexis Hill said the Recorder’s digitization efforts will make things easier for the public, who otherwise might have to visit the county’s administration building in person.
“The timing with COVID couldn’t be better,” Hill said.
Work also discussed a new recording notification service that started earlier this year, which allows people to get alerts whenever there’s activity in their name and on their property.
“Many people are not checking their property records on a regular basis,” Work said. “So if a lien was placed on a property, a homeowner may not know about it for months or even years down the road when they go to sell and it can become a tremendous headache for them, causing delays in the process.”
Work also noted the recorder’s digital certified copy program, commonly used for proof of marriage and name changes, has been helpful to employers, the Social Security office and Department of Motor Vehicles. The service began in 2018 under her predecessor, and it allows documents to be emailed and received in a few minutes. Paper forms used to take 7 to 10 days.
Future projects in the Recorder’s office either being planned or discussed are electronic map recording, hybrid workspaces, and record-from-home services, Work said. The latter ranges from online notary to kiosks throughout the county.
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.