As late as January of 2000, very little was computerized in the Recorder of Deeds office. On average, 70,000 documents were processed each year and each one was done by hand. Recording a document required making three complete photocopies, which were thrown away upon completion of the recording process. In addition to being expensive and wasteful, this process was much less efficient than the computerized system in use today.
The physical environment of the Recorder of Deeds office has changed significantly since it became computerized. Once crowded, noisy, and cluttered, the office is now clean, quiet, and efficient. Because documents are no longer stored in books that occupy numerous rows of shelves, the office requires less operating space and title searches can be completed much more quickly and easily.
Westmoreland County is one of only two counties in the state in which deeds are recorded and returned immediately. Most counties do not utilize the available technology to perform computerized scanning of documents and require at least a day or two for processing.
By implementing a document certification fee of $1.50 and making use of current technology, the office has lessened it's burden to the county's general fund. As a result, recording and researching documents at the Recorder of Deeds office has not only become easier and more convenient, it is less costly to the county's taxpayers as well.