Articles

Maricopa County's Recorder Kiosks Save Time

"There’s a scanner to scan your document, and our employee then looks at the document to make sure that it’s recordable."

by / March 23, 2012
The kiosk, about the size of a table, is designed to mimic the front counter of the Recorder's Office. Mariciopa County Video

Orange County Calif., Assessor Webster Guillory, speaking at the National Association of Counties' Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., recently, said that the Maricopa County Ariz., Recorder's kiosks were a bright idea that took three years to develop. Other counties could start from scratch and spend another three years developing something similar, he said, or they could find out what Maricopa did and “start on the shoulders of Maricopa County.”

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell talked to Government Technology about the kiosks and how they work. Maricopa is a large county, said Purcell, with some residents 60 miles away from downtown Phoenix. To record a document, she said, might require a couple hours driving, plus finding parking and so forth, so she was looking for an idea to make things simpler. "My IT people and staff along with my chief deputy came up with this recording kiosk," she said. "They designed it, and had somebody build the unit."

The county has 17 libraries sitting on the fiber backbone, so several libraries were selected, and the kiosks -- which are about the size of a large table -- were installed. Purcell pointed out a video on how to use the kiosks, and said the idea is to make it a similar experience to visiting the front counter in the Recorder's Office.

"There’s a scanner to scan your document, and our employee then looks at the document to make sure that it’s recordable," she said. "There’s a place for a credit card, and after you’ve paid, it returns a cover page to you that shows that document is recorded, when it was recorded and how, and you’re out of there in a matter of minutes. And you’ve got your recorded document with you, we have the scanned copy." The kiosks are now located in three libraries scattered around the valley, with plans for two more, she said.

Wayne Hanson

Wayne E. Hanson served as a writer and editor with e.Republic from 1989 to 2013, having worked for several business units including Government Technology magazine, the Center for Digital Government, Governing, and Digital Communities. Hanson was a juror from 1999 to 2004 with the Stockholm Challenge and Global Junior Challenge competitions in information technology and education.