State history was made in a Texas County government office this week.
When a New York state title company paid for and received copies of public records via fax on Tuesday morning, Texas County Recorder of Deeds Susan Warkentin said it was a first for Missouri.
As far as Warkentin is aware, the credit card transaction was a first for any Missouri recorder’s office. Persons needing public documents previously had to obtain them in person or mail in funds and wait several days to have them mailed or faxed.
“I knew that our Circuit Court and County Collector’s offices accepted credit/debit card payments and thought this would be a great service for our out-of-town customers,” Warkentin said. “Now they can pay a small convenience fee to a third-party vendor, in addition to the cost of the copies. The county incurs no expense related to the transaction.
“The savings in fuel, travel time and turnaround time to obtain documents makes paying this small fee for credit/debit card use an easy choice for those not in the immediate area needing public documents. This is just a natural progression of our recent improvements in reducing recording and turnaround times via e-recording and electronic scanning and filing of documents.”
Upon researching the idea, Warkentin found no other recorder’s office in Missouri accepted credit/debit card payments. She discovered that state law allowed recorders to do so — under RSMo 59.567.
“Someone is going to be first,” she said. “It might as well be Texas County.”