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Frequently Asked Questions - ERDS

What is the role of the Attorney General?

The Electronic Recording Delivery Act of 2004 requires the Attorney General to develop regulations, certify and provide oversight for any electronic recording delivery system being developed and established by a county. Also, the Attorney General is required to evaluate electronic recording delivery systems and report to both house of the legislature on or before June 30, 2009.

The Attorney General monitors the security of electronic recording delivery systems (ERDS) statewide, in close cooperation with county recorders and public prosecutors. In the event of an emergency involving multiple fraudulent transactions linked to one county’s use of an electronic recording delivery system, the Attorney General may order the suspension of the ERDS to protect the security of the system.

What is the role of the Electronic Recording Delivery System (ERDS) Program?

The Attorney General has established the ERDS Program within the Department of Justice which is responsible for implementing the requirements of the law.

What is an Electronic Recording Delivery System (ERDS)?

An ERDS is “a system to deliver for recording, and to return as applicable, to the party requesting recording, specified digitized or digital electronic records”. Each ERDS shall focus on protecting the confidentiality and integrity of digital and digitized electronic records during the process of delivery using an ERDS. (Refer to Question #4 for the specified document types which may be delivered via an ERDS.)

What is a Type 1 and Type 2 document?

A “Type 1” instrument is defined to mean an instrument affecting a right, title, or interest in real property. A “Type 2” instrument is defined to mean an instrument of reconveyance, substitution of trustee, or assignment of deed of trust. The electronic recording delivery industry refers to Type 1 and Type 2 instruments as “front-end” and “back-end” documents, respectively.

Who can apply for system certification?

A County Recorder or his/her designee, upon approval by resolution of the board of supervisors, desiring to obtain system certification for an Electronic Recording Delivery System from the Department of Justice will submit an application to the Electronic Recording Delivery System Program.

What is an authorized submitter or agent?

An authorized submitter is a party and his/her employees that has entered into a contract with a County Recorder to deliver, and return Type 1 and 2 instruments in a secure access role (excludes Type 2 instruments only) or Type 1 instruments only; and/or Type 2 instruments via an ERDS. An Authorized Submitter may not be a DOJ approved Computer Security Auditor, County Recorder Designee, ERDS Account Administrator, ERDS System Administrator or Vendor of ERDS.

An agent is a representative and his/her employees who are authorized to submit documents on behalf of an Authorized Submitter who has entered into a contract with a County Recorder to deliver, and return Type 1 and 2 instruments (excludes Type 2 instruments only) in a secure access role and/or Type 2 instruments via an ERDS. An Agent may not be a DOJ approved Computer Security Auditor, County Recorder Designee, ERDS Account Administrator, ERDS System Administrator, or Vendor of ERDS.

(Refer to Question #4 for the specified document types which may be delivered via an ERDS.)

What is a DOJ approved computer security auditor?

An individual that conducts security audits on an Electronic Recording Delivery System (ERDS) for the purpose of 1) assessing the safety of the system; 2) verifying that the system is secure from vulnerabilities and unauthorized penetration; 3) ensuring ERDS operating procedures are in place and are being followed; and 4) that ERDS implementations have no capability to modify, manipulate, insert, or delete information in the public record.

The Department of Justice, Electronic Recording Delivery System Program approves computer security auditors on the basis of significant experience in the evaluation and analysis of Internet security design, the conduct of security testing procedures, and specific experience performing Internet penetration studies. A County Recorder shall contract with, and obtain audit reports from a computer security auditor selected from a list of DOJ approved computer security auditors. This level of access requires fingerprints for a criminal record background check.

How do I become a DOJ approved computer security auditor?

An individual requesting approval as a DOJ approved computer security auditor may apply with the Department of Justice, Electronic Recording Delivery System (ERDS) Program by obtaining the DOJ Security Auditor Approval package by directly contact the ERDS Program or downloading from the ERDS web page.

I cannot download an application; may I call for an application?

Yes, you may call the Electronic Recorder Delivery System Program at (916) 227 8907 or email to erds@doj.ca.gov. You may also mail your request to:

Department of Justice
CJIS Operations Support Bureau
Electronic Recording Delivery System Program
P.O. Box 160526
Sacramento, CA 95816-0526

Is any of the information submitted in support of an application for Vendor Approval, Computer Security Auditor Approval and/or System Certification available for public inspection?

No, all the Electronic Recording Delivery System documentation submitted in support of an application shall be exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Information Practices Act of 1977, Civil Code Section 1798 et seq.

Why are the Vendor certification and the Computer Security Auditor approval active for three years and then subject to renewal?

This is to ensure that all criteria required at the time of the initial certification and approval is still current and meets the requirements.

What is secure access to an Electronic Recording Delivery System?

Secure access is a role assigned by the County Recorder to an individual which requires fingerprinting to:

  1. An Authorized Submitter and Agent, if any, who are authorized to use an ERDS for both Type 1 and 2 instruments (excludes Type 2 instruments only) or Type 1 instruments only;
  2. A DOJ approved Computer Security Auditor hired by the County Recorder to perform independent audits;
  3. An ERDS System Administrator who is authorized to configure hardware, software and network settings;
  4. An ERDS Account Administrator who is authorized to configure accounts, assign roles, and issue credentials;
  5. An individual who is granted physical access to an ERDS server;
  6. A County Recorder Designee authorized to retrieve, and return submitted ERDS payloads. (Refer to Question #4 for the specified document types which may be delivered via an ERDS.)

What is an ERDS System Administrator?

A secure access role assigned by the County Recorder to an individual who is authorized to configure hardware, software and network settings. An ERDS System Administrator may not be a DOJ approved Computer Security Auditor, Authorized Submitter, Agent or Vendor of ERDS. This role requires fingerprinting.

What is an ERDS Account Administrator?

A secure access role assigned by the County Recorder to an individual who is authorized to configure accounts, assign roles, and issue credentials. An ERDS Account Administrator may not be a DOJ approved Computer Security Auditor, Authorized Submitter, Agent or Vendor of ERDS. This role requires fingerprinting.

Who is required to have fingerprints taken for a criminal record background check?

All persons entrusted with secure access to an electronic recording delivery system and any individual authorized physical access to an ERDS server, unless otherwise exempted, shall submit fingerprints for a criminal record background check.

No person shall be granted secure access if her or she has been convicted of a felony, has been convicted or a misdemeanor related to theft, fraud, or a crime of moral turpitude, or if her or she has pending criminal charges for any of these crimes. A plea of guilty or no contest, a verdict resulting in conviction, or the forfeiture of bail, shall be a conviction pursuant to Government Code section, 27395 (a), irrespective of a subsequent order under section 1203.4 of the Penal Code.

What is a Request for Live Scan Service form, BCII 8016?

This is the form completed by an individual in order to have a fingerprint background record check done. Background Check and Live Scan forms can be downloaded and filled out; one is given to the operator who processes your fingerprints (see Question #19); one is sent to the Department of Justice along with your application; and one is kept for your records. Leave the last three boxes on the form blank.

Where do I go to have the Request for Live Scan Service form processed?

To find out where to have this process done, access the Public Live Scan Sites web site or call your local law enforcement agency. Send a completed form to the Department of Justice with your application; keep a form for your records. The fee for this process is separate from the Department of Justice fee and is charged to you at the time the prints are taken and can vary, depending on where you go.

What do I do if a Live Scan site is regionally unavailable for fingerprinting?

The Department of Justice has limited statutory authority to issue an exemption from electronic submission. If an exemption is sought, the individual shall use the FD 258 fingerprint card to have their fingerprints rolled and complete a Request for Exemption from Mandatory Electronic Fingerprint Submission form (BCCII 9004). Contact the Electronic Recording Delivery System Program to obtain the FD 258 and BCII 9004 forms.

How much is it to have a fingerprint processed?

The fee is $32 for the Department of Justice and $24 for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

I am located outside of California and need to have my fingerprints taken, how do I do this?

Individuals residing outside of California that cannot be fingerprinted in California shall have their fingerprints rolled at a law enforcement agency in their state of residence. (See Question # 20)

I have already had fingerprints taken for other certifications and/or permits; do I still have to have them taken for an Electronic Recording Delivery System?

Yes, you still need fingerprints taken and a criminal record background check for an Electronic Recording Delivery System secure access role.

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