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Clerk allows online access to certified documents
PORT ORCHARD — The Kitsap County Clerk’s office has joined a national network that allows the distribution of certified documents over the Internet.
The service, called ClerkePass, saves a trip to the courthouse for people living anywhere from Bainbridge Island to Bangladesh.
“This makes access to the documents you need a lot easier,” said Clerk Dave Peterson. “If someone needs a copy of a divorce decree or a court document they can get it the same day, without needing to come into Port Orchard.”
Anyone needing a document can access ClerkePass through the Kitsap County Web site (www.kitsapgov.com/clerk) or go directly to the company’s own site (www.clerkepass.com).
Washington was the first state to legally recognize digital signatures 10 years ago. It has taken that long to bring the technology power to the people.
To obtain a certified document the user must logon to County Clerk’s Web site and select the appropriate court document. After paying the fees for obtaining the document, the user will be sent a document identifier and a login/password. Using those, the user can see the certified document at this Web site that is digitally signed by court clerk.
Any other party interested in seeing the certified document can register at this site and if they obtain the document identifier provided to the requestor then they can also view the certified document.
The service is slightly more expensive than the standard document fee of $5 for the first page and $1 for each page thereafter, although it is free to all members of the military currently deployed overseas. Peterson said active military will benefit most from the service, as their access to government offices is limited.
Peterson said his office processes 20 to 30 requests for certified documents every day.
He said he does not know what impact the service will have on the office, or whether it will save time or money.
“When everyone knows this is an option we will become a lot more efficient,” he said. “Right now, we just need to get the word out.”