The Hillsborough County Clerk of Court’s office is now offering certified court documents online as part of their efforts to reduce the possible spread of the Chinese coronoavirus.
Clerk Pat Frank says the move toward accommodating the digital age during the last decade proved to be another opportunity for constituents to avoid physical contact.
“This is the latest example of the digital revolution that has transformed the Clerk’s Office in the past decade,” Frank said. “Documents once stored on paper and accessible only in person are now available electronically any time of the day or night. Going digital not only is convenient, it’s a much safer alternative during these difficult times.”
Previously, uncertified copies of court documents were available online for free, but residents often needed official, certified documents like divorce papers.
Those copies required a trip to the Clerk’s office during weekday working hours, an inconvenience for many even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The standard fee for certified copies remains including $1 per page and a $2 certification fee. Online customers will also have to pay a $6 convenience fee and a 3.5% credit card processing fee.
The Clerk’s office issues more than 12,000 certified court documents a year, according to Frank’s office.
The service is limited to court documents including final divorce decrees, name changes, final sentences in criminal cases or domestic violence restraining orders. Any document available electronically is now available as a certified copy remotely.
“Our office has led the state among Florida Clerks and Comptrollers in the use of technology,” Frank said, “and we are proud of the work our staff has done to reach this next level of customer service.”
The office plans to maintain the new online service, as well as the planned expansion of services, even after the threat of COVID-19 has passed.