AB 1466: Solutions to redact restrictive covenant language

Until the late 1940s, racially discriminating or exclusionary covenants attached to property were used to keep persons of color out of specific neighborhoods. 

Bill AB 1466 addresses this appalling legacy and takes proactive steps to remove the unlawful restrictive covenants from housing documents. It focuses on breaking down discrimination barriers by elevating fair housing principles and orders the removal of unenforceable racially restrictive covenants from housing documents.

The bill requires that the county recorder of each county establish a program to identify and redact unlawfully restrictive covenants from California real property records. County recorders in the state of California will need to submit an implementation plan stating how they will carry out the identification and redaction of the restrictive covenants.


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What constitutes restrictive covenant language in Bill AB 1466?

The bill applies to any property deed in California that restricts the right of any person to sell, lease, rent, use, or occupy the property to persons having certain characteristics based on race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income.

Any deed containing such restrictions or discriminatory language can attract a penalty, result in forfeiture, or otherwise be considered void.

What steps will county recorders have to take to modify restrictive covenants?

Bill AB 1466 makes the removal of racially restrictive covenants mandatory, especially when property changes hands. 

County recorders or registrars have the right to identify and redact discriminatory and restrictive language on all historical public records, pre-dating the law.

  • The bill requires county recorders, title companies or real estate brokers, etc., to place a cover page or stamp on the first page of the document stating that the document is void if it contains any unlawful restriction or discriminatory language.
  • They must notify concerned persons of the existence of a restrictive covenant and exercise their right to remove it through the restrictive covenant modification process. 
  • They will also have to provide a Restrictive Covenant Modification form with specified procedural information.
  • The offending language will need to be redacted or removed.
  • Next, the modified document and the original document are to be submitted to the county counsel, who will review them and determine whether the original document contains an unlawful restriction.
  • Once validated, both the original and redacted versions of the document must be re-recorded, and both versions must be available for public access.

”This legislation aligns with our direction to adopt antiracist practices, and design programs that promote equity, diversity, and inclusion.” 

-  Dean Logan (Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, Los Angeles County)

Challenges in complying with Bill AB 1466

There are millions of property documents and land records in county offices throughout the US. At DRS Imaging, we recognize the significant challenges for compliance with Bill AB 1466. Our teams are proficient in helping county recorders carry out the massive effort of redacting restrictive covenant language smoothly and making this a seamless process.

  • Finding documents with restrictive covenants

How do you find these documents? A manual search through property files is not a feasible option. If you have to automate this process, then enabling electronic search and retrieval of documents is the solution. DRS is working on the digitization of property or land records. We offer fast, accurate, high-speed document scanning services, both onsite and offsite. We convert backfiles into digital format with the highest level of security and make documents accessible even when in an archive.

  • Identifying the exact location or text containing discriminatory clauses

After the property documents are scanned, you need to be able to locate or pinpoint the offending clauses from the documents. We offer intelligent data capture services using ICR, OCR, and OMR technologies to convert scanned images to machine-readable text that can identify and extract discriminatory language in the restrictive covenants.

  • Modifying offensive language and redacting the original documents

Once the discriminatory language or racially restrictive covenants is found, the record has to be duplicated. The offensive language has to be masked so that the objectionable content is not readable or visible, and a modified version of the document has to be saved. We offer automated document redaction services using predefined parameters and patterns for temporary or permanent redaction.

  • Both original & redacted documents to be made available for public access

After the redacted copy is reviewed and validated by the county council, both the original and redacted versions must be available for public access as per AB 1466. We offer comprehensive document management services that will ensure both a copy of the original and redacted documents are centrally stored, indexed, easily retrievable for public reference, and retained or archived per specified document retention policies.


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Count on DRS Imaging to mitigate your challenges in compliance with Bill AB 1466

DRS Imaging is a leading scanning and document management services company with scanning facilities across the US. Our teams have extensive experience working with county and municipal bodies. We provide the entire gamut of services required to redact restrictive covenants and ensure property document compliance with the AB 1466 Bill.

  •  Document scanning

We scan property documents to transform them into powerful information you can search and retrieve easily. We have been providing document scanning services since 1964, and our scanning teams have extensive experience working with government agencies.

  • Automated data capture

We use modern OCR, ICR, and OMR technologies to capture data and extract information from handwritten, typed, or mark-sense data. We can extract data from structured and unstructured documents and forms while minimizing manual data entry, reducing errors and cutting costs.

  • Document redaction

We offer data redaction services for masking sensitive data using dynamic pattern matching, business rules, or workflows. With Mercury, our document management system users can also carry out permanent and temporary redaction based on defined user roles and privileges.

  • Document management

Mercury, our document management system, offers advanced indexing capabilities to ensure that millions of property documents can be stored securely and made available to citizens as part of a searchable database.

  • Data storage

We offer compliance-ready data storage and archiving with the highest levels of security for personally identifiable information (PII). You can choose a cloud storage solution within your budget for safe storage and ensuring easy access whenever needed.

  • Workflow automation

We not only help you improve the way you process and manage documents, but we also streamline operational processes and help you design simpler, digitized workflows with workflow automation software, thus increasing efficiency and saving time and money.

We’re helping county recorders, clerks and registrars in California’s government offices to deploy state-of-the-art technology to transform their land records and streamline their processes to achieve compliance with Bill AB 1466.

DRS Imaging will build a customized AB 1466 support plan to locate, verify and redact restrictive covenants from scores of property records effortlessly. County recorders, clerks, and registrars in government offices can depend on us to provide accurate solutions to redact restrictive covenant languages from their land records.

Contact a DRS document redaction expert today and get set for compliance with Bill AB 1466.