Preserving authentic land registry records in Brazil

Notary offices deliver important services to provide accountability for certain legal and administration activities. The 1st Office of São Luis, Maranhão, Brazil provides notary services for real estate matters such as maintaining the land registry.


Notary offices provide critical services to deter fraud. Authentic information and being able to ensure the integrity of historic information is core to delivering these services. To be able to provide these services effectively, accessible and accurate information is critical. The 1st office of São Luis maintained a large paper archive requiring a high degree of management and maintenance. Paper based records decay over time, particularly with exposure to humidity and other atmospheric conditions. Finding and accessing files can also be a slow and time-consuming process. As such, digitisation is a key priority for many notaries and land registries around the world. Digitisation offers incredible benefits to notary archives such as easy access to information, metadata extraction and tagging and the opportunity to back up data for greater assurance.

However, only holding the records in an online environment can also expose them to risks such as file corruption, technological obsolescence and online threats.

For the 1st office of São Luis, solving these challenges was of great priority.

Piql gives us the best solution for moving from a paper-based workflow to a digital workflow. Piql brings together the best of both worlds; the long-term endurance of a solid and tangible preservation medium, photosensitive film, and the speed and ease-of-use of the digital world. Our staff learned to use the Piql User Interface in one training session. The transition could not have been easier.

Ricardo Gonçalves of the 1st Office of São Luis, Maranhão


The 1st office had a vast paper archive with more than 2 million documents in critical need of digitisation and digital transformation.

Needing a safe and secure digital solution, it sought the only truly secure digital medium offering incredible resilience, ensured authenticity and guaranteed data integrity.

Piql’s purpose-built technology offers the benefits of both the unique qualities of traditional film and digital information. By storing digital information on repurposed photosensitive film, known as piqlFilm, we ensure that data remains authentic, accessible and secure. As an offline medium, it is not exposed to cyber threats or data manipulation and is completely immune to electromagnetic pulses (EMP), that would destroy other mediums like tape.

The information is stored once, can be read many times, ensures data stays alive for over 500 years and is unchangeable, providing absolute authenticity for notaries.

The 1st office chose Piql to digitally transform their 2 million paper records, providing online accessibility with yearly production of piqlFilm, in two copies.

This optimised workflow provided enhanced efficiency, integration with management software and enhanced searchability and accessibility.

This has resulted in document retrieval time reduced from 5 days to less than 30 minutes, estimated savings of 50 hours per employee, per month and freeing up over U$500,000 in real estate resources.