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Retention of Records - Optical Imaging

Written November 25, 1998

Your letter asks whether your client may use optical imaging to convert written open account documents to electronic media. The relevant provision of Wisconsin law is found at sec. 80.331, Wis. Adm. Code, which permits a creditor to retain copies of documents by "microfilm or other similar photographic process provided such creditor is able to reproduce individual permanent photo copies which retain substantially the same print size as the original document." Optical imaging fits within the meaning, intent, and spirit of this provision of the administrative rules. Therefore, optical imaging may be used by your client (or anyone else) to convert written documents to electronic form, provided you are able to produce a photocopy with the same print size as the original document when the need arises.