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X9 Legal Orders Standard Is a “Must-do” for Illinois Dept. of Revenue

ANNAPOLIS, Md. –November 14, 2023

The Accredited Standards Committee X9 Inc. (X9) today unveiled videos complementing its X9.129 standard, Legal Orders Exchange. A companion document, X9 Technical Report 51, Uniform Adoption of X9.129 for Levies, has also been recently updated. The X9 videos describe the benefits of using the standard – one focused on government agencies that issue levies and one specifically for financial institutions. Additionally, an X9 web page offers substantial information about the organization’s legal orders work, and a Legal Orders Exchange discussion forum is open to all interested parties.

Legal orders can be generated in many formats by a variety of different government agencies. These documents are then sent to a financial institution for processing. When the financial institution receives the requests (via mail, fax, spreadsheet), the process for fulfilling them has been highly manual, time-consuming, paper-intensive and prone to errors.

The X9.129 standard has been a game changer for legal order processing. It delivers an open and non-proprietary format for electronically exchanging both levies and asset-based orders, a two-way standard that accommodates requests from government agencies and responses from banks, as well as follow-up agency requests. This standard specifies the file format and essential fields for exchanging electronic legal orders, enabling automation of the legal order process by both agencies and banks. X9.129 is available for purchase from the ANSI website, and the companion document TR 51 is included. TR 51 is also available separately at no charge.

Steven Hayes of the Illinois Department of Revenue is an enthusiastic supporter of X9.129, calling its use a “must do” in an X9 video. He went on to say, “I can’t [over]stress the excitement of the efficiency, the elimination of any errors, getting rid of paper … it is wildly successful. The hours we’ve saved are in the thousands, the money we’ve collected is in the millions.”

The companion document, titled X9 Technical Report 51 (TR 51), formalizes the approach to using the format information contained in the X9.129 standard, and it includes a compilation of industry norms. TR 51 clarifies how financial institutions and agencies should use X9.129 to ensure that all necessary and appropriate levies and asset-based orders are securely and efficiently exchanged between financial institutions and/or agencies, software developers and mobile carriers.

“The X9.129 standard plays a pivotal role in modernizing levy processing, providing significant benefits to both originating and responding entities,” said Tom Melling, CEO of Safari SOP, and an active member of X9’s legal orders working group. “The standard and the technical report were collaboratively developed and revised by banks, government agencies and industry vendors, including input from the open industry forum, and we are grateful for the time, expertise and resources contributed by X9 members and industry participants.”

The X9 legal orders discussion forum, open to all financial industry representatives at no charge, serves as a roundtable platform for interested parties involved with legal orders that affect the financial services industry. The forum considers current and future X9 standards, and their benefits and interoperability in this area. In addition, the industry forum provides a conduit between the users of the standards and the X9 group responsible for maintaining the standards.

The X9 legal orders working group continues to be focused on initiatives converting paper to electronic processing. It is currently developing a new X9.144 standard for electronic subpoenas. Anyone interested in participating in either group is urged to fill out the form at the bottom of the X9 Legal Orders Exchange information page. X9 membership is not required to join the forum.

About the Accredited Standards Committee X9 Inc.

The Accredited Standards Committee X9 Inc. is a non-profit organization accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop and maintain national and – through ISO — international standards for the financial services industry. The subjects of X9’s standards include: retail, mobile and business payments; corporate treasury functions; block chain technology; processing of electronic legal orders issued to financial institutions; tracking of financial transactions and instruments; financial transaction messaging (ISO 8583 and 20022); quantum computing; AI, PKI; checks; cloud; data breach notification and more.

X9 acts as the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for ISO TC68 (Financial) and TC321 (E-Commerce) and performs the secretariat functions for ISO TC68. Please visit our website ( for more information.

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Judith Vanderkay
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