Abolition of Paper Certificates of Title
Written on the 26 August 2021
Changes to the Certificates of Title
The most recent Real Property Amendment (Certificates of Title) Act 2021 has created some critical changes to the land title system in NSW, which will take place from 11 October 2021. The Act introduces a transition from paper Certificates of Title to an electronic lodgement of land transactions.
Therefore, the paper Certificates of Title will no longer be valid from 11 October 2021, and only electronic dealings will be accepted. All land dealings lodged electronically are known as “100% E-Conveyancing”. According to the Office of Registrar General, a subscriber (bank, licensed conveyancer) can lodge electronic dealings to an Electronic Lodgement Network, such as Sympli and PEXA.
What will happen from 11 October 2021?
Starting from 11 October 2021, existing Certificates of Title will no longer be issued and will no longer be considered a legal document. Hence, below is the impact to landowners:
- Landowners will be issued an “Information Notice”, confirming the date of registration and the dealings registered on the title.
- Landowners who own Certificates of Title to their land do not have to do anything before or after the new Act applies. Simply after 11 October 2021, the certificates will no longer have a legal effect; however, landowners have the right to retain the paper certificates for evidence purposes.
- Landowners in the middle of a transaction for the next 6 months should retain the Certificates of Title. Since the transaction may occur before 11 October 2021, and hasn't been finalised yet, the Certificates of Title may be required to satisfy administrative notices during the transitional period.
Other parties that will have an impact are lawyers and conveyancers. The following are the impacts:
- Starting from 11 October 2021, lawyers and conveyancers are not entitled to request Certificates of Title from their clients during the dealing process.
- Lawyers and conveyancers do not have to submit the Certificate Authentication Code in an Electronic Lodgement Network Operators (ELNO) workspace.
- If lawyers and conveyancers have registered a deal prior to 11 October 2021, the Certificates of Title need to be retained for supporting evidence purposes.
Lastly, below is the new legislation’s impacts on banks:
- After 11 October 2021, all mortgage registrations related to CoRD holders will be removed from the Torrens Register.
- The customers of banks who have paid off their mortgages will no longer be issued with Certificates of Title, but instead, an Information Notice will be issued to the customers.
Torrens Register is the primary register for land; and therefore, all documents need to be lodged in Torrens Register electronically by a subscriber. In this case, a subscriber can be a lawyer or licensed conveyancers, who will verify their client’s identities and their rights to purchase the land.
After the dealings are lodged, an Information Notice will be issued as evidence of property ownership. The information included in the Information Notice is:
- Folio identifier
- Dealings registered on the title
- Date of registration
- WMD Law
- NSW Office of the Registrar General