Update on Certificates of Title

In the finalisation of the ongoing digital transformation of the conveyancing process in NSW, the Registrar General has announced that from 11 October 2021 all Certificates of Title (‘CTs’) will be abolished and paper based land dealings will no longer be accepted. From this date, all CTs in NSW will exist in electronic form only and all land dealings must be lodged digitally.

What is eConveyancing?

On 1 July 2019, the NSW Government began the process of mandating eConveyancing as a means of transforming the conveyancing process to a 100% electronic service, offering more efficiency and security than traditional paper processes. This system enables solicitors, conveyancers, financial institutions and government bodies to complete settlements and lodge documents electronically. The abolishment of CT’s and the discontinuation of paper lodgements means that NSW is now an entirely digital conveyancing jurisdiction.

What does this mean for landowners?

Whilst the Torrens Title Register will remain NSW’s land ownership index, paper based CTs will no longer hold legal value and will not be required for the purposes of either settlement or the lodgement of any dealings. This means that:

  1. CTs will not hold any value or legal effect;
  2. You will no longer receive a CT when paying off your mortgage or purchasing an unencumbered property;
  3. CTs for new parcels of land created following registration of a plan of subdivision will no longer be issued;
  4. An Information Notice will now be issued after a settlement or lodgement affecting a Title;
  5. A Title search will be used to provide the most up to date title information regarding a property.

Note that if you hold a CT for which you plan to lodge a dealing on within the next 6 months it is advisable you retain it for now as it may be required to resolve any requisitions or administrative queries as part of the dealing process.

What will happen with my Certificate of Title?

Physical CTs were issued only for unencumbered land (i.e land with no mortgage registered).  If your CT is currently held in our safe custody facility, we will now require your instruction as to whether you would prefer your CT is:

  • Forwarded to you to retain personally or;
  • Destroyed by our office
What if I need to lodge documents?

Over the counter lodgement of any land dealings requiring registration will no longer be accepted. Accordingly, all dealings will need to be lodged digitally by a subscriber on your behalf, e.g a solicitor or conveyancer.  An example of the types of dealings that require lodgement include:

  • Transfer
  • Mortgage
  • Lease (including Transfers and Variations of Lease and )
  • Caveat
  • Transmission application
  • Withdrawal of Caveat
  • Notice of Death
  • Changes to by-laws
  • Power of Attorney

Southern Waters Legal is a registered eConveyancing subscriber and will be able to attend to any of these lodgements on your behalf.

If we are currently holding your CT, please call us on 9523 5535 to discuss your preference as to whether you would like us to post it to you (noting registered postage costs may apply and we will require identification/ written authorisation) or if you would like us to destroy it on your behalf.