The NSW government is enacting reforms very soon that will transition the land titles system away from paper, becoming fully electronic. A major part of this reform is that from 11 October 2021, the Registrar-General will no longer be issuing Certificates of Title (CTs). Lodgement must also be made electronically. No paper dealings will be accepted past this date, or ‘cessation day.’
This means CTs will no longer be a legal document. With regard to proof of ownership, practically nothing will change. As the Office of the Registrar-General (RG) stresses, “The Torrens Title Register has always been and will continue to be the single source of truth as to the ownership of a person’s home.” However, don’t assume that you can lose or destroy your CT just yet. The RG outlines two reasons you might want to hold onto it even after 11 October:
- If a transaction involving your land hasn’t been finalised before cessation day, the CT may still be required to satisfy requisitions or other administrative notices issued prior to that date.
- Lawyers who rely on CT to establish a client’s right to deal in a transaction conducted before cessation day must retain that CT in line with the requirements for retaining supporting evidence.
Outside of those circumstances, CTs will be largely useless.
Paper dealings will also be phased out. This means lodgement must be made through a subscriber to an Electronic Lodgement Network, such as a lawyer or licenced conveyancer. With that said, it is recognised that certain dealings must be made outside of available eConveyancing systems for technical reasons. Don’t fret, there will be established rules to govern ‘out-of-scope transactions.’ However, these will be very much the exception and not the rule.
For more information, the RG’s website goes into all the changes summarised above. Alternatively, you could consult a lawyer or licenced conveyancer. We are more than happy to take your call!