The paperless state – what you need to know

The paperless state – what you need to know

On 11 October 2021, also known as Cessation Day, the Registrar General of NSW (RGNSW) will stop issuing a hard copy Certificate of Title (CT) for any reason.  A CT is a duplicate of the related Folio of the Torrens Title Register (Register). 

So what does this change mean? We see it as a positive step.

Firstly, it will remove the chance of the CT being lost, stolen, or fraudulently dealt. It is also the last step in the conveyancing process becoming 100 per cent electronic. Finally, and most importantly for clients, it will enable greater efficiency than when compared to the current system.

These changes from 11 October 2021 will impact many in the property industry in different ways including: 

Land Owners/Buyers/Developers:

  1. If you pay off your mortgage, you will no longer receive a CT;
  2. If you are a cash buyer, you will no longer receive a CT following settlement;
  3. CTs will no longer be issued on new lots created upon registration of a plan of subdivision.

Instead, an Information Notice will be issued confirming the dealings registered and the date of registration. If you currently have a CT, you don’t have to do anything. It will simply no longer become a legal document from 11 October 2021.

Legal Representatives:

  1. It will no longer be necessary to ask for a copy of their CT when acting on a sale or lodging a dealing for registration;
  2. A Certificate Authentication Code (CAC) will no longer be requested for consent purposes when transacting in an electronic workspace;
  3. Further steps will need to be taken to establish a party’s right to deal with the land including verifying their identity.

Banks:

  1. CoRD (Control of the Right to Deal) will no longer be issued to the bank when their mortgage is registered, nor will they be required to provide CoRD when transacting in an electronic workspace.
  2. First  or third  party consent will no longer be asked of the bank when a mortgagor (borrower) wants to lodge a dealing for registration against the title;
  3. Banks will be required to pass onto their customers an Information Notice when their mortgage is discharged.

Since the Torrens Title System was introduced in NSW on 1 January 1863, CTs have been produced by RGNSW upon the transfer of real property, and held by property owners or their lender as evidence of ownership. Notwithstanding this, the Register has and always will be the single source of truth as to a person’s ownership or interest in land.  With the abolition of CTs, RGNSW have put protections in place  allowing only subscribers (ie: lawyers and licensed conveyancers) to lodge dealings for registrations via the electronic workspace.

These changes will see the property industry move further towards their goal of paper free transactions and will be rolled out from mid July to ensure a seamless transition. 

If you would like to know more about the process or how this may impact you, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with a trusted legal advisor.

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