As of 1 July 2019, it became compulsory to complete the majority of conveyancing transactions electronically.

In preparation for the move to the new electronic conveyancing system, Land Registry Services converted all paper certificates of titles of which there was a mortgage recorded in favour of a financial institution, to an electronic form of title. All certificates of title for properties that were not encumbered by a mortgage remained in their paper form.

The NSW Government has now approved the cancellation of all paper certificates of title. It is anticipated that legislation to give effect to this approval will be passed around mid 2021.

Once all paper certificates of title have been converted to an electronic title, this will mean that:

  • any paper certificate of title held by you for your property will no longer be valid;
  • any paper certificate of title held by any creditor as security for a debt owed to them by you will no longer be valid; and
  • if you need to record any plan, dealing or instrument against your title, you will need to engage a solicitor or a conveyancer to assist.

When dealing with any electronic title, solicitors and conveyancers are obliged to verify the identity of the property owner.

Whilst your paper certificate of title will no longer be valid, any debt owed to a creditor may be secured by a registered mortgage or a caveat lodged against your title.

Despite the intended cancellation of all paper certificates of title, if you hold a paper certificate of title for your property, you should continue to retain it in a safe place unless you are advised to do otherwise, following the conversion to an electronic title.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.