No More Paper Certificates of Title

By 3 July 2019Property

Currently in Queensland, if a paper Certificate of Title is issued for a lot, it must be presented to the Land Titles Office when any dealings are lodged.

Paper Certificates of Title aim to provide protection by preventing anyone dealing with your property if they don’t hold the Certificate of Title, for example if someone forges a Transfer and the Certificate of Title is issued, they can’t register it without the Certificate of Title.  However, the requirement to lodge any issued paper Certificate of Title can also lead to difficulties as unfortunately they are often lost and it can be a time consuming and expensive process to apply to dispense with the need for them.

Over the last 25 years paper Certificates of Title have been getting phased out, i.e. when they were lodged with the Land Titles Office with any dealing they were automatically cancelled (and you needed to apply for a new Certificate of Title if you wanted one).

The Land Titles Office estimates that only approximately 11% of titles in Queensland still have a paper Certificate of Title in existence.

With the onset of electronic conveyancing, legislation was passed in March 2019 which will mean that from 1 October 2019 paper Certificates of Title will no longer need to be lodged with the Land Titles Office and won’t have any legal effect.  The electronic title held in the Titles Registry will be the point of truth for ownership and other interests in land in Queensland.

Any paper Certificates of Title still in existence on 1 October 2019 won’t need to be dispensed with for a transaction to proceed and won’t need to be destroyed or delivered to the Land Titles Office, but they will no longer have any legal effect and will essentially only be items of historical or sentimental value.

It’s important to note however that even though these changes will commence on 1 October 2019, any paper Certificates of Title still in existence will still need to be submitted with any dealing lodged before 1 October 2019.

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