eConveyancing reforms

E-conveyancing allows legal practitioners, conveyancers, banks and mortgage processors across Australia to conduct the settlement and lodgment stages of conveyancing online. The first e-conveyancing transaction in NSW was registered in 2013.

In July 2016, the Minister for Finance, Services & Property, the Hon Dominic Perrottet MP, announced the NSW Government’s plans to accelerate the transition to electronic conveyancing and progressively phase out paper certificates of title in NSW. The e-conveyancing reforms position the Government as a leader in digital innovation.

The transition is being implemented in two stages. 

Stage 1

Requires major financial institutions to lodge certain mortgages and discharges of mortgage via the national e-conveyancing platform. The issue of paper certificates of title to banks will also be phased out as part of Stage 1. Stage 1 initiatives have already been included in the NSW Conveyancing Rules (Version 2) which commenced on 26 November 2016. This aligns NSW with initiatives already announced by the Victorian and Western Australian Governments.

Stage 2

This next stage maps the pathway to phasing out paper-based conveyances by July 2019. That is, all standard property transactions in NSW will be conducted electronically, and all Certificates of Title will be phased out in favour of e-Titles.
 
The Stage 2 timeframe was developed in consultation with the Conveyancing Reform Committee during the second half of 2016. The Conveyancing Reform Committee was convened by ORG and is made up of representatives from:

  • Law Society of New South Wales
  • Australian Institute of Conveyancers (NSW Division) (AIC)
  • Australian Bankers Association (ABA)
  • Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA)
  • Customer Owner Banking Association (COBA)
  • Australian Finance Conference (AFC)
  • Property Exchange Australia Ltd (PEXA)

The Government has endorsed the Conveyancing Reform Committee recommendation to proceed with the Stage 2 timeframes.
 
A clear transition means that business can plan for the new arrangements. It will help individuals and business develop the technical capacity, training and resources they need to adapt to e-conveyancing.
 
These reforms aim to minimise manual processes and paperwork associated with property settlement. Lawyers, conveyancers and financial institutions will be able to transact together online. They are designed with the customer in mind. Time consuming and costly conveyancing practices, such as creating, moving and storing hard copy title documents, face-to-face settlement meetings, bank cheques and manual lodgments will no longer be necessary.

See the transition timeline.

For more information about electronic lodgment see the Registrar General's Directions website. 

ORG will continue to work with stakeholders to make sure that industry is properly supported throughout the transition.