In October, InfoTrack shared an update from the NSW Registrar General regarding the electronic signing of paper land dealings, plans and Section 88B instruments. These rules were due to cease on March 31, 2021. Under the latest Conveyancing Rules – (COVID-19 Pandemic) Amendment (Version 3), electronic signing of the aforementioned documents has now been extended and will remain in place until December 31, 2021.
Published on March 18, 2021, these changes temporarily allow paper land dealings, plans and Section 88B instruments to be signed electronically. These documents may also be witnessed electronically using an audio-visual link during the COVID-19 restriction, under Division 1 Part 2B of the Electronic Transactions Act 2000. These temporary changes do not alter any existing requirements for execution and certification, verification of identity or establishing the right to deal.
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the altered execution and certification requirements for paper documents outlines the following:
Division 2, Part 2 of the Electronic Transactions Act 2000 applies to the execution of:
- a) any instrument that is to be lodged for registration under the Real Property Act 1900;
- b) a certificate referred to in Rule 6.1.2
- (a) or (b);
- c) an instrument under section 88B of the Conveyancing Act 1919; and
- d) any other instrument that is to be lodged for registration with a plan.
A person who signs electronically under Rule 12.3 must confirm their identity and their intention to sign the instrument electronically by either:
- including a statement on the instrument near or above their electronic signature to the following effect: Electronic signature of me, [insert full name], affixed by me, or at my direction, on [insert date], OR
- using a digital signing platform that indicates on the instrument that an electronic signature was applied, and the date and time that this occurred.
A copy of a document signed electronically in accordance with this Schedule may be lodged as an original of that document.