Electronic conveyancing commenced in the ACT on 1 June 2020.
The Land Titles (Electronic Conveyancing) Legislation Amendment Act 2020 and the Electronic Conveyancing National Law (ACT) Act 2020 came into effect on 1 June 2020. Together they introduced electronic conveyancing to the ACT.
The legislation does not mandate the use of electronic conveyancing. It remains a matter of choice for the parties to the transaction.
Electronic Conveyancing allows practitioners and financial institutions to interact and transact together online. Documents are created, signed and lodged within the online environment. All necessary steps to settle the transaction are completed within that online environment.
For assistance see the dedicated commentary ‘A brief explanation of the transition to E-conveyancing‘ which can be found in the Reference materials folder on the By Lawyers Conveyancing matter plans. This helpful resource contains information on how to get connected with PEXA or Sympli and covers verification of identity, client authorisation and certification and record keeping.
Verification of identity and client authorisation
Before entering into a transaction and executing a form to be lodged at the Land Titles Office – either electronically or in person – practitioners must be authorised by their client. This occurs by the client executing the Client Authorisation Form prior to completion.
Practitioners must take reasonable steps to verify that the client is a legal person and has the right to enter into the transaction. Documents used to verify a person’s identity must be retained for at least seven years from the date the Instrument is lodged with the Land Titles Office. Land Titles Office documents are being updated to include the new certification requirements.
The Land Titles Office will accept the existing forms lodged by legal practitioners and mortgagees up to 1 September 2020. If lodging dealings on a form without the certification requirements, practitioners must meet all the requirements of that form, including all signatures, witnessing requirements and producing the paper certificate of title, if required, as evidence of the right-to-deal.
By Lawyers updates
The By Lawyers Conveyancing (ACT) publication has been updated to include all necessary verification of identity and client authorisation forms. The relevant precedents have been updated to include electronic conveyancing options.