19 May 2023

The End of an Era – Duplicate Certificates of Title

contest a will

Duplicates Certificates of Title have undergone many changes over the years. They were once large and ornate, penned with elaborate calligraphy on parchment like paper, and more recently have resembled less of a work of art, and more of a formal, business-like document. But this is set to change again.

On 16 June 2022, legislation passed in the WA Parliament to make changes to the Transfer of Land Act (WA) 1893 in support of the transition into e-conveyancing. There were various changes made to the legislation, however one of the important changes is the removal of Duplicate Certificates of Title. This change will assist in modernising land transactions and simplify the use of electronic conveyancing.

A Duplicate Certificate of Title is a paper version of the original Certificate of Title held by Landgate, WA’s land title registry. Duplicate Certificates of Title have been optional for around 25 years and more recently most transactions involving a mortgage no longer have the Duplicate Certificate of Title issued. By having the optional issuing of Duplicate Certificates of Title for many years, WA has been working in a hybrid system with some Duplicate Certificates of Title issued in paper form, and some not (only being a digital title).

Landgate has announced from 7 August 2023, That Duplicate Certificates of Title will no longer be created or issued. Any Duplicate Certificates of Title in existence from 7 August 2023 will no longer have any legal effect. If you do hold your Duplicate Certificate of Title, you do not need to return it to Landgate or destroy it, but it will automatically be considered invalid from 7 August 2023. You can keep your Duplicate Certificate of Title for display purposes. It is important to note, you should still store your Duplicate Certificate of Title until the implementation of 7 August 2023.

You can obtain a record of your Certificate of Title through Landgate’s website (often called a title search) which will show you the most up to date information in relation to your Certificate of Title.

If you have any questions about the implementation date or your Duplicate Certificate of Title, please get in contact with us.

Jessica was admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia in December 2020. Since 2016 and prior to her admission, Jessica worked in various roles in a commercial law firm which allowed to her gain invaluable exposure to a wide range of matters and an in-depth understanding of legal processes.