Electronic conveyancing (e-Conveyancing) is a more efficient, accurate and secure way of conducting the settlement and lodgement stages of a conveyancing transaction. It replaces many of the paper and manual processes traditionally involved in property transactions.
What is e-Conveyancing?
Electronic Conveyancing allows practitioners and financial institutions to lodge and settle conveyancing transactions in an electronic workspace provided by an Electronic Lodgement Network Operator (ELNO). This electronic platform enables parties to:
- collect transaction information and have it checked and verified for completeness and compliance
- prepare instruments and reports to register changes in property ownership and interests
- settle financial transactions, including payment of duties, taxes and disbursements
- comply with the tax and duty requirements of revenue offices
- lodge instruments with the Lands Titles Office and receive confirmation of their lodgement and registration.
Dealings currently able to be lodged electronically
Not all titles and document types are supported in the Electronic Lodgement Network (ELN). Eligible transactions that can be lodged are;
- Withdrawal of caveat
- Discharge of mortgage
- Discharge of encumbrance
- Transmission Application
- Application to note death
Electronic lodgement volumes
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreement
The Australian Registrars' National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC)
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) is the peak intergovernmental forum in Australia.
COAG was established in 1992. Its role is to manage matters of national significance or matters that need co-ordinated action by all Australian governments.
COAG's agenda is broad-ranging and focusses on improving the current and future wellbeing of all Australians.
COAG usually meets twice a year. However, it will meet when needed and at times it has met up to four times in a year. COAG may also settle issues out-of-session by correspondence.
The outcomes of COAG meetings are contained in communiques published at the end of each meeting. Where formal agreements are reached, these may be embodied in intergovernmental agreements, including National Agreements and National Partnership Agreements.
The basis of the regulatory framework for National Electronic Conveyancing in Australia is an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) entered into in 2011 by the governments of the six States and the Northern Territory and known as the Electronic Conveyancing National Law Agreement.
The IGA establishes ARNECC and sets out its objectives on behalf of the Registrars in each participating State and Territory as;
The Australian Registrars' National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) is the body established to facilitate the implementation and ongoing management of the regulatory framework for electronic conveyancing of real property in Australia.
ARNECC is constituted under an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) among the State and Territory Governments. ARNECC membership comprises the Land Titles Registrars (or their nominee) from each Australian State and Territory that has entered into the IGA.
The principal functions of ARNECC are to:
For further information on ARNECC, or to raise any policy or regulatory issue concerning electronic conveyancing, please contact ARNECC.
The principal pieces of legislation for eConveyancing in SA are the
Real Property Act 1886 (RPA) note – the Real Property (Electronic Conveyancing) Amendment Act 2016 commenced on 4 July 2016, introducing significant changes to the existing conveyancing requirements and paving the way for e-Conveyancing in SA.
Our role in e-Conveyancing
South Australia operates under the principles of the Torrens title system of land title registration and has historically transacted in paper. Technological advancements and the need to increase efficiencies within the financial and legal sectors has seen a movement towards electronic systems and electronic registers.
The Office of the Registrar-General (ORG) is represented on State and National committees, including ARNECC, the Australian Registrars Working Group, the Banking and Conveyancing Stakeholder Group, and the Land Registry Working Group.
Participation with the various working groups together with industry and stakeholder consultation is integral to the Registrar-Generals role in ensuring compliance with the legislation set out within the Real Property Act 1886 and the Electronic Conveyancing National Law (South Australia) Act 2013 (ECNL). The Registrar-General also has responsibility in upholding the integrity of the titles register in respect to the use of State data by the service provider (Land Services SA), and electronic lodgement network operators (ELNO).
Currently only one ELNO is operating in South Australia, Property Exchange Australia Ltd (PEXA), with potential applications for other ELNOs to join the electronic conveyancing market. The Registrar-General plays an important role under the ECNL in approving an ELNO to provide and operate an Electronic Lodgement Network.
There are a number of safeguards to ensure the data security and safety of e-Conveyancing.
The increasing incidence of identity theft and associated fraud, including mortgage fraud, means that all parties to land transactions and their agents must exercise due diligence in verifying the identity of persons claiming a right to deal in land. Processes such as verification of identity, right to deal and client authorisation are aimed at limiting the impact of fraud and increasing security.
Practitioners should be careful not to provide banking details via email for transmission of settlement sums to reduce the incidence of cyber fraud attacks.
More information about identity theft and strategies for limiting its impact is available from:
- the Australian Crime Commission,
- the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner,
- the website Protect Your Financial Identity established by the Australian Bankers’ Association, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Australian High Tech Crime Centre.
Transitioning to e-Conveyancing
Many conveyancers and most financial institutions have already started lodging electronically. If you haven't yet done so, please find below some steps to assist you in getting started.
Step one: Familiarise yourself with the SA model participation rules to determine your eligibility to become a subscriber.
For information on model participation rules and guidance notes visit:
Under the Electronic Conveyancing National Law, Subscribers are required to comply with Participation Rules made by the Registrar in each State and Territory.
Should you have concerns or questions please contact The Australian Registrar's National Electronic Conveyancing Council
Step two: Register with an ELNO.
To find out more, including information on becoming a subscriber visit:
Step three: Determine if the transaction is eligible. See Eligible Dealings above.
Step four: Start lodging electronically.