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Public registers

NSW LRS maintains current and historic title records in a number of public registers.

The largest register is the Torrens Title Register, introduced in 1863 to provide NSW with the most secure and efficient system of land ownership. Torrens titles are protected by State Government Guarantee and contain information in relation to current ownership and encumbrances on the land such as mortgages, leases and easements.

The General Register of Deeds was the first land registry in NSW established on 16 November 1825 under the Registration of Deeds Act 1825. It contains common law (old system) deeds for land transactions and incorporates the register of Causes Writs and Orders, Bills of Sale, Register of Resumptions, Powers of Attorney and all other miscellaneous deeds registered in NSW LRS.

Since March 2006 access is electronic for all items entered in the General Register of Deeds since November 1992.

Paid searches can be obtained through authorised information brokers.

The NSW LRS Online portal provides access to free index searches.

Public terminals are also available at the Queens Square Sydney office for free index searches.

NSW LRS also maintains a Water Access Licence Register on behalf of WaterNSW. This register commenced on 1 July 2004 under the Water Management Act 2000. It is a computerised system designed to provide an up to date and accurate record of every water access licence in NSW.

Information held in all of these registers can be accessed by the public through various channels. For more information see our Searching guide publications.

The NSW LRS Privacy Statement (PDF 124 KB) has details on NSW LRS's statutory responsibilities, to make specified information available from the public registers.

Identity fraud

In any transaction affecting land, be it a sale or a purchase or establishing a mortgage over land, it is important to confirm the identity of the parties involved in the transaction.

To ensure you don't become a victim of identity fraud when dealing with land, it is recommended that stringent processes be adopted in verifying the identity of person(s) claiming a right to deal with the land.

How do I verify the identity of a person claiming a right to deal with land?

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