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Torrens title register

The primary register, the Torrens Title register, is for land held under the Real Property Act 1900 and has operated since 1863. The Torrens Register is kept by the Registrar General and records grants, folios and dealings that have been registered pursuant to Section 32 of the Real Property Act 1900. The purpose of the Torrens system is to provide certainty of title to land.

A change to the Torrens Register occurs through lodging and registering a dealing. A dealing is a document, other than a caveat, which records changes to information held in the Torrens Register, such as a transfer of ownership.

Most Torrens titles are computerised and maintained in the Integrated Titling System (ITS). A small proportion remains as paper records, which can be searched at NSW LRS Queens Square, Sydney.

Over 98 per cent of the Torrens Register is electronically stored and maintained. The electronic imaging of registered plans and dealings means that most titling information is provided online through our Online Services.

These online services also provide for the remote lodgment, examination, storage and dissemination of subdivision plans. The electronic plan lodgment system, ePlan, provides an alternative to the 'paper' process for approved users.

Torrens title searches can be obtained for a fee through authorised information brokers if the folio identifier (i.e. title reference) is known.

The folio identifier may be obtained from the land or property description that appears on council rates, water rates and valuation notices. 

If the folio identifier is unknown, some searches can be initiated using a reference to a lot and plan number or a street address.

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 or for paid over the counter searches. 

Documents relating to real estate transactions in NSW are investigated for compliance with NSW LRS guidelines and legislative requirements. If correct for registration dealings, they are recorded in the Torrens Register and preserved as images and accessed as A4 size copies generated from those images.

The NSW government guarantees the title of a registered proprietor of land, or any interest in land, in the Torrens Register so long as no fraud has occurred. The examination and investigation of transactions that affect title support this guarantee of title.

Plans, affecting both Torrens title and common law land are examined to ensure that legal boundaries have been established and correspond with the boundaries as marked on the ground. The plan examination process ensures existing interests are preserved from one generation of title to the next.

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