Authority Updates - Queensland - May 2016

Queensland Registrar on new requirements from 1 May 2016

For instruments and documents executed and witnessed outside Australia.

The Land Title Act 1994 and Land Act 1994 prescribe the types of witnesses who can witness instruments or documents and outline some of the obligations of those witnesses. Where an instrument or document is executed outside Australia, paragraph [60-0390] of the Land Title Practice Manual requires additional information to be deposited at lodgement including the witness's contact details or details of the identification documentation sighted by the witness.

Applicable to all instruments and documents executed and witnessed outside Australia, including all Titles Registry forms and powers of attorney which are lodged for registration.  The new requirements include a process which requires a practitioner or mortgagee to take preliminary steps before an instrument or document is witnessed, including: 

  1. reviewing with the client or mortgagor what identification documents they have available to them and determining the highest document category in the Verification of Identity Standard the client or mortgagor can satisfy (paragraph [60-2000] of the Land Title Practice Manual);
  2. taking reasonable steps to determine the client's or mortgagor's right to deal as a particular party to the conveyancing transaction i.e. their entitlement to mortgage, transfer or otherwise deal with      the relevant property;
  3. preparing the instrument or document and providing it to the client or mortgagor along with:
    (a) a witness certification in the form prescribed in the Land Title Practice Manual; and
    (b) written instructions advising the client or mortgagor of the process and what original and current identification documents are to be produced to the intended witness in accordance with                                    the Verification of Identity Standard (passport, driver's licence etc.).

The witness will then complete the applicable certification and witness the execution of the instrument or document in accordance with the process.

The applicable certification completed by the witness (the original not a copy) will need to be deposited when the instrument or document is lodged for registration.

Practitioners and mortgagees should be aware that the process has been developed in conjunction with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and failure to adhere to the process may result in an Australian Consular Officer or authorised employee at an Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate refusing to witness an instrument or document.

The process is substantially the same as the process outlined in the ARNECC MPR Guidance Note 2 Verification of Identity. Accordingly, the process will be the same for both paper and electronic conveyancing.

Instruments or documents executed before 1 August 2016 may comply with either the new requirements or previous requirements in paragraph [60-0390] of the Land Title Practice Manual.

For further information contact the Titles Registry on 1300 255 750 or email titlesinfo@dnrm.qld.gov.au.

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Disclaimer: The information herein has been prepared by SAI Global Property Division Pty Ltd  ACN 089 586 872 from information released by the Authority cited on this page. It is provided as general background information only; it is not complete; and it does not comprehensively address this subject matter. Readers should not consider the information so provided as advice nor as a recommendation to take any particular course of action. Persons needing advice should consult their own solicitor, accountant or other professional adviser.