Paper Duplicate Certificates of Title (Duplicate Titles) have been a feature of land registration processes in Western Australia since the Torrens System of registration started here in 1875. It came from the historical practice of keeping a register which comprised a book of titles in which there was an original title with a duplicate copy of the original.
The Transfer of Land Act 1893 (TLA) was amended by the Transfer of Land Amendment Act 2022 with one of the key changes being to remove Duplicate Titles. The changes made to the TLA came into effect on 7 August 2023 thereby removing Duplicate Titles from the land Titles system and the conveyancing process in Western Australia from that day. This change was part of ongoing advancements in electronic conveyancing within Western Australia and nationally. The removal of Duplicate Titles clarifies and simplifies all conveyancing in a way that does not detract from the integrity and security of the WA land Register.
Existing paper Duplicate Titles no longer have any legal effect and are not required when registering a land transaction. Duplicate Titles can no longer be created or issued. If you have a paper Duplicate Title in your possession, it can be retained as a keepsake, it does not need to be returned to Landgate.
Duplicate Titles were optional in WA for over 25 years prior to the changes coming into effect. Where a Duplicate Title was issued, it was a paper version of the original title with some differences and limitations. For example, caveats, memorials, notifications and property (seizure and sale) orders have never appeared on a Duplicate Title, so it may not give a true indication of the encumbrances associated with a parcel of land. Parties need to search the original Certificate of Title for this information.