On 11 October 2021, the Real Property Amendment (Certificates of Title) Act 2021 commenced, which abolished the Certificates of Title (CTs) and the control of the right to deal (CoRD) framework. All existing CTs have been cancelled and CTs will no longer be issued. Existing CTs will not need to be produced, and CoRD holder consent will not be required, for a dealing or plan to be registered. All existing Guidelines subject to this change are currently being reviewed and will be updated to reflect these changes. For further information regarding the abolition of CTs, please see https://www.registrargeneral.nsw.gov.au/property-and-conveyancing/eConveyancing/abolition-of-certificates-of-title

Preliminary examination

When deposited plans or strata plans are lodged in NSW LRS for registration, the proposed development is usually in its final stage and the lots to be created may already be under contract for sale. A delay at this time, due to unforeseen legal or survey requisitions on the plan is costly and inconvenient to both the developer and the purchaser(s).

A service for examining all types of plans prior to lodgment of the final plan for registration is provided by NSW LRS. Most often the pre-examination is undertaken at the time of the plans presentation to the council, consent authority or certifier for subdivision approval, i.e. when the parcel layout is complete and the development is awaiting approval.

A pre-examination fee is payable on the plan plus additional fees for examination time over the first four hours.

On completion, a report on the pre-examination will be forwarded to the surveyor and the lodging party.

Note  Pre-examination of a plan is NOT a presumption for 'urgency' in the processing of the final plan following lodgment for registration.

Note  The new plan submitted for Preliminary Examination must comprise the final version of the new development. Any further versions of the plan (that include significant alterations to the lot layout or boundary location) will necessitate obtaining the specific approval of NSW LRS.

Advantages of pre-examination

Advantages to pre-examination of deposited plans include:

  • Advance written notice of issues with survey or title which will require amendment or revision prior to registration.
  • Opportunity to correct matters prior to lodgment of the final plan.
  • Probable elimination of expensive delays caused by additional legal or survey work after the plan has been lodged.
  • Reduced development time with parallel tracking as the plan is with NSW LRS for examination while also being processed by the council, consent authority etc.

Matters beyond the control of NSW LRS are not covered by the pre-examination. For example:

  • Signatures and/or consents on plans and associated instruments pursuant to s.195(D) Conveyancing Act 1919, as the original plan is not available and ownership and encumbrances may change during the development period.
  • Amendments and/or alterations to the plan or the registration of documents directly affecting the title(s) which occur in the interval between the preparation of the pre-examination report and lodgment of the final plan.
  • Quality of linework and printing on the final plan when lodged for registration.
  • Any legislative amendments or changes to Office practice since the completion of the report.
  • Any claim of possession by the applicant of land outside his/her title or deed.
  • Any plan affected by a claim adverse to the applicants title or deed (i.e. by the indication on a plan affecting Old System or Limited title of boundaries being outside long term occupations). These matters should be addressed by the lodgment of an acceptable survey report or the specific consent of the adjoining owner(s) with the final plan.

NSW LRS requirements


A Pre-examination may be lodged, either by post or in person at the NSW LRS plan Lodgment Counter, together with the following:

  • a full size copy of the plan, of good quality, containing complete survey information
  • a copy of any associated instrument
  • complete title details and other information on the Pre-examination lodgment form available from the NSW LRS plan Lodgment Counter
  • a written request for pre-examination and an undertaking to pay any additional fees. If it appears that additional fees will be considerable, further consent of the lodging party will be obtained before examination continues
  • a copy of any related dealings required to be pre-examined
  • payment of the current pre-examination lodgment fee. This fee is additional to fees payable on lodgment of the final plan for registration.

Review of pre-examined deposited plans

If it is intended to amend or alter the plan after receipt of the report, a written request should be forwarded by post or in person to the Manager, Titling and Plan Services, NSW LRS containing:

  • a copy of the amended plan and/or associated instrument
  • reference to the pre-examination file number
  • copies of any associated dealings prepared to rectify title problems

Additional fee(s) are payable if the accumulated time spent on examination exceeds four hours.

General inquiries on all matters relating to the pre-examination of plans may be made in person at Client Services, NSW LRS or by phone to the Customer Service Centre on 1300 396 076.

Note Please quote the Pre-examination file number.