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

Who can witness an execution?

A section 88B instrument lodged for registration must be attested to by a witness who is not a party to the document see s.36(1D)(b) and s.117 Real Property Act 1900. This is the only legal requirement for valid attestation whether the place of residence of the executing party, or the place of execution, is within the State of New South Wales, another State or Territory of Australia or a foreign country.

The Registrar General also requires the attesting witness to be someone who:

  • is over 18 years of age, and
  • is not a party to the transaction, and
  • has known the person signing the instrument as a party to the transaction for at least a year, or
  • has taken reasonable steps to confirm the identity of that person.

The attesting witness should also include their full name, residential or business address and, if necessary, their authority to sign as a witness, eg solicitor, mayor, managing director, secretary etc.

For further information, see NSW LRS fact sheet - Witnessing Real Property Act Dealings: Witness Obligations