We register more than 700,000 dealings each year, with 98 per cent of 2.2 million title searches conducted online. There are 3.4 million current titles securely stored electronically in the Victorian Online Titles System (VOTS).

History of the titles office

Common terms used in land dealings

Certificate of Title

A Certificate of Title is a person's record of interests and rights affecting their land. The Certificate of Title is issued by the Registrar of Titles to the the person entitled to it, e.g. the registered proprietor or mortgagee.

The Certificate of Title shows the date it was created, plus all registrations and recordings made in the Register at the time. This includes the name(s) of registered proprietor(s) and other interests such as mortgages, covenants and caveats.

Registrations in the Register have a government guarantee.

Victoria’s Certificates of Title use the latest security technology and come with enhanced security features.

The design of the Certificates of Title minimises the possibility of fraud and provides additional protection of customers' interests and rights.

Security features

The security Trustseal has a number of in-built features tailored specifically for Victorian Certificates of Title. It shows a map of Australia and displays various patterns and colours in the light. The Trustseal cannot be removed  without recognisably damaging the paper and appears on the bottom left-hand corner of the new title.

The Thermocromic icon appears as a star on the bottom right-hand corner of a new Certificate of Title. The dark parts of the star momentarily disappear when gently rubbed, then reappear.

When an authentic Certificate of Title is held up to the light, eagles can be seen in lines across the full length of the page. The eagles are represented in either light or dark shading.

The vertical shading graduates from darker at the top of the page to lighter at the bottom.

On the reverse side, the words 'Certificate of Title' are printed vertically in a light ink on the left and right sides of the page using graduated degrees of shading.

A unique control number is included to enable the Certificate of Title to be tracked if it is lost or stolen.

A warning band describes the way in which the Thermocromic icon operates.

General law titles

This type of title came about from land sold by the Crown (State of Victoria) prior to the introduction of the Torrens system in 1862.

General Law titles are based on a common law system, which originated in England. The General law title system relies on a 'chain of deeds' to prove ownership. This 'chain' is made up of all documents since the land was sold by the Crown, and is still valid proof of ownership.

Conversion from General Law to Torrens title is a relatively simple process and is recommended by Land Use Victoria. The conversion process usually results in a title with a State Government guarantee of registered interests.

More information about General law titles can be found in our brochures

General law land (PDF, 37.1 KB)
General law land (DOC, 52.5 KB)

Crown land

Crown land is land owned by the government.

Approximately one-third of Victoria is Crown land and is used by a range of people, from families who visit local parks and reserves, to developers who use it for major projects such as freeways.

You can identify Crown land and determine its status through LANDATA.

A Crown land folio records the current legal status of a single parcel of Crown land and any changes from the date of entry in the database.

You can also obtain a Crown land folio by visiting the Land Information Centre.

Legislation

A number of Acts of Parliament and regulations relate to land dealings in Victoria including:

  • Transfer of Land Act 1958
  • Sale of Land Act 1962
  • Property Law Act 1958
  • Subdivision Act 1988
  • Subdivision (Procedures) Regulations) 2011
  • Subdivision (Registrar's Requirements) Regulations 2011
  • Subdivision (Body Corporate) Regulations 2001
  • Subdivision (Registrar's Fees) Regulations 2004

Current legislation can be found at Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents

Registrar of Titles

Victoria's Registrar of Titles is Chris McRae.

The Registrar of Titles is responsible for managing land titles in Victoria. The State Government guarantees every title in the titles register at Land Use Victoria.

The Registrar has roles and responsibilities covering more than 200 Acts of Parliament, including the Transfer of Land Act 1958 and the Subdivision Act 1988.

The Registrar records property ownership changes, mortgages, property transactions and new subdivisions and protects the security of property ownership through the State Government guarantee to title.

Registrar of Titles, Chris McRae