Certificate of Title

Certificate of Title and Owner Registration

Imagine a huge book kept at the Land Titles Office, in which every block of land in the State of Victoria has its own page. Of course, such a book would have many volumes and many pages (folios). If you wanted to identify a particular block of land, you would find out its Volume and Folio number, and use these numbers to look up the relevant page. To find out who owns the land, you would simply turn over the page, and see whose name was last added to the page. This person is the owner.

In order to show that they own land, people are given a copy of their page in the book. This becomes known as the “duplicate”, and it also shows the names of the most recent owner. Each time ownership of the property changes, the “duplicate” is sent to the Land Titles Office, and it is endorsed with the name of the new owner, and the original kept at the Land Titles Office is updated in the same way.

This is a very basic view of how the system of Torrens Title operates in Victoria. Of course, in reality the process is much more involved than this, and there are numerous exceptions to the concept of ownership through registration.

Volume and Folio

Certificates of Title are still identified by reference to their Volume and Folio numbers. Locating the Volume and Folio number is quite simple. The following images show where the Volume and Folio numbers are found on old style paper Certificates of Title. The front of the Certificate of Title displays a description of the land it identifies, the name of the very first registered owner and other details. The history of the land, including changes of ownership, are set out on the back of the Certificate of Title. Click on the first image and note that the Volume and Folio numbers appear at the top right of the Certificate of Title as Register Book Vol: 8632 Fol 544:

CoftFront_Page_1 CoftBack_Page_1

Digital Certificates of Title: In the 1980’s the Land Titles Office began computerising titles, and the process will continue until the whole of the Register Book has been computerised. In the meantime, there will be different forms of title; some are still the large stiff paper documents written in calligraphic style, while most are single page A4 computer generated paper sheets, light blue in colour. The history of the land is not recorded on the digital Certificates of Title, as a new Certificate of Title is created each time a new interest (i.e. new owner, new mortgage etc.) is registered, and the old Certificate of Title is destroyed. Click on the following image and note that the Volume and Folio numbers appear at the top right corner of the Certificate of Title in a box as Volume 10696 Folio 488:


Don’t have a copy of your Certificate of Title?

What if you don’t have a copy of your Certificate of Title and you don’t have any other record of your Volume and Folio numbers?

If you still have the Contract of Sale from your purchase of the property you may have a copy of the Certificate of Title in the old Section 32 Vendors Statement.

If you don’t have your Certificate of Title, and you have a current mortgage over your property, then it is highly likely that your mortgagee (bank or non-bank lender) holds you Certificate of Title. Contact your mortgagee, tell them that you intend to put your property on the market and that you require the Volume and Folio number of the Certificate of Title for the property you intend to sell. If this is not an option, and you have no other way of obtaining the Volume and Folio numbers of your Certificate of Title, you can visit the “Search for a title” page of the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure. If you have actually lost your Certificate of Title, see the guide titled “Your guide to replacing a lost or destroyed certificate of title”.

A final option is to have us purchase an address or owner search of the property on your behalf. These cost less than $20, and we can do them quickly online.

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