Changes to conveyancing laws in South Australia: What you need to know

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Recently the Registrar-General of the Lands Titles Office introduced wide ranging reforms to how conveyancing is conducted in South Australia. These reforms are through the implementation of a compulsory “Verification of Identity” policy that applies to the majority of land transactions conducted after 28 April 2014 such as:

  • Transferring an estate or interest in land;

  • Mortgages;

  • A Transmission application (when executors apply to deal with the land in a deceased estate);

  • An application to Register Death by survivor (when land is held in joint names);

  • An application for replacement Certificate of Title or Crown Lease.

This policy provides stringent requirements to verify a person or company’s identity in dealings with land. As a result it protects individuals and businesses from being the victim of identity theft in land transfers.

Fraudulent land transactions are a real issue as was seen in August 2013 when Nigerian authorities arrested a Nigerian man attempting to make a fraudulent sale of a house in Western Australia.


Settlements will be delayed if Verification of Identity (“VOI”) has not taken place;

Some key requirements of the policy are:

  • A face to face interview is required to conduct the VOI;

  • A solicitor, conveyancer or Authorised Deposit Taking Institution can perform a VOI and can perform the VOI on behalf of another organisation doing the conveyancing.

  • A number of identity documents must be produced such as passports, drivers licence, and a birth certificate;

  • The person verifying identity must sign a declaration they have taken “reasonable steps” to verify the identity of the party to the transaction;

  • A person verifying identity must have at least $1.5million indemnity and fidelity insurance cover per claim;

  • A VOI lasts 2 years before it must be renewed;


The practical requirement of the VOI Policy is it is more convenient for parties to a transaction to have their VOI conducted in the area they live.

We have offices in the North and South of our state covering one of the broadest regional area of any law South Australian law firm.    

Clients can be identified by us in:  
Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Strathalbyn, Victor Harbour, Whaylla and Adelaide (and surrounding areas).    

Contact Sebastian or Paul at Boylan Lawyers (08) 86322777
or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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