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
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.