the evolution of paper settlements to Electronic


The new mandate is here as of 3rd August 2020, the electronic lodgement of documents with Land Services SA is now mandatory. Paper is now a thing of the past…but lets talk about that past so you know a little bit about what the process was and what it is from now on…


To start with a Transfer as well as other Land Titles Office documents were originally typed on a typewriter and no mistakes were allowed to be made.  If there was an error you had to start again! Loan documents were printed on A3 blue thick paper and the male was described as Joe Bloggs, Plumber and the female was Sue Bloggs, his wife or home duties.  Not really a female friendly world then. Then came preparation of documents on a computer, still on thicker paper but at least errors were sorted before printing.  Transfer documents had to be signed by both the purchaser and the vendor and had to lodged at the Land Titles Office as originals. In order to do that they were posted to the purchaser first, then back to the conveyancer, the delivered or posted to the vendors conveyancer who then in turn received the document back to be again provided to the purchaser conveyancer ready to stamp in readiness for settlement.  The stamping in itself was done at RevenueSA on the morning of settlement.  All in all it was a lengthy process.

As electronic conveyancing became a reality though not yet mandated, this process was changed.  Clients signed a client authorisation with their respective conveyancers who then had the authority to certify the Transfer documents on their clients behalf,  No more posting required!

In electronic conveyancing this has been simplified yet again as the creation of the Transfer happens in the electronic workspace and the signing and certification is done by way of a digital certificate.

In order to settle in the paper environment it had to be finalised in the Land Titles Office Settlements Room where all parties met including incoming and outgoing banks, vendor and purchaser conveyancers. A very busy place to be on a Friday!


To get ready for settlement was quite a process and involved the following steps needed to be taken in the morning and at settlement:

  • Prepare and check the settlement checklist for each file
  • Ensure documents were correctly certified and dated
  • Order bank cheques or draw trust cheques as required
  • Collect bank cheques from the bank
  • Get to the Land Titles Office (usually 11.30 start)
  • Call out to other conveyancer and collect/exchange discharge of mortgages and/or other documents
  • Go to purchaser’s bank and handover documents for lodgement and collect bank cheques
  • Find other conveyancer and handover bank cheques to complete settlement
  • Attend to banking for own cheques and client cheques
  • Call client and agent to advise completed
  • Send correspondence by email or letter to agent/councils and other relevant parties

The timeframe to prepare and complete settlement could be between 2 to 5 hours in total (including getting things ready in the office) and this could be the same timeframe whether for one or ten files.

Registration of documents could take up to five weeks to be finalised


Electronic settlements have changed this process dramatically and the file is usually ready on the part of conveyancer the day before with banks completing their part morning of settlement. The steps for this are much quicker and easier:

  • Upload trust funds to workspace
  • Upload any destination funds to workspace
  • Upload notification requests to agent/council/clients and other relevant parties to workspace
  • Digitally sign documents & authorize funds transfers
  • Once fully ready – Let it Happen!
  • The electronic emails are sent as soon as the file settles
  • Funds are disbursed automatically and are immediately cleared.

Timeframe to enter data – 30 minutes.  Time to settle once ready and settlement time starts to settlement 30 minutes.

While the settlement is taking place other files can be worked on without concern.  Documents are lodged on the day and are usually registered within 3 days of settlement.

Reduction of amount of time for working each file could be 3 hrs with the ease of communications, no downtime waiting and less costs re banking of cheques and fees.  This gives us chance to spend more quality time with our clients so if you need a great Adelaide Conveyancer call us now on 8333 3525