Protocol for land title electronic instruments

December 19, 2011

Task force addresses issues raised in conduct review summary

Further to the Notice to the Profession posted November 1, 2011, appointing a task force to address the Land Title issues raised in the conduct review summary referenced as 2011-09 published in the Benchers' Bulletin (2011:No. 3), and based on the recommendations of the task force, the Law Society advises the profession to follow the procedures set out below.

Where an electronic instrument is to be filed under the Land Title Act, and an amendment is required after execution of the true copy1 but before the subscriber digitally signs the instrument, the following protocol applies:

Except as set out below, the legal representatives for the parties, or if there are no legal representatives for one or more of the parties that party or parties, must consent to the amendment before it can be made.

In certain circumstances the amendment may be made without consent provided that advice of the change is given to the other party or their legal representative. The determination as to whether advice to the other party is sufficient or whether consent must be obtained will be governed by the materiality of the amendment to be made. A change to correct a spelling or typographical error may only require advice, but not consent. Amendments to the substance of the document will require consent.

A subscriber must not affix his or her digital signature to an electronic instrument that has been amended until the true copy or a copy of the true copy of the instrument that is in the possession of the subscriber has first been amended.

Once the amendment has been made, a copy of the amended paper document or the electronic instrument that shows the amendment must be provided to the legal representatives for the parties, or if there are no legal representatives for one or more of the parties to that party or parties.

Changes to the application section of the instrument to suit the circumstances are permitted without advice or consent.

For further information refer to the Land Title Practice Manual, the Land Title Electronic Forms Guidebook (the "Green Book"), and the paper written by Edward Wilson entitled "Land Title Branch -- Electronic Filing System: The Statutory Framework" included in the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC publication LTO E-Filing: Fall 2004 Update.

True copy is defined in section 1 of the Land Title Act, and is also referred to by some lawyers as the originally signed paper document or a copy of the signed paper document.