The Alberta Land Titles Registry is based on the Torrens system and is implemented by the Land Titles Act.
Torrens title is a system of land title in which a register of land holdings maintained by the state guarantees an indefeasible title to those included in the register. Land ownership is transferred through registration of title instead of using deeds. Its main purpose is to simplify land transactions and to certify to the ownership of an absolute title to realty.
Our current registration system has been operating since 1988, and twenty years later an average of 4,200 registrations were processed every day in Alberta. Currently, it is taking the Land Title Office about 10 business days to register documents that are submitted. Back in 2008 Service Alberta prepared a vision for the future to address our system.
“The transfer of land document and discharge related documents make up a significant portion of the requests received at Land Titles. An electronic version of these forms could be offered to a select group of stakeholders to submit requests to Land Titles on behalf of the public”.
Now, the Alberta Land Titles Online project has been initiated (ALTO). ALTO will eventually allow for the electronic submission of documents, to reduce transcription errors, to reduce transportation time and costs, and to reduce paper handling costs.
ALTO is currently being used by five pilot law firms. It is planned that ALTO will be available for all lawyers to use by October 2016. This will include the use of eSubmission and eSignature. eSignatures will allow lawyers to digitally handle and execute paper documents that can be submitted to Land Titles for registration. The digitally signed document will become the Original Document for legal and registration purposes. Our system will be closely modeled on the BC model which has already been in operation for many years. The traditional procedures will be retained too in case there is ever a disruption in the new ALTO.
We look forward to more developments in the New Year in the lead-up to the full launch of ALTO.