As we reported in August, we have been centralising the processing of pre-registration services such as official copies to single offices.

More than 64 per cent of official copy applications received through the Land Registry portal are now automatically processed and delivered directly to customers within minutes or sometimes seconds.

The other 36 per cent require some form of manual input which may result in your request taking slightly longer and in some cases several days.

In July 2008 we started scanning documents and correspondence relating to casework applications.

All documents from before this date are retained in paper files held off site in a central location and managed by a third-party provider. This means we don’t always have instant access to the files which may result in your request taking slightly longer to process.

We understand that you as a customer will be faced with a number of options when ordering official copies electronically.

Our algorithm below is designed to help you better understand the options available to you so you can get the best out of our systems.


Click on image to enlarge

Our hints and tips, including examples of applications which unfortunately result in cancellation, will also help you when placing your orders.

Hints and tips

  1. If you have an entry in the register which relates to more than one lease (sometimes for the same date), you may find that the portal system only provides an option for one document. You will need to order the documents as separate deeds using the ‘add to non-referred documents’ screen where you can provide further information such as flat number, garage or entry number in the register.
  2. If you require more than one document you will need a separate request for each item. Please do not list documents required in the ‘Further Information’ field as the system allows for only one item to be electronically issued per request.
  3. When entering any information in the ‘Further Information’ field please remember to look at the register and use the NOTE-descriptor such as Abstract or Conveyance filed as this may be different from the type of deed in the entry.
  4. Leases registered pre-1967 are rarely available. The policy at that time did not allow for us to retain leases and most were returned to the customer.
  5. If the document you require is referred to within the body of another deed in the register the document will be available only if there is a specific NOTE stating it is filed.
  6. If the document is filed under a different title number it will be referred to the official copies team for further investigation. If the file does not hold any further information the application will be cancelled.
  7. If the document is not available on the portal system please check the register further. If extracts of the document are set out in the register, no document will be available unless there is a specific NOTE stating that a copy is filed. Please do not add the document to the non-referred section as the application will be cancelled.
  8. If you have received a letter stating that the document cannot be located or no document is held by Land Registry we will have already carried out a full investigation. Please do not reapply as the application will be cancelled without looking any further.

We are constantly striving to improve the portal system to assist you with your applications. We are currently working on improving the availability of documents and increasing the MB size of documents that we can issue electronically.

If you have any queries regarding the service please contact your customer team in the first instance. If you have any large applications or bulk applications of more than 300 documents please contact your customer team in advance. They will help manage the lodgement of the application to suit the needs of both parties.

Gavin Curry
By Gavin Curry,
Digital Communications and Editorial Officer at HM Land Registry