Digital register serviceChristmas has come and gone and we’re heading rapidly towards our target date of April to deliver a public beta for the Digital Register.

Our new service aims to help people find the land and property information that’s most important to them, instead of presenting the full register. The service will allow users to easily search and select the relevant property, log-in as a user, and then pay to view and print a summary of the register. This will include the title number, tenure, property description, proprietors name and address, price paid and lenders details.

When you say it out loud it sounds simple. But this doesn’t take into account the substantial amount of work needed to create a new service separate from our existing IT services. It’s like an iceberg as the amount you see above water is only a fraction of the size of the actual iceberg. Under this seemingly simple service we’ve had three teams working on producing it:

  1. WebOps – delivering all the kit and infrastructure the new service will sit on;
  2. Migration – migrating 24 million titles from the existing database, verifying the migrated data against the two existing databases which hold the current register data and storing this in a new database (which we’ve named the System of Record);
  3. Digital Register view – building a service to allow users to view parts of the register (including logging in and paying) – so this is what our customers will see

At the moment, we have a basic Digital Register service running with a small number of users. Our aim is to release it to a larger number of users by the start of April. However before we can do this we will go through an assessment by Government Digital Service. This is to make sure digital teams build high quality government services. If it passes, our service will appear on GOV.UK.

Our future plan for the service is to allow users to view the whole register and title plan, and to close our existing Find a Property service.

Paul Chambers
By Paul Chambers,
Product Manager at HM Land Registry