Land Registration Act: Registration Process

11. When do I have to register an interest in a parcel of land?

Once the new registration system is in effect in your county, the four triggers for registration are:

  1. a transfer of the land for value,
  2. a mortgage of the land,
  3. a non-family subdivision of the land into three or more lots,
  4. certificates of title under the Quieting Titles Act and Land Titles Clarification Act; see Section 46 of the LRA.
12. When can I voluntarily register an interest in a parcel of land?

Once the new registration system is in effect in your county an interest may be registered voluntarily.

13. What does not trigger registration?

An interest in a parcel of land does not have to be registered in the new system if:

  1. there is a transfer of title between married persons,
  2. parcels are acquired by Her Majesty for purposes of road widening, etc.
  3. a deed conveys an interest of a predecessor in title to the present owner being used to feed the estoppel or clarify title,
  4. there is a transfer of title between persons who are parties to a registered domestic agreement,
  5. there is a transfer of title between persons who were formerly married to one another, and the transfer is for the purpose of division of matrimonial assets, or
  6. there is a transfer of title from the Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board to a borrower under the Agriculture and Rural Credit Act.
15. What if I want to mortgage my property?

A new mortgage will trigger the requirement for the property to become registered in the new system.

16. What if I have a mortgage with Farm Credit Canada?

Once a property has gone through the registration process the owner of the land is the registered owner and the mortgage holder, such as Farm Credit Canada, is described as a recorded interest. Nothing in the new system changes the rights of the mortgage holder to enforce the terms of the mortgage.

17. What happens when a mortgage is paid off?

The mortgage holder, as a recorded interest, is taken off the system.

18. What is the process of registering my parcel of land?

Registration of land is called ”migration”; it is a one-time procedure whereby the parcel of land is moved from the old system into the new system. The first step is to have the parcel description certified through the Parcel Description Certification Application; the second step is to search the historic title of the parcel (as was always done under the old system); in the third step the acting lawyer prepares an Opinion of Title which would certify who owns the property, as well as listing all others who have an interest in the parcel; in the final step the lawyer carries out a sub-search of the parcel and, if satisfied, submits a final Application for Registration (AFR). If the AFR is approved the parcel of land is transferred to the new system.

19. Can I do the registration by myself?

No, an authorized lawyer carries out the process of migration. An “authorized lawyer” is one who has gone through the LRA Education Program. The lawyer who migrates the parcel of land from the old Registry of Deeds system to the new land registration system will certify an opinion of title to the government of Nova Scotia.

20.What will my lawyer require from me in order to carry out the migration of my property from the old system to the new system?

The landowner will work with their lawyer or surveyor to compare the parcel’s description with the information contained in the Nova Scotia government’s Property Online system ( in order to locate the property on the map. This will help to identify the PID (property description number). Other information useful for your lawyer would include: Notice of Assessment number, deed, mortgages, survey plan, names of those whose properties touch yours, details regarding anyone walking or driving over part of your land, whether you walk or drive over someone else’s land, old paths or roads on your land, buildings, fences, etc. that you own but are on someone else’s land, any oral or written agreements concerning the use of your land.

21. Is there a simple way to consolidate my lots?

Under section 268a of the Municipal Government Act a process for simple consolidation is described. If two or more lots have been in common ownership and have been used together since April 15, 1987, then registering a Statutory Declaration at the Registry of Deeds providing evidence to that common ownership, will be a deemed consolidation of those lots. In those situations subdivision approval is not required.

22. Is there a migration part of a sale of property?

No, in the counties where the new system is in place, the migration has to happen first.

23. How long will the migration process take?

Different factors, such as clarity of property description and complexity of back title, will dictate the time frame of the process; therefore it is advisable to allow three weeks for a migration. An individual’s lawyer can better say how long the process will take.