Modernizing the land titles system to meet emerging needs
Service Alberta is uniquely positioned to be the Government of Alberta’s solution provider and innovation centre. Whether Albertans are getting married or purchasing a home, they interact with the ministry during significant events in their lives. Expectations for how programs and services are provided are evolving and Service Alberta will continue to meet the needs of Albertans.
Service Alberta is implementing a new program which will improve the land titles process while maintaining the security, reliability, and integrity of the existing system. What you need to submit to the registry is not changing but how you submit is about to change. Qualified users, regardless of physical proximity to a land titles office will now be equally well served.
The modernization of the century-old paper land title process is designed to save land survey and legal professionals’ time and money. This new service will allow lawyers and land surveyors to submit documents electronically to the registry.
Benefits of land titles modernization
Provincial registries will continue to use the same system for title searches but a new system will be put in place for the electronic submission of documents which will be accessible to land surveyors and legal professionals. The new system is called Alberta Land Titles Online (ALTO). ALTO will use digital signatures. Law office management software products will also be able to integrate with ALTO. The software used to run the land titles registry will be replaced and the tools used by examiners will be modernized.
When do I use the new system?
You can begin applying for ALTO enrolment in the fall.
Service Alberta will be piloting the new system this summer with select lawyers and land surveyors. This pilot will allow for the verification of the electronic submission of documents and to ensure seamless integration of digital certificates. Land surveyors and lawyers will need a new digital certificate in order to use ALTO.
How do I access training?
Training will be provided through a welcome package when you enroll this fall. Lawyers will have access to training materials developed through the Legal Education Society of Alberta (LESA) which will be accessible through their website.
What is a digital signature?
What are the legislative changes?
The Land Titles Act was amended in 2015 to include a new Part: “Electronic Submission, Filing and Registration” at s.56.1. This Part enables the Registrar to accept submissions to Land Titles under a digital signature, allowing a fully electronic end to end submission and registration process. The Act authorizes the delegation of a digital certificate authority, currently being the LSA and ALSA. Furthermore, the Act forms the legal basis for electronic documents to become the original document, with paper versions as true copies.
Regulations are being developed which will address paper document retention standards as well as setting out client identity verification protocols. The land titles system is not changing liabilities for parties involved in its use.
Existing land titles office procedures will be retained. This process may be utilized during a transition period. Initially, user uptake of ALTO will be optional but will become mandatory after a reasonable period to allow users to adapt to these changes.
Who are your partners and service providers?
Service Alberta is working in close collaboration with the Law Society of Alberta, the Legal Education Society of Alberta and the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association. We are working with Notarius who provides the Certificate Authority that issues trusted digital signatures and ensures the long-term reliability of documents.
Where do I find out more?
Service Alberta will keep you up-to-date on the ALTO project throughout project development.
Visit the links below for more information about digital signatures for lawyers and land surveyors.