On 16 December 2021, regulations were laid in parliament which, if approved, will represent another step in Registers of Scotland and the conveyancing profession moving towards fully digital ways of working.
The Registers of Scotland (Digital Registration etc) Regulations 2022 were laid in parliament on 16th December 2021. Subject to parliamentary approval these will come into force at various dates next year. The regulations would mean:
- The use of the digital submission service for Land Register and Sasine register applications will become the default method of submitting applications, subject to limited exceptions (for example, applications by private citizens) - these regulations will come into force in event that the current emergency digital submission legislation is re-enacted on a permanent basis
- The Register of Deeds in the Books of Council and Session will be opened up to true electronic documents for example electronic documents authenticated by a qualified electronic signature - these regulations will come into force on 1st October 2022.
- A number of technical amendments are made to the Electronic Documents (Scotland) Regulations 2014 - these regulations will come into force on 1st April 2022.
These regulations give effect to the proposals set out in Digital Submissions 2020 consultation. This outlined plans to make digital submissions permanent, following it's introduction as an emergency response to the Covid pandemic.
Reaction to the consultation was very positive, with over 93% of 223 respondents indicating their support for each of the sixteen proposals include in the consultation paper.
Impact assessments for the regulations can be found below.