Frequently asked questions

How long has ARTL been live?

ARTL went live in 2007, when we launched the digital standard securities and discharges part. Digital dispositions and other deeds followed in February 2008.

Who can use ARTL?

Scottish solicitors, licensed conveyancers, mortgage lenders and local authorities. There is no charge for a licence.

Can the public access the system?

No. ARTL is not available to people who conduct their own conveyancing. We developed the system for organisations handling high volumes of transactions.

What transactions can I register with ARTL?

You can register the majority of transfer, charge and discharge transactions over registered titles (dealings with whole) with ARTL. These include:

  • disposition
  • assignation of a lease
  • standard security, including discharge and assignation
  • charging order and discharge of a charging order
  • repayment charge

And, under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006:

  • notice of payment of grant
  • notice of cessor of conditions of improvement grant
  • notice of cessor of conditions of repair grant

How secure is ARTL?

Only accredited users can use ARTL. Public key infrastructure (PKI) technology and verification checks ensure users are who they claim to be. ARTL records audit trails and logs so all transactions are traceable.

Does ARTL register first registrations (Disposition over an unregistered plot) or transfers of part (Disposition over part a registered plot)?

No. These applications don't lend themselves to automation. However, we plan to offer electronic lodgement, which may offer an electronic option for first registrations and transfers of part.

Will I save money with ARTL?

Yes. When you move from paper registrations to ARTL, your fees will reduce. You'll save up to £500, depending on the value of the property passing, on each application made using ARTL. For standard securities and discharges, a flat rate fee of £60 applies for paper applications. With ARTL, it's £50.

What happens with stamp duty land tax?

ARTL makes it easy and quick to make stamp duty land tax (SDLT) payments. The system produces an electronic equivalent of your land transaction as part of the process. We collect SDLT payments through variable direct debit at the point of registration. You won't need to contact HMRC.

What happens if I enter the wrong information into ARTL?

At the start of an application, ARTL will ask you for summary information about the title. It then pre-populates on-screen forms with information drawn from the title sheet, so errors will show up straight away.

ARTL is designed to ensure questions are answered correctly, as errors in paper applications are a major cause of rejected applications. ARTL also requires you to answer all relevant questions before submission for registration.

Where do digital deeds end up?

ARTL archives digital deeds. You can get copies on request.

Do land and charge certificates still exist?

No. Instead, we notify the applicant and the granter of the deed by email when the deed is registered, rejected or withdrawn. The email includes a PDF of the updated/new title sheet and cadastral map.

Does the keeper still guarantee title?

Yes. ARTL applications are treated in the same way as any other application.

How are deeds executed under ARTL?

With ARTL, deeds are digital. Their signatures are exhibited by solicitors on behalf of their clients. Lenders execute discharges using their own digital signatures. Digital certificates are held on smartcards provided to solicitors by the keeper. Smartcards are PIN-protected.

How do I obtain ARTL mandates?

You can download ARTL mandates from the Law Society website. Similarly, if you have any queries regarding the content or completion of the mandate form, contact the Law Society directly.

Where do I send ARTL mandate forms?

Within 14 days of submitting of your ARTL application, send your completed mandate forms to:

Registers of Scotland
Meadowbank House 
153 London Road 
Edinburgh 
EH8 7AU 

DX 555338 Edinburgh 15 
LP 47 Edinburgh 5

We'll scan and archive your forms, then return the originals to you.

How do building societies enforce standard securities?

It's possible to create paper copies of ARTL standard securities. These are deemed to be sufficient evidence of the digital original.

Can I prevent unnecessary security alert messages appearing when I connect to ARTL and eforms?

Do I need any special software to access ARTL?

We are currently upgrading our IT requirements for ARTL. Please contact us at eservices@ros.gov.uk or call 0800 028 9296 for further information.

Will ARTL work with our existing case management systems?

ARTL accepts data in XML format. Any software using this standard can feed data into ARTL.

Can I read more about ARTL?

Yes. We published Ian Burdon's 1997 review of automated registrations, which he conducted under a UK government fellowship, as a book: Automated Registration of Title to Land.

Want to know more?

Call our online services team, or email eservices@ros.gov.uk.

Download a print friendly copy of the ARTL FAQs.

ARTL FAQs