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How to lodge certified copies with first registrations

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Form FR1 superimposed on a map of England and Wales alongside the outline of a home.

It's great to see that some of our business customers have started to lodge first registrations with certified copy deeds and documents, instead of originals.

We introduced this option on 28 November 2016, when the Registrar made a direction. It brings the practice for first registrations into line with the practice for land that is already registered. This is great for you as you can apply the same practice no matter which type of application you are lodging with us.

It is early days and we are starting to see some common teething troubles, so I thought I would try to clarify the new practice and its requirements, to make sure your first registrations are processed smoothly.

Top tips

As with all first registrations, you still need to include the right supporting information with your application, so you must lodge:

  • completed FR1 application form
  • form DL
  • the application fee (scale 1)

When you lodge your application with certified copy deeds, you also need to make sure you send us:

  • certified copies of all deeds and documents in your possession – these copies must be dated within 3 months of the date of your application and must be certified by an individual conveyancer
  • a completed certificate which refers to the application, such as by a reference to the property description or the application reference (see below for wording). This should be signed by an individual conveyancer and not in the name of an organisation. We have been receiving certificates that are signed with the name of an organisation, and we have had to send these back

Points to remember

  • The certificate is mandatory for applications containing only certified copies. Not including a certificate will result in a requisition and a delay to your application.
  • Copies must be certified by the lodging conveyancer.
  • Ensure the certificate refers to the application, either by property description or the application reference for example.
  • This change only applies to our business customers. Citizen applications still need to include the original documents.
  • First registrations can still only be lodged through the post.
  • HM Land Registry reserves the right to request original deeds on any application lodged. We may do so from time to time for quality assurance purposes and to meet our responsibilities to maintain the integrity of the register.
  • If the application is cancelled for non-lodgement of originals when requested, the renewed application cannot be made under the direction and must contain the original deeds.
  • Conveyancers can still lodge applications with original deeds and documents if they choose to do so.
  • We have not changed our policy for first registrations when deeds and documents have been lost or destroyed.

How the certificate should look

The certificate needs to look like this:

I certify on behalf of my organisation that this application is accompanied by certified copies of all deeds and documents relating to the title that are in the control of the applicant (as listed in the Form DL). My organisation will comply with any HM Land Registry request to lodge the originals of such deeds and documents until such time as HM Land Registry notifies us that the application is completed.

Signed …………………………… (signature of individual Conveyancer)

Print name ……………………………………

Of ………………………………………………… (name of organisation)

Roll, licence, authorisation or membership number issued by the individual conveyancer’s regulator ………………………….

Name of Regulator ……………………………………

Date: ………………………………

More information

I hope that helps to explain what we need, and helps to make sure everyone has a great experience when lodging certified copies of deeds and documents.

If you are a conveyancer, you can find all the information you need in the GOV.UK announcement we made.

You can see full details of first registration practice in Practice guide 1: first registrations and Practice guide 2: first registrations of title if deeds are lost or destroyed.

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  1. Comment by Terry Pettitt posted on

    I am doing a personal application using form FR1, I have the original documents which i understand i have to submit but do I need to send certified copies as well? If so who can certify them?

  2. Comment by adamh posted on

    Gamesmanship - you have commented along similar lines on a couple of articles. See our reply on Meet our local Land Registrars part 4

  3. Comment by Claire collins posted on

    I have sent a ap1 application form and certified amended deed of Variation to be registered. This has to be done before we complete on our mortgage this was due to happen tomorrow. How long does it take to register the deed.

  4. Comment by Ashutosh Kumar posted on

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I bought a flat in London on 22.11.2017. I have got official copy of the register of title . But the solicitors have lost my original Lease Deed based on which the registry of this flat was done. They have sent me a certified/true copy of the original Lease document.

    If I wanted a certified copy from HM Land Registry, would you be able to provide me that ?


    Ashutosh Kumar

  5. Comment by Ken Richardson posted on

    I hold Power of Attorney for my (97 year old) aunt who has been informed by her solicitors that her property is not registered. The house was completed ca. 1982. I would now like to register this property. Any guidance regarding paperwork etc. would be very much appreciated.
    ken Richardson

    • Replies to Ken Richardson>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Ken - our PG 1 explains how an application for first registration can be submitted and links you to the forms FR and DL you will need to complete and submit. Whilst you do not have to use a solicitor we always recommend that you do as they are familiar with the forms and processes involved.

  6. Comment by David posted on

    I bought a parcel of land from the MoD in Nov 1988, part of which contained some houses. I sold these off, and they were registered by the individual purchasers. Another part of the land had 5 new build houses constructed upon it and again, these houses were registered by the individual purchasers. One final piece of the land I retained ownership of, but didnt register it, as I understood that prior to 1990 a piece of land did NOT have to be registered. I am trying to now register this parcel, I have shown copies of the transfer conveyance and purchase price of the entire parcel, the conveyances from me to the owners of the houses and the new build section, but each time my application to register is rejected.....what am I doing wrong ?

    • Replies to David>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      David - the reason(s) for rejection should have been explained in the letter received each time it was rejected. You should look to remedy the stated reason(s) when resubmitting

  7. Comment by David posted on

    How can I contact you to discuss this ? I have addressed as far as I can see with evidence from the MoD under a FOI request but still they cannot show me any old deeds.......and the deeds are what the LR are saying they want...and yet they tell me it is unregistered, in which case there can be no deeds...its very frustrating....

  8. Comment by Simon Walford posted on

    Completing FR1, and confused as to fee needed in panel 5. Is this price paid (in the 1970's) or estimated value of the land and house now?

    Also is it Scale 1 or Scale 2?

    Thank you,


  9. Comment by Pascale posted on

    When submitting ST1 forms for application to change a title (add on a section of land which should have been included but was not, but has been in constant unrestricted use by the various owners for over 30 years), do I need to submit certified copies of the ST1 forms (some have been sent to me electronically for ease as old owners are now located in Thailand).

  10. Comment by Patricia Cleveland-Peck posted on

    My son wants to claim 2 small pieces of of unregistered land adjacent to his smallholding.He has had sole use of them since 2003 and from 1971 until I gave this land to our son I owned it and had sole use of it. We always assumed they were within our boundary until we saw a Mapsearch plan showing they were unregistered land. I have forms FRI and DR but am at a loss as to what value these tiny strips have ( not much commercial value as they are just scrub woodland) and what fee I should pay. As this is an adverse possession claim I read it is a reduced fee. Shall I just send a cheque for the minimum? Also can I enclose a covering letter.

    • Replies to Patricia Cleveland-Peck>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Patricia - the fee is payable under Scale 1 on the value of the land so you will need to state that value and if unsure I would suggest speaking to a local land agent. The valuation will always be an estimate and as you appreciate the Scale fees do not rise until £80K is reached.
      You should also include an inspection fee of £90 (one cheque is fine for both amounts) as if the evidence submitted is deemed sufficient then a site visit will be required.

  11. Comment by Jeffrey Bowles posted on

    I am completing an application for the first registration of my house. The curtilage adjoins to the north and west a field registered, no NK154518, in my name. The western boundary between field and house is unfenced and the house curtilage is edged red on the conveyance plan.
    The plan boundaries of field and house do not match precisely at the north west corner of the house curtilage but the occupation is contiguous.
    Which box at q3 on the FR1 do I tick please?

    • Replies to Jeffrey Bowles>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Jeffrey - which ever applies as it refers to how you are looking to define the extent to be registered. So if the postal address does not define it in line with the current OS detail and the Conveyance plan lacks the accuracy you want, then you would supply your own plan defining the extent you are trying to register

      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Jeffrey Bowles posted on

        Helpful, thank you Adam

  12. Comment by David Jeffrey Griffiths posted on

    Hello Adam
    I am personally applying for a first registration on my house which 42 years old. I have filled out form F1 and form DL and included the conveyance documents of the original owners and our own conveyance documents. In form FR1 it asks for evidence of identity should we include photo copies of our passports?

    David Griffiths

    • Replies to David Jeffrey Griffiths>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      David - if you are making a voluntary application and you have the original deeds/documents then you do not have to provide evidence of identity on a first registration

      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by David Griffiths posted on

        Thanks Adam


  13. Comment by Siobhan posted on

    An uncle in Australia owns a house in England and wants to transfer the ownership to my mother. The house is not registered (is was purchased in 1984 before compulsory registration) so we need to do a FR1 form and then an AP1. I tried to instruct conveyancers in Manchester to do this but they weren't interested because the owner is Australian. The house deeds are held by another solicitor. What does my Oz uncle need to do to get the solicitors to release the deeds? He has tried emailing. Also the ID requests for these transactions are for UK citizens and they don't seem happy with using the Australian equivalent. How do we complete the FR1 with Australian IDs and subsequently do the transfer AP1 for someone who lives in Australia?

  14. Comment by Al Gibson posted on


    I've bought a property in Wales which has a piece of land adjacent to and abutting against it. It was a cottage that subsequently fell in to disrepair and collapsed, I do not know who the owners were nor do I know who the owners currently are. I have no deeds at all. It is has been occupied, maintained and used by successive owners of my house (including myself) since the turn of the century, without a break for the storage of central heating oil and a boiler house. There is a Caution in Favour title held against first registration by the then owner of my property, this has been in place since 2001 and therefore I believe the rules surrounding Adverse Possession are applicable? However enquiries with yourselves reveal it is an unregistered piece of land, although it does have a Caution title number.

    Can I hold adverse possession on an unregistered piece of land? Do I first have to apply for the land to become registered before then going through the Adverse Possession matters? Can both the First Registration and Adverse Possession be dealt with on the same submission?

    As I am a private individual who wishes to voluntarily register it, I understand that form FR1 should be used along with form DL and evidence of my identity (ID1?) Do I, or should I include a statement of truth (ST1)? Do you need any other forms?

    As to Fees, I'm satisfied that the value is less than £80,000 and therefore as it's a voluntary application I get a 25% reduction down to £30. I'm confused as to the current inspection fee - please can you clarify what this is?

    Lots of questions - sorry! Can anyone clarify any or all of the above points?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Replies to Al Gibson>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Al - lots of Qs indeed and I assume you’ve read our PG 5 but not found all the answers.
      Before I try to answer them I should stress that the law is a very complex one re claiming land owned by someone else. And it’s the legal requirements you need to satisfy before trying to deal with the registration ones. With that in mind please do seek legal advice
      Can I hold adverse possession on an unregistered piece of land? - yes
      Do I first have to apply for the land to become registered before then going through the Adverse Possession matters? - no, you have to satisfy the legal requirements and then apply to register at the right time
      Can both the First Registration and Adverse Possession be dealt with on the same submission? - yes, it’s one application to register your claim of unregistered land for the first time
      You would not be voluntarily registering for the first time.
      The fee would be £40 if you applied. The inspection fee is £90.

  15. Comment by Al Gibson posted on


    Exemplary service, thanks for the speedy reply and answers. I’ll go into PG5 and have another read, it is complicated and I didn’t rather get myself tied in knots but I’ll have a look with fresh eyes.

    Thanks for clearing up the fees issue.

    One thing, why isn’t this considered to be a Voluntary Registration?

    • Replies to Al Gibson>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Al - a voluntary first registration is where you have the title deeds/ownership and decide to register even though the compulsory registration trigger has not been activated.
      In an adverse possession case you are not the legal owner and you don’t have the deeds so you are not voluntarily registering your title but taking it from it’s legal owner. A very different set of circumstances

  16. Comment by Al Gibson posted on

    Brilliant, thanks Adam.

  17. Comment by Manu posted on

    Very helpful and informative response. Many a Solicitors do not spare time to explain the issues to the client. The clients are rather reluctant to approach the Land Registry directly.
    It would be helpful if a client counter is available at the Registry where a one to one explanation could be satisfactorily held.

    • Replies to Manu>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Manu - sadly the impact of Covid makes a ‘client counter’ impractical at present and it seems likely that will remain so for some time.
      And as fewer and fewer properties are unregistered and with only 14 offices the odds of many needing a face to face explanation are very limited. Far better to explain such things online where such information is readily available to majority is the way to go

  18. Comment by Manu posted on

    Hi, AdamH, Thanks for the explanation, your point taken and appreciated.
    Keep it up.