Last updated:

September 15, 2016

What do I need to know?

Years 1862-1996

The volume and folio number of the Land Title of the property you are interested in.  Digital copies of most Land Titles are not available on our website. They can be downloaded for free from the Land Titles index in our North Melbourne Reading Room. You can find your volume and folio number via the land data website

Years Pre 1862 

Properties purchased before 1862 didn't have a Land Title. They were given an  application number instead. You will need to know the approximate year the application was made to obtain the Land Title (starting from 1862) and the surname of the property owner. Search below to find the application number.

How do I search?

Step 1: Finding the application number (Pre 1862)

This is a two step search.

Order one of the index books listed below - they list applications for Land Title by year of application not year of property purchase. Find the last name of the land owner in the index book noting down the application number. Return to this page to search for the administrative paperwork and title using the application number.

Year 1862-1885 Index Book     |       Year 1885-1891 Index book        |  Year 1891-1904 Index book


Step 2: Browse listings for application number

The applications for certificates of titles were catalogued in semi-random number ranges. The quickest way to find your number is to browse the units online listing link below) then observe the number range in the unit description field until you find the right unit. Order the whole unit and then manually select your application number record. 

Listings for application numbers


About these records

Land Titles describe pieces of land and are the legal record of ownership.  As well as supporting the regulation of land they are important when tracing changes to the shape of properties, tracking owners and looking at how land was used.


Next Steps

Order the index books or the applications for title and view them in the North Melbourne Reading Room.

What are in these records?

A Land Title will generally include:

  • a sketch of the outline of the land,
  • a list of the owners of that land,
  • any caveats or conditions that were placed on land use at the time the title was registered,
  • a reference to the volume and folio of any previous titles to that land that have been replaced,
  • a reference (in earlier titles) to the application that created that title (see below).


The Torrens title system replaced common-law registration. From 1862 landowners needed to apply to convert their common law titles to the Torrens system. The common-law (or ‘old law’) titles were kept by the Government and we now hold these records.

We also hold Parish Plans, which use Crown Descriptions to describe land parcels, and are for researching land transactions involving State-owned land.