Document Registration


Registration of Documents

Alberta has two Land Titles Offices, one in Calgary and one in Edmonton. Land related documents accompanied by a document registration request form may be submitted to either office for registration.

The legal documents submitted for registration are examined to ensure compliance with the current land related legislation and case law, and registered in accordance with established office policies and procedures. Documents that are in acceptable form are registered utilizing the Alberta Land Titles Automation system. They are assigned a registration number and the database is updated with the pertinent information. A customer registration notice is generated to confirm the registration and forwarded to the customer along with any other services requested in conjunction with the registration. The original documents are then scanned and retained by the government.

If deficiencies are found during the examination process, the documents are rejected. A rejection notice setting out the deficiencies is generated and returned to the customer along with all documents submitted for registration.

Checklists for Most Common Errors (pdf) and Most Common Reasons for Rejection (pdf), as well as a Preparation Checklist for Most Common Documents (pdf) have been created for your convenience.

Description of Documents Registered

The Land Titles Offices register over 150 different types of documents authorized through over 100 acts. The following is a brief description of the most common documents registered.

Transfer of Land

This is a transfer of ownership in land from one party to another. Transfer of Land forms are available at the Land Titles Office Locations or it may be downloaded from the Commonly Used Forms section of our Procedures Manual.

Mortgage

The Land Titles Act defines a mortgage as "a charge on land created merely for securing a debt or loan." This document is executed between a borrower of money (mortgagor) and a lender (mortgagee), in which the borrower's land is pledged as security.

Caveat

"Caveat" is Latin for "let him beware." In land law, it is a warning that someone is claiming an interest in a parcel of land.

If you believe that you are entitled to an interest in land, you may wish to file your claim by way of a caveat. Your caveat must include a legal description of the land and state clearly the nature of the interest claimed and the grounds on which the claim is founded.

Registration of a caveat is merely notice of a claim of an interest in land; therefore it does not actually confer rights onto the caveator. The interest claimed may or may not be a valid interest in the land but if its validity is disputed and upheld by the courts any person dealing with the land subsequent to the registration of the caveat is subject to the interest claimed.

Land Titles has a statutory obligation to mail a notice of a registered caveat and the interest claimed to all registered owners on title.

Builders' Lien

A builders' lien gives contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and labourers a method to collect money owed to them for labour and materials used to improve the land.

According to the Builders' Lien Act, anyone who makes or causes to make improvements by providing work or materials for an owner, contractor or subcontractor may file a builders' lien.

A builders' lien must be registered at the Land Titles Office within 45 days after the work is completed or the materials supplied.

Utility Right of Way

The Land Titles Act provides for an interest in land known as a Utility Right of Way (URW). This interest is most commonly granted for gas and oil pipelines and for municipal utilities where there is need for a continuous right of way under many parcels of land. A URW is often referred to as an easement since it grants rights that are similar to rights granted in a common law easement.

Since there is no dominant tenement in a URW, it is registered only against the land that is subject to the right granted (i.e., the servient tenements). Once registered, the right to use the land in accordance with the terms of the grant remains with the grantee and its successors or assignees until a release is registered.

Discharge

There are various methods available to remove or withdraw an instrument from title. The most common is a discharge document that must be properly executed by the person entitled to the benefit of the instrument or caveat (i.e., mortgagee, caveator, grantee, etc.).

For the fees associated with document registration, see Tariff of Fees Regulation section (pdf).