Conveyancer licences

When you need a conveyancer licence, eligibility requirements and how to apply.

On this page

Key information
When a conveyancer licence is needed
Eligibility
How to apply
Renew a licence
Working interstate and mutual recognition
Qualifications and experience needed
Professional indemnity insurance
Register of licences
Contact us

Key information

  • You need a conveyancer licence to do conveyancing work unless you are a legal practitioner, incorporated legal practice, or solicitor corporation.
  • You must have the right qualifications and experience to be eligible for a licence.
  • You can apply for an individual licence or a corporation licence.
  • You can apply for a 1, 3 or 5 year licence.

When a conveyancer licence is needed

In NSW, you need a conveyancer licence to do certain legal work in relation to property transactions, such as:

  • the sale or lease of land
  • the sale of a business
  • the grant of a mortgage or other charge on property.

Conveyancing work can involve the preparation of documents such as leases and contracts, giving advice on conveyancing documents, exchanging sale contracts, organising surveys and building inspections, arranging registration of title documents and attending settlement.

You can apply for an individual licence or a corporation licence. See the eligibility requirements below.

This licence requirement does not apply to an incorporated legal practice or solicitor corporation, such as a law firm.

An unrestricted conveyancer licence allows you to work on residential and commercial property conveyancing, preparing and advising on mortgages, the sale of businesses and the sale of rural property.

What are restricted licences?

Restricted licences limit the work you can do as a conveyancer unless under the supervision of:

  • a licensee who holds a full licence, or
  • an Australian legal practitioner who holds an unrestricted practising certificate.

If you have a restricted licence, you’re limited to doing work relating to specific kinds of transactions, such as residential conveyancing.

Depending on the evidence of work experience supplied with your application, licensing officers will determine if you meet the criteria for a full licence or a restricted licence.

Work a conveyancer is not authorised to do

A conveyancer is not authorised to carry out work for the purpose of:

  • a non-residential mortgage exceeding $7 million
  • commencing or maintaining legal proceedings
  • establishing a corporation or varying the memorandum or articles of association of a corporation
  • creating, varying or extinguishing a trust
  • preparing a testamentary instrument
  • giving investment or financial advice
  • investing money (other than in a trust account in accordance with Part 5 of the Act).

Although conveyancers cannot give investment or financial advice, they need to be aware of tax requirements relating to conveyancing transactions. Learn more about:


Eligibility

Who can apply

To be eligible for a conveyancer licence, you must:

Where a licensee or applicant is in a partnership, each partner must also be licensed, unless the Fair Trading Commissioner has given approval for a partnership with an unlicensed person (see the Conveyancers Licensing Act 2003).

Corporation licences

For a corporation to be eligible for a licence:

  • each director of the corporation must be a fit and proper person
  • neither the corporation nor a director or executive officer of it may be a disqualified person (Note: legal practitioners are included as disqualified persons)
  • the corporation must contribute to the compensation fund (paid with the licence application fee)
  • at least one director of the corporation must hold an individual conveyancer licence.

Disqualified persons

A disqualified person, including a disqualified corporation, is not eligible to hold a licence. Disqualified persons also cannot:

  • share receipts with a licensee
  • be in partnership with a licensee
  • be employed by a licensee, with certain exceptions (see below)
  • be a director of a licensed conveyancing corporation if they are an individual.

Who is a disqualified person?

A person is a 'disqualified person' if they:

  • have been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty in the last 10 years
  • are mentally incapacitated
  • are disqualified, or have had their licence suspended, in another state or territory or under any law administered by NSW Fair Trading
  • are disqualified from being employed in a law practice under the Legal Profession Uniform Law (NSW)
  • hold a licence or certificate under the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002
  • are in partnership with a disqualified person
  • have been declared disqualified as a result of disciplinary action under the Act
  • have failed to pay a compensation fund contribution, a debt arising from a claim on the compensation fund or a monetary penalty
  • have failed to comply with a direction given by the Fair Trading Commissioner under Part 9 of the Act
  • have failed to lodge an auditor’s report relating to trust money held under the Act within the required time
  • have been removed, otherwise than by their own request, from the roll of lawyers kept by the Supreme Court or from a corresponding roll in another state or territory
  • as a corporation, are subject to a winding-up order or under external administration
  • are a legal practitioner, solicitor corporation or incorporated legal practice.

Unless exempted by the Fair Trading Commissioner, you will also be a disqualified person if you:

  • are an undischarged bankrupt
  • were bankrupt during the last 3 years
  • were a director or manager of a company under external administration during the last 3 years (except in the case of a member’s voluntary winding-up)
  • were a director or manager during the last 3 years of a company that went into external administration within the 12 months after you ceased to be a director or manager.

A person who is disqualified on these grounds may apply for leave from the Fair Trading Commissioner to be employed or paid in connection with a licensee’s conveyancing business.

The Fair Trading Commissioner may ignore a disqualification on the following grounds for a person if it is considered appropriate to make this determination:

  • if they are disqualified or have had their licence suspended, under other NSW Fair Trading licensing laws
  • if they, as a corporation, are subject to a winding-up order or under external administration
  • due to the time that has passed since an offence was committed by the person, or due to the triviality of the acts or omissions resulting in the offence.

How to apply

What you need

Before you begin your application, make sure you have:

  • a MyServiceNSW Account (you can create one when you start your application)
  • proof of identity
  • evidence of your qualifications  (PDF or JPG format)
  • details of your previous conveyancing work experience
  • details of a consenting referee regarding your work experience.
  • completed copies of the following forms (if applicable):
  • your contact details
  • if you intend to trade under a business name, a copy of your Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) business name certificate (PDF or JPG format)
  • payment for the fee. See our fees page for details.

Apply now

You can apply for a conveyancer licence online at the Service NSW website .

Your application will take about 20 minutes to complete.

Conveyancers can apply for a 1, 3, or 5 year licence. The licence takes effect on the date it is issued (or a later date if specified).

This is for new applicants only. Find out how to renew your licence below.

To apply in-person, download and complete the relevant application form and take it to your nearest Service NSW Centre with any supporting documents.

What happens next?

Review application

Your application will be reviewed and assessed to check it meets eligibility requirements. This can take up to 30 business days, however some licence types may take longer due to checks which need to be completed with external agencies.

We might contact you (by email or SMS) if we need more information.

If we need to request additional information, the processing time will increase, so it is important that you submit all required information and documents with your original application.

Outcome advised

We will send an email to advise you if your application has been successful.

If your application is successful, the email will include a copy of your licence and your details will be added to the public register.

If your application is unsuccessful, you’ll be advised of the reasons in writing and be provided with your options. See Appeals against licence decisions below.

Renew a licence

You need to renew your conveyancer licence before it expires.

We will send you a renewal notice about four weeks before the expiry date with details of how to renew.

To renew a licence, you must:

If you’ve received your renewal notice, you can renew your licence online.

Individual conveyancer licence holders can also manage and renew their licence through their MyService NSW Account. Just login to your MyServiceNSW account and go to My services to add the conveyancing individual licence service or wait until you receive your next renewal notice from Fair Trading and use the link provided to automatically connect this service to your MyService NSW account.

You can learn more about how to add a service to your MyService NSW Account on the Service NSW website.

To renew your licence you will need:

  • 2 proof of identity documents (if not previously saved in your MyService NSW Account)
  • your licence number
  • your renewal number (as shown on your renewal notice)
  • payment for the fee.

If your licence isn't renewed by the due date it will expire, and you will no longer be authorised to conduct business.

Restoring you licence after expiry

If your licence expired less than three months ago, you can restore it online or at a Service NSW Centre.

You can use the details on your renewal form to apply to restore your licence.

If your licence is renewed or restored, you’ll keep your existing licence number. In this instance, your licence is considered to have been renewed from the day the licence expired.

If your licence has been expired for more than 3 months, restoration may not be an option and you will need to reapply. You cannot trade until your new licence is issued.

A licence that has been surrendered or cancelled cannot be restored.

To check the status of your licence, you can search the public register.

How to change the details on a licence

If you hold a conveyancer licence and your details have changed (such as your name, address, appointed directors or partnership arrangements), you can update these details in person at a Service NSW centre, or by email .

For a change of address, download and complete the Change of Address Licensed Conveyancer form.

For all other changes you will need:

  • a letter that includes the details that need amending, as well as your name, licence number and contact details
  • the documentation as described in the Change of Address Licensed Conveyancer form under 'Other Changes of Details'.

How to replace a licence

If your conveyancer licence has been damaged, lost, or stolen, you can apply for a replacement licence in person at a Service NSW centre, or by email .

To apply for a replacement licence, you will need:

Working interstate and mutual recognition

If you hold a current and equivalent licence in another state, territory or New Zealand, you can apply online for recognition of your qualifications to work in NSW.

You must also complete the Mutual recognition application form and pay a fee.

If you’re unable to apply online, download and complete the Application for an individual conveyancer licence form and take it to your nearest Service NSW Centre with any supporting documents, or lodge your application by email to propertylicensing@customerservice.nsw.gov.au.


Qualification and training requirements

You need to hold certain qualifications and complete work experience to get conveyancer licence in NSW.

The qualifications needed for a licence (including approved bridging courses) are set out in the Conveyancers Licensing (Qualifications) Order 2006.

You also need to complete continuing professional development (CPD) training each year to be able to renew your licence. See below for more detail.

Fair Trading can suspend your licence if you do not comply with qualification and CPD requirements as outlined below.

Qualifications needed for a full licence

The following qualifications are needed for a full, unrestricted conveyancer licence.

Conveyancing qualifications

  • Qualifications, and any additional education requirements set out in Schedule 1 of the Conveyancers Licensing (Qualifications) Order 2006.
  • at least 2 years of practical experience in conveyancing work, at least one year of which was obtained while employed on a full-time basis under the supervision of a licensee with an unrestricted licence or Australian legal practitioner with an unrestricted practising certificate.

Legal qualifications

  • a recognised law degree or diploma,
  • practical experience, being either—
    • sufficient practical experience (including experience in conveyancing work) to receive a practising certificate as an Australian legal practitioner without supervision, or
    • at least 2 years of practical experience in conveyancing work, at least one year of which was obtained while employed on a full-time basis under the supervision of a licensee with an unrestricted licence or Australian legal practitioner with an unrestricted practising certificate.

Licensees under the 1995 Act

Licensees under the 1992 Act

Qualifications needed for a restricted licence

The following qualifications allow for the issue of a restricted conveyancer licence.

Conveyancing qualifications

  • Qualifications, and any additional education requirements set out in Schedule 1 of the Conveyancers Licensing (Qualifications) Order 2006.
  • at least 1 year of practical experience in conveyancing work that was obtained while employed on a full-time basis under the supervision of an unrestricted licensee or Australian legal practitioner with an unrestricted practising certificate.

Legal qualifications

  • a recognised law degree or diploma,
  • practical experience, being either—
    • sufficient practical experience (including experience in conveyancing work) to receive a practising certificate as an Australian legal practitioner without supervision, or
    • at least 1 year of practical experience in conveyancing work that was obtained while employed on a full-time basis under the supervision of a licensee with an unrestricted licence or Australian legal practitioner with an unrestricted practising certificate.

Continuing professional development

As a licence holder you must undertake 5 points of CPD in each 12 month period following the issue or renewal of your licence. Surplus continuing professional development points from one year may be carried forward for twelve months.

The professional development must consist of:

  • an education program
  • a seminar, workshop, lecture, conference or discussion group
  • a multimedia or website-based program, or
  • research and preparation of an article published in a legal publication
  • any combination of two or more of the above.

The professional development must be relevant to conveyancing work and conducted by someone qualified in the subject matter to be covered.

As a licensed conveyancer you are entitled to one point for each of the following:

  • 1 hour of participation (either online or face to face) in a seminar, workshop, lecture, conference, webinar or discussion group
  • 1 hour spent in the preparation of written or oral material forming part of the formal instruction for a course or program relating to conveyancing work
  • for every 1000 words of an article published in a legal publication or other such publication (up to a maximum of 3 points)
  • for every two hours spent on a program of private study of audio or video material that has been developed as part of a conveyancing or legal continuing professional development program (up to a maximum of 3 points).

In exceptional circumstances you may be exempted from completing part or all of the requirement for continuing professional development. Circumstances for granting an exemption are limited and may relate to serious illness or misadventure.

You must provide evidence that you have completed 5 points of professional development in each 12 month period immediately prior to applying for renewal or restoration of your licence.

Failure to fulfil the continuing professional development requirement may result in the Commissioner refusing an application for renewal or restoration of a licence.


Professional indemnity insurance

Licensed conveyancers must be covered by a policy of professional indemnity insurance when carrying out conveyancing work. This means that a conveyancer does not have to obtain or hold a policy of professional indemnity insurance when they are not working as a conveyancer (for example, taking a break to do other work or having a long holiday).

When doing conveyancing work, licensed conveyancers must:

  • be insured under an approved policy of professional indemnity insurance – they can take out their own policy or they can be covered by their employer’s policy, or
  • carry out conveyancing work only in the licensee’s capacity as an employee of a complying law practice.

The professional indemnity insurance policy must be one that has been approved by the Commissioner for Fair Trading and can be found in the Conveyancers Licensing (Approved Professional Indemnity Insurance Policy) Order 2017.

The approved policy for the period 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023 is:

  • Master policy of professional indemnity insurance (Policy Number LPS022960493) of AAI Limited (trading as Vero Insurance).

This is the only current professional indemnity insurance policy for licensed conveyancers approved by the Fair Trading Commissioner.

When planning an extended break, licensed conveyancers should check with the industry association about the status of their policy cover. They should make sure they are covered until they stop working. After an extended break, a licensee should ensure that their insurance policy has been reinstated before starting work again.

Download a copy of the Commissioner's guidelines for approval of licensed conveyancer's professional indemnity insurance policies.

Visit the Australian Institute of Conveyancers website for more information on insurance cover.

Register of licences

Fair Trading keeps a register of all licences issued under the Act. As well as details of each licence holder, the register includes information about disciplinary findings against licensees, payments from the compensation fund and other matters.

For more information, please visit the NSW Government Public Register or call 13 32 20.


Contact us

Need help applying?

If you need help with your application or have a question, please call 13 32 20.

Appeals against licence decisions

If you’re not happy with Fair Trading’s decision concerning the issue, renewal or restoration of a licence, or a discretionary condition placed on a licence, you can go to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Before applying to the Tribunal, you must write to the Fair Trading Commissioner to request an internal review of the decision. Requests for an internal review must be made within 28 days of being advised of the decision.

For more information about the internal review process see Reviews of Fair Trading decisions.

 
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