Archive record

This guidance outlines our archive record, which contains copies of all documents submitted to us.

The archive record is a statutory part of the land register. We’re bound to archive all documents in certain circumstances, along with others as we consider appropriate.

You can request extracts and plain copies of documents in our archive record.

Find out more about requesting copies of documents.

Content of the archive record

Under section 2(c) of the Land Registration etc. (Scotland) Act 2012 ("the Act") the archive record became a statutory part of the register for the first time, and the Keeper is bound to archive certain documents in certain circumstances.

Section 14(1) of the Act sets out what the archive record is to consist of:

  1. copies of all documents submitted to the Keeper,
  2. copies of all documents which the Keeper is required to include under land register rules, and
  3. copies of such other documents as the Keeper considers appropriate.

The Act places a duty on the Keeper to copy documents into the archive record in the following circumstances:

  • Upon the completion of registration of a plot or a deed, the Keeper is under a duty to copy into the archive record any document submitted to her that is relevant to the accuracy of the register by virtue of sections 30(2) (e) and 31(2)(d), respectively.
  • Upon the removal from the application record of an advance notice that has elapsed or upon the discharge of an advance notice, the Keeper is under a duty to enter the notice in the archive record by virtue of sections 62(1)(b) and 63(4) (a)(ii), respectively.
  • Where the Keeper rectifies an inaccuracy, she must include in the archive record a copy of any document which discloses, or contributes to disclosing, the inaccuracy by virtue of section 80(4)(a).

Section 14(3) does, however, contain a qualification to the above; the archive record need not include a copy of any enactment, or any document comprised in any other register under the management and control of the Keeper or of the Keeper of the Records of Scotland.  This would include, for example, any documents already recorded in the Register of Sasines or registered in the Books of Council and Session, and any document held by National Records of Scotland, such as, a death certificate. This is because such material is already publicly archived by virtue of being included in those other public registers.

Extracts and copies

As a formal part of the register it is possible to request an extract of any document in the statutory archive record which will carry with it the evidential status required for court purposes.

Plain copies are also provided for, being essentially a print of the document in question. They do not have the evidential status required for court.

Extracts and plain copies are considered further under separate guidance.

Rejected applications

The Keeper has the power to reject applications for registration that do not meet the general application conditions or the particular conditions of registration in terms of section 21(3). This may occur prior to the application being entered in the application record, where it is immediately apparent, or on examination at a later stage in the registration process.

Where an application is rejected at a point after entry in the application record the Keeper will archive the documents submitted, subject of course to section 14(3). This ensures a record is kept of applications rejected for complex reasons. 

The Act also makes the application record a formal part of the register by virtue of section 2(d).  If applications are rejected prior to being entered in the application record the Keeper will not add those applications to the archive record.  This should ensure that the archive record does not contain applications that have failed to make it onto the register.

Access to the archive record

Access to the Keeper's registers is provided for in article 4 of the Information and Access Order, and this includes the archive record by virtue of section 2(c). A request for an inspection of the archive record must be made either in person, at one of the Registers of Scotland Customer Service Centres, or in writing by letter or email.

An extract or plain copy of a document in the archive record can also be requested via the Registers of Scotland website.

Online access to the archive record is not being considered at this time. As demonstrated in open access pilots in other jurisdictions, there are legitimate concerns around allowing open access to the personal information contained in the archive record, and the potential risk that such information could be used for fraudulent and other criminal purposes.

Transitional provisions

Schedule 4 of the Act contains transitional provisions that governed the move from the 1979 Act scheme of land registration to the 2012 Act scheme. Extracts of documents and information relating to the terms of existing title sheets, and documents and information relating to past states of title sheets will be available, and will have the evidential status required for court purposes.

Documents held by the Keeper before the designated day which migrated to the archive record will be treated in the same way as documents archived after the designated day.