Mutual recognition of interstate and New Zealand conveyancer's licences

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Before starting your application

Definitions

Conveyancing

The process of transferring the legal title of property from a seller to a buyer is conveyancing. Conveyancing can also include the process of creating other legal interests in land, such as a mortgage, a lease, or an assignment of lease.

On 1 July 2012 the definition of 'conveyancing work' in section 4 of the Conveyancers Act 2006 was amended in order to allow licensed conveyancers to engage in the legal work connected with the sale of business. This includes legal work connected with the sale or purchase of goodwill and stock-in-trade and the transfer of any relevant business licence or permit.

Conveyancer

A conveyancer is a person or company, other than an Australian legal practitioner, who carries on a conveyancing business for a fee or reward. This applies even if conveyancing is not the main purpose of the business.

Eligibility

To apply for mutual recognition to work as a conveyancer in Victoria, you must hold a current equivalent interstate or New Zealand conveyancer’s licence

Mutual recognition is only available for individuals, not companies.

If you intend to operate through a company, that company must also be licensed in Victoria. View our Apply for a conveyancer’s licence - company page.

You must also be covered by the required Victorian professional indemnity insurance. For more information, view our Professional indemnity insurance page.

Ineligibility

You are automatically ineligible to be licensed if you are:

  • under 18 years of age
  • currently insolvent under administration (bankrupt, debt agreements under Part IX or Part X of the Bankruptcy Act 1966)
  • a disqualified person within the meaning of the Legal Profession Act 2004
  • currently disqualified from holding a conveyancer's licence (or equivalent) anywhere in Australia or elsewhere, or the subject of an order by any regulatory body disqualifying you from acting as a conveyancer or equivalent
  • a represented person under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986 (where a guardian or administrator has been appointed).

You may also be ineligible if:

  • within the last 10 years, you have been convicted or found guilty (whether or not a conviction was recorded) of a disqualifying offence involving fraud, dishonesty, drug trafficking or violence punishable by three months or more in prison (whether or not a prison sentence was imposed)
  • you have ever had a claim admitted against you from the Victorian Property Fund or Estate Agent’s Guarantee Fund.

Permission

For disqualifying criminal offences and claims against the Victorian Property Fund or Estate Agents' Guarantee Fund, you may still be granted a licence if you apply. Based on the result of background checks, you may be asked if you wish to apply for permission to be licensed. If you are able to apply for permission, the Business Licensing Authority (BLA) will write to you. For more information, view our Disqualification and permissions page.

Fees

The application fee for 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 is $1,676.20.

The application fee must be paid at the time of application. The fee is non-refundable.

Providing incorrect information

It is a serious offence to knowingly or recklessly make a false or misleading statement in relation to a licence application. Significant fines apply.

Unlicensed trading

Unlicensed conveyancers are liable for significant fines and/or two years’ in prison.

How to apply

You cannot operate in Victoria using your interstate or New Zealand licence without first successfully applying for mutual recognition.

Attach a certified copy of your current interstate or New Zealand licence when you complete and lodge the Conveyancers – individual licence application (online).

Note: the licence renewal/update forms require the latest version of Adobe Reader to be installed on your PC. To download for free, visit the Adobe Reader download page on the Adobe website.

The forms are compatible with the following web browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 8 or later.
  • Firefox 19 or later

Additional documents required with the application

  • Copies of one of the following identification documents (does not need to be certified):
    • Birth certificate
    • Drivers licence
    • Current passport, or passport that expired in the past two years.
  • A copy of your current conveyancer’s licence certificate issued by the relevant interstate or New Zealand licensing body.
  • A copy of your professional indemnity insurance certificate issued by the current approved broker (not required if you will be employed by another Victorian licensed conveyancer).

After you lodge your application

The BLA will contact the interstate or New Zealand licensing body you are registered with to verify the information provided in your application.

When you lodge a valid mutual recognition application, you are deemed to be registered as a conveyancer in Victoria. You can work as a conveyancer until the BLA makes its decision. While you are deemed to be registered, you are bound by the laws and disciplinary provisions of the relevant Victorian legislation.

Processing time

If the form is completed correctly and all necessary documents are attached, processing time is approximately 30 days.

You must not conduct a conveyancing business unless the BLA grants you a licence.

Additional information

When considering your application, the BLA may require you to provide further information. The BLA may refuse your application if you do not provide this within a reasonable timeframe.

Change of information

If any change occurs in the information you have provided in your licence application, you must notify the BLA in writing within 14 days of becoming aware of the change.

Sharing your information

The BLA gives your information to:

  • Consumer Affairs Victoria
  • other law enforcement and regulatory bodies
  • your professional indemnity insurance provider (if applicable).

These organisations may report any relevant information to the BLA.

For privacy information, view our Information and privacy - Business Licensing Authority page.

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw your application in writing at any time before it has been determined by the BLA. Please note that the fee is non-refundable.

Unsuccessful applications

The BLA may postpone or refuse your registration if:

  • any statements or information in your application are materially false or misleading
  • your interstate or New Zealand licence certificate is not provided, or is materially false or misleading
  • the occupation you seek recognition for in Victoria is not equivalent to your interstate or New Zealand licence
  • your circumstances have materially changed since lodging the application.

If the BLA refuses your application or you disagree with the conditions or restrictions, you can apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a review of the decision.

Successful application

You will be notified of the BLA's decision in writing. If your licence is granted, you will also receive a licence certificate which may include conditions or restrictions to achieve equivalency with your recognised licence. 

Once your licence is recognised, the Conveyancers Act 2006 and its Regulations govern your conduct as a conveyancer and your ongoing eligibility to work in the Victorian conveyancing industry. You should familiarise yourself with your ongoing obligations and licensing requirements in Victoria.

Conditions on a licence

The BLA may impose conditions on a licence:

  • which must be complied with before the BLA grants a licence
  • when the BLA grants a licence
  • at any time, at the request of any person, or on the BLA’s own initiative.

The BLA may also vary or revoke any of the conditions or restrictions imposed on a licence.

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