The Land Register is a register of ownership relations and limited real rights established on the registered immovable for the benefit of third persons. It is one of the most important state register and is operating under the Ministry of Justice. Centre of Registers and Information Systems (shortly RIK)Â guarantees the electronic saving, storing and reproducing of land register information.
The land register is maintained by land registry departments of local law courts. There are 13 registration departments in Estonia and they operate under 4 county courts.
Present information system is in operation since October 2005 and it was developed by RIK.
The purpose of the Land Register information system is to make all procedural acts as fast and as automatic as possible without extra spending. And it has indeed done electronic conveyancing much easier.
The whole Registration procedure: entering files the application, making entries into register part and announcing concerned parties is covered with digital Land Register software.
Digital structured data exchange and lot of half-automated activities have done registration more efficient and convenient for the registrar. Estonian registers change information electronically using government information system called X-Road. Land register has electronic online data interchange with registers like land cadastre, business register, population register, e-notary system. At the moment there are no applications on paper between notary and land register. Notaries send thru E-notary applications and XML structured data to land register and get back the data of made entries or detailed information about register parts according to the conveyancing procedure in Estonia. (More in added documents)
Most important is there are more possibilities for citizens, entrepreneurs and officials to get information which has legal power electronically from Land register using an online inquiry system, XML services or services by X-Road. There are over 3 million inquires every year. Electronic inquiry system gives an opportunity to find real estates if you know real estate number, address, cadastral number or the name or code of the owner of real estate.
Estonian Land Register is a title based electronic register. The right has to be entered in the land register in order to be valid. The entries made in the land register are presumed correct. The land register is accessible online and all register parts are valid electronically.
Estonia has a system of a strong land register which ensures the legal certainty of immovable property ownership and hedges risks of immovable property transactions because:
- the real rights related to a registered immovable are made public through the land register and nobody can be excused of nescience of the data of the land register;
- real rights in immovable property are created, amended or extinguished by making a respective entry in the land register and they can be relied on upon making transactions;
- entries regarding a registered immovable are made in the order of registering applications in the land registry journal;
- the rights entered in the land register can be amended only on the basis of the application or consent of the owner of the right or through judicial proceedings.
Description of target users and groups
Workers of Land Registry departments. ApproximatelyÂ 125 people. (The whole Registration procedure is covered with digital Land Register software. Lot of activities are half-automated which means registration is more efficient and lot of routine work can be done without human intervention).
Citizens, entrepreneurs and public servants. Over 50Â Â 000Â people whoÂ can get land register information which has legal power electronicallyÂ whereever thereÂ is internet connection.Â Channels available for obtaining land register information include: web-based enquiry systems, integrated data interchange (XML services and services by x-road). AndÂ Â it is easy to built new online services according to clientsâ€™ needs.Â Â Â
Description of the way to implement the initiative
The Digital Land Register project was initiated in 2002. The coordinating and supervising party was Ministry of Justice. The development team was in Centre of Registers and Information Systems. As Centre of Registers and Information Systems also offers the IT-solutions to the all organizations under the governance of the Ministry of Justice therefore it was not necessary to include any partners into the development process. The basic requirements were described in collaboration with two parties and also assistant judgesÂ from Land Registry departments were involved.
Land register system is based on Web application. The landscape is developed with:
- Microsoft.NET Framework
- Microsoft Visual Studio.Net
- Microsoft SQL Server 2005
- ASP.NET (also ASP.NET WebService)
- ORM.NET (www.olero.com)
- IIS (Internet Information Services) - this is the server, where the application runs.
Â Microsoft platform was chosen as we already had good experiences with it and knowledge about it and it made easier to migrate data into new IS as previous IS was also developed with MS.Â
The program itself is about 150Â 000 lines of code plus x-road data exchange, web-enquiry system and xml-services.
All the information is kept in central database in which the entries are made online. Data is also replicated to another database. In that way the load is better shattered.Â Back-up from Land register database is made daily.
For data transmission between national registers HTTPS and Estonian national secure data transmission system called X-Road are used.ÂTechnology choice: Standards-based technology
Main results, benefits and impacts
Land register information system and data exchange has done electronic conveyancing much easier. It has improved the quality, speed and security of the process of registering.
Now the whole Registration procedure (entering files the application, making entries into register part and announcing concerned parties) is covered with digital Land Register software.
It is easy to make hanges in information system if necessary. Information system is sustainable and can be easily developed further.
Lot of activities are half-automated which means registration is more efficient and lot of routine work can be done without human intervention. Â Quality of texts of entries is improved as these are composed automatically base on templates. As a result of less work the number of workers in Land registry departments have been decreased approximately 20%
There are fewer mistakes thanks to digital structured data exchange. For example from Land cadastre we get up-do-date information, and based on that there are automatically new entries made about the parcelsâ€™ address, intended purposes or areas.
There is also electronic data interchange with notaryâ€™s information system. Notaries get information from land register for using in contracts and submit contracts and file the application electronically to land register information system. At the moment there are no applications on paper between notary and land register. (More in added documents)
The proceeding deadlines have decreased from 3 months to approximately 10 days.
Land register information is available for everyone and everywhere you have internet connection and information you get from the register has legal power electronically. For example people who need land register information do not have to spend half a day to go to land registry department to get information. Banks and all the other institutions can trust electronic land register.
Return on investmentReturn on investment: Not applicable / Not available
Track record of sharing
Digital Land register has been introduced at several conferences in the world like e-conveyancing, Cinder, e-Justice. Several countries have been interested in digital Land register and it has been introduced to the delegation of these countries during their visits to Estonia. Feedback has always been positive and interest towards the system is enormous.
Estonia is participating in ELRA meetings and take part in e-conveyancing workgroup.
Also other project teams who are developing other information systems under Ministry of Justice have been using experiences and lessons learnt from Digital Land register project.
Everything is possible if:
- Team and it's leaders have big dreams and all members are well motivated and believe in the result.
- There is good and strong cooperation between related parties. Like developers, law-makers, final users,
- The state infrastructure and ID-cards, digital signatures, X-road etc. are existing in good level.