Title and water access licence searches

A NSW title search provides the current details of a title such as:

  • land description
  • owner
  • dealings.

View a sample title result.

What is a Water Access Licence (WAL)?

Water access licences (WAL) in NSW define the access rights that the holder has to obtain water from a water course. You can order WALs in the same way as land titles.

The WAL Register provides a record of every licence in NSW. NSW Land Registry Services maintains the register on behalf of the minister administering the Water Management Act 2000 (NSW).

The WAL Register has a separate record for each licence issued, which is referred to as a WAL folio. Each WAL folio has a unique number.

A duplicate of the WAL folio, which is referred to as the WAL certificate, is issued to the licence holder, or any other party entitled to hold the WAL certificate, for example, the mortgagee.

You need the WAL certificate when you register certain transactions such as a transfer, mortgage or charge. The information on the WAL Register is not guaranteed like the Torrens Title Register for land held under the Real Property Act 1900 (NSW).

You need to search all transactions registered on the WAL folio to establish if they’re legal and form an unbroken ‘chain of title’. This is similar to transactions affecting old system land registered in the General Register of Deeds.

A NSW WAL search produces the current details of a WAL such as:

  • share component (volume)
  • extraction component
  • water source
  • expiry date
  • conditions.

The WAL folio also shows:

  • current ownership details
  • mortgages, charges and related information
  • nominated works approval number.

View a sample WAL result.

A prior title search lists prior references for the title or WAL reference you enter. Prior references will return for titles or WALs that are:

  • current
  • fully cancelled
  • part cancelled (that is, cancelled with remaining residue).

The search will not return prior references for manually retrieved titles.

View a sample:

A historical title search lists the amendments to a computer folio/title, including dealings and/or previous titles.

View a sample historical title search result.

How far back do historical title searches go?

The historical title search contains information on a title since computer folios were created in 1986.

You can only find historical information before 1986 on a manual title. These titles are usually available on microfiche, and you need to order them over the counter at NSW Land Registry Services.

A historical WAL search lists:

  • transfers of ownership
  • mortgages
  • charges
  • caveats
  • related transactions.

You need to search all transactions registered on the WAL folio to establish if they’re legal and form an unbroken ‘chain of title’. The historical WAL search provides the list of transactions.

View a sample historical WAL search result.

How far back do historical WAL searches go?

The search contains information on WALs since they were integrated into the computer folios on 1 July 2004.

What is the correct format for a WAL reference?

A water access licence reference is the characters ‘WAL’ followed by one to eight numbers (for example, WAL123 or WAL12345678).

Why is the WAL available on the same page as the title search?

Water access licences are handled the same way in many respects as land titles.

What is the correct format for a title reference?

A title reference can be either a lot/(section)/plan or a volume-folio number, as shown by the following examples.


The section number is optional, and each number is separated by a forward slash (/).

Scenario Example
Lot 1 on deposited plan 23456 1/23456
Lot 7 Section 12 on deposited plan 6789 7/12/6789
Common property on strata plan 3456 CP/SP3456
Lot 23 on strata plan 3456 23/SP3456 or 23.3456
Lot 1 on strata plan 1/SP1 or 1.1

Volume and folio number

The volume and folio numbers are separated by a hyphen (-).

Scenario Example
Volume number 1 on folio number 1 1-1
Volume number 1234 on folio number 12 1234-12

How do I obtain a street address?

To obtain a street address, select ‘Street address by title reference search’ from the NSW Lands Menu.

View a sample street address by title reference search result.

What does AC in front of the volume/folio mean?

This prefix identifies a consolidated title. When the same owners own consecutive lots (titles) on one or more plans, all lots form into one title.

Multiple individual titles exist under the ‘parent’ consolidated title. The ‘AC’ doesn’t form part of the title reference.

How will I receive my results?

The search result displays immediately and is available in your Confirm inbox. You can also choose to receive your result via email.

To access your Confirm inbox, follow the links in the Confirm header. You can revisit your result anytime within 28 days without incurring an extra cost.

For more information on how to use your Confirm inbox, visit our Getting started page.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Our Customer Service Centre is here to help you between 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.

Phone 1800 773 773
Email confirm@citec.com.au

For more information on how to search, view our NSW land searches user guide.