Registers of Scotland page: Digital Discharge Service; updated returns procedure; the arrear

The Digital Discharge Service (DDS) has been a notable success since its launch last year, with nearly 40,000 discharges completed through the service, as well as the delivery of significant benefits in efficiency and ease of use for customers.

An important part of this success is the intuitive interface of DDS, and how it’s integrated with RoS datasets. Since the initial development of DDS we’ve worked closely with our users to collect their direct feedback and better understand how they use our services and how we can better meet their needs. With this in mind, our development teams have been looking at how this service can be used to improve processes elsewhere.

Hundreds of discharges are processed through DDS every week; however for some discharges a paper application is still required, which is currently generated through our eForms service and then printed. DDS, however, is specifically designed around the discharge process, and therefore we’ve developed improvements to the service to handle paper discharges too.

Customers using DDS will be able to generate Land Register application forms for paper discharges through the same intuitive step-by-step process as DDS. It will be possible to view and access them on your dashboard, where they will be marked as “paper” for easy identification.

By showing them on the dashboard, DDS adds peace of mind to paper forms, as you can now easily revisit both draft and completed ones. With eForms, returning to draft forms involved keeping a note of a custom URL for the draft, so this is a significant improvement for customers.

When creating paper applications, users will now benefit from the features that have made DDS such a success. Granter and applicant details are now usually imported for you, and your FAS number will auto-select if there’s only one.

Title information details for the security are also shown on the service, adding an extra layer of validation for the process. DDS customers will also skip the sections of eForms that aren’t necessary for discharges, such as the deed inventory, Register of Inhibitions (ROI) and land use sections.

The final output that’s submitted to RoS will look the same as an application form generated using eForms, with one minor difference – the granter address and company number are not required on the form where the service is able to import the granter details, as we already have that information.

The end result is a user journey that is quicker, more efficient and tailored for customers looking to discharge a standard security. 

The arrear

The Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, Jennifer Henderson made a commitment earlier this year to arrest and eradicate the arrear, and said she would publish monthly updates showing progress towards meeting our targets, and indicating progress.

An initial target was set of having no case older than two years by the end of December 2018.

Our most recent update shows that we have now processed 40% of cases that were older than two years. This progress is down to the hard work of our registration staff, who have embraced new policies and procedures to address the backlog. We are now meeting our target on First Registrations, which we are pleased about. However, we still have progress to make on Transfer of Part registrations, and that’s something we are working hard to get right.

As promised, we are continuing to let our customers know about our progress, and are continually reviewing our internal practices to improve our processing on an ongoing basis.

Updated returns procedure operational

Going forward, Registers of Scotland will scan applications relating to all deeds types over a registered plot on receipt and post back to the submitting solicitor within 24 hours.

This is a change to previous processes. Returning the documents does not mean that the deed has been registered. It is important that these documents are retained, until an email confirming registration of a deed is received.

Applications with a dual registration element are not being included in this new process at this stage. They will instead be retained by the registrars and returned when they are processed.

We recognise that this change may require you to alter your internal processes. To help with this transition, in the initial five week period, we will include notification slips printed on orange paper with the returned documents to alert customers that these are returned and not yet registered.

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