from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. a method of government registration and guarantee of land-titles, named from its author, Sir Robert Richard Torrens, of South Australia, where the Torrens Land Transfer Act was passed in 1858. It established land registry offices, where, after examination of his title to a given property by a public examiner, a proprietor might have his title registered with a description of the property, and so officially guaranteed. Subsequent purchasers, mortgagees, or lease-holders are likewise protected, on registration of their transactions regarding the property. Certificates of title are issued by the registration office to each party in interest on the surrender of conflicting certificates. The system passed rapidly from South Australia to other British colonies, and is now, with some modification, in use in parts of England and Canada, and in several of the United States. In most jurisdictions its use is optional.
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