Digital submission services

Closed 1 Feb 2021

Opened 22 Dec 2020

Feedback updated 11 Aug 2022

We asked

On 20th December 2020, Registers of Scotland (RoS) published a consultation, on behalf of the Scottish Government, seeking views on whether the ability to submit applications to RoS electronically (so-called ‘digital submission’) introduced by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 and Coronavirus (No. 2)(Scotland) Act 2020 should be placed on a permanent statutory footing and should replace paper as default method of submission to RoS.

The consultation also sought views on a number of proposals relating to digital services provided, or which could be provided, by RoS, including the provision of digital extracts from the registers under the control and management of the Keeper, the opening of the Books of Council and Session to electronic documents, and future plans for the Land Register to accept such electronic documents.

You said

You provided us with 223 responses to our consultation questions, covering law firms (commercial, residential, rural and urban), stakeholder groups such as the Law Society of Scotland, academics, Local Authorities and a number of individual legal professionals.

The consultation set out 16 individual proposals, which were grouped into four categories each relating to a different aspect of digital registration. Response rates were high, with over 95% of respondents answering each question.

Response to the consultation was overwhelmingly positive, with each proposal receiving support from at least 93% of respondents. Respondents were clear that the Digital Submission services (and related supporting services) introduced by RoS represented a significant improvement in the way customers interact with RoS, not just during the period of public health restrictions, but as the primary route of registration going forward – customers cited speed and certainty of submission, the removal of the reliance on the postal system, and the ability to work from flexible locations as key benefits.

We did

With a clear mandate from customers to take digital submission forward on an enduring basis, provisions placing digital submission to the Land Register, Register of Sasines and Register of Inhibitions on a permanent statutory footing are included in the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform)(Scotland) Bill, and will come into force on 1st October 2022.

In addition, RoS also introduced two pieces of the secondary legislation which complement the Bill provisions.

The Registers of Scotland (Digital Registration etc.) Regulations 2022 were introduced in early 2022, and serve a number of purposes:

  • The make digital submission the default route of submission to RoS, subject to limited exceptions (such as where individuals not engaging the services of a legal professional wish to submit their own applications).
  • They permit the Register of Deeds in the Books of Council and Session to accept electronic documents signed by way of qualified electronic signature from 1st October 2022.
  • They make a number of technical amendments to the Requirements of Writing (Scotland) Act 1995 in relation to the use of digital signatures – these amendments resolve issues encountered as the legal profession began to shift to electronic signing during the pandemic.

The Registers of Scotland (Information and Access) Miscellaneous Order 2022 was introduced in in May 2022 and provides that:

  • The default format for extracts provided from the Register of Deeds in the Books of Council and Session will depend on the method of submission, with electronic extracts being issued where the deed submitted was an electronic document, and paper extracts being issued where the deed submitted was a paper document. Each form of extract is, however, available on request if the default is not suitable.
  • Extracts of deeds from the Register of Sasines can be provided in electronic format, bringing this register into line with the Land Register.

Finally, RoS completed a proof of concept exercise in April 2022 to determine the feasibility of accepting electronic documents (signed by qualified electronic signature) in the Land Register. A live transaction was successfully registered under the exercise, and the learnings from this are currently being evaluated to determine next steps. RoS will continue to work closely with the legal profession, lenders and third-party suppliers as we look to take the next steps towards fully digital land registration


This consultation seeks views on whether the ability to submit certain applications to the Keeper digitally, and the legislation which underpins that (which has been in place on an emergency basis since April and May 2020) should be made available permanently.   

Why your views matter

Registers of Scotland is committed to consulting its customers on any changes affecting the provisions of its services.

Read the consultation paper


  • Business, Industry and Innovation
  • Digital
  • Economy
  • Public Sector