Land Registration System in Ohio – The Torrens System

The Torrens System was enacted in Ohio in 1913 and is still used in parts of the state. The original goal of the Torrens System of land registry was to compile all records relating to a parcel on a single certificate as a way to simplify record-keeping. Land registration involves legal fees and court proceedings and thus turned out to be more complex than recorded land, which has made registration unpopular. Currently, the land registry system only operates in a few Ohio counties.

Registered land is real property with former serious record title issues, rendering the title unmarketable and unable to be sold. In order to clear the title, an owner can register it in court. This court proceeding, called Registration or Confirmation of Title, eliminates any and all adverse claims to the title. When the court issues a decree, the title becomes guaranteed by the State of Ohio. On the other hand, unregistered real property is guaranteed by an attorney who certifies that the title is marketable. Registering property requires legal and surveying expenses, as well as time. These reasons may be why the majority of real property is not registered.

Initial registration is completed after a judicial proceeding in the nature of a suit to quiet title. If the title is confirmed, the decree is binding on parties appearing before the court, and the Certificate of Title is issued in duplicate, showing conclusive ownership and encumbrances. One copy will be delivered to the registered owner; the other is kept by the recording officer to be placed in the public record.

When the new owner conveys the property, the old certificate is canceled. The transfer of title takes place when the new certificate is issued to the purchaser, not upon the delivery of the conveyance.

View Available Ohio Real Estate Deed Forms