Crown land searches

All NSW residents are responsible for preserving Crown land.

We provide land status and information services to make sure everyone can protect the land.

We provide several Crown land search services. View the complete list of fees for search services and products. Each type of search available is detailed below:

Conveyancing search

When buying a property, you have many things to consider. We recommend doing a conveyancing search before settlement to make sure there are no Crown land tenures connected to the property you are purchasing. Crown land tenures may include a lease, licence or enclosure permit.

Crown land conveyancing searches are particularly important for waterfront land and rural properties.

A conveyancing search will give you the following information:

  • if there is any Crown tenure
  • any payment due (including any money owing that you may have to pay on settlement)
  • the due dates for any amount owing.

Only solicitors or conveyancers can undertake conveyancing searches. You should discuss this with the professional looking after your purchase or sale. A standard application fee per rateable property applies.

In circumstances where a conveyance includes lots held under different names, you must lodge a separate application and fee for each separately held holding.

Read the frequently asked questions for more information.

Applying for a conveyancing search

To apply, a solicitor or conveyancer must complete a Crown land conveyancing search application form and forward the form, together with payment, to:

Current tenure, road status and historical searches

We provide current tenure, road status and historical land status information for all Crown land and Crown roads in NSW.

Current tenure holders can apply to get details of existing Crown tenures that they hold. This may include:

  • a diagram
  • account description
  • financial status, or
  • copies of tenure documents.

You can submit a single tenure search for each landholding sharing a common border (in the same name).

Where tenures do not share a common border or are held in separate names, you will need to submit a separate application and fee.

The department can provide copies of current tenure documents only for those held by the local office. Older tenure documents may be archived with the Government Records Repository. In these circumstances, another charge applies to access those documents.

We can only perform a current tenure holder search for tenure holders. Applications by parties other than the tenure holder will be rejected.

Current road status searches advice relates only to a limited search to define the current roads authority responsible for the road.

If you need detailed road status, you will need to request a historical status search request. A historical road status search fee applies for up to 5 hours of search time. If the search requires more time to complete, an additional hourly charge applies.

Local councils seeking road status information about council road closures should contact commercial search providers instead of applying through the department’s search application process. Commercial search providers include information brokers and registered surveyors approved by NSW Land Registry Services.

Parish map and gazette notices are also available to councils at Historical Land Records Viewer and Trove. View more information on council road closure processes.

Historical land status searching can take considerable time. There is a standard fee for each Lot/DP searched. View the complete list of fees for search products.

In all cases, once the department receives and accepts an application, we will issue a tax invoice to the applicant for payment before processing the search. The time it takes us to complete the search depends on the complexity of the case.

Applying for a current tenure, road status or historical search

To apply for a current tenure, road status or historical search, please complete the Crown land search application form and forward the form to the address below:

Other Search Options

Local offices can provide other land status information for the purposes of:

  • Ad medium filum aquae (title to half the stream bed)
  • Ad medium filum viae (title to the centre line of the road)
  • Historical tenure cards
  • Crown land manager appointments (current and historical)
  • Mean high water mark (MHWM) definitions affecting Crown land.

For information about these types of searches, please call 1300 886 235 for referral to your local Crown Lands Office.

Historical Land Settlement Information

There are several ways you can access historical information about land settlement in NSW.

You can access information through: