The Members of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers are the State Divisions of New South Wales, Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia.
AIC Membership for individual conveyancers and those associated with conveyancing is through their State Division. Currently, State and Territory governments are responsible for licensing of conveyancers, and the licensing requirements vary between the jurisdictions. Member conveyancers can be found through lists on Division websites.
There have been non-solicitor conveyancers since the 1790s but in low numbers. In 1989, a group of unregulated conveyancers formed the Association of Property Conveyancers to lobby for licensing of specialist conveyancers. That Association became the NSW Division of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers. Since the passing of the Conveyancers Licensing Act 1992 and the expanded role allowed under the Conveyancers Licensing Act 1995, numbers of specialist conveyancers have been rapidly increasing.
Conveyancing licences started in 1993 when the Agents Licensing Act was amended to include specialist conveyancers. A new Act has now been enacted dealing specifically with conveyancers. The Jeff Hockley (a conveyancer licensed in SA at the time) opened Hockley Wu Conveyancing Servces. Other early starters were Bill Palmer and Nick Thomas. The Northern Territory Division of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers was started by Jeff Hockley almost immediately afterlicences became avaialble in 1993, with membership steadily expanding as licence numbers grew.
The Real Property Act was intorduced in the SA Parliament in 1857 by Sir Robert Torrens, SA's third Premier. This world first legislation established a new government-guaranteed system of land ownership enabling the transfer of land using one document recorded at a single registry. The Torrens model is now used throughout Australia and has been adopted in New Zealand, England, Canada and the USA. The legislation was refined in 1860 when specilaist conveyancers (then called land brokers) were authorised to handle the transfer of land.
The majority of conveyancing work in South Australia is now undertaken by specialist conveyancers who are registered under the Conveyancers Act 1994.
There have been Associations representing specialist conveyancers in SA since 1923 when the Licensed Landbrokers and Auctioneers Association of South Australia was formed. The Landbrokers Society of SA Inc was formed in 1973 and subsequently became the South Australian Division of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers .
The Conveyancing Act was passed by the Tasmanian Government in 2004. The first exams were held statewide in 2006 which resulted in 3 licences being issued. Since the second exam was held we now have 10 Licensed Conveyancers. Two are from the North, two are in the North West and six are in the South of the state. Two are former legal practitioners who have relinquished their Legal Practising Certificates.
The Tasmanian Division the Australian Institute of Conveyancers was established following the AGM of the AIC in 2008.
In Victoria, independent conveyancers began practising in the early 1980, offering Victorian consumers the freedom of choice for conveyancing services that had existed in some Australian States for many years. The Victorian Conveyancers' Association (VCA) was formed in 1989 and incorporated in 1991 with a Charter to promote and monitor high standards of professional service and ethics among independent non-lawyer conveyancers.
It became the Victorian Division of the Australian Insitute of Conveyancers in 1997.
Property settlements were traditionally conducted by law firms, real estate agents and banks, meeting at the Land Titles Office, who checked all documents before registration.
The first settlement agency started in 1967, with numbers growing to 30 by 1972. After much concern that no legislation governed settlement agents, and following much dispute with the legal fraternity and political lobbying, the Settlement Agents Act 1981 was proclaimed.
The Settlement Agents Association was incorporated in Western Australia in 1978, and was recognised in 1995 as the WA Division of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers.