Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about ePlan. Further questions or comments can be directed to the ePlan Administrator.
Who can lodge a plan electronically?
Surveyors registered in NSW, a company lodger being an authorised representative of a surveyors company or an authorised representative of a government agency or statutory body can lodge plans using ePlan, following approval and allocation of a userid and password.
How do I get approval to lodge a plan?
Access to ePlan is through the LPI Online portal. To gain access to the ePlan electronic plan lodgment facility you must be an approved person and must apply for and be issued with a userid and password. Download Instructions and application form (PDF 179.0 KB).
Once issued with a userid and password, LPI will require lodgment of test data and must be satisfied that it complies with all standards and requirements before final approval is granted to lodge plans for registration.
In what circumstances would an approval be revoked?
An approval to lodge plans electronically will be suspended or terminated for non-payment of fees or if documents being lodged consistently fail quality assurance checks. A surveyor who is an approved user will also have that approval revoked if he or she ceases to remain registered with the NSW Board of Surveying and Spatial Information.
How do I lodge a plan?
Lodgment of the plan is by way of the internet. Full details on how to prepare and lodge the plan and associated documents are available in the Surveyor's information package.
What files am I required to lodge electronically?
The number and type of files or electronic documents to be lodged will depend on the plan purpose, however, the plan drawing file and other documents such as a signatures / administration sheet, section 88B instrument, development statement, checklists or survey report must be lodged in TIF format (no other format will be accepted). TIFF is the format used by the LPI plan imaging system to store and distribute plans and section 88B instruments.
The electronic files for each plan to be lodged must be compressed into a single ZIP file to enable lodgment.
Certificates of title, old system deeds and other specified documents will continue to be produced manually.
What are ZIP files and why do I need to use them?
A ZIP file is a collection or archive of one or more files that have been compressed down to a smaller file size for distribution or storage. There are various computer software products that create ZIP files such as WinZip, WIndows XP or Vista contain this facility.
Sending a single compressed ZIP file over the internet instead of many uncompressed files relating to a single plan, reduces the time it takes to upload the files between computers and ensures that all the files related to the plan are received as one bundle, thereby eliminating the risk of separate files being lost.
How do I create or convert my completed CAD file to TIFF?
The method accepted as the most appropriate is the creation of TIFF images using third party software in the form of raster printer drivers. One successfully trialled by LPI is the Peernet.Drv (available from www.peernet.com) which converts any document capable of being printed using a Windows application into serialized or multi-page TIFF images. A similar product, View Companion, is available for DOS based CAD packages from www.softwarecompanions.com. These products have produced excellent images suitable for all plan types in the final form.
What about the production of the Certificate of Title?
A plan lodged electronically will require manual production of the certificate of title using current practices. Plans lodged electronically will not be registered until the title is produced.
What precautions are there against the plan being changed after release from council and prior to lodgment?
The surveyor, or an authorised staff member, will lodge the final plan file electronically, directly from their computer. No other person will have access to the plan file, the original file always remains with the surveyor and they would have to be party to any changes requested by council or the developer.
We believe the existing paper based (foil) system offers a far greater opportunity for unauthorised amendment or addition to a plan as the surveyor rarely has contact with the plan following handover to the client.
How will the need for signatures on the plan be addressed?
Electronic signatures can take many forms however acceptance of digital signatures is still being debated in legal circles nationally. Public Key encryption or Biometric Signature Verification is costly and considered to be unmanageable for application to plans due to the number and diversity of the required signatures.
The original signatures of all parties, as well as the original certification of the General Manager/Accredited Certifier/Authorised Person and Surveyor will be obtained on an Approved form specifically for signatures.
The signature / administration sheet would then be scanned by the surveyor or approved lodger using a standard A4 scanner, with specified settings, and lodged electronically with the plan as a TIFF image.
How long will I have to retain the originals of scanned documents?
The prescribed period for retention is 7 years, from the date of registration of the plan, for any documents bearing original signatures such as the signature / administration sheet and 88B instrument. The lodging party will be required to retain original documents for the prescribed period and produce them if required by the Registrar General.
When will ePlan become available?
ePlan is available now. Potential users are encouraged to apply for a userid and password and to lodge test data to gain approval of data quality.
Will I be able to lodge plans at any time?
Plans may be lodged between 1.00 am and 12 midnight 7 days a week.
What lodgment fees will apply to electronic lodgments?
Full details on fees are available on the Land title fees page.
When is the fee payable and how do I pay it?
The user has the option to pay online by credit card during the lodgment process or place the lodgment on account.
A tax invoice is issued online upon acceptance of the plan for lodgment.
If placed on account fees are payable within 7 days of the date of the tax invoice. Payment may be made:
- in person at Land and Property Information at Queens Square, Sydney
- by post to
Finance Branch, Land and Property Information
GPO Box 15
- by credit card online using LPI eCommerce facilities.
- by electronic funds transfer (EFT) - full details on this facility are available from our Finance Branch on 02 9228 6700.
When paying by any of the above methods the invoice number should be clearly identified. Cheques should be made payable to 'Land and Property Information'.