Registration of documents under the Registration Act, 1908

What do you mean by registration of documents?

Registration is recording the matters of a document with an authorized or recognized officer (Registering officer) and preserving the copies of the original document. One needs to register the legal documents so as to prevent any property dispute, fraud, conserve the evidence, be assured of the title and publicizing the information.

Benefits of registration

1. In case registered document is lost or damaged, the registration records prove the authenticity of the document.

2. Title, right of property, case status or an existing liability

3. It prevents forgeries or fraud in transactions specifically in tax, stamp duty etc.

4. Authentic documents/producible as proof in court

Mandatory registration & optional registration of documents

There are two kinds of registration according to The Registration Act, 1908 namely “Mandatory Registration” and “Optional Registration”

Mandatory registration

Section 17 of the Indian Registration Act, 1908 provides for mandatory registration of certain documents. Those are as follows:-

  1. Gift deed related to an immovable property;
  • Non-testamentary instruments:                                                                                                 

 a. purporting to creation, assignment, declaration, extinguishing of any interest in any immovable property worth Rs. 100 and above;                                                       

b. which acknowledge receipt or payment of any consideration for creation, assignment, declaration or limitation of any right, title or interest;

  • Lease of immovable property for any term exceeding one year or reservation of yearly rent;
  • Contracts for transfer of immovable property for a consideration for purpose of Section 53A of Transfer of Property Act, 1882 is executed on or after the inception of Registration and Other Related Laws (Amendment) Act, 2001.

Failing to do so will result in transfer being invalid.

Optional registration

 Section 18 provides for optional registration of some documents such as:-

  1. Adoption Deed
  2. Instrument relating to shares in joint stock company
  3. Debentures issued by joint stock company
  4. Will
  5. Lease of immovable property not exceeding 1 year
  6. Document of a past transaction
  7. Power of Attorney with respect to movable property
  8. Decree or order of court comprising an immovable property valued below Rs. 100
  9.       Certificate of Sale granted
  10. Agreement of Mortgage
  11. Promissory note
  12. Instrument of partition by Revenue Officer
  13. Grant of immovable property by Government

Time period of registration of documents:

  1. All documents except a will have to be presented for registration within 4 months from the date of execution (Section 23 of The Registration Act, 1908).
  • If a document is executed by several persons at different times then that document has to be presented for registration and re-registration within 4 months from the date of each execution (Section 24 of The Registration Act, 1908).
  • If not registered within 4 months/presented after its expiry: It will be accepted for registration provided that 10 times the amount of registration fees is paid and delay in presentation does not exceed 4 months.
  • If a document is executed outside India by any or all of the parties and is presented after expiry 4 months then it will be accepted for registration provided that it was executed and presented for registration within 4 months after its arrival to India (Section 26 of The Registration Act, 1908).

Place of registration

In case of documents regarding immovable property, it shall be presented for registration in the office of Sub-Registrar within whose district the property or part of it is located (Section 28 of The Registration Act, 1908).

In case of all other documents, they shall be presented:-

  1. In the office of Sub-Registrar in whose sub-district the document was executed; or
  2. In the office of any other Sub-Registrar under State Government where all individuals desire the document to be registered.

The Officer authorized to register a document may on a special cause being shown also go to the individual’s private residence who desires to present a document for registration or deposit a will (Section 31 of The Registration Act, 1908).

Who can apply for registration?

  1.  Some person executing or claiming under the same, or, in the case of a copy of a decree or order, claiming under the decree or order, or
  2. Representative or assignee of such a person, or
  3.  Agent of such a person, representative or assign, duly authorized by power-of-attorney executed and authenticated in the manner hereinafter mentioned. (Section 32 of The Registration Act, 1908)
  4.  In case of a will or authority to adopt, the testator or after his death any executor may or a donor or after his death the donee or adoptive son may present it to the Registrar or Sub-Registrar for registration respectively. It shall be registered if it is satisfied that:- The will or authority to adopt was executed by the executor or donor; The testator or donor is dead; The person presenting the will or authority to adopt is entitled to present the same (Section 40 and Section 41 of The Registration Act, 1908).


The prescribed fees for registration of documents shall be paid on presentation of documents (Section 80 of The Registration Act, 1908).

Refer You Tube Video on Registration of documents under the Registration Act, 1908

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