Understanding digital AP1 validations and how they can benefit law firms

Digital AP1s use a tool known as validations to minimise the risk of avoidable requisitions. Find out everything you need to know to make the most of validations now.

Firms have spent time understanding a new way of submitting their AP1s since HMLR announced that digital AP1 submissions would be made mandatory from November 2022. When the announcement was made, around 80% of submissions were still using paper or electronic formats like a PDF populated from the CMS. So, there was a long way to go in Autumn 2021.

Along with learning a new system to submit AP1 applications digitally, firms have also been learning about other features and tools that have been introduced with digital AP1s. Understanding how these new additions can benefit your firm can make a big impact on your conveyancing workflow. Which is why adopting digital conveyancing solutions should be a priority for every law firm.

You may have heard a new term popping up more often since the introduction of digital AP1s — validations. So, what are these validations, what do they do in relation to digital AP1s, and what do I need to know about them?

Our quick guide helps you understand what validations are, how they are relevant when completing your AP1 form, how they benefit you, and how InfoTrack can support you with the required HMLR validations and more to aid in reducing your requisitions.

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What are validations and what do they have to do with submitting your AP1?

Validations are a tool implemented in the digital AP1 process that checks the data provided before the AP1 form is submitted. They validate the information being into the submission to ensure it is correct and is used as a way to minimise errors that may cause delays in the process.

Validations are usually built into the digital AP1 service you are using and were introduced by HMLR when they moved to digital submissions to reduce the number of requisitions firms receive. Validations not only check for errors or inconsistencies in data, they also ensure that your application follows HM Land Registry’s requirements for digital AP1 submissions.

Why do you need validations?

Validations have been introduced to have a positive impact on the post-completion process, ultimately reducing delays caused by errors or missing information and providing a smoother transfer process for both conveyancers and their clients.

There are four key reasons validations have been applied to digital AP1s:

  1. To prevent incorrect information being recorded on the register, such as if duplicate parties were added. Which is to avoid inaccuracies and time lost correcting them, as firms would need to rectify the error, subsequently delaying the process.
  2. To prevent incomplete or incorrect applications being lodged to HMLR which can results in automatic cancellation or requisitions being raised.
  3. To reduce requisition rates. HM Land Registry categories requisitions into avoidable and unavoidable requisitions with the expectation that law firms will submit accurate applications that don’t lead to avoidable requisitions. Validations helps reduce avoidable requisitions at the source by prompting users to provide add necessary information and validate the details wherever possible throughout the AP1 form, such as the fee calculator which ensures the fee for the application matches the HMLR fee.
  4. To save firms and HMLR time. By using pre-population which prevents the risk of inconsistent information caused by rekeying and reducing the risk of requisitions, both clients and HMLR can save time usually associated with managing and responding to avoidable requisitions.

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How can validations reduce requisitions?

Validations minimise the risk of requisitions by removing many of the causes of requisitions that occurred with paper or PDF submissions. One of the many advantages of digital AP1s is the ability to use technology to validate the information provided to check the details meet HM Land Registry guidance.

By highlighting inconsistent data, missing information, or details supplied in the incorrect format, validations can reduce many of the avoidable requisitions that cause delays or cancellations. Ultimately this can speed up the post-completion process, saving you time.

How does InfoTrack support law firms with digital AP1 validations?

Despite the mandate for digital AP1s coming into effect from 30th November 2022, at InfoTrack, we’ve been offering a digital AP1 solution to help law firms complete their post-completion process faster and smarter, since 2016.

Having submitted almost 800,000 digital AP1s for our clients through our digital conveyancing platform, we’ve had plenty of time to study where we can optimise the process and use technology to give firms a helping hand with their post-completion process. On average, firms using InfoTrack to submit their AP1s digitally have reduced their requisitions by 30%.

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Here are 15 ways InfoTrack supports law firms with their digital AP1s, many of which go beyond the standard requirements set out by HMLR, giving firms even greater benefits.

  1. Auto-calculated HMLR fees to ensure your fees match the requirements.
  2. Ability to review AP1 in original format to ensure you’re confident with the information supplied before submission.
  3. Complete whole application on a single web page to avoid multiple screens and additional unnecessary steps that can slow you down.
  4. A handy notes section provides full form flexibility and additional information for the caseworker to provide as much information as possible to avoid further delays.
  5. Ability to submit power of attorney applications in a case worker approved format to avoid delays and requisitions.
  6. Satisfaction declarations for self-representing parties.
  7. Lender details look up for easy access.
  8. Overview panel to review all application details for complete visibility.
  9. Auto-populated party roles within Panel 13.
  10. The ability to review all related files so you can easily check the supporting documents which have been uploaded to the application.
  11. Up to 90% of the form pre-populated using data from your matter to avoid rekeying errors and save you time.
  12. MR01 integration provides pre-population of certificate wording in AP1 notes section for a faster process.
  13. Auto-attachment of the SDLT5 from your matter, streamlining the process for post-completion in under five minutes.
  14. Duplicate party role detection to avoid repeated data that may cause a requisition.
  15. Built in FAQs and guidance for help with more complex applications, as well as a team of AP1 experts on hand via phone and email support.

We know changing your processes can feel a little difficult at times. To make the transition to digital AP1s as easy as possible, we’ve prepared our Digital AP1 Hub, a complete resource centre for everything firms need to know to help them feel more comfortable with the switch.

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Published 05/9/2022
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