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Identification Survey Explained

What is an identification survey? This is a great question, and if you own property or about to buy property it is a very important question and one you should be asking. Essentially an Identification Survey is performed by a specialist surveying professional to identify the boundaries of your property.


A lot of you are thinking, but isn’t the fence on my boundary line? In an ideal world, fencelines would be exactly on the boundary and there wouldn’t be any boundary disputes ever. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal perfect world, and fences are generally not on the boundary line. So how do you know if your fences are on the boundary or not? In Queensland, you will need to contact a registered Consulting Cadastral Surveyor, which can be found on the Surveyors Board of Queensland website.


So back to what an identification survey is, it is a survey to identify the location of your property boundaries. Whilst this sounds really simple, there is a lot involved in it. I can't stress enough, how important it is to get the right person to identify your property boundaries.



A cadastral surveyor will do a lot of behind the scenes work, prior to coming into the field to measure and mark your boundaries. They will research all surveys that have been completed over the area and some of these can date back to the mid 1800's. Surveyors will access the plans and make determinations of what has happened from the 1st survey to today.


Once they have all the information they head into the field and locate a number of survey marks that have been placed over the years to help determine the location of the boundary. These marks have evolved over time and range from trees, yep you heard me trees, iron pins buried under the surface, screws in kerb or concrete driveways and paths, permanent survey marks, and boundary pegs if there are any left.



Once the surveyor has located all of the marks they need out the location of the boundary, simple right? Establishing the location of the boundary is more of an art than an exact science. It takes years of experience for the surveyor to master the art of defining property boundaries. We as the surveyor must ensure not only your boundary is in the correct location, but your neighboring boundaries are in the correct location.


Marking of the boundaries isn't the last step, here in Queensland the surveyor is legally required to prepare a plan, called an Identification Survey and lodge it with what is currently the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME). These plans are a legal record, detailing what the surveyor has measured to, why they have calculated or reinstated the boundaries in that location and a whole lot of other requirements that are set out by legislation, policies, standards and requirements.


Now the identification survey has been completed, and you know where your boundaries are.

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