$10 - Online Alberta Lien Searches
What is a Personal Property Lien Search?
A personal property lien search is a process that allows individuals and businesses to find out if there are any existing liens registered against personal property, such as vehicles, boats, trailers, and equipment.
A lien is a legal claim against a property that serves as security for the payment of a debt. If a lien is registered against a personal property, the owner cannot legally sell or transfer the property until the debt is paid in full.
Search results are returned immediately during operating hours and are obtained directly from the Personal Property Registry (PPR) which is operated by the Alberta government. The PPR maintains a database of all registered liens on personal property in the province.
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Why should I search for liens?
In the case of a vehicle loan, if the loan is not paid back, the bank (also known as the secured party) has the legal authority to seize and sell the vehicle to cover the outstanding loan amount. If you purchased a used vehicle with a lien, it could be repossessed from you to satisfy the outstanding debt even though you paid the previous owner for it. This is why it is recommended to perform a lien search on the serial number prior to purchasing a used vehicle.
There are three different search types you can order online.
- Vehicle Lien Search
- Business Debtor Search
- Individual Debtor Search
How to Perform a Personal Property Search
On Line Availability
All search results may contain Exact Matches and/or Inexact Matches or No Results.
Exact matches will include full details on any lien that contains the criteria that was searched. In addition to exact matches, search reports will often include a list of Inexact Matches that will include liens with similar search criteria (ie: serial numbers or individual or business names). These are included to to assist in the event that the criteria that was searched was not exactly the same as the information registered on the lien.
Vehicle Lien Search (VIN)
VIN searches (also known as serial number searches) will determine if the serial number that was searched is being used as collateral on a lien (also known as a security agreement). Search results will only include the vehicle etc. being searched IF it is being used as collateral on a lien so a search report that does NOT include the collateral being searched is an indication that there is no lien on it. Please review any inexact matches that may be present at the end of the search report as well.
Searching by Serial Number can be done on many goods with a serial number. For example:
- Motor Vehicles
- Mobile Homes
- Manufactured Homes
- Outboard Boat Motors
- Farm Vehicles (Tractors, combines etc.)
Business Debtor Search
Business debtor searches will determine if the company name being searched is a debtor on a security agreement. For the most accurate results, it is best to search the full legal name of the business. Please review any inexact matches that may be present at the end of the search report as well.
Individual Debtor Search
Individual debtor searches will determine if the individual being searched is a debtor on a security agreement. For most accurate results it is best to search their full name. In some cases reports will include debtor birth dates which often helps to identify an individual with a common name. Please review any inexact matches that may be present at the end of the search report as well.
If you wish, you can select to detail all inexact results (pick the 'Exact & Inexact Matches Detailed' option). This will potentially save you having to submit another search to get details on an inexact match you may be interested in. Detailing all inexact matches does have the potential negative of a very large search result and can delay how long it takes to receive the search results due to increased file size. There is no additional charge for this option.
Are you looking for another Personal Property Search product?
In addition to the above, we can also perform a search by Registration Number (current and recently expired or discharged) as well as Distribution Seizure searches. These searches are not currently available on-line. Please contact our office for information on how to do a manual search.
Submitting Your Search
Personal Property searches are submitted through our partner site, registrysearch.ca, which will open up in a new window.
Results are returned immediately on serial numbers (VIN), Individual and Business names during government operating hours.
To avoid requiring multiple searches, please confirm your search criteria before submitting your search.
If you have any questions, please contact our office prior to placing your order.