Personal property liens and searches

In B.C., a lien can be registered against personal property as security to make sure a debt or loan is repaid. The lien is a registered legal claim on personal property owned by an individual or a business.

Personal property is collateral that includes tangible and intangible items including but not limited to consumer goods, vehicles, boats, aircraft, chattel paper, fixtures, crops, and licences. It does not include real property (land). Find these types of liens through the Land Title Surveyor Authority (LTSA).

Under the Personal Property Security Act, the Personal Property Registry records security interests and liens against personal property in B.C., whether it belongs to a business or an individual. Registration and search services are available for lenders, sellers, garage keepers, taxing authorities, government agencies, purchasers and the general public. 

Search for personal property liens

Make sure personal property does not already have any liens registered against it before you:

  • Buy personal property privately
  • Lend money based on the security of personal property

Provide as much detail as possible about what you're searching for. For example, do you want to search by:

  • Individual debtor name
  • Business debtor name
  • Serial number for a vehicle, trailer, boat, airplane, outboard motor, or non-registered manufactured home
  • Manufactured home registration number
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) Number for a boat or aircraft
  • Document registration number

For specific details such as the status of the loan or amount outstanding, contact the secured party directly.

You'll also need to include your name along with the following contact info:

  • Return mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

Submit your request ($10 fee per search):

  • In person at a Service BC location
  • By mail- Requests can be sent to BC Registry Services by writing a letter stating the type of search needed and necessary search criteria. BC Registry Services will provide search results to clients only by return mail.
    Send your letter by:
    • courier to
      BC Registry Services
      200 - 940 Blanshard Street
      Victoria, BC V8W 3E6
      Courier pick-up and delivery are at your expense
    • mail to
      BC Registry Services
      PO Box 9431 Stn Prov Govt
      Victoria, BC V8W 9V3
      (Payment by cheque or money order for $10.00 payable to the Minister of Finance)
  • With a title search agent or service provider like Dye & Durham - additional fees apply

For mail requests, include a cheque or money order, payable to the Minister of Finance.

Once the search request is completed, you will be mailed a copy of the search results.

 

Register a security agreement or lien

Register your interest in personal property to protect yourself from loss or legal conflict.

Here are some examples of who might want to register a lien:

  • Lenders and sellers (or “secured parties”) register their interests in the personal property of a debtor to guarantee the legal right to collect, should the need arise
  • Buyers register an interest in the personal property of a seller to protect their interests in goods being purchased that are still in the possession of the seller
  • Garage keepers can register a lien to collect on outstanding or defaulted bills
  • Taxing authorities register liens against the personal property of a taxpayer for collection of outstanding taxes
  • Agents, notaries, law firms or any legal party that has been authorized to act on behalf of a secured party may also register liens on or statements of personal property

Each type of lien has specific conditions for registration. For example:

Type of Lien Legislation Condition
Security agreement Personal Property Security Act Parties must enter into a security agreement contract prior to filing the lien.
Repairer/garage keeper (non-possessory repairers lien) Repairers Lien Act

Personal property must have been returned to customer.

Lien must be filed within 21 days of returning the vehicle to the customer and have a signed work order.
Sale of goods Sale of Goods Act Buyer is not in receipt of goods that have been paid for in full.

Some liens need to be filed with other government agencies. For example:

You will need a Financing Statement to register the following types of interests and liens:

  • A tax lien on a manufactured home under the Manufactured Home Act
  • A security interest under the Personal Property Security Act
  • A buyer’s interests on purchasing goods, left in the possession of the seller under the Sale of Goods Act
  • A deferred tax lien on a manufactured home under the Land Tax Deferment Act
  • A notice of marriage or separation agreement affecting a manufactured home under the Family Relations Act

To register a garage keeper’s lien, prepare a Repairers Lien Financing Statement. 

Financing Statements are available through BC OnLine or your lawyer, notary public, or other service provider (e.g. Dye & Durham).

Submit your registration and applicable fee:

Complete more complex registrations with assistance from a lawyer, notary public, or another service provider (e.g. Dye & Durham).

 

Change, renew or discharge a registration

File a Financing Change Statement to change, discharge or renew an existing registration. Complete the filing through BC OnLine or with assistance from a lawyer, notary public, or another service provider (e.g. Dye & Durham).

Registrar's discharge of a lien. Under section 50 of the Personal Property Security Act, apply for a lien to be discharged for one of the following reasons:

  • If all of the obligations under the security agreement have been performed
  • If the secured party has agreed to release all or part of the collateral
  • If the description of the collateral on the financing statement describes collateral that is not included in the security agreement
  • If no security agreement exists between the secured party and the debtor

If any of these reasons are applicable, then you may complete the discharge by using the appropriate form and instructions below:

Forms and fees

 

Priority service (1 to 2 business days) is available for a $100 fee (plus the regular filing fee).

FINANCING STATEMENTS (services processed by client through BC OnLine)

PPSA Security Agreement and Sale of Goods Agreement:
     - 1 to 25 years registration option $5 per year
     - Infinity registration life option $500
Tax lien under section 35/36 of the Manufactured Home Act No charge
Land tax deferment lien on a manufactured home No charge
Notice of Marriage/Separation Agreement affecting manufactured home under the Family Relations Act (section 63) $10
Repairers Lien Financing Statement $5

FINANCING CHANGE STATEMENTS (services processed by client through BC OnLine)

Renewal of a PPSA Security Agreement or Sale of Goods Agreement:
     - 1 to 25 year registration life option $5 per year
     - Infinity registration life option $500
Total discharge No charge
Registry correction No charge
Secured party transfer $10
Debtor transfer $10
Debtor release $10
Partial discharge $10
Addition of collateral $10
Substitution of collateral $10
Court order $10
Amendment/other change $10

MISCELLANEOUS FEES

Secured party or registering party code/name address change on multiple registrations $100
Searches of the Personal Property Registry database:
     - Conducted by government staff $10
     - Conducted through BC OnLine using client equipment $7
Photocopy of any document or statement $0.50 per page
Certification of any document $25
To obtain a reprint of a verification statement $10

 

Ask for help

Contact the BC Registries helpdesk for help Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The registry does not provide business or legal advice.

Email: BCRegistries@gov.bc.ca
Toll free: 1-877-526-1526
Victoria: 250-387-7848

Support with forms and documents

Contact the team at Dye & Durham, our preferred legal service provider, for support filling out forms or filing business documents.