Alberta Online Lien Check - Search for a lien so you don't buy someone's debt
New! Online Lien Searches with Instant Results
You can now do online lien, debtor and corporate searches and get instant results within minutes from an Authorized Agent of the Alberta Government. Questions about your results? Just email or call us and we’ll be happy to walk you through it.
How to do a Lien Search (Serial Number Search) in Alberta
A lien search determines if someone has legal claim to property. For example, you might buy a used car from someone but it turns out that the seller borrowed money from the bank to buy that vehicle. Until the loan is repaid and the bank discharges the lien, the seller can’t legally transfer ownership of that vehicle to you. For that reason, it’s always a good idea to do a lien search before you purchase or accept as collateral any property of significant value. You don’t want to be out of pocket thousands of dollars (or worse, owe the bank) for property which another party has a prior lien registered against.
In order to search for liens against property, you will need the serial number/VIN. You can search for liens against aircraft, boat, mobile homes, motor vehicles, outboard motors for a boat, off-road vehicles and trailers.
TIP: Use the entire serial number as defined by the Personal Property Security Regulation. Do not include in the serial number any hyphens, words, punctuation marks, or symbols that are not part of the actual serial number. Only one serial number may be searched per search request.
If your search says Inexact Result(s) Only Found, it means that there is no lien for the exact serial number or VIN that you entered. The report will never say “There is no lien”. It’s a case of “No news is good news”. The Inexact Results are provided as a courtesy, just in case you entered one or two wrong digits. This happens occasionally, especially with zero’s and oh’s (0 and O look similar). The best thing is to scan the inexact matches to see if a vehicle description matches the vehicle you are searching for. If you find a match, then double-check the VIN.
The Alberta Personal Property Registry Electronic System (APPRES) does not record the amount owing/involved for some registrations. If you find out that the property you want to purchase has a lien registered against it, you will need to contact the creditor or secured party (i.e. the person or organization who registered the lien) for more information.
All information registered on APPRES will have a status of “current” or “deleted”. It is very important to check the status of information being provided on a search result.
You may wish to do a search on an Individual or Business before entering into business, lending money to, or doing services on credit for an individual or business.
An Individual Debtor Search determines if there are any registrations for a specific individual debtor name. Use the full legal name of the debtor, in the following format: Last name, First Name, Middle Name
Only one individual debtor name may be searched per search request.
A Business Debtor Search determines if there are any registrations for a specific business debtor name. Use the full legal business name of the debtor. Only one business debtor name may be searched per search request.
All information in the Alberta Personal Property Registry is public domain information. We can search Alberta’s Personal Property Registry Information System database for liens or encumbrances that have been registered in Alberta against a vehicle, personal property, individual, or business.
How to do a Corporate Name Search
An online corporate name search provides current information on various types of entities, such as incorporated companies, non-profit organizations, trade names, and partnerships. Some of the information which will appear in a corporate search includes:
- how long the organization has been in operation
- its current status (active, start, dissolved, or struck)
- registered address
- names and addresses of directors and shareholders
- names and addresses of declarants (in the case of a Trade Name, Sole Proprietorship or Partnership)
Required Information: In order to do a corporate name search, you will need the legal name of the company or Corporate Access Number (CAN).
Alberta’s Corporate Registry is a centralized storehouse of corporate information for currently and formerly registered Alberta corporations, registered extra-provincial corporations, partnerships and trade names (business names), and non profit organizations. This information is public information and is available to anyone upon request.