Government of Nova Scotianovascotia.ca
novascotia.caGovernment of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada
 
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What is the Personal Property Registry?

The Personal Property Registry is a computer registry that allows individuals and institutions (i.e. banks, credit agencies) to record their financial interests in a motor vehicle, trailer, mobile home, airplane, boat or outboard motor.

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What is the difference between Real Property & Personal Property?

Real property refers to land and attachments (buildings).

Personal Property refers to moveable goods such as cars, mobile homes, furniture and intangibles such as accounts receivable.

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What is Lien Check?

Lien Check is used to identify liens on personal property that is a motor vehicle, trailer, mobile home, airplane, boat or outboard motor. You will need to specify a serial number such as the motor vehicle identification number. The Lien Check service will identify registrations exactly and closely matching your serial number. You will receive an official record of the contents of the Personal Property Registry in the form of a Search Result Report.

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How do I access the Lien Check service?

Lien Check is used to identify liens on personal property that is a motor vehicle, trailer, mobile home, airplane, boat or outboard motor. You will need to specify a serial number such as the motor vehicle identification number. The Lien Check service will identify registrations exactly and closely matching your serial number. You will receive an official record of the contents of the Personal Property Registry in the form of a Search Result Report.

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What happens if I buy a used car, boat, trailer, mobile home, aircraft or outboard motor and there is a lien on it?

You must pay (fulfill) any outstanding liens on the property, even if you paid the person you bought it from in full. If you do not pay the lien, the property could be seized. There is a possibility that you would have to take the person who sold you the property to court in order to recover the money you paid to fulfill the lien.

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I am buying a used car, how do I ensure there are no liens against it?

If you are buying a used car from a reputable used car dealer, they will usually check the Personal Property Registry for you, but you should confirm this before purchasing the car.

If you are buying a used car in a private sale or from an individual you should use Lien Check to search for outstanding liens recorded in the Personal Property Registry prior to completing the sale.

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Do I need to search other Atlantic provinces for a lien against a used car?

Lien Check allows you to search for liens in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

If you are purchasing a used car from someone who lives outside of Nova Scotia, you should search for the lien in the province where the owner resides.

  • For example: if you live in Amherst, NS and you are purchasing a used car from an owner who resides in Moncton, NB, you should search for the lien in New Brunswick.

If you are purchasing a used car from someone who has recently moved to the province (within the past 60 days), you should also search for the lien against the car in the province, from which they moved.

  • For example: if the person selling the car has moved from St. John's, NL
    to Halifax, NS within the past 60 days you should search Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia to ensure the car does not have any liens against it.

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How do I check for outstanding liens in provinces outside of Atlantic Canada?

If you are purchasing a used car from outside of Nova Scotia, you should search for the lien in the province or state where the owner resides. To find out how to access the Personal Property Registries in other provinces, you will need to contact each province directly.

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How do I check for outstanding liens in the U.S.?

In the United States, liens are recorded under the mandate of Uniform Commercial Code Filing offices. http://www.iaca.org

If you are purchasing a used car from the United States, you should search for the lien in the state where the owner resides. To find out how to access the Personal Property Registries in the United States, you will need to contact each state directly.

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I am purchasing a used mobile home (or trailer), how do I check for liens against it?

It is recommended you hire a lawyer to handle the purchase of your mobile home. They will usually check the Personal Property Registry for you, but you should confirm this before you buy the mobile home.

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I want to buy a used computer or TV, can I use the Lien Check service to check for any outstanding liens against the item?

No, the Lien Check service can only be used to search for on and off highway vehicles ( but not bicycles), boats and other watercraft, trailers, mobile homes, aircraft, and outboard motors.

You can still check for outstanding liens against non-serial numbered goods by searching the Personal Property Registry, using public access terminals at any Land Registration Office.

You will need full legal name of the registered owner of the item. First, middle, and last name are all required for searching on an individual's name. The cost is $8.50 per search.

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I only have the owner's name for an item which I want to purchase - can I still check the Personal Property Registry for outstanding liens?

Yes, you can search the Personal Property Registry by name but we would recommend searching on a serial number.

There is a greater chance of error when searching on an individual's name. You will need the full legal name of the registered owner of the item. First, middle, and last name are all required for searching on an individual's name.

  • For example: MacDonald or McDonald?
    Searching for "MacDonald" would not show liens for McDonald;
    You would need to search for MacDonald and search again for McDonald to show liens for both spellings.

For more information on searching the registry please visit Search the Registry.

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Registering a judgment: do I require the services of a solicitor, if I have been awarded a judgment by the court to secure an outstanding debt?

As the party to which a debt is owed, if you are unsure as to which registry system to register the judgment, it is recommended to seek the advice of a solicitor/lawyer to ensure your interests are properly secured.

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Where can I get more information?

Additional information on Personal Property Registry System and Lien Check is available through the ACOL website (http://www.acol.ca) or by contacting the ACOL client support centre at 1-800-624-2265.

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