Glossary

Find out more about the different terms we use on the PPSR.

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Search by the prescribed order for motor vehicle serial numbers

When searching the PPSR by a motor vehicle serial number, make sure you enter the correct serial number. For example, if a motor vehicle has both a vehicle identification number (VIN) and a chassis number, you should search using the VIN. The PPSR provides guidance to help you enter the correct serial number.

A serial number search might not reveal all security interests

It is not compulsory for commercial security interests in serial numbered goods to be registered by serial number. The registration may be made against the grantor only. For example, a security interest in a commercial motor vehicle may be registered by reference to the grantor and contain no reference to its serial number, and therefore will only be revealed through a search by grantor.

Motor vehicle buyer protections

If the collateral is a motor vehicle, section 45 of the PPS Act provides that a buyer or lessee will generally take the motor vehicle free of any security interest if:

  • at any time between the time the motor vehicle was sold or leased and the start of the previous day a search of the PPSR by reference only to the serial number would not have disclosed a registration which perfected the interest; and
  • the seller or lessor is either the person who granted the security interest, or another person who is in possession of the vehicle (provided the person who granted the security interest has lost the right to possess the motor vehicle or is stopped from asserting an interest in the vehicle).

Exceptions to motor vehicle buyer protections

The above protection does not apply if:

  • the secured party is in possession of the motor vehicle immediately before the time of the sale or lease; or
  • the motor vehicle is bought at a sale held by or on behalf of an execution creditor; or
  • the buyer or lessee holds the motor vehicle as inventory; or on behalf of a person who would hold the motor vehicle as inventory; or
  • the buyer or lessee buys or leases the motor vehicle with actual or constructive knowledge of the security interest.

Exceptions for motor vehicle licensed dealers

Section 45(3) of the PPS Act provides that a buyer or lessee will generally take the motor vehicle free of any security interests if they provide new value for the motor vehicle and the seller or lessor holds a licence (issued by the state or territory where the sale or lease happens) to deal in that kind of motor vehicle.

Multi user accounts are PPS Register accounts that can have more than one user. The account administrator for such an account can create multiple users that can transact on behalf of the account.

The National Names Index (NNI) is an index of Australian corporate and registered business names and some incorporated associations. It is administered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

To search the NNI, go to the ASIC Searches and Lodgements web page or for more information about the NNI, see the Australian Securities and Investments Commission website.

For an aircraft, this means the series of numbers and/or letters that are assigned to the aircraft under the Chicago Convention.

The nationality mark for an Australian aircraft is 'VH', followed by a hyphen and registration mark of three characters.

A document guaranteeing the payment of a specific amount of money, either on demand, or at a set time, with the payer named on the document.

Generally includes:

  • bills of exchange
  • promissory notes
  • letters of credit that must be presented to claim payment, and
  • writings that evidence a right to payment of money that is ordinarily transferred by delivery with an endorsement or assignment.

The right given under a negotiable instrument is personal property.

See definition of 'negotiable instrument' under section 10 of the PPS Act.

NEVDIS (National Exchange of Vehicle and Driver Information System) is a national database of all registered vehicles in Australia.

The PPSR interfaces with NEVDIS to provide additional information (where available) on motor vehicles when registrations are made against motor vehicles as collateral, and when motor vehicle searches are conducted.

The PPSR does not store or maintain NEVDIS data.

State and territory road agencies are the source of NEVDIS data and the primary point of contact for enquiries, errors and corrections.

For more information see Additional search results information for motor vehicles.

Normalisation means converting certain letters to numbers, for example I (capital i) to the number 1 (one) and the letters O and Q to number 0 (zero). I, O and Q are normalised in the PPSR: I = 1 (one), O and Q = 0 (zero)

In relation to a ship or watercraft, means the six digit serial number (e.g. 345678) allocated to the ship or watercraft by the Australian Shipping Registration Office to Australian registered ships via the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

See the AMSA website for more information about the official number of a ship or watercraft.

When a PPSR registration has been amended or discharged, this creates a registration event. An ordinal search allows you to compare two registration events.

You will need both PPSR registration numbers. These are unique 15-digit numbers generated when a security interest is registered. A PPSR registration number is not a vehicle registration number.

You will also need the start time, end time or the change number of each registration, depending on the search you wish to conduct.

The organisation identifier is the name or number that identifies the organisation.

This can include the name, ACNABNARBN, or ARSN allocated to an organisation.

It is important to ensure that the correct organisational identifier is included in the registration (incorrect identifiers for grantors may lead to the registration being ineffective). The identifier rules are contained in the PPS Regulations.