Understanding search results

Understanding your PPSR search results ensures you have the correct information before purchasing valuable personal property.

A successful search

A search on the PPSR will return one of two results:

  1. There is no security interest or other registration kind identified.
  2. One or more PPSR registrations (of a security interest or other registration kind) is identified.

If there is no security interest

If a search reveals no security interest or other registration kind, this means that there is no financed debt registered on the PPSR for the search criteria entered.

For motor vehicles, if you conduct a search the day before or the day of the purchase, you will usually take the property free of encumbrances. For other serial numbered property, you need to search immediately before the purchase.  For more information on buyer protection, see searching and buyer protections.

Registration state

Under the Search Criteria Details heading on a search certificate you will see Registration state: Current.

If you searched for a motor vehicle this does not indicate whether the vehicle is road registered in any state or territory.  It indicates that your search was for current PPSR registrations.

You can not specify the registration state when you search, this option is only available to AFSA as the administrators of the PPSR.

If PPSR registrations are found

If your search reveals one or more registrations, this means that there is financed debt registered on the PPSR for the search criteria entered.

You will see the following information that provides more detail about the PPSR registration:

  1. Registration details: The PPSR registration number (this is not a vehicle registration number), start and end dates of the registration
  2. Collateral details: Information about the property and how the interest is held
  3. Secured party details: The person or organisation that holds the interest in the property
  4. Address for service: Details on how to contact the secured party
  5. History summary: Any amendments to the registration

If you find a PPSR registration, you may wish to reconsider your purchase or investment.

Keep your search number

A successful search will give you both a unique search number and a search certificate number. Keep these numbers safe.

You will need either of these numbers if you want to retrieve your original search result or have your search certificate reissued at a later time.

To view the search number click on search details on the search result screen.

A search certificate is your legal record

It is recommended you choose to issue a search certificate even if your search returns no registrations. Print or download your search certificate. Your search certificate is an official and legal copy of your search and there is no additional fee for issuing a search certificate.

If any registrations contain attachments, links to the attachments are displayed on the screen. You will need to download the attachments by clicking on the link, store them with your search certificate. The attachments form part of the collateral details.

If you conducted a Quick motor vehicle search, your search certificate and any additional attachments will be emailed to you.

Other information

If you specified a collateral class in your search, the search will only return results for that class.

If you searched for a motor vehicle, you may also get additional NEVDIS data. See more details in Additional search results information for motor vehicles or view the fact sheet How to interpret a motor vehicle search result and search certificate.

Exceptions in serial number searches

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 alone and may not be searchable by serial number. For example, a security interest in a commercial motor vehicle may be registered by reference to the grantor and the security interest may not appear in a serial number or vehicle identification number (VIN) search.