Frequently asked questions: UCC
This office doesn’t provide legal advice or interpretation of the law. Please consult your attorney for advice on how to make your filing legally effective.
General questions about UCC
- How current are the UCC records?
- An online search shows all filings on record as of the date and time of your search. The report also gives the date through which we can certify that all records received by mail have been processed so they show on the search report. The certified-through date is about 2 days before the report date.
- Does Washington have the same rules as other states?
Washington uses the same processing guidelines as the majority of states. To view Washington State’s rules, please see Laws and rules.
- Can I file and search online?
Yes, you may file initial financing statements and amendments online. You’ll receive an immediate acknowledgment that your record was accepted and posted to the database.
You also may search online for free and get immediate, certified results. To determine whether we have a record for a particular debtor, you can look for as many different name variations as you need in the Browse Names search. If you want copies of records showing collateral, you may request them for a fee and we’ll mail them to you.
- Do you accept filings and search requests by fax or email?
- No, we don’t provide this service.
- How can I expedite my filing or search request?
- Use our online service! If you mail your documents, we’re usually able to return your acknowledgment of filing or search results within 2 business days. However, you can save mail time by delivering your requests to our office. You may also contact a data service company for assistance; they’re listed in the yellow pages under Attorneys’ Service Bureaus.
- What should I do if the UCC system doesn’t accept my credit card?
- Make sure you are using the address where your bill is sent. If you continue to have difficulty, please contact your card provider. A private vendor authorizes use of the credit card and provides the error messages. Typically an authorization (which blocks money in your account) will remain blocked for a few days waiting for a billing from the Department of Licensing. We won’t bill on a transaction that wasn’t finalized on the Internet due to mismatched credit card information.
- I can’t download your forms. How can I get one?
- We don’t provide printed forms. If you can open a form on your computer, you’ll be able to fill it out, print it, and mail it to us. The national UCC forms also may be available in stationary or office supply stores where legal forms are sold. Just remember, we don’t accept handwriting, so you must type the information.
- Do I need to submit the Addendum page?
- No, submit addendum pages only as needed to complete the information from the front page of the related form. Please don’t attach a UCC-1 Addendum to a UCC-3 Amendment form and vice versa. If you make this mistake, the names won’t get added to the index.
- Can I attach extra pages to the form?
Yes, we’ll accept attachments both online and through the mail. However, all information on the attachment pages will be kept as an image only and won’t be added to the index. Therefore, you must use the national Addendum form or Additional Party form for every additional party you want indexed. If you name them in an attachment they won’t be found on a search of that name.
There’s no charge for the first addendum, but all subsequent addenda and attachment pages cost an additional $1 per single-sided page.
- How many copies of the filing form do I need to submit?
- It is important to submit only 1 copy — The Filing Officer Copy. Your acknowledgment will be machine-generated, so we don’t need or want a second copy for acknowledgment purposes. Extra copies will be treated as additional filings and your request may be refused for insufficient payment.
- Can I alter the form to better meet my needs?
- If you want to create your own form, please see the International Association of Commercial Administrators (IACA) Forms and Approval Process. The format (field locations) must match our forms exactly for the information to be machine-readable in Washington. Forms that aren’t machine-readable will be refused.
- If the debtor is an organization, do I have to give the type, jurisdiction, and ID number?
- Yes, we require all 3 items. Some online resources for finding this information are:
- My amendment was refused because the initial filing number was invalid. How is this possible when I am using the number stamped on the form?
- There are several possibilities. You may be submitting:
- The file number of a previous amendment.
- The 7-digit revenue number stamped on the document rather than the file number.
- A file number that has lapsed.
- If I check the box “This record is to be filed in the Real Estate Records”, will it really be filed with the county real estate records?
- No, it will remain on file with the Department of Licensing and the county won’t be informed. Please be certain that this is the correct office for filing.
- I got my acknowledgement copy back and there is no collateral shown. Why isn’t it there when I submitted it correctly on the form?
- The form you submitted is the official record and is retained as an image in our office until 1 year past the lapse date. The computer-generated acknowledgement is a notice that we filed your record, but we display only the data we added to the index. Even though the acknowledgement doesn’t show the collateral statement, the image of the form is provided to anyone who requests a copy search of the record.
- What can I do to make sure my filing is accepted?
- The most important tip for successful filing is to fully complete debtor and secured party information every time; including name, address, and debtor organizational information. For instance, you must complete all of Box 7 for amendments to either the debtor or secured party information.
- Do I have to pay for a search of UCC records?
- It depends. There’s no fee for search results displayed online, but you must pay a fee if you want copies or order your search using the UCC-11 Information Request form. To find out how much your search will cost, see Fees and payment options.
- What is included on a search report?
- It depends on the option you requested. The following is a brief description of each type:
- Browse Names — A nonstandard search of names to help you determine how a name was indexed. Available online only.
- Search by File Number — An online search of 1 specific file number. You will see the initial file number and all subsequent amendments.
- Search Report — A certified list of all initial records and subsequent amendments. Includes all debtor and secured party names and addresses, but doesn’t include descriptions of collateral or copies of the records. Available online or by mailing a UCC-11 form.
- Search Details — A display of data from each record on the Search Report. Some records may be viewed in a PDF template that resembles the UCC form, but some records are available only on paper and must be ordered.
- Copy Request — A certified search report plus copies of each record and any attachments filed. You may order this search with a UCC-11 form, and we will mail you the results within 2 business days.
- Specified Copies — You can order specific copies of records and attachments relating to 1 debtor name. You may order this search with a UCC-11 form, and we will mail you the results within 2 business days.
- Hold-to-Reflect Search — Requested in Box 7 of the UCC-1 form or in the Miscellaneous section of the online financing statement. The search is conducted as soon as it is possible to retrieve all UCC records filed on or prior to the filing date. The search doesn’t include copies of the records. A fee of $10 is required for each debtor name searched and is in addition to the filing fee. We mail the results within 2 business days.
- Do I have to include the debtor’s full legal name on a search request?
No, you can search any name variation you think a record may be filed under. However, we conduct exact name searches only, so a partial name search won’t return any matches. The one exception is that certain “noise words” at the end of organization names are ignored in the search process. You can view the list of noise words, but it won’t make any difference if you choose to include them in the name to be searched.
Hint: Try our free Browse Names search to help determine the likely name to search.
- Can I search by secured party name?
- Yes, we’re able to provide online searches of secured party names, but we can’t provide copies of the individual records. If the search result is very big, you may need to limit your search to a specific date range.