Get answers to frequently asked questions about Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filing and searches.
Before you get started
The Department of Licensing does not provide legal advice or interpret 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 and are included in 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 UCC 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 may also 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 receive them in the mail.
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! When you file online, the acknowledgment is available immediately after you submit payment. If you use another service such as a courier or USPS, you'll receive an acknowledgment by mail within 2 business days after we receive your request. A data service company or attorney service bureau may also be able to assist you in filing. Try searching for one in your local area.
What should I do if the UCC system doesn't accept my credit card?
Make sure you're using the billing address for the credit card. If you continue to have difficulty, please contact your card issuer. A private vendor authorizes the use of credit and provides the error message. Typically an authorization (which places a hold on money in your account) will remain for a few days while waiting for billing from the Department of Licensing. We won't bill for a transaction that wasn't finalized on the internet due to mismatched credit card information.
Do I have to file on snowmobiles?
No, filing UCCs are optional, not mandatory. If you wish to secure the snowmobile as collateral with regard to the purchase, then you'll want to file a UCC listing the snowmobile. Do not send the Certificate of Ownership, as this will not be returned once the UCC has been satisfied.
Questions about UCC filing
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 may be available in stationery or office supply stores that sell legal forms. Just remember we don't accept forms filled out by hand, so you must type your information onto the forms.
Do I need to submit the addendum and additional party pages?
No, submit the addendum and additional party pages only as needed to complete the information from the front page of the related form. Please don't attach a UCC1 Addendum to a UCC3 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 only be kept as an image and won't be added to the index. You must use the national addendum form or additional party form for every additional party you want to be indexed. If you name them in an attachment, they won't show up on a search of that name.
How many copies of the filing form do I need to submit?
It's 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. We'll treat extra copies as additional filings and we may refuse your request 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 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 provide the type, jurisdiction, and ID number?
No, this information is no longer required.
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
- A file number that is no longer in the UCC database
- A file number from either the county of record or another state
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 acknowledgment 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 acknowledgment is a notice that we filed your record, but we display only the data we added to the index. Even though the acknowledgment 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.
Questions about UCC searches
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 by mail using the UCC11 Information Request form. To find out how much your search will cost, see our UCC fees for paper filing and searches.
What is included in a search report?
Information included in a report 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 at no charge or by mailing a UCC11 form with the $10 fee.
- Search Details - A display of data from each record on the Search Report. Some records may be viewed in a PDF template resembling the UCC form, and some 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 UCC11 form, and we'll mail you the results within 2 business days.
- Specified Copies - You can order specific copies of records and attachments relating to 1 debtor's name. You may order this search with a UCC11 form, and we'll mail you the results within 2 business days.
- Hold-to-Reflect Search - The search is conducted as soon as it is possible to retrieve all UCC records filed on or prior to the search request date. The search doesn't include copies of the records. An additional $10 fee is required for each debtor name searched, and we'll mail the results to you within 2 business days.
Do I have to include the debtor's full legal name on a search request?
No, you can search for any name variation you think a record may be filed under. 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.
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 data is very large, you may need to limit your search to a specific date range.