Understanding PPSR Certificate: A Brief Guide

Since the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) replaced the REVS register in 2012, PPSR Certificates have been the main way that as car’s history is reported. This is a brief guide to understanding the PPSR certificate, the PPSR search results, and how to run a PPSR check.

What is the PPSR Certificate?

A PPSR Certificate is an official government document provided as part of a PPSR search. It carries certain information on personal property registered in the Personal Property Securities Register. For a motor vehicle, it will also carry additional information not typically seen for other personal property like artwork.

To get a PPSR certificate, you have to run what is called a PPSR Search or a PPSR Check. It is a paid service as free REVS check was discontinued.

What does a PPSR Search Show

A PPSR search will provide the information listed in the database based on the type of personal item that is being queried. For example, if it's a car, the PPSR search will return the standard finance owing information check but will also pull relevant car related details from other registers such as the NEVDIS.

Therefore, the typical information generally provided for a PPSR search on a car includes:
  • Finance owing to outline any loans on the car
  • Stolen vehicle check results
  • Motor vehicle written-off status
  • Registration details

How long is a PPSR certificate valid for?

The AFSA recommends that you run a PPSR search and get a new certificate the day of or the day before you intend to make a purchase. That’s because the certificate can only give current data up to the date and time that the information is retrieved.

So, while you can use a previous certificate number to pull up the data on the government PPSR website, it is only giving you information at the time the search was initially done. The data on the PPSR certificate is valid at the date and time that the information was retrieved from the database.

You should retain your PPSR certificate as proof of your search and the date and time of the search in case of any issue in the future.

How to Read a PPSR Certificate for a PPSR Vehicle Search

The certificate provides information on 4 key areas: the vehicle details; finance owing; written-off status, stolen status. It gives a Search Certificate Number which you can use on the PPSR website to retrieve a copy of that specific search. The certificate also shows the Date & Time at which the data is generated.

Search Criteria Details: This shows what data you used to search the database – whether you used the VIN or Rego data.

Encumbrance Section

PPSR Registration Details: This section tells you if a security interest is registered on the vehicle and will return one of two results:

  • "There is no security interest or other registration kind registered on the PPSR against …" This means that there is no outstanding debt recorded against the vehicle.
  • There are one or more registrations. This means that there is finance owing on the vehicle and you can see the date it was registered and the expected completion date.

NEVDIS Information Section - Written off & Stolen Vehicle Check

This section covers details on stolen vehicle status and write-off check. If the vehicle was listed as stolen or having been stolen in the past, you could then verify this information with the local authorities.

The write off codes show if any damage or repairs were registered on the vehicle.

Written-off vehicle codes

There are two types of write-offs - statutory Write-offs and repairable write-offs.

Statutory write off where it was declared a total loss because of the severity of the damages. This means that the car was deemed unsafe to be on the roads. If you bought a car with this history, you may find it difficult to get the blue slip or Roadworthy Certificate.

A repairable write-off means that it was assessed that repairs were not financially feasible, but based on state-laws, it could be registered for road use if it passes a vehicle safety check.

The code for the write-off status tells:

  • The type of incident (1st letter in the code)
  • Location of the damage (the number following the first letter)
  • Severity of the damage (the letter following the number)

With your understanding of the PPSR search results and how to read the PPSR certificate, you can now fully understand how a PPSR check protects you when buying a used car.

How to get a PPSR Certificate?

Now that you have the PPSR certificate explained, it’s time to run a PPSR check of your own.

The easiest and one of the most affordable ways to get a PPSR certificate for a car is to run a PPSR check on QuickRevs. A PPSR Search here also comes with an easy to read report which makes understanding your PPSR Certificate even simpler.

Run a PPSR Check today.