Digitizing personal property registries: Alberta

Torys Quarterly: Mid-year outlook

As government services become more streamlined, the Alberta Personal Property Registry (PPR) has updated its notice procedures to digitize the registration of a secured party’s liens.

Keeping pace with an increasingly digital world, the Alberta government has already begun its shift towards “digital innovation”. This incremental shift will alter how the Personal Property Registry communicates with secured parties.

Streamlining notice procedures

In the past, notices of any changes to a registration, including amendments, renewals or discharges, were sent by mail to the secured party at the address listed in the effective registration. Now, the Alberta PPR has started sending notices to secured parties by email instead.

To facilitate this transition from sending notice by regular mail to email, all new registrations, including any new amendments, require the secured party to provide an email address. Currently, inclusion of an email address in the secured party block is optional.

However, secured parties will be unable to register financing statements or financing change statements without including an email address, starting November 6. Notices under existing registrations, including those made during the transitionary period, will continue to be delivered by mail until they are amended.

Make the shift to digital

During this transitionary period, concerns will rise on how secured parties will receive clear communication from the Alberta PPR. What are the steps needed to make the switch to email notices? How do you ensure all registrations are switched correctly? The following best practices will make the shift to digital as seamless as possible.

The transition to receive all notifications by email is the first step in receiving clear communication from the Alberta PPR. The email address submitted should not be the email address of any specific employee, but rather an address accessible by multiple employees or automatically forwarded to an appropriate employee. This email should be monitored on a biweekly basis at a minimum.

If you currently use a party code when registering, an email can be sent to the Alberta PPR with your organization name, party code, and the desired email address. The PPR will add the email address to your party code at no cost. If you have a large number of registrations you would like switched to an email address you can request a global change be made to your party code. A form can be filled out and emailed to the government to complete this request. After processing, all notifications going forward will be received by email.

Navigating regulations

As technology continues to advance, with an increasingly powerful stay in government services, we expect other provinces will transition to email notices in the future. As always, Torys strives to help our clients navigate the complex regulatory structures their businesses function within and we would be happy to provide guidance on any of these matters.

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