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Title Searching Basics

Last modified on October 02, 2018

You will need at least one of the following pieces of information for the property.

A civic or street address cannot be used to search for a title. Consult the property's assessment or taxation records for information on the property's PID or legal description. You can search for a property’s PID or legal description by its address on BC Assessment's Assessment Search.

Parcel Identifier or PID:

A PID is permanently assigned to a parcel of land, and does not change when the property's ownership is transferred. A tax or assessment notice may contain the PID. The PID search is the most reliable search method and the results will yield title numbers, both current and historical, associated with the parcel identifier. This search method can also be used to access cancelled titles and pending numbers.

Legal Description

A tax or assessment notice will contain the full legal description of the property. You should be aware that searching by legal description can be complicated. The full legal description found on your tax notice will need to be parsed into short legal description in order to search for titles. See Entering Short Legal Descriptions for a more detailed explanation.

Name(s) of the Registered Owner(s) of the Property

A tax or assessment notice will contain the registered owner name(s). When searching by owner name, you should be aware that two or more people might have the same name, which could result in misleading information when requesting a search by owner's name. Your search will be more reliable if you know exactly how the name was registered on title. Knowing the full first and middle of the name, spouse's name, and owner's occupation will help you to verify the information on title. There is an additional fee for an owner name search.

Title Number

A tax or assessment notice may contain the current title number. Title numbers change when the property's ownership is transferred. While almost all titles in British Columbia have different title numbers, a few of the older title numbers are duplicated in two or more land title districts.

Charge Number

You can also use a charge number to determine which titles are encumbered by that charge. You can only search using an active charge number.