Uniform Commercial Code Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I file?

A UCC can be filed electronically using the File Online or by paper using the International Association of Commercial Administrators (IACA) forms and submitting them to the Department of Financial Institutions.

What makes a UCC paper form standard?

The International Association of Commercial Administrators (IACA) UCC Financing Statements are the only forms accepted for filing as standard. Any other form you would use would be considered nonstandard. Only one copy is required when submitting a filing.

Where can I get UCC paper forms?

On the forms page​.

Who do I make a check payable to?

Make checks payable to Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

What happens to filings that are rejected?

UCC documents that are received in a state that is unsuitable for filing shall be rejected by the Department. The Department will not hold filings that are awaiting corrections, revisions, additional fees or information from the filer.

Any fees received that are intended for filing a rejected document will be refunded to the filer as soon as allowable under Department policy.

Rejected filings will need to be corrected and submitted anew, along with all appropriate fees for that filing.

How long is my filing active?

A financing statement is active for five years, statutory agricultural lien for five years, Public Finance Lien is thirty years and Manufactured Home Lien is thirty years. A continuation will extend the filing for another 5-year term if filed within 6 months of expiration. Transmitting Utility Lien is perpetual and does not expire.

Does a termination change the status of a filing?

No, the termination does not change the status of a filing in the Central Filing System. The filing remains active in the database until it reaches its expiration date.

What are UCC Notifications?

UCC Notifications are a way for the filer of a lien to be informed of any changes to their original filing - regardless of who makes the change. Individuals filing an original lien using our File Online system, will have the option of purchasing a UCC Notification Service for their original filing. This option will allow the filer to receive email notifications when someone files amendments or terminations. It also will email the filer about lapse notifications at 6 months and 1 month prior to lapse and expired notification. The notification service is good through the expiration of the filing.

Can I search UCC’s Online?

Yes, you can search UCC’s by creating an account through our File Online site, We offer:

  • UCC Quick Search-Free Search – a free search that can locate initial financing statements by debtor or file number.
  • UCC-11 - a paid search that can furnish a listing and/or copies of financing statements and tax liens by debtor or file number.
  • Secured Party Search – a paid search that will furnish a listing with filing history of each financing statements and tax liens by secured party.
Be sure to read the instructions to best utilize our tips when you search.

How do I search by Debtor?

Prior to 7/1/2001 keying guidelines existed within the department which would affect the way a debtor name was indexed. Searchers should be aware that documents filed prior to that date might not be returned when searching the registered corporate name.

Additionally, records filed prior to 7/1/2001 do not contain identifiers for organizations or individuals; therefore, matches for individual searches may return organizations that were filed prior to 7/1/2001.

Users searching for organization records that were filed prior to 7/1/2001 should try searching for the organization name in the Individual last name (surname) field as well.

Users searching for individual records that were filed prior to 7/1/2001 should try searching for the individual name in the organization using last name, first name and middle(if applicable).

How do I search by filing number?

If you know the filing number of the UCC lien record for which you are searching, you may look the record up directly by selecting ‘Search by File Number’.

  • For filings completed prior to 7/1/2001 enter the 3-digit county code followed by the 8-digit filing number in the textbox.
  • For filings completed 7/1/2001 thru 4/23/2019, enter the 12-digit filing number in the textbox.
  • For filings completed after 4/23/2019, enter the full filing number, including the dash ('-') all numbers after it in the textbox.

How do I view my Online paid search results?

Once you receive the email with the subject line that contains ‘completed’

  1. Sign into your account
  2. Click on 'Submission History'
  3. Find the correct order and click on the ‘Work Order Number’ of the line you want and it will take you to the work order details.
  4. From here click the word ‘view’ under the ‘acknowledgement’ column header and it will open with ZIP files that can be opened, viewed, and saved to your computer.

How long can I buy copies of filings?

Copies are available for purchase as long as filings are active or until 1 year after the lapse date.

What are Data & Image Sales?

These are data and images we offer for purchase. We have 3 types for sale: weekly data, weekly images & full data. The data files come as 4- pipe delimited (txt) files which are Debtors.txt, FilngDetails.txt, LienDetails.txt and SecuredParty.txt. The image files are provided in a ZIP folder containing PDF document images.

Weekly files include filings for the previous Sunday through Saturday each week and is generated on Wednesday each week for the previous week. There are 6 previous weeks always available.

Full data file includes all active and 1 year lapsed filings through the previous month end. A new file is generated on the 4th day of each month.

Who do I contact about vehicle liens?

For questions relating to a Lien release on a Motor Vehicle Title, call DFI Division of Banking at (608) 261-7578.

Contact Us

Phone: (608) 266-8915
Email: DFI-UCC@dfi.wisconsin.gov
Mailing Address:
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
Division of Corporate and Consumer Services
PO Box 7847
Madison, WI 53707-7847
Physical Address:
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
Division of Corporate and Consumer Services
4822 Madison Yards Way, North Tower
Madison, WI 53705