Garage Keeper’s Lien Seizure

Motor vehicles, farm vehicles, airplanes, parts and accessories can be seized under the Garage Keeper’s Lien Act.


The Garage Keeper must either have possession of the vehicle or an Acknowledgement of indebtedness must be signed by the debtor.

A lien must be registered at the Personal Property Registry before seizure may be made.

The Garage Keeper’s Lien terminates on the 21st day on which possession of a vehicle is surrendered to the owner unless the Garageman registers a Garage Keeper’s Lien Financing Statement with Personal Property Registry within that 21 day period.

A Garage Keeper’s Lien expires 6 months after it has been registered at the Personal Property Registry. Seizure must be made within this period.

The Court may grant an order extending the time for a further 6 months and that order must be registered at Personal Property Registry.

The debtor has a right to serve a notice of Objection to Seizure on the Civil Enforcement Agency within 15 days from the date of service of the seizure documents.

How to Initiate a Seizure

The Civil Enforcements Act stipulates that only Civil Enforcement Agencies are authorized to effect seizures. Seizure is defined as the act of taking possession of personal property. The Act further requires that the Civil Enforcement Agency use only Civil Enforcement Bailiffs appointed by the Sheriff for that purpose. When a Bailiff is carrying out his duties under the Civil Enforcement Act, he is a Peace Officer.

A Civil Enforcement Bailiff will act on instructions received from the Agency. The instructing Party will forward a Warrant along with The Letter of Instructions to the Civil Enforcement Agency who will review the instructions, prepare the seizure package and issue the file to an appointed Bailiff

The Warrant

The Warrant is the document which provides the direction and authority to seize the personal property of the debtor. It must be completed and signed by the Instructing Party and must be given to the Civil Enforcement Agency.

Click here to fill out a warrant.

The Letter of Instruction

This letter comes from the Instructing Party to the Civil Enforcement Agency. It should contain instructions to the Civil Enforcement Agency regarding any urgency or unusual circumstance, whether removal of the property is required, a form of indemnification, or whether the debtor is aware of any legal impediments to seizure.

Click here to fill out a letter of instruction.

Bailee’s Undertaking

When effecting the seizure, the Bailiff may leave the seized personal property with a responsible person who agrees to keep the seized property and is responsible for its safekeeping and delivery to the Civil Enforcement Agency when requested. This may in some cases be the debtor.