GATOR: Frequently Asked Questions
This FAQ answers many of the general questions users have about the GATOR Application. There is more information available in the Help section of the site.
For information and help on using the GATOR Application, please see the The GATOR Application Guidebook (PDF).
- General Questions
- Fees and Payment
- Using GATOR
- The GATOR Data
- BCeID Questions
- BC Government Employees
- What is GATOR?
- What is the Crown Land Registry?
- What Kind of Information is Available in GATOR?
- What Kinds of Images are Available in GATOR?
- How Do I Get Started Using GATOR?
- What Help is Available for Me?
- What Does the Name GATOR Stand For?
GATOR is an on-line application that allows users to search for information about parcels of Crown land in the British Columbia Crown Land Registry.
GATOR search results allow you to view the attributes associated with that Crown land parcel and to retrieve scanned images of the Crown land records.
The Crown Land Registry is a database of Crown land records for the province of British Columbia, maintained since the Hudson's Bay Company first began surveying land in British Columbia in the 1850s.
At one time, large old hardcopy registers were used to record this information. In the 1980s, these land records were computerized and in the 1990s the records became accessible on-line.
Clients can use GATOR to research a variety of attributes associated with a particular parcel of Crown land, and to retrieve scanned images of Crown land records.
Please see The GATOR Data section for more information.
The GATOR archive is growing daily, offering access to many scanned images of Crown land records and documents. These include:
- official plans;
- survey field books;
- wellsite plans;
- Crown grants
To access images in GATOR, conduct a search on a particular parcel or interest. Links to the available images will appear on the Search Results page, along with applicable parcel or interest information.
There is also a page of sample images that are examples of the types of images you can download from GATOR.
GATOR is a pay-to-use application, so before you can use the GATOR application, you have set up a GATOR account. You can choose from two types of GATOR accounts:
Please see the Choosing Your Account Type page for more information on setting up a GATOR account.
There are a number of on-line resources besides this FAQ:
- Information on how to create a GATOR account;
- Information on how to manage your GATOR account;
- The The GATOR Application Guidebook (PDF) that details how to use the GATOR application;
- A Glossary of Terms used in GATOR;
- Some Hints and Tips for using the GATOR application; and
- Some Sample Images from the GATOR application;
Help is also available through the NRS Business Service Desk, call toll-free at: 1-866-952-6801, or eMail them at: NRSApplications@gov.bc.ca.
For those of you who want to know, GATOR is an acronym that stands for: Government Access Tool for Online Retrieval and was created in 1998.
- What are the fees for using GATOR?
- What kinds of credit cards are accepted by GATOR?
- Can I track the charges to my GATOR account?
- How will GATOR charges be identified on my credit card statement?
- What do I do if my credit card is not approved?
- I get the GATOR error: "Failed to validate your Eigen credit card account. Please contact Tantalis Administrator for more information. Eigen Response Code:050". What is the problem and can you restore my access?
- Can I change the credit card that I use for my GATOR account?
- I have changed employers and wish to have my GATOR account billed to a different credit card number. How do I do this?
- Can I pay for images by credit card if I have an Annual Subscription Account?
- Will I be charged for idle time in GATOR?
- When am I charged for images when using GATOR?
- Can I preview a GATOR Image before I purchase it?
- I clicked on a GATOR Image Link but the screen displayed an "Image not found" message. My account was charged for the Image but it was not displayed. How can I get a Refund?
Using the regular GATOR Pay-As-You-Go Account you are charged $20.00 for each hour (or 1 minute increment) that you use the GATOR application. You will also be charged $7.00 for each image (or multiple image bundle) that you download.
If you plan to be a regular GATOR user, then a GATOR Annual Subscription Account may be the most economical option as it provides unlimited search access. There are also Image Packs for the Annual Subscription account that will allow you to download 10, 20 or an unlimited amount of images per year.
More information about GATOR fees is available on the Creating Your GATOR Account page.
GATOR (through the secure BC Government XpressPay service) accepts valid VISA and MasterCard and American Express credit cards.
Yes. The Manage Account > Account Balance page (from the GATOR main menu) displays your account balance and transaction history, and is a record of all the charges to your GATOR account.
GATOR fees will be appear on your credit card statement as "GATOR Data, Victoria BC".
If you know your credit card is valid and in good standing, close and restart your Internet browser and try to attach the credit card to your account again. Please make sure that the card number and expiry date are entered correctly before you submit the card information.
If you are using a corporate purchase card and your card is declined, it may be that your current card is not authorized for Internet use. To allow this usage you can request with the financial institution that issued your card that the "Gov't Serv - Default (9399) Merchant Category Code (MCC)" be enabled. Contact your financial institution directly to do that.
I get the GATOR error: "Failed to validate your Eigen credit card account. Please contact Tantalis Administrator for more information. Eigen Response Code:050". What is the problem and can you restore my access?
This error message indicates there may be some issue with your credit card. Response Code 050 is a General Decline message from YOUR BANK indicating that it is not accepting charges to the credit card linked to your GATOR account.
Have you recently received a new credit card with a new expiry date? If so then you need to change the credit card association to your GATOR account as that account is still associated to the expired card. To do this just log into GATOR and then click on the Manage Account > Update Credit Card Information link and add your new credit card details.
If you have not recently received a new credit card with a new expiry date or changed to a different credit card, then contact the financial institution that issued your credit card and request they investigate the "General Decline" message to determine the cause. Contact your financial institution directly to do that.
Access to GATOR can only be restored with a working credit card.
Yes. The manager of the GATOR account should log into GATOR then click on the Manage Account link on the GATOR menu. Click on the Update Credit Card Information link and add the new Credit Card number or expiry date.
Only account managers have authority to change or update credit card numbers.
There are two ways to do this:
- If you DO NOT need to change the Account NAME then the account manager who created the account should log into GATOR and click on the Manage Account link from the GATOR Menu. Then click on the Update Credit Card Information link to change the credit card number. Only account managers have authority to change credit card numbers.
- If you DO need to change the Account NAME to match your new employer's company name AND to bill a different credit card number, then your employer must create a new GATOR Pay-As-You-Go Account. Your employer can do this online in just a few minutes. Merely log on to GATOR and follow the GATOR Pay-As-You-Go Account process to create a new GATOR account.
No. Our payment model does not allow for a mixed payment system, meaning that either all your charges are paid by credit card (GATOR Pay-As-You-Go Account) or they are all paid off-line by cheque (GATOR Annual Subscription Account).
If you have, or are planning on getting, an GATOR Annual Subscription Account you MUST purchase an Image Pack before you can download any images. Please see the Creating Your GATOR Account page for more information.
Possibly. If you do not use GATOR for five minutes and then search again, that intervening time will be added to the cost of the next GATOR search. However, if you close out your browser accessing GATOR and then an hour later start a new session, you will not be charged for the intervening time. You will also not be charged for the 30 idle minutes prior to GATOR "timing out".
A GATOR Image charge is incurred when the user clicks on the View Image(s) link in GATOR.
The short answer is No. You cannot preview an image in GATOR before purchasing that image. Clicking on the image link in GATOR will show you the image and charge your account $7.00.
There is, however, a free Historic Crown Grant Search Tool available. This is a search tool for users interested in searching for a Crown Grant by the Name of the grant holder.
The Historic Crown Grant Search Tool provides links to small 'thumbnail' copies of a subset of the Crown Grants. This allows you to "preview" some images that can be found in GATOR. The full-size copy of the same Crown Grants can then be downloaded from the GATOR application.
This free Historic Search tool and database was created (and scanned) with the support of members of the Mormon Church, as part of their genealogical interests.
- How can I create a GATOR account?
- Are there any minimum specifications for using a GATOR account?
- Will GATOR "time-out" if it is idle for a period of time?
- I had a GATOR account, but I can't log in now. What do I do to get access?
- I clicked on a GATOR Image link but the screen displayed an "Image not found" message. How can I obtain the GATOR image that I wanted?
- I clicked on a GATOR Image link but no Image window came up. Is this due to Pop-ups being blocked?
Clicking on the Start button on any GATOR web page will begin the account creation process.
A valid BCeID is required PRIOR to registering for a GATOR account. If you do not have a BCeID then go to the BCeID web site for more details.
Yes. You must have an internet connection and an working browser (Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher, or any version of Firefox, Opera or Safari). GATOR works with all current (2010) web browsers.
Yes. GATOR will timeout after 30 minutes. If a message appears advising you that your session has timed out, you can start a new GATOR session by clicking on the links provided.
If, at any time, you are having trouble accessing your GATOR account, please contact the NRS Business Service Desk.
- Victoria: 250-952-6801
- Toll-free at: 1-866-952-6801
- E-Mail: NRSApplications@gov.bc.ca
Please see the Contact Us page for the The GATOR Issue eForm. Please list the specific image and the GATOR team will determine if the missing image can be scanned and made available to you and in Gator.
If you have Pop-up blocking software on your computer, or if your web browser is set to block pop-ups, it may be blocking the GATOR image window. You will have to turn off the Pop-up blocking software to access the GATOR Application.
- Can I obtain private parcel ownership information in GATOR?
- Are images of the original Crown grants available in GATOR?
- Does GATOR have information about Hudson's Bay Company grants?
- Where can I find out more about what is available within the GATOR system?
- Are PIN and PID the same thing?
- Can I find PID numbers in GATOR?
- Are PIN numbers in GATOR always 7 digits long?
- Can GATOR tell me who has a lease/license/access permit/etc. in BC?
- I am looking for an explanation on the various survey systems used in BC. How can I obtain this information?
- Are there any samples of GATOR images?
No. Private parcel ownership information must be obtained from the Land Title Office.
Yes, please review our Hudson Bay Company Grant Information (PDF). The values listed there can be used in GATOR to search for a Hudson's Bay Company grant.
The short answer to your question is no.
PINs (or Parcel Identification Number) are unique identifiers used by the Crown Land Registry to identify a parcel.
A PID (or Parcel ID) is unique identifier used by the Land Title and Survey Authority to identify a parcel registered at the Land Title Office. In GATOR a user can search by PIN but NOT by PID.
The short answer is possibly. We suggest you search in GATOR by Legal Description, for the parcel in question. Then click on the YES link to view the Consolidated Parcel Encumbrance Report, which provides details for both surveys and Interest information for both Primary and Subdivision parcels. The Parcel Details page which links from the Report page MAY include the parcel PID, but there is no mechanism in GATOR for searching by a PID number.
To search for a PID user must access the Land Title registry, which is available through a pay-for-use online service called BC Online.
The short answer is no. There are parcels, such as, District Lot 1, Alberni Land District whose PIN is 130, which is just 3 digits. Another example is a surveyed right-of-way whose PIN is 10114630 which is eight digits. Therefore, if you are provided a PIN number that is not 7 digits, then it may not be in error. If you want to be sure you have been provided the correct PIN number then we suggest you search by Legal Description for the parcel in question. Look for the PIN number on the Query Results or Parcel Details page.
Yes. Leases, licences, and permits are collectively called tenures or Interests. In GATOR, one of the ways users can search for an Interest is by the Interest holder's Name.
Once you have logged in, from the GATOR main menu click on the Interest > Interested Parties link. Then enter the company or person's last name. The search results page will provide links to any tenure holders that have been entered into the parent Crown Land Registry database. Clicking on these links provide details on their tenure or Interest.
Users can also search for Interests in GATOR using the Lands file number, Document number (such as a Crown Grant number), or by PIN number.
There is an information booklet called "Crown Lands – A History of Survey Systems" by W. A, Taylor, BCLS. This book describes the nine different survey systems used in BC.
Yes. There are sample images in the on the GATOR: Image Samples page.
- I am having trouble setting up my BCeID. Who can help me?
- What kind of BCeID should I have to use GATOR?
- I have forgotten my BCeID password. Who should I contact?
- Can the GATOR Helpdesk help me reset my BCeID password or obtain my BCeID?
The BCeID Help Desk is available to assist you; 8:30AM to 5:00PM Pacific Time, Monday to Friday excluding statutory holidays.
Canada and USA Toll Free: 1-888-356-2741
Within Lower Mainland or Outside Canada and USA: 604-660-2355
GATOR makes no distinction between any type of BCeID (Business, Personal or Basic). Please use the BCeID type that best suits your circumstances.
BCeID passwords cannot be recovered. If you cannot remember your password, go to the BCeID web site, enter your BCeID, and then choose the Manage My Account link to answer your three challenge questions. This will allow you to choose a new password and continue.
No. Please contact BCeID for all matters related to BCeID.
Government employees or staff of a Crown Corporation who are interested in a GATOR account can create an account using their IDIR userid.
The first time you launch the GATOR application, you will be asked to submit some Profile information. Once you have completed your profile, you may begin to use GATOR with no charges.
Government employees or staff of a Crown corporation must use their IDIR ID and IDIR password to access GATOR. If you do not have an IDIR ID and IDIR password, then contact your supervisor or call 7-7000 to obtain an IDIR ID.
If your Government organization or Crown corporation does not utilize IDIR IDs then have your manager and/or director e-mail NRS Business Service Desk apply for a Non-IDIR GATOR Account. The account set-up and IDs for a non-IDIR account will differ slightly from other Government organizations which use IDIR IDs.
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Outside North America, please call ++1-604-586-4400
FrontCounter BC is a one stop service for clients of provincial natural resource ministries and agencies. Staff can help you with the licenses and permits you need to start or expand a business related to mining, forestry, agriculture, water, land, aquaculture and many others.
Virtual FrontCounter BC gives clients the ability to apply on-line for authorizations. You can update the application you are working on, attach maps and documents to your application, submit and pay for your application and track your online applications.
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FLNR administers, allocates, adjudicates, documents and manages Crown land tenures for a number of land programs. As well, FLNR is responsible for promoting adventure tourism, coordinating permitting processes for clean energy projects, creating opportunities to develop and market some Crown land parcels, and developing and implementing land and coastal marine plans and agreements.
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In 2008, the BC Government committed to improving consultation and respectful engagement with First Nations. Benefits of this work—to government, First Nations, proponents, and the public—include enhancing meaningful government-to-government relations with First Nations, creating a positive investment climate by providing certainty and predictability, and reducing the heavy consultation workload for all parties.
The First Nations Initiatives Division (FNID), a division of the Integrated Land Management Bureau, is leading a shift in business to the “Virtual integration” of aboriginal relations. Virtual Integration is a government initiative to implement common, policies, procedures and tools across all the natural resource agencies. FNID works with all Natural Resource Agencies to deliver Virtual Integration through two main business lines:
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