How to File a Mechanics Lien

Related Articles

The mechanic's lien is a way for mechanics and construction professionals to obtain recourse for unpaid bills. If a car is left with the mechanic, he may place a lien on the car until the bill is paid. If the construction worker is not paid, he can place a lien on a residence. The laws are a little tricky, so the following steps should help you through the process.

Initial Steps

Read the lien law statute for the state where the work took place. Determine whether the statute applies to your situation. Make sure that you have followed each step of the law.

Do a title search. Some states require the moving party to do a title search to make sure the vehicle or property is owned by the right person.

Notify the affected parties by certified mail. If the lien is on a vehicle, notify the owner that the car was left, when it was left, and the fees being charged.

File the lien with the county where the property is located. Attach a copy of the work that was done and the bill. Follow the state's procedural law, too. There are different rules about how, when and to whom service may be served on and other similar laws. Ask an attorney or the county clerk about specific state rules.

Wait for the answer. The affidavit will then be answered or not answered. If answered, a court date will be set. If the affidavit is not answered, a judgment will be entered in favor of the moving party and you have little more to do.

Where to Find the Forms

Visit the State website. Most states have the legal forms online to file a mechanic's lien.

Visit a fill-in-the blank legal form website. There are many websites that have gathered the state law requirements and created a form to file the mechanic's lien online. The forms are free at the courthouse, but can be obtained online for a fee if you can't get down to the courthouse. The companies charge a fee of around $20 for the form.

Visit the courthouse where your state files mechanic's liens.


  • Each state law is a little different. Verify your state's laws before proceeding.
  • This is not legal advice. Contact an attorney for your state's specific laws.