How to Put a Mechanic's Lien on a Car in Ontario, Canada

Mechanics can file a claim of lien when payment is not received.
••• car repair image by Przemyslaw Moranski from

The Repair and Storage Liens Act (RSLA) gives the repairer (lien claimant) the right to retain possession of an article, including a car, until payment is received. If the owner of the car fails to pay the lien claimant within a specified amount of time, the lien claimant has the right to retain the property until payment has been made. If, however, the car has been returned to the owner before the invoice has been settled, there are measures the mechanic can take to protect his interest in the matter.


A signed invoice is part of the proof for the claim.

Retrieve the invoice for the repairs done on the owner's vehicle. Be sure the owner signed the invoice with the amount due showing.

Prepare the claimant information needed to register the claim. The lien claimant's name and business address is required, as well as a description of the repairs that were done from the invoice, the vehicle identification number and the amount of the lien.

Read More: How to Enforce a Lien

Gather the owner's information needed to register the claim for lien. Record the owner's first and last name, address and date of birth. All this information is essential to file a claim for lien.

Service Ontario can register the lien via telephone or Internet.

Call or visit the Service Ontario Access Now website with the information about the owner and the claimant. Have a major credit card ready to pay the fee, which, as of August, 2010, was CAD$8.00. The claim will be valid for one to three years or until the claim for lien has been discharged.

Consult businesses that offer lien registration services if the owner or vehicle information is missing or if convenience is an issue.

Keeping accurate records will prove helpful if there is a dispute.

Keep all the above information, a copy of the invoice and claim of lien reference number for your records.

Discharge the lien within 30 days of receiving payment in full. If the claim is not discharged within this time period, the owner is entitled to bill the claimant CAD$100 plus further damages if applicable.


  • It is not necessary for a mechanic to do lien searches before repairing vehicles. By retaining the vehicle until payment is received, the mechanic becomes a possessory lien claimant -- this ranking has priority over any non-possessory lien claimants with previous claims.

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