How to File a Mechanic's Lien in Tennessee

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Filing a garagekeeper's lien, also known as a mechanic's lien, is a legal action that allows a mechanic to seize ownership of a vehicle that he repaired, but has not been paid for. The mechanic then auctions off the vehicle to help recoup the expense of fixing the vehicle in the first place. If the owner of the car has not paid within 30 days of repairs being finished, and the repairs were at the request of the owner, the Tennessee Department of Revenue allows you to file a garagekeeper's lien.

Download the Vehicle Information Request (VIR) form from the Tennessee Department of Revenue's website. A link to the form can be found in the Resources section. Print out the form and complete it. Note of the cost of each request that you make in section B. These fees must be submitted with the form.

Read More: How to Put a Mechanic's Lien on a Vehicle

Create a complete, itemized list of the charges that have not been paid. This list must be printed on company letterhead.

Mail the completed VIR form, the itemized list of charges, and any fees to:

State of Tennessee, Department of Revenue Taxpayer and Vehicle Services Division 44 Vantage Way, Suite 160 Nashville, TN 37243-8050

Wait until the Department of Revenue mails the requested vehicle information to you. Compile a list of people to mail a lien notice to. This includes the owner of the vehicle, along with anyone else that has a lien on the vehicle (who will be listed in the vehicle information you received), as well as any individuals with an interest in the vehicle.

Mail the lien notice to the concerned parties. The lien notice must include a description of the vehicle, the itemized list of charges, and the date by which the owner of the car must pay by. This date must be more than 10 days after the owner of the car receives the lien notice. The lien notice must be mailed via certified mail, with a return receipt requested.

Wait for the due date issued in your lien notice. If you have not received payment by this date, you may begin the public auctioning process.


  • Consider exploring other options of receiving payment other than pursuing legal avenues, which can be time consuming.