How to Put a Lien on a Car | 5 Ways You Can Do It Easily

Putting a lien on a car can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re the lender or the vehicle owner, understanding how to put a lien on a car is important in protecting your financial interests. Fortunately, anyone can use five straightforward methods to accomplish this task. In this article, we’ll explain how to put a lien on your car and each approach in detail.

Before going to the main topic, let’s have a quick look at what is a lien on a car.

What is a Lien on a car?

A lien on a car is a legal claim placed on the vehicle by someone who has provided money for it. A lien can be placed on a car if the owner has yet to pay another party, such as a lender or shop mechanic. It gives the other party an interest in the vehicle until either payment are made, or the debt is discharged.

How to Put a Lien on a Car

For example, if you buy a used car from someone and they still owe money, the lender would have placed a lien on that vehicle. This means that until you pay off what was owed to their lender, they will remain as part owners of the vehicle and will be able to reclaim it in case of non-payment. In such cases, you would need to obtain their written permission before selling or transferring ownership of that vehicle.
The person who places the lien is known as the “lienholder”, and they have certain rights over vehicle ownership.
Now we will discuss the 5 ways we can put a Lien on a Car.

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How to Put a Lien on a Car

How to Put a Lien on a Car

Contact the Owner

First, contact the owner of the vehicle. You will need to prove that you are owed money by the person who owns the car and explain why they should allow you to place a lien on their vehicle. Be sure to provide all required paperwork – including documents that prove your claim and demonstrate that you have taken every necessary step in attempting to get paid back – so as not to delay or complicate this process any further.
Once all documentation has been submitted and approved, it’s time for the next steps!

Speak to a Lawyer

Talking to an experienced lawyer can be beneficial if you want to ensure that the laws of your state or country do all steps needed for putting a lien on a car. A good lawyer should be able to advise you on the different legal requirements, such as having proper documentation ready and filing paperwork with local authorities. They can also help ensure that everything is done correctly and efficiently, which could save lots of time down the line.

So if you need extra help or have questions about your specific situation, don’t hesitate to speak with an experienced lawyer specializing in this area of law!

File in Small Claims Court

How to Put a Lien on a Car

Filing in small claims court is one of the most straightforward methods of putting a lien on your car. To do this, you’ll need to acquire some documents from your state government, such as the complaint form and instructions for filing the paperwork. You’ll also need proof that you are the vehicle’s legal owner, such as its title or registration papers. After your paperwork has been filled out, fill it with your local court and await their response.

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Submit the Paperwork

Submitting the paperwork is important when placing a lien on your vehicle. Firstly, print and complete all necessary forms from your state government’s website. This may include forms such as an Application for a Certificate of Title with Lien or Security Interest Filing (Form VSD 190). You must mail these forms and any other requested documents directly to the local Secretary of State office or DMV branch near you.

Ensure you keep copies of all your submitted documentation for future reference.

Monitor the Process

The fifth and most important way is to monitor the process. You must stay informed throughout the entire process of putting a lien on someone’s car or vehicle. You should keep records of all documents, communications, and transactions throughout this procedure to ensure everything is carried out correctly and legally. Any discrepancies arising during this transaction must be identified immediately to be corrected promptly and efficiently.
Monitoring the process also helps you keep track of payments made or received by either party involved in the transaction.

Pros & Cons of Placing a Lien

How to Put a Lien on a Car

If you are considering placing a lien on your car, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of this arrangement.


Placing a lien on your car can help you secure financing if you are trying to purchase or refinance a vehicle. A lienholder will take possession of the title until the loan is paid off in full, ensuring their investment is safe and protected. If you default on the loan agreement, your lender may have more legal recourse than if there was no lien.

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There are also some potential drawbacks associated with a lien on your vehicle.
The most obvious disadvantage of having a lien on your car is that it takes away any equity you may have built up. This means you won’t be able to take out a loan against your car or use its value as collateral for another type of loan. Since liens affect title records and can remain even after being paid off, they could cause problems when selling the vehicle.

Final Thoughts

Putting a lien on a car is an important step for lenders and borrowers when financing a vehicle. It ensures the lender can get their money back if needed and protects the borrower from losing their car without repaying the loan. Following these five steps, you can easily learn how to put a lien on a car without the hassle. Consult with your local DMV or auto loan lender for more information to ensure you take all the necessary steps.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a lien?

A lien is a legal right that allows one party to secure the payment of the debt by another.

What are the benefits of having a lien?

One of the primary advantages of having a lien on your vehicle is security for both parties involved. The lender has peace of mind knowing that if payments are not made as agreed upon, they can still reclaim their property and recuperate their losses.

Can You Put A Lien On A Financed Car?

Yes, it’s possible to place a lien on a financed car. When you take out an auto loan to purchase your vehicle from a dealership or a private party seller, the lender will generally put their lien on the title until the loan is repaid in full.