Make your Free
Mechanic's Lien

  • Answer simple questions to make your document
  • Sign & share your document online
  • Save progress and finish on any device; download & print at home

How it works

  • Build your
    document
  • Save, print
    & share
  • Sign it &
    Make it legal
Sample Mechanic's Lien Form Template
How it Works
Build your Document
Save, Print & Share
Sign it & make it legal

Mechanic's Lien basics

A Mechanic's Lien is a way for contractors and other skilled laborers, suppliers or service providers to attempt to collect money due. This type of lien, also often called a Contractor's Lien shows intent to pursue putting a lien on real or personal property for payment if necessary.


Use the Mechanic's Lien document if:

  • You completed construction work and you haven't been paid by the client.
  • You are a subcontractor who has not been paid by the contractor.
  • You are a supplier who has not been paid for materials.
  • You have not been paid for professional services such as architectural services.

A Mechanic's Lien shows you are serious about getting paid. It tells your debtor that if they do not pay, you'll take the matter further and put a lien on their property. In most cases, they pay before you have to move forward, so it is worth your time and investment to file.


Other names for Mechanic's Lien document:

Mechanic's Lien Form, Laborer's Lien, Contractor's Lien, Construction Lien, Artisan's Lien, Supplier's Lien


Who can file a Mechanic's Lien?

A Mechanic's Lien is not just for mechanics. This type of lien is for nearly any type of skilled laborer including repair people, tradespeople, contractors, subcontractors, electricians and plumbers. It is also an option for not just laborers but also suppliers and professional service providers. State laws vary, but the most common usage involves construction projects. The situation where filing a Mechanic's Lien makes sense is when the cost of the project is rather high, so likely not to repair a sink, but perhaps for installing an addition to a building.


Two Types of Mechanic's Liens Explained

While there are many names for this type of lien, depending on the service or material provided, there are essentially two types. This document is for the first type.

Non-Possession of the Property
In this case, the entity that provided the service or materials does not have possession or hold title to the property. Often this involves real property such as residential or commercial property. When a lien is processed in this case, the lien is against the property.

Possession of the Property
In this situation, the entity providing the service has the property in their possession. This could be a mechanic who worked on a vehicle or a dry cleaner who processed expensive items. In this case, it is often written in the original service agreement that they will hold the property until they are paid.


Preliminary Notice (Pre-Lien)

Preliminary notices are a bit tricky. By name, it may sound like a notice or warning you would send out before you file a Mechanic's Lien. However, in most states, it is something you submit before the project starts to provide the option to file a lien later. Some states call them Notice to Owner, Notice of Furnishing or Notice of Right to Lien. Often the Pre-Lien is a document you file with your county recorder's office. If you do not know how your local laws may apply to this process, you can contact a lawyer for assistance.


How do I complete the Mechanic's Lien document?

When drafting a Mechanic's Lien on Rocket Lawyer, you just need to go through the document interview process and fill in some basic information.

Besides your contact information, here is the information you'll need to make the Mechanic's Lien document:

Building information. You'll need to know the building type, address and site description. Plus, the contact information for the owner and the person who hired you.

Amount of money seeking. It may be the amount originally agreed to minus payments or it may include additional unpaid charges if you have them. Some even choose to charge interest.


When to file a Mechanic's Lien

Most areas have a rather short window of time for you to file. It often begins from the time you completed the work or from the time you stopped receiving payment for ongoing work that is now stalled. In most states, you must file within 60 to 90 days. If the work was not completed and the contractor had to quit for non-payment (work stoppage), some states allow additional time. As soon as you realize you need to file a Mechanic's Lien, ask a lawyer how much time you have to file in your state.


How long does a Mechanic's Lien last?

Unlike many types of liens, Mechanic's Liens expire. And again, it varies by state law but it is often six months to a year. Some states are as short as 90 days and others as long as two years. States most often determine the expiration date based on when the work was completed and when you filed.


How much does it cost to file a Mechanic's Lien?

It is difficult to get a pat answer on what the cost might be. Once your Lien document is completed, you will need to pay local filing fees and possibly server fees if you are required to pay for a professional server or sheriff to deliver the documents. If you do not get paid during the lien period and end up in litigation, then you'll also have to consider legal fees. You'll have to decide if the cost is worth it.


What if I still don't get paid?

It is in everyone's best interest that your debtor pay during the time the Mechanic's Lien is still active. If they don't pay, you can choose to walk away or write off the debt. Or maybe you'll be able to work out a payment arrangement that both parties can agree to. If you choose to enforce the Mechanic's Lien, you'll need a lawyer. The next action may be to file a foreclosure lawsuit and that is not something you'll want to attempt on your own. And again, all states have different file deadlines. If you are unable to obtain payment from your debtor, you can always ask a lawyer for more support.


Sample Mechanic's Lien

More than just a template, our step-by-step interview process makes it easy to create a Mechanic's Lien.

Save, sign, print, and download your document when you are done.

Get legal advice

From Rocket Lawyer On Call® attorneys.

Characters remaining: 600

CUSTOMERS LOVE US

rocket lawyer 5 star rating

Kasia M.

"Rocket Lawyer is a helpful tool for professionals who need legal documents at an affordable price."

Mechanic's Lien basics

A Mechanic's Lien shows you are serious about getting paid. It tells your debtor that if they do not pay, you'll take the matter further and put a lien on their property. In most cases, they pay before you have to move forward, so it is worth your time and investment to file.


Other names for Mechanic's Lien document:

Mechanic's Lien Form, Laborer's Lien, Contractor's Lien, Construction Lien, Artisan's Lien, Supplier's Lien


Who can file a Mechanic's Lien?

A Mechanic's Lien is not just for mechanics. This type of lien is for nearly any type of skilled laborer including repair people, tradespeople, contractors, subcontractors, electricians and plumbers. It is also an option for not just laborers but also suppliers and professional service providers. State laws vary, but the most common usage involves construction projects. The situation where filing a Mechanic's Lien makes sense is when the cost of the project is rather high, so likely not to repair a sink, but perhaps for installing an addition to a building.


Two Types of Mechanic's Liens Explained

While there are many names for this type of lien, depending on the service or material provided, there are essentially two types. This document is for the first type.

Non-Possession of the Property
In this case, the entity that provided the service or materials does not have possession or hold title to the property. Often this involves real property such as residential or commercial property. When a lien is processed in this case, the lien is against the property.

Possession of the Property
In this situation, the entity providing the service has the property in their possession. This could be a mechanic who worked on a vehicle or a dry cleaner who processed expensive items. In this case, it is often written in the original service agreement that they will hold the property until they are paid.


Preliminary Notice (Pre-Lien)

Preliminary notices are a bit tricky. By name, it may sound like a notice or warning you would send out before you file a Mechanic's Lien. However, in most states, it is something you submit before the project starts to provide the option to file a lien later. Some states call them Notice to Owner, Notice of Furnishing or Notice of Right to Lien. Often the Pre-Lien is a document you file with your county recorder's office. If you do not know how your local laws may apply to this process, you can contact a lawyer for assistance.


How do I complete the Mechanic's Lien document?

When drafting a Mechanic's Lien on Rocket Lawyer, you just need to go through the document interview process and fill in some basic information.

Besides your contact information, here is the information you'll need to make the Mechanic's Lien document:

Building information. You'll need to know the building type, address and site description. Plus, the contact information for the owner and the person who hired you.

Amount of money seeking. It may be the amount originally agreed to minus payments or it may include additional unpaid charges if you have them. Some even choose to charge interest.


When to file a Mechanic's Lien

Most areas have a rather short window of time for you to file. It often begins from the time you completed the work or from the time you stopped receiving payment for ongoing work that is now stalled. In most states, you must file within 60 to 90 days. If the work was not completed and the contractor had to quit for non-payment (work stoppage), some states allow additional time. As soon as you realize you need to file a Mechanic's Lien, ask a lawyer how much time you have to file in your state.


How long does a Mechanic's Lien last?

Unlike many types of liens, Mechanic's Liens expire. And again, it varies by state law but it is often six months to a year. Some states are as short as 90 days and others as long as two years. States most often determine the expiration date based on when the work was completed and when you filed.


How much does it cost to file a Mechanic's Lien?

It is difficult to get a pat answer on what the cost might be. Once your Lien document is completed, you will need to pay local filing fees and possibly server fees if you are required to pay for a professional server or sheriff to deliver the documents. If you do not get paid during the lien period and end up in litigation, then you'll also have to consider legal fees. You'll have to decide if the cost is worth it.


What if I still don't get paid?

It is in everyone's best interest that your debtor pay during the time the Mechanic's Lien is still active. If they don't pay, you can choose to walk away or write off the debt. Or maybe you'll be able to work out a payment arrangement that both parties can agree to. If you choose to enforce the Mechanic's Lien, you'll need a lawyer. The next action may be to file a foreclosure lawsuit and that is not something you'll want to attempt on your own. And again, all states have different file deadlines. If you are unable to obtain payment from your debtor, you can always ask a lawyer for more support.

Use the Mechanic's Lien document if:
  • You completed construction work and you haven't been paid by the client.
  • You are a subcontractor who has not been paid by the contractor.
  • You are a supplier who has not been paid for materials.
  • You have not been paid for professional services such as architectural services.
Read {{ showMore ? 'Less' : 'More' }}

Ready to make your Free Mechanic's Lien?

Your document is free within your one week membership trial.

Meet ALL your legal needs with a Rocket Lawyer membership.
Document Defense®
Have an attorney ready to defend your document
Document Review
Review up to 6 documents a year with an attorney
Ask a Lawyer
Get 2 Q&A sessions with an attorney every month
1-on-1 Legal Advice
Enjoy 30-minute consultations  on each new legal matter
Exclusive Discounts
Save on additional legal services from our nationwide network of lawyers
Unlimited Documents
Access hundreds of legal documents, plus extra features like electronic signatures