WELCOME to I-Lien Lien Service!!

We offer some of the LOWEST filing fees in the State. I-Lien is licensed and bonded throughout the State of California to handle auto, vessel and motorcycle lien processing. Simply complete our lien submission form and you'll see for yourself!

I-Lien provides the following services:
Self Storage Lien
Tow Lien
Mechanical / Abandoned Lien
VIN Verification (Available throughout Northern California)

Who can file a lien?
A body or mechanical shop, self storage facility, private individual, tow yards, landlords (vehicle left by vacated tenant). We can lien cars, trucks, motorcycles, quads, motorhomes, jet skis, boats and other vessels.


What is a lien?
When a person repairs, tows or stores a vehicle or vessel and has not been paid by the owner of the vehicle or vessel for services rendered, that person is entitled to a lien against that vehicle or vessel. A lien arises (becomes effective) at the time the registered owner is presented with a written statement of charges for completed work or service. If, however, possession is the result of a public agency or police impound, the lien arises when the vehicle is transported (towed).

What is a under $4000 lien?
A under $4000 lien is a lien on a vehicle that is valued at less than $4000 but more than $500. At least 10 days prior to the sale date the notice of pending lien sale must be posted in a conspicuous place at the lien sale location. A short lien takes between 31-40 days to clear.


What is a over $4000 lien?
A over $4000 lien is a lien on a vehicle that is valued at more than $4000 or a vehicle that is stored at a storage facility. Usually only businesses conduct this type of lien. This lien takes up to 120 days to complete. The customer must provide the public agency or name and address of the person who authorized the repairs, storage and/or towing. The DMV will reject the lien without this information. With a over $4000 lien, I-Lien will submit a request for authorization to conduct a lien sale, along with the fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). We must wait for the authorization from the DMV before proceeding with the lien sale process. This can take approximately 40-80 days.

Then, when we receive the authorization (second half of the lien), I-Lien will prepare a lien sale package for the customer. At least five days but not more than 20 days before the sale date, the customer must give notice of the sale by advertising the sale for one day in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the vehicle is located. If there is no newspaper published in the county, notice shall be given by posting the notice of pending lien sale in three of the most public places in the town where the vehicle is located and at the place where the vehicle is to be sold for 10 consecutive days prior to and including the day of the sale.

The vehicle must be available for inspection at a location easily accessible to the public for at least one hour before the sale and must be at the place of sale at the time and date specified on the Notice of Sale. If the auction price exceeds the amount of the lien, the excess amount must be sent to DMV Lien Sale Unit (Department of Motor Vehicles Lien Sales Unit, P.O. Box 932317, Sacramento, CA 94232-3170) within 15 days after the sale date. After the sale, a redemption period of 10 days (not counting the date of sale) is required before the purchaser can take possession of the vehicle and apply for transfer of ownership. After the redemption period, you must give the buyer the lien sale package and a copy of the authorization letter from DMV. The license plates must be removed and destroyed at the time of the sale and you must submit to DMV within five days of the sale a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability.


Vessel liens
Vessels liens are slightly different and the procedures are determined by vessel value. For vessels over $1500, I-Lien charges a rate of $100 per lien (with or without trailer). I-Lien will file authorization with the DMV on your behalf. Upon authorization from the DMV I-Lien will contact you to see if the vessel is still in your possession. If so, I-Lien will then set the sale date and provide you with your lien documents prior to your sale date.


Who pays the back penalties on a vehicle that was bought at a lien sale?
The person who registers the vehicle will be responsible for all back fees with the DMV. The Vehicle Code does not exempt lien sale vehicles from outstanding fees and penalties.

What is a lienholder?
The lienholder is the person or entity who has interest in the vehicle due to storage, repairs and/or towing costs.

What will I need to perform a lien?

You will need the following:

Vehicle Identification Number, Engine number if it is a motorcycle, hull number, if it is a vessel.
Possession of the vehicle/vessel.
Vehicle must stay in your possession the entire process during the lien.

When may I begin my lien sale?
A lien begins as soon as a party fails to pay for work, services or storage on a vehicle/vessel. If impounded by a public agency the lien arises when the vehicle is towed. You may not charge for the lien until 72 hours has elapsed.

Can anyone stop my lien sale?
Yes. The owners and interested parties can oppose the sale. The lienholder has the right to pursue a court judgment to satisfy the lien.

What if the vehicle gets picked up by the customer?
If the vehicle/vessel is picked up by the customer you can charge the customer the following for the lien processing: Under $4000 lien you may charge up to $70.00 after lien sale notices have been mailed. Over $4000 lien you may charge up to $100.00 after the lien sale notices have been mailed. Vessel lien over $1500 you may charge up to $100 for vessel only, or $125 for vessel and trailer after the lien sale notices have been mailed.

What do I do with the personal property in the vehicle?
According to Vehicle Code 22851b, no lien shall attach to any personal property in the vehicle. The personal property in or on the vehicle shall be given to the current registered owner upon demand. The lienholder shall not be responsible for personal property after any vehicle has been disposed.

Do I have to register the vehicle after the sale?
Whomever purchases the vehicle/vessel on the sale or after the sale will be responsible to register the vehicle/vessel with the DMV.