The Mechanics Lien process in Virginia has some very specific requirements and steps to go through.
Here’s the form from the Virginia DMV which shows how that process works first you enter in the year make and model the vehicle other information such as the license plate number if available vin number and then the first step is to request vehicle records on that particular vehicle.
The purpose you have to check off a box storage lien or mechanics lien and then you have to put the amount and the lien has to be for an amount that’s Statutorily allowable so if you have a storage lien certain requirements may have to be met such as posting of the rate the daily rate also maybe notices in some cases.
You can’t exceed a certain amount mechanics lien is for a repair bill that’s unpaid and you may have to have a signed repair order or other documentation you have to check off if it was towed for law enforcement or for the police next you fill in what’s the name of the company the mechanic shop automotive facility holding the vehicle so joe’s garage xyz body shop address city states app zip company telephone number your employer identification number for the company required for set off purposes.
Use agreement number for example if you have a repair order if you have a repair bill number that’s where it goes into that box address where the vehicle is if it’s different from the address of the facility and then the first thing is the vehicle record request you have to put the name of the mechanic or storage facility then a signature and a date if you’re using a title company you put their information.
Here once it goes down to the DMV use you don’t feel anything here but look at what it’s asking you for is the different values of the vehicle three thousand up to twelve five to twenty five thousand or more.
That’s going to be important we’ll look at that a little later different procedures exist for different values of vehicles and this goes by nada trade-in value nada trading value so for the purposes of this process the following definitions trade-in value is nada official used car guide public place is a location within this commonwealth or state of Virginia where you can put postings independent appraiser is somebody who appraises a vehicle.
If necessary so if the vehicle is 12 500 or less you have to apply for the vehicle transcript the vehicle ownership through the customer cervix center basically the DMV has to tell you who the owner and lien holder the vehicle is you have to notify all the vehicle owners and lean holders by certified mail of the intent to sell the vehicle you have to use the information from the vehicle transcript that the DMV gives you.
You can’t use an address you got from the repair bill you can’t use an address you got that the customer gave you you have to use what is on the official vehicle ownership transcript send out certified letters owner and lien holder next you have to hold the vehicle in your possession for a minimum of 30 days you have to advertise the date and time along with the terms at least 10 days before the auction you have to put it in a public place once you sell the vehicle you have to provide the purchaser with all the evidence and documents from above if the vehicle is 3000 or less.
There’s a couple less fewer things you have to do however if there is an owner or lien holder record on the vehicle you can’t use that exception owner lien holder must be notified in auction held if it’s above, that what happens if the vehicle is worth more than twelve thousand five hundred you still have to do the same thing but you also have to petition the general district court in order to get a approval for the sale, you have to be granted the petition by the court and you have to hold the auction through the sheriff.
You can’t just do it yourself on your front lot you have to have the sheriff do it and then the sheriff has to sign an affidavit so if the vehicle’s worth more than twelve thousand five hundred one dollars you have to get the court involved legal system gets involved general district court and the sheriff what happens if it’s more than twenty five thousand well now you have to go to the circuit court which is a higher court still go through the sheriff and the sheriff has to sign an affidavit and they have to sign saying the vehicle is auctioned off the right way in addition to that you have to post a copy in three places not just one.
And one public place put on a website operated by the commonwealth so you have to post it in a government website that advertises assets being sold and also a newspaper.
So if it’s worth 25 000 or more you have to put it in more places same thing with 12 000. they’re trying to protect the interest here’s the affidavit that says that you did all these things I applied to DMV for the owner information I held the vehicle for 30 days I made the notices I arranged for the vehicle to be sold you have to check all those boxes saying you did all those things you have to certify that all the information is correct.
False statement or representation is a criminal violation, why do they do that well they know that the mechanics lien process is a lot of times used improperly to get a title for a vehicle that somebody just lost or that’s been abandoned so they want to make sure your you know what you’re signing that this is all correct it has to be notarized the sheriff has to sign it as well here’s the application for lien you have to put what you’re planning to do with the vehicle sell it put it in your name or it’s not repairable meaning you’re going to junk it and then you have to check off which box you’re going to do this is DMV only.
So they have to go through their checklist to make sure you have everything you need they check off do you have a copy of the auction notice do you have a copy of the web posting the copy of the original repair bill see that right there you have to have a copy of the original repair bill.
So you can’t just make up the fact that yeah somebody brought it in my shop for repairs you have to have a copy of the repair bill if you don’t have it they don’t check off that box they’re not going to give you a title so this is what the DMV is going to use to check off before they give you a title now in reality even if you have all of these things and all these boxes are checked by the DMV they go through. They check all these Boxes they might not even send you the title they might send it back rejected and you might not know why the reason why is because one of the fraud prevention Techniques that the DMV uses is to reject every application that comes in even if it’s right because that way they figure well if the person really isn’t doing this properly they might just stop and not go forward so if you get it rejected and you know everything is right go ahead and stick to your guns send it back in it’ll probably go through.
Mechanics lien is a valuable privilege given to you as a licensed automotive facility your automotive professional license gives you the authority to do this process so use it to your advantage when it’s Appropriate don’t use it if it doesn’t meet this criteria even though you might think well I can make it work you might be able to make it work but what will happen is this these mechanics lien titles are very highly audited meaning that the state the DMV the the revenue department is going to look through these and try to find situations where it wasn’t used properly.
In fact even after you send out the notices to the prior owner and lien holder the DMV in some states will send another notice after you get the title and say remember that vehicle used to have a lien on as a bank remember that vehicle you used to own well this person or this company or this automotive shop took away your ownership rights using a mechanic’s lien saying that this car was in for service is that true if you suspect any kind of fraud let us know they might actively solicit prior owners to try to rat you out that you did a mechanically in the wrong way so be aware that they’re going to scrutinize everything make sure you do it right don’t leave anything out don’t take any shortcuts because you can get your title revoked and if they find out that it was not done properly they could bar you from ever doing mechanics lanes in the future we’ve seen it happen use the mechanics link to your advantage but don’t skip steps look this this one document here this is you know four pages and there’s other things you have
to do it’s tedious it’s a lot of work you can take seven eight hours worth of labor to do this don’t skip any steps because it’s worth it to do it right so that you don’t get it rejected you don’t get a red flag put on your license because maybe they’re suspecting you’re doing mechanics things wrong if you do it the right way and jump through all the hoops you’ll be in good shape you’ll be able to get your money back from repair sell all your abandoned vehicles and not have to worry about further scrutiny later or losing money on repair bills that aren’t pay.