Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Lien Sales
- What is a lien sale?
- Who may conduct a lien sale?
- How do I get the names and addresses of the legal and registered owners of a vehicle which is to be disposed of as part of a lien sale?
- How do I conduct a lien sale for a vehicle valued $4,000 or less?
- How do I conduct lien sale for a vehicle stored at a self-service storage facility or valued over $ 4,000?
- Can I conduct a lien sale on a vehicle located out-of-state?
- Why must I pay the back penalties on a vehicle I bought at a lien sale?
- I lost my title and can't find the seller who sold me the vehicle. Can I do a lien sale?
- Can a towing company, repossession company, or salvage company do a lien sale if they are contracted with an organization or company to pick up the vehicle?
- Can I do a lien sale on a motorcycle that doesn't have an engine number?
- Can I do a lien sale and claim repairs on a vehicle if I don't have a Bureau of Automotive Repair number?
- If a vehicle has been abandoned on public property, may I do a lien sale?
No. If the vehicle in your possession has California license plates and you are out-of-state, you must follow the lien sale laws of that state. You can acquire the names and addresses of the legal and registered owners of the vehicle by using the Registration Information Request for Lien Sale (INF 1126).Back to Top of Page
Any person/lienholder in possession of a vehicle, who has a lien against the vehicle for services rendered, who does not have a monetary interest in the vehicle and has authorization from DMV.Back to Top of Page
The Vehicle Code does not exempt lien sale vehicles from outstanding fees and penalties.Back to Top of Page
No. You cannot conduct a lien sale on a vehicle in which you have a monetary interest. You may submit an Application for Duplicate or Paperless Title (REG 227) when the original title has been lost, stolen or mutilated.Back to Top of Page
Can a towing company, repossession company, or salvage company do a lien sale if they are contracted with an organization or company to pick up the vehicle?
No, that would be a conflict of interest.Back to Top of Page
No. Only complete motorcycles can be sold in a lien sale.Back to Top of Page
Can I do a lien sale to cover repair costs on a vehicle if I don't have a Bureau of Automotive Repair number?
No. All auto repair shops in California must be registered with the Department of Consumer Affairs' Bureau of Automotive Repair, and every repair shop must post a sign to inform customers of their rights.Back to Top of Page
No. The vehicle has to be located on your property for you to do a lien sale on that vehicle.Back to Top of Page