Dismantler’s Handbook of Registration Procedures

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Section 5 of 11

Lien Sales and Abandoned Vehicles

5.400 Lien Sales (Civil Code (CC) §§3068 through 3074)

A person who has repaired, furnished supplies/materials for, or towed or stored a vehicle and is not paid for the services rendered has a lien against the vehicle. The lien may be satisfied by obtaining a court judgment or selling the vehicle through a lien sale process outlined in the CC. To conduct a lien sale, the person/lienholder must have possession of the vehicle.

The lien arises (becomes effective) at the time the registered owner is presented with a written statement of charges for completed work or services. If, however, possession is the result of a public agency or private property impound, the lien arises when the vehicle is transported (towed).

The legal owner must be notified before the service may be performed if the amount of any repairs or service exceeds $750 or the storage charges exceed $400 ($500 for vehicles valued over $4,000).