Section 19 of 38
Chapter 18: Lien Sales – Abandoned – Abated Vehicles
Chapter 18 Lien Sales—Abandoned—Abated Vehicles
18.065 Liens (CCC §§3068 through 3074)
A person who has repaired, furnished supplies/materials for, 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 CCC.
- To conduct a lien sale, the lienholder must have possession of the vehicle.
- The legal owner must be notified before any repairs, service, or storage may be performed if the amount of any repairs or service exceeds $1,500 or the storage charges exceed $1,025 ($1,250 for vehicles valued over $4,000).
- The lien arises (becomes effective) at the time the registered owner is presented with a written statement of charges for completed work or services, or 15 days after the work or services are completed, whichever occurs first.
— However, if possession is the result of a public agency or private property impound, the lien arises when the vehicle is transported (towed). An additional lien for unpaid parking bail may be added for a vehicle impounded by law enforcement for parking violations (CVC §22851.1).
- A lienholder must apply for authorization to conduct a lien sale or file an action in court within 30 days after a lien has arisen, or the lien is no longer valid.
- The lien may be extinguished if the lienholder does not respond within 10 days to a written demand by the legal owner or lessor for:
— A written copy of the work order or invoice showing the services or repairs performed
— The authorization from the registered owner or lienholder to perform the services or repairs.
Exception: If the vehicle is valued under $4,000 and the lien is based on towing, storage or labor, in certain cases, where possession is a result of a public agency, private party impound, or owner/operator request, the lienholder must begin lien sale proceedings within 15 days of the date the lien arises.
- A Salvage Pool cannot conduct a lien sale in order to obtain title to a vehicle (CVC §11515).