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Mechanics Lien


What is a Mechanics Lien? 

A Mechanics Lien definition in Canada depends on the province where the lien is being registered.  In some provinces Mechanics Liens are the same as a Builders Lien or Construction Lien.  In the United States Builders Liens are known as Mechanics Liens

In some Canadian provinces, a mechanics' lien is different. If you have provided work and-or materials to a vehicle, or in some provinces property, you can file a Mechanics' Lien. Mechanics Liens are a risk management instrument. A Mechanics Lien ensures you have a secured interest in a vehicle or property you have worked on or to which you have supplied materials. Generally liens are a collection tool to be used in the event of non-payment.  

Mechanics Liens in different provinces

In New Brunswick, PEI, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, a Mechanics Lien is the same as a Builders lien in other provinces. In these provinces and territories you can file a lien against a vehicle AND property with a Mechanics Lien - both types of liens (property or vehicle) have the same name,

In British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia and the Yukon, a Mechanics Lien is separate from a Builders Lien. In these provinces Builders Liens against property are different from a Mechanics Liens (also known as car liens). Mechanics' liens are filed against your customer and attached to the vehicle's title.  In Canada, Garagekeepers' Liens and the Mechanics Lien definitions are one in the same and interchangeable throughout the country.

In the case of vehicles, a Mechanics' Lien is registered against the vehicle's VIN number. A Mechanics Lien forces your client to address the non-payment situation directly. Should the Mechanics' Lien not be resolved, the vehicle is unable to be sold. 

Mechanics Lien Filing Deadline - Property 

Mechanics Liens must be filed within a specific time period, which varies in each province. To determine your deadline for filing a lien on property you can use our lien date deadline calculator. In the provinces where you can file on a property with a Mechanics Lien you should refer to our definition page on Builders Liens.  

Mechanics Lien Filing Deadline – Vehicles 

Note: Lien-Pro Does Not currently provide mechanics' liens against vehicles. We provide Builders' Lien Mechanics' Lien services. The information below on Vehicle Mechanics Liens is strictly for informational purposes

When providing work, services, labour, etc. to a vehicle, make sure you have proper information: know the VIN number, make, model year. Also, confirm who you are doing the work for: an individual or a company. Be aware of the rights you have under the Mechanics' Lien Act. Deadlines to file vary by province. Keep track of all activity involving the vehicle: service dates, payment dates, the date the vehicle was released, etc. Always be prepared in the event of non-payment. 

Liens must be filed within a specific time period, which varies in each province. For example, if you are an auto body mechanic and provide services and/or materials to a car to fix it, you can file a Mechanics' Lien against the vehicle if you are not paid for your work. In Alberta, you can file a Mechanics' Lien up to 21 days after you release the vehicle. The deadline to file does not start if the vehicle is still in your possession. 

The advantages of a Mechanics' Lien 

The presence of a Mechanics' Lien on a vehicle title helps to prevent the sale and-or transfer of ownership. A vehicle cannot be sold or traded in if there is a lien against it. 

Once you file a Mechanics' Lien you are considered a secured interest holder. Being a secured interest holder entitles you to some right. For example, if the vehicle you did work on is about to be sold, as a secured interest holder, you can have the vehicle seized and potentially sold at auction in order to recover your unpaid account. The Mechanics' Lien will also show up when a purchaser does a lien check.

If you have provided work and-or labour on a vehicle and have not received payment, consider filing a Mechanics' Lien. If you have any questions give us a call or schedule a free introductory consultation on filing a Mechanics Lien