Texas Vehicle Mechanic’s Lien Foreclosure Process

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The vehicle mechanic’s lien process has changed in the State of Texas. The new process was implemented to prevent fraud but the process has actually made the process more complicated for small business owners. To help you understand the process and what is required, I have prepared a complete outline of the process to help get you through it.

NOTE: If you fail to do all the steps below, in the right order within the time limits, then the only way you can foreclose on a vehicle and sell the vehicle to get paid is to file a lawsuit in the Justice of Peace court.



a. Not later than 30 days after the day on which repair charges accrue, the person claiming the lien must notify the owner/lienholder of record by CRRR mail, of the charges due and request payment. The person claiming the lien must also include the following:

  1. The physical address where the repairs were made;
  2. The legal name of the person that holds the possessory lien;
  3. The taxpayer or employer identification number of the person that holds the possessory lien; and
  4. A signed copy of the SIGNED WORK ORDER authorizing repairs.

b. A copy of the notice and a signed copy of the work order must be sent to the county tax assessor-collector’s office in the county in which the repairs were made with an administrative fee of $25 within 10 days of sending notice in (a) above.

c. The notice must also be sent to the address that appears on the work order/document authorizing possession, if the addresses are different from the address on the motor vehicle record.


a. If any amount of the charges include storage fees, a second notification must be made by certified mail to the registered owner and lienholder.

b. A Storage Lien for Abandoned Vehicle or Private Tow, Form VTR 265-S, must also be completed.

c. A release of lien is also required if any portion of the amount due represents charges for storage, otherwise foreclosure must be through a court of competent jurisdiction.

III. PUBLIC SALE: After you send the notices above, if payment is not made on the 31st day the notice was mailed and filed with the tax assessor-collector’s office, the possessory lienholder may sell the vehicle at public sale without obtaining a release of lien. The proceeds must be applied to the payment of charges and the balance must be paid to the person entitled to it.

IV. TITLE: The highest bidder must be the one to apply for title.


  • Form VTR-265-M properly completed by the statutory lienholder
  • Form 130-U – Application for Texas Certificate of Title
  • Verification of Title and Registration
  • Proof of Notification
  • Liability Insurance
  • Work Order
  • Vehicle Identification Number

The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.


7 thoughts on “Texas Vehicle Mechanic’s Lien Foreclosure Process

    nick minyard said:
    September 12, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    i had possesion of a vehicle that belonged to a deputy’s son in-law and a dispatcher’s husband. he came onto my property opened a secured gate to get this vehicle. the sheriff says that no law has been broken it is a civil matter. i feel that there is a conflict of interest. i have called several people and can find no one that enforces the texas penal code for trespassing sec 30.05 and theft of services 31.04 E3

      patriciabcole responded:
      September 30, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Have you contacted the District Attorney’s office? Or internal affairs in Austin?

    Lola Walter said:
    October 30, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Ms. Cole, my husband owns a vehicle repair shop. He repaired a vehicle brought in by an individual, to the tune of $3700. The person does not have the money and has not picked up car. We are trying to secure a mechanics lien. Problem, we ran plates (which are from Florida) record title owner is a different person and record title owner is deceased according to Florida Department of Public Safety. Tax Assessor says we need Court Order from County Judge for her to secure our lien so we can sell the car. Do you know how we go about doing this? None of the Attorneys here in our small town of Gainesville, Texas, know how or what to do. Thank you for any advice and help. I am a retired Paralegal,so even if you point me in the right direction of the code to look it up and find what and how we do it, would be appreciated. Or we can call and speak to you over the phone. Thank you.

      patriciabcole responded:
      February 25, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      You must file a case in JP Court to obtain a Judicial Foreclosure on the vehicle. You have to show proof that the person who authorized the work had the authority to do so. It is likely the person is a family member of the deceased so you should be able to do this with probate records from Florida.

    Corrion Chatmon said:
    December 15, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    i took my vehicle to a mechanic shop here in Houston for a new motor. the mechanic finds a motor and told me to go look at it to see if it was a good motor in which I’m not a mechanic. i buy the motor and the mechanic puts it in but tells me that where i bought the motor from broke some things that he needed to fix. so 11 days ago the mechanic calls me and says my vehicle is now ready but he hasn’t test drove it yet. i ask him how much was the charges he tells me that he hasn’t added it up yet. i finally get the total price for repairs 9 days later about 3 days ago and today he’s threatening to put a mechanic lien on my vehicle. i talked him an hour ago and he is doing some kind of paper work to start the lien. how can he do that when he’s just now telling me how much the total charges are for repair.

      patriciabcole responded:
      February 25, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      He has 30 days from the date he told you the car was finished. However, he can’t get a mechanic’s lien unless you signed an invoice approving the work.

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