How To Put A Lien On A Vehicle In Oregon

How to avoid buying a car with a lien? ClearVin Blog
How to avoid buying a car with a lien? ClearVin Blog from

The Importance of Liens

Liens are legal claims that allow a person or entity to stake a financial interest in someone else’s property. In the context of vehicles, a lien ensures that the vehicle owner cannot sell or transfer the title without satisfying the debt owed to the lienholder. If you are owed money by someone and they own a vehicle in Oregon, putting a lien on it can be an effective way to secure your interests.

Understanding Oregon’s Lien Laws

In Oregon, liens on vehicles are governed by specific laws to protect both the lienholder and the vehicle owner. The process of putting a lien on a vehicle involves following the legal requirements set by the state. It is essential to understand these laws to ensure that your lien is valid and enforceable.

Filing a Lien

The first step in putting a lien on a vehicle in Oregon is to file a Notice of Lien with the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV). This notice informs the DMV that you have a financial interest in the vehicle and prevents the owner from selling or transferring the title until the debt is satisfied.

Requirements for Filing

To file a lien, you will need the vehicle owner’s full name, address, and the vehicle identification number (VIN). You must also provide a written statement indicating the amount owed and the reason for the debt. Additionally, you must include your own name, address, and contact information as the lienholder.

Enforcing the Lien

Once the lien is filed, you have the legal right to enforce it if the debt remains unpaid. Oregon law provides several options for enforcing a lien on a vehicle. One common method is to seize and sell the vehicle at a public auction to recover the debt owed.

Notifying the Vehicle Owner

Prior to selling the vehicle, you must provide written notice to the owner of the intention to sell. The notice must include the amount owed, the deadline for payment, and the consequences of non-payment. It is crucial to follow the notification requirements outlined in Oregon law to ensure that the sale of the vehicle is legally valid.

Proceeds from the Sale

Once the vehicle is sold, the proceeds from the sale will be used to satisfy the debt owed to you. If the amount obtained from the sale exceeds the debt, the surplus will be returned to the vehicle owner. However, if the debt is not fully satisfied, you may pursue other legal means to recover the remaining amount.


Putting a lien on a vehicle in Oregon can be an effective way to secure your financial interests if someone owes you money. By understanding and following the legal requirements for filing and enforcing a lien, you can protect yourself and ensure that the debt is satisfied. Remember to consult with a legal professional to ensure that your lien is properly executed and enforceable under Oregon law.