Lien Placement

A lien is a record maintained by the MVA of the debt owed by a vehicle owner to a secured party (lender). A secured party lends the money to the owner and has the power to repossess the vehicle if the owner does not repay the loan.

How does a lien get placed?

Lenders may request the placement of a lien by applying in-person at any of the MVA's full service branch offices, in-person to the Vehicle Services Unit in the Glen Burnie office, or by mail to the Central Lien Unit.

A lien may be placed on a new vehicle or a newly acquired used vehicle at the time of titling. The Appli​cation for Maryland Certificate of Title form (VR-005) or the application on the reverse of the Maryland title must be completed to include the required lien information. The Certificate of Origin, Maryland title or out of state title must be submitted with the request.

Additional forms may be required in certain circumstances. A is required if the ownership of the vehicle is being changed and the existing title indicates that a lien had been placed on the vehicle at an earlier date. The lien release may be a letter from the lien holder or the customer may submit the termination statement sent to the customer by the lien holder. A lien release would also be needed if a new lien holder is paying off a previous lien.

What if the secured party is not a financial institution?

If the secured party is not a recognized financial institution, then a copy of the contract must be presented when the lien is recorded. The contract must be signed by the debtor(s) and contain language that there is a security agreement. The contract must contain a description of the vehicle to include the year, make and vehicle identification number. The contract must be signed by all vehicle owners, additional co-signors may also be on the lien contract.


  • There is a fee for the placement of each lien (Security Interest Filing).

Contact Information:

Central Lien Unit

6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

For telephone questions:
MVA Customer Service Center:    1-410-768-7000
TTY/Hearing Impaired:                   1-301-729-4563