Does your state require mechanics liens to be notarized? The answer is: it depends on the state. Read on for a comprehensive, state-by-state guide covering notarization requirements for mechanics lien filings.
What is a notary?
First, let’s answer the question: What is a notary, exactly?
Contrary to what you may have heard, attorneys are NOT automatically notary publics. But a great many are. And when it comes to filing a mechanics lien, you just might need a notary public to sign off on your claim in order to make it valid.
Think of a notary as someone that has the legal authority to answer the age-old, “says who?” question with, “says me.” Notaries public are like professional character witnesses, and their stamp is a legally recognized seal-of-approval that basically verifies that the content of your document is valid, true and correct. This is otherwise known as an attestation.
States that do not require a notary for mechanics liens
The following states have no notarization (or any other attestation) requirements for mechanics liens:
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
* A lien release must be notarized in California, however.
States that do not require notary, but do require attestation
These states just couldn’t leave well enough alone. While they don’t require lien filings to be notarized, they do require a lien filer to jump through various other hoops that, if not done properly, might cause your filing to be rejected or invalidated:
States that require you to notarize mechanics liens
If you live in one of these states and are having some difficulty getting paid on one or more construction projects, then it might be time for you to get the name of a good notary:
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- Washington DC
States that require notarization AND additional steps
These states are doing their best to make filing a lien as difficult as possible. Not only do they require all lien claims to be notarized, each has their own set of special steps required to insure the validity of your claim:
Management of your lien rights is a difficult task no matter what state you live in. That’s why one of our core values here at Levelset is to make complex things simple. If you need help sending notices or filing a lien, give Levelset a call and a Payment Expert can give you more information.