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Arizona Lien Waivers Guide and FAQs

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Arizona Waiver FAQs

Arizona Lien Waivers Overview

Arizona Lien Waiver Rules

  • Rules At A Glance
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lien waivers regulated
Specific Form Required

Arizona sets out a required lien waiver template by statute. In order to be valid, an Arizona lien waiver must follow that template.

lien waivers do not need to be notarized
Notarization Not Required

Arizona lien waivers are not required to be notarized, and should not be notarized.

icon-can't waive lien rights
Cannot Waive Rights in Contract

No, Arizona statute specifically prohibits this practice. Any contract term to that effect shall be void.

Can Waive Rights Before Payment

There is no specific prohibition on waiving lien rights prior to payment, provided that the statutory lien waiver form is used.

Arizona lien waivers are regulated by statute. The rules, forms, and procedures are specific. If you’re involved in an Arizona construction job, it’s important to understand the lien waiver requirements, and to adhere to them during the payment and lien waiver exchange process.

Using lien waivers in Arizona

Lien waivers — also called lien releases — are simply documents exchanged at the time of payment on a construction job. Frequently, subcontractors provide lien waivers along with their payment applications or invoices. It’s common for a signed lien waiver to be a prerequisite to having a contractor’s pay application approved, and payment issued. The process of requesting, sending, collecting, and tracking lien waivers can be complicated since the documents have required legal elements (especially in Arizona), and because lien waivers must be collected across so many parties (i.e. subcontractors, general contractors, suppliers, etc.).

Lien waivers act as a “receipt” of funds. Construction lenders, property developers, and general contractors rely on signed lien waivers to verify that a subcontractor has paid its suppliers and vendors. Primarily, having this verification is why lien waivers are requested in Arizona.  Subcontractors and suppliers, however, sign lien waivers and adhere to waiver requests to clear the path for payment. There is some friction between Arizona job participants about when and how the lien waiver & payment is exactly exchanged.

Arizona lien waiver laws

The lien waiver laws in Arizona make this a bit easier to handle than in other states that do not have clear waiver regulations. As such, while it’s a bummer to have additional compliance matters on an Arizona project, there are big pay-offs, since an unregulated lien waiver environment can be really murky, messy, and problematic.

The lien waiver statutes are relatively straightforward. Arizona is one of the 12 states that provide statutory lien waiver forms. Failure to use these forms, using the wrong form, or attempts to modify the waiver language will result in the lien waiver being invalid and unenforceable.  It’s really that simple.

This is an attempt to level the playing field and simplify the waiver exchange process. In states that do not provide statutory forms, there is an inherent risk of abuse. Many higher tier parties will include additional language that waives more contract and mechanics lien rights than originally anticipated. 

While the Arizona lien waiver form templates are laid out and seem straightforward, mistakes can still be made. It’s important to understand Arizona’s lien waiver requirements to avoid these errors.

Arizona lien waiver guides

The information on this page provides frequently asked questions, forms, guides, and other helpful information on Arizona Lien Waivers.  If you want to dig in more specifically, here are specific guides on the 4 different types of Arizona lien waivers, including a step-by-step walkthrough on how to fill out those forms:

Free Arizona Lien Waivers Forms & Templates

Arizona has specific lien waiver forms that must be used by everyone on an Arizona construction project. The forms provided here for free by Levelset are compliant with the Arizona rules. You can download them free, or use our free system to send or request your compliant Arizona lien waiver form.

Free Arizona Lien Waiver Forms

These Arizona lien waiver forms are compliant with the state's requirements. Make it easy, and use forms from the source you can trust.

Arizona Partial Unconditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Arizona Partial Unconditional Lien Waiver Form

This Arizona partial unconditional waiver (also called a partial unconditional lien release) should be used when a progress payment on the project has been received....

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Arizona Final Conditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Arizona Final Conditional Lien Waiver Form

This Arizona final conditional waiver (also called a final conditional lien release but not to be confused with a lien cancellation) should be used when...

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Arizona Final Unconditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Arizona Final Unconditional Lien Waiver Form

The Arizona final unconditional waiver (also called a final unconditional lien release) should be used when the final payment for a project has been made...

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Arizona Partial Conditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

Arizona Partial Conditional Lien Waiver Form

The Arizona partial conditional waiver (also called a partial conditional lien release) should be used when a progress payment on the project is expected. There...

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Arizona Lien Waivers FAQs

Lien waiver forms, requirements, and rules will vary from state-to-state. Some states -- like Arizona -- have more detailed regulations over lien waivers than others. This is a gift! Arizona has very clear requirements about the lien waiver exchange process, which makes things easier for everyone involved with an Arizona construction project. These lien waiver documents are super important to the payment process. When done wrong, it can result in some very expensive problems. Below are some frequently asked questions about the lien waiver laws and requirements in Arizona, with answers written by construction lawyers and other payment experts.

Arizona Lien Waiver Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to use a specific lien waiver form in Arizona?

Yes. Everyone exchanging money on a construction job in Arizona must use the same lien waiver forms. These are the forms prescribed by the Arizona lien waiver laws. Arizona is one of 12 states that provide a specific lien waiver form to be used by contractors and suppliers on projects in the state.

Arizona provides 4 different lien waiver forms. Each form is used at different times and under different circumstances. Here are guides to the 4 Arizona statutory lien waivers:

When do Arizona lien waivers become binding?

That depends. And actually, this is a pretty complicated legal question. We wrote a plain English explanation of this in Unconditional Lien Waivers vs Conditional Lien Waivers and the Construction Payment Catch 22. 

Generally speaking:

  • Conditional statutory waivers will become binding once there is evidence of payment.
  • Unconditional waivers are binding once they are signed by the lienor.

Be careful when signing unconditional lien waivers!

Can a contractor or supplier waive their lien rights in their contract?

In Arizona, the answer is no. Arizona’s lien waiver laws specifically prohibit contract provisions that waive lien rights prior to performing work. 

At Levelset, we like to call these “no-lien clauses,” and we’ve written about them extensively.  Basically, a “no lien clause” is a clause put into a construction contract requiring contractors or suppliers to waive their lien rights on the job. 

Even though these clauses are illegal in Arizona and in most states, it is a surprisingly common practice.

Many property developers and general contractors think they can put a provision in the construction contract to prohibit subcontractors and suppliers from filing a lien on the job. Many also confuse these “no lien clause” provisions with a common construction contract provision that requires a party “to keep a property free and clear of liens.” These are not the same thing.

The “no lien clause” is asking someone to give up their own lien rights. The “free and clear of liens” clause simply requires someone to handle a mechanics lien filing if one is made on the job (i.e. by paying it, bonding it off, etc.).

In any event, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers are incapable of waiving their lien rights before starting work on the job. Even if they sign a contract saying they waive their lien rights, in Arizona, this will be illegal and unenforceable.

Can a contractor or supplier waive their lien rights after work begins, but before payment is made?

Maybe. It may be possible to waive lien rights in Arizona after work has started, but before payment is made.  

This question is common because of the unconditional lien waiver form. Construction lenders, property developers, and general contractors commonly seek unconditional lien waivers before payment is made. The question here is whether signing such an unconditional form before receiving payment would actually result in an effective waiving of lien rights.

In some states, the laws specifically provide that this would not be effective. However, Arizona is not one of those states. There is no specific statutory prohibition providing a lien waiver in advance of payment.

In Arizona, therefore, it may be possible to waive lien rights with an unconditional lien waiver before payment. But a lot of things would have to be right, such as:

  • The waiver form must follow the legal requirements;
  • The waiver language shouldn’t say untrue things, like “We’ve received $__”

It’s also possible to waive lien rights even when you don’t intend to waive lien rights. We wrote about an example of this in Arizona Lien Waiver Through Date: Mistakes Can Result In Lost Lien Rights, calling the “through date” field the most important part of an Arizona lien waiver.  A little mistake with this field, and a contractor may wind up waiving their lien rights without intending it…and maybe even before payment.

In one case, an Arizona contractor who signed an unconditional waiver was actually required to pay back the nearly $200K they received after the GC went bankrupt. Because unconditional lien waivers are not always necessary in Arizona, especially on smaller projects, it’s critical to understand how the law affects your rights before signing an unconditional waiver.

Must an Arizona lien waiver be notarized?

No, Arizona lien waivers do not need to be notarized, even though it’s common for contractors to ask for notarized waivers. In fact, it’s possible that notarizing your Arizona lien waiver could invalidate it since it would alter the statutory form. Accordingly, it’s best practice NOT to notarize an Arizona lien waiver.

Do Arizona lien waivers waive all of my rights?

That depends. The statutory progress payment waivers include a section that states that the waiver and release, “does not cover any retention, pending modifications, and changes or items furnished after” the “through date.

The final payment form provides a less comprehensive section which covers all labor and materials “except for disputed claims in the amount of [$__].”

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Construction attorneys: Courtney Stricklen, Christopher Ng, Andrea Goldman, and Peter Ryan

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How to file a lien in Arizona

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