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North Carolina Lien Waivers Guide and FAQs

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North Carolina Waiver FAQs

North Carolina Lien Waiver Overview

North Carolina Lien Waiver Rules

  • Rules At A Glance
  • Top Links
lien waivers not regulated
No Specific Form

North Carolina does not require any specific lien waiver form. Any form may be used.

lien waivers do not need to be notarized
Notarization Not Required

North Carolina lien waivers do not need to be notarized to be effective.

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

In North Carolina, a lien waiver cannot be “in anticipation of and in consideration for the awarding of a contract.”

Can Waive Rights Before Payment

North Carolina allows lien waivers prior to payment as long as they were not given in order to be awarded the contract.

Lien waivers are pretty complex documents. But they are also unassuming because of how frequently they get exchanged on construction jobs across the country, and in North Carolina. A lien waiver is basically a receipt that payment has been made for work or materials on a job. These documents are exchanged at the time of payment, and commonly attached to subcontractor pay applications or vendor invoices.

There are different types of lien releases for different types of situations. And these documents have significant consequences for everyone on a job — as it connects directly to everyone’s right to cash! Also, one pesky aspect of lien waivers is that the process of sending, requesting, tracking, and collecting lien waivers is an administrative pain that slows down the payment on a project.

Knowing everything you can about lien waivers will allow you to make your process faster. And if your process is faster, your cash will move faster; and that’s good news for everyone on the project!

North Carolina lien waiver laws

North Carolina lien waivers are mostly unregulated, at least in terms of the form or specific language necessary to make the waiver effective. However, there are rules related to when a lien waiver can be given and be effective. North Carolina does not provide lien waiver form templates in its statutes, and doesn’t really provide much guidance on how a lien waiver should be drafted. Participants on a North Carolina construction project, therefore, have quite a bit of freedom to choose the exact format and language of lien waivers.

There are limitations related to when lien waivers can be requested and provided, however. Lien rights are a policy right of contractors and suppliers, so many states have protections in place to make sure those rights aren’t unfairly side-stepped. In North Carolina, these protections make it so that lien waivers “in anticipation or in consideration for awarding the contract to perform work” are completely disallowed.

In North Carolina, like everywhere, construction participants should pay careful attention to lien waivers. They are exchanged all the time, but they can have serious consequences.  The resources, forms, guides, and frequently asked questions about North Carolina Lien Waivers on this page will help you get it right.

Free North Carolina Lien Waivers Forms & Templates

North Carolina doesn’t really regulate the language on lien waivers. This means that you need to be sure about what your lien waiver says before providing it to another party since it’s easy to end up waiving more than you bargained for. Using these forms provided by Levelset is safe, easy, stress-free, and fair for everyone involved. When used correctly, these forms don’t waive more than intended, are fair, and can’t be used against the singing party.

When used correctly, the forms provided here for free by Levelset are clear and fair to all parties. You can download them free, or use our free system to send or request your North Carolina lien waiver form.

Free North Carolina Lien Waiver Forms

These North Carolina lien waiver forms are clear, fair, and simple. Make it easy, and use forms from the source you can trust.

North Carolina Final Conditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

North Carolina Final Conditional Lien Waiver Form

This nc final conditional waiver (also called a final conditional lien release) should be used when the final payment for a project is expected but...

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North Carolina Final Unconditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

North Carolina Final Unconditional Lien Waiver Form

This nc 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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North Carolina Partial Conditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

North Carolina Partial Conditional Lien Waiver Form

This nc 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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North Carolina Partial Unconditional Lien Waiver Form - free from

North Carolina Partial Unconditional Lien Waiver Form

This nc 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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North Carolina Lien Waivers FAQs

North Carolina's lien waiver rules and requirements can be difficult to understand. This can create some difficult situations for construction participants in North Carolina, who have to navigate providing waivers in order to get paid as quickly as possible, but without giving up more than they bargained for. We have answers to some of the most common questions about North Carolina's lien waiver rules below.

North Carolina Lien Waiver FAQs

Does North Carolina require a specific statutory lien waiver form?

No, North Carolina does not require or provide statutory forms for lien waivers. Because the form and content of lien waivers aren’t regulated under North Carolina Mechanics Lien laws, careful attention should be given to the actual terms of the waiver to ensure you’re not waiving more than intended.

• See: Should You Sign That Lien Waiver?

What are the requirements for a North Carolina lien waiver? What makes a lien waiver binding?

In order for a North Carolina lien waiver to be valid and enforceable, it must be done by express agreement clearly stating an intent to waive lien rights.

Lien waivers will fall under two main categories: progress payments or final payments. Progress waivers will be structured either as an “amount paid” waiver which states the amount of payment made in exchange for the waiver, or a “to-date” waiver which waives lien rights for the value of all labor/materials provided up to the “through date” provided on the waiver. A final payment waiver will waive all lien rights associated with the project.

Note: Any false statements made regarding sums due or claimed are not only a Class 1 misdemeanor, but can also subject the claimant to licensing penalties

Are unconditional lien waivers prohibited in North Carolina?

No, unconditional lien waivers are not prohibited by statute or case law, as long as the waivers is by express agreement. However, if you have yet to receive payment, a conditional waiver is always the safer option.

• See: Conditional v. Unconditional Lien Waivers, What’s the Difference?

Is there a specific statutory prohibition on lien waivers in advance of payments, furnishing of work, or furnishing of materials in North Carolina?

Yes, waivers prior to performance (so called “no lien clauses“) are prohibited under NC Gen. Stat. §44A-12(f), “an agreement to waive the right to file a claim of lien on real property… or an agreement to waive the right to serve a notice of claim of lien on funds… which agreement is made in anticipation of and in consideration for the awarding of any contract… for the making of an improvement upon real property… is against public policy and is unenforceable.” There are no restrictions on waivers prior to payment.

An important thing to note, a claimant may agree to subordinate their lien rights to the owner or the owner’s lender; which could essentially act as a waiver in terms of lien priority.

• See: We received a subordination of lien form, is there any reason not to sign it?

Does a general/prime contractor's waiver affect other claimants' lien rights?

Under NC Gen. Stat. §44A-23(c) a subcontractor’s right to to a lien through subrogation is waived if the contractor signs a lien waiver before the subcontractor has perfected their lien on the property. However, a subcontractor’s right to claim a lien on funds of a lien on real property due to wrongful payment will not be affected.

Must North Carolina lien waivers be notarized?

No. North Carolina does not require mechanics lien waivers to be notarized in order to be effective.

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