Guide to filing a mechanics lien in Maricopa County

When you’re preparing to file a mechanics lien, it’s important that you understand your state’s lien laws. If you’re planning to file a lien with the Maricopa County Recorder, there are three major aspects of Arizona’s lien laws that you need to consider:

  1. Contractors must send a preliminary notice before filing a mechanics lien. This is one of the rules that sets Arizona apart from most other states. Each party who furnishes labor and materials on a project must submit a Preliminary “20 day” Notice in order to retain their right to lien.
  2. You must be licensed in Arizona to file a mechanics lien. Although it’s always a good idea to get licensed no matter what your state’s regulations are, it’s especially important to do so in Arizona. That’s because Arizona prohibits unlicensed contractors from filing mechanics liens.
  3. Lastly, not every participant on a project has lien rights in Arizona. Only parties that have a written contract with the owner-occupant have the right to file a mechanics lien. Anyone who is contracted with someone other than the property owner, including suppliers, cannot file.

This page includes useful information about where to file a mechanics lien in Maricopa County, as well as the Maricopa County Recorder’s filing requirements, fees, filing methods, and other relevant information.

Where is the Maricopa Recorder's Office that files mechanics liens?

You can file your mechanic liens in person, by mail, or electronically.

In Person

You can bring your documents to the following Maricopa County Recorder office locations in person at the following addresses:

Main Downtown Office
111 S. Third Ave.
Phoenix AZ 85003
Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. Monday – Friday
Phone: 602-506-3535
T.D.D. 602-506-2348

Southeast Mesa Office
222 E. Javelina
Mesa AZ 85210
The Mesa office only provides Kiosk recording services

Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. Monday – Friday
Phone: 602-506-3535

By Mail

You can mail your documents to the following addresses:

Main Downtown Office
111 S. Third Ave.
Phoenix AZ 85003

Southeast Mesa Office
222 E. Javelina
Mesa AZ 85210
By Digital Recording

Electronically

Prior to submitting documents for digital recording, a customer must open an account with the Recorder’s office and sign a Memorandum of Understanding specifying how digital documents are to be submitted. After your account application is processed, you will be assigned an account number. At that point your Digital Recording Folders will be created along with IDs and Passwords. Once the Recorder’s office has your folders set up they will schedule a time to web conference with you to test and answer any questions you may have regarding the process.

There is no additional charge to record electronically; your account will only be billed standard recording fees. The equipment you will need to get started will be; a computer, document scanner, and access to the internet with a current browser. The Maricopa County Recorder’s office is able to process your documents as either PDF or TIFF Group 4 that comply with its Digital Recording Standards. For help setting up your account, or to determine program eligibility, you can contact the accounting team at accountinginfo@risc.maricopa.gov or call direct at 602-506-3637.

The Recorder’s office provides the following three options for submitting your documents: Digital Upload, VPN (PPTP) and eRecording Web Services.

You can obtain a form for recording purposes from an office supply store. There are also websites that offer forms online for a fee:

http://www.uslegalforms.com
http://www.deeds.com/forms/arizona
or http://www.deeds.com/
forms/supplemental/arizona/

What is Maricopa County's Recording Backlog?

The Maricopa County Recorder does not publicly disclose information on recording backlog. If the document meets the form requirements, and is a document required to be recorded and the proper fees have been paid, the County Recorder will accept your document and assign it a unique recording number and make it a matter of permanent public record by imaging the document. Your document may have been imaged and handed back to you at the time of recording. This means you have the original, recorded document when you leave the Recorder’s office. You may have recorded your document at one of the County Recorder’s Interactive Recording Kiosks. This means you will have the original, recorded document when you leave the Kiosk. The County Recorder’s office Microfilm department films and images your document. The data entry department will enter the pertinent information to create an index so that you may locate this document in the future. This typically takes 10 to 15 working days. Your original document will be returned to the address typed on the document. This typically takes 4 to 6 weeks. If the original document is ever lost or misplaced, a certified copy may be obtained from our office. Note that the Recorder’s Office does not guarantee that documents received by mail will be recorded on the day

Should my mechanics lien be filed in Maricopa County, or some other county?

If the project is located in Maricopa county, then yes, you will want to record your lien with the Maricopa County Recorder’s office.

What are Maricopa County's requirements for recording a mechanics lien?

All documents must comply with the Maricopa County Recorder’s recording requirements pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute 11-480. They are as follows:

Only an instrument which upon presentation to a county recorder for recordation fails to meet any of the following conditions may be rejected for recordation at the time of presentation for recordation:

    1. Each instrument shall have a caption briefly stating the nature of the instrument, such as warranty deed, release of mortgage, notice of bulk sale and like captions. The county recorder shall have no obligation to index any instrument under any subject index category maintained by the county recorder unless that category is included in the caption to the instrument.

 

    1. Each instrument shall be an original or a copy of the original and shall be sufficiently legible for the recorder to make certified copies from the photographic or micrographic record. (Unless otherwise required by law ie. death certificates judgments)

 

    1. Each instrument shall have original signatures, except when otherwise provided by law.

 

    1. Each instrument dated and executed on or after January 1, 1991, shall be no larger than eight and one-half inches in width and no longer than fourteen inches and shall have a print size no smaller than ten point type.

 

    1. Each instrument dated and executed on or after January 1, 1991, shall have at least a one-half inch margin across the top, bottom and the left and right sides from the top to the bottom. Any markings, entries or text which are within the one-half inch margin shall be deemed not to impart the notice otherwise imparted by recordation unless such markings, entries or text appear in the reproduction produced under the direction and control of the county recorder. Failure to meet the one-half inch margin requirement of this subsection may affect notice imparted by the document but shall not constitute grounds for rejection for recordation pursuant to subsection A.

 

    1. The first page shall have a top margin of at least two inches which shall be reserved for recording information. The left three and one-half inches of the top margin of the first page or sheet may be used by the public to show the name of the person requesting recording and the name and address to which the document is to be returned following recording. If the first page of the instrument does not comply with the top margin requirements, a separate sheet that meets the requirement and that reflects the title of the document as required by subsection A, paragraph 1 shall be attached to the front of the document by the party requesting recording.

 

    1. Any instrument presented to a county recorder for recordation which modifies in any way the provisions of a previously recorded document must state the date of recordation and the docket and page of the document being modified. Any instrument accepted for recordation is not subject to a later claim of invalidity for failure to comply with the requirements of this section.

 

What are the margin & page size requirements to file a lien in Maricopa County?

The first page must have a top margin of at least two inches which will be reserved for recording information.

The left three and one-half inches of the top margin of the first page or sheet may be used by the public to show the name of the person requesting recording and the name and address to which the document is to be returned following recording.

If the first page of the instrument does not comply with the top margin requirements, a separate sheet that meets the requirement and that reflects the title of the document must be attached to the front of the document by the party requesting recording.

How can I make payment to the Maricopa County Recorder?

You can make payment to the Maricopa County Recorder when filing your lien in the office. The Maricopa County Recorder accepts cash, check, and most major credit cards.

What are the filing fees to record a mechanics lien in Maricopa County?

The Maricopa County Recorder’s document recording fee is $30.00.

Copy Fees

Copies of recorded document: $.100 per page
Certification: $3.00 per document

How do I get a recorded copy of my lien from Maricopa County's Recorders Office?

You can obtain a recorded copy of your lien in three ways.

In Person

You can visit any of these Maricopa County Recorder office locations in person:

Main Downtown Office
111 S. Third Ave.
Phoenix AZ 85003
Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. Monday – Friday
Phone: 602-506-3535
T.D.D. 602-506-2348

Southeast Mesa Office
222 E. Javelina
Mesa AZ 85210
The Mesa office only provides Kiosk recording services

Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. Monday – Friday
Phone: 602-506-3535

By Mail

You can mail your request to the following addresses:

Recorder and Elections Dept.
Main Downtown Office
111 S. Third Ave.
Phoenix AZ 85003

Recorder and Elections Dept.
Southeast Mesa Office
222 E. Javelina
Mesa AZ 85210
By Digital Recording

If mailing your request, make sure to enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope or add an additional $1.00 for mailing purposes.

Online

You can purchase an official copy or certified by mail online at recdocdata.

Copies are $1.00 per page. Certified copies are an additional $3.00.

Do I have the right to file a mechanics lien in Maricopa County, AZ?

Determining whether you do or do not have a mechanics lien right can be tricky. Generally speaking, every state gives those who have furnished labor and/or materials to a construction project the right to file a mechanics lien if unpaid for the furnishing. The same is true in Arizona. However, there are some state-specific limitations as to who is qualified to file a mechanics lien that is important when considering whether you have the right to file a mechanics lien in Maricopa County, AZ.

Great and detailed information about this is available on our Arizona Mechanics Lien Resources Page.

What is the fee to file a Arizona Preliminary Notice in Maricopa County?

The fee to file a Arizona Preliminary Notice in Maricopa County is $20.

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