Guide to filing a mechanics lien in Miami-Dade County

Steps to file a mechanics lien in Miami-Dade County

Step 1: Get The Right Form & Meet Margin Requirements

When you show up at the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s office you need to have everything right and ready to go with your mechanics lien form.  Here are a few key things to keep in mind:

Use the right mechanics lien form

You can download a free Florida mechanics lien form here.

Make sure you fill it out completely right, it includes all of the required information, and that you also include an affidavit of service. Check out this article on How to File A Florida Mechanics Lien for detailed instructions on how to fill out and serve your mechanics lien form.

Include required information

Put all the required recording information on the top of the first page. This is really important. All documents recorded in Miami-Dade County must have certain information on the top of the first page.  According to the county, “the first page of the document must reserve a minimum of 2.5 inches down from the top of the page, of which the left 3.5 inches across is used by the party requesting recording to enter name and address to which the document is to be returned following recording. The remainder of this space is reserved for use by the Registrar-Clerk to enter the official recording information.”

Get your margins right

In Miami-Dade:

  • Page size must be 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Must have 2.5 inches on top of first page reserved (see above)
  • 0.5 inches must be blank on each side of the document

Step 2: Calculating Your Miami-Dade County Filing Fees

You need to pay the exact filing fee to get your mechanics lien recorded in Miami-Dade County.  Generally speaking, a mechanics lien filing is going to cost you almost $100 in filing fees! It is $95 for the first page and $3 for additional page, not including charges for getting a certified copy back, or non-conforming margins or page size penalties. Miami-Dade County’s specific filing fee calculations and payment information is below.

Step 3:  Serve the Mechanics Lien

As explained in detail in our How to File A Florida Mechanics Lien, you must serve your Florida mechanics lien before filing it. When you arrive at the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s office, you must have an “Affidavit of Service” ready and prepared to file with your lien claim. Therefore, after you have everything ready go to, you need to make sure you’ve already finished this step before going to the county.

Step 4: File your lien with the Miami-Dade County Clerk

You’re at the final step — actually delivering the lien to the county Clerk office. Filing your mechanics lien electronically in Miami-Dade is not available to contractors and suppliers directly, but is only available through qualified and registered third-party lien filing services.  You will either need to send your lien to Miami-Dade County for filing by mail, or deliver it in person.

Because of Miami-Dade County’s backlog, it’s highly recommended to deliver the lien in person for filing. Practical information on where to go with your lien is below.

Where is the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Court that files mechanics liens?

Mechanics liens in Miami-Dade County can be filed by mail to the following address:

Miami-Dade County Clerk
P.O. Box 011711
Flagler Station
Miami, Florida 33101

For items requiring a signature, you can go in person to the following office:

22 NW 1st Street, 1st Floor
Miami, FL 33128
Phone: 305-275-1155

Keep in mind that documents submitted for recording by mail or in person without a self-addressed, stamped envelope will be rejected.

What is Miami-Dade County's Recording Backlog?

Hard to say, but probably long. County backlogs can be long, and Miami-Dade mail-filing backlog is notoriously long.

The Miami-Dade County Clerk does not publish how long their mail backlog is…but you can get a small hint by looking at how long it takes to get something recorded even in person! Here is how they describe this period:

All courier services, third-party representatives, attorney services and messengers must drop off Deeds, Deed of Trust, Leases, and Notice of Default submitted for recording. Documents will be ready for pick-up within 3 business days.

An examiner will review submitted document for proper completion, collect the appropriate fees and taxes, and record your document. The original document will be mailed to you within 4 to 6 weeks (after we complete the process of adding your document to our database for archival retention).

Yikes!

Make sure you send your mechanics lien by in-person delivery or courier. Mailed liens are not immediately recorded and can face waits of more than 8 weeks before they are processed or returned in Miami-Dade.

Should my mechanics lien be filed in Miami-Dade County, or some other county?

If the project is located in Miami-Dade county, then yes, you will want to record your lien with the Miami-Dade County Clerk’s Office.

What are Miami-Dade County's requirements for recording a mechanics lien?

Miami-Dade County publishes a long list of requirements for document recording, but only a few of the items apply to mechanic’s lien claims. Here are those items.

1. The property must be located in Miami-Dade County. (C.C. § 1169)

2. The document must be authorized or required by law to be recorded. (G.C. § 27201)

3. Signatures must be original unless the document is a certified copy issued by the appropriate custodian of the public record. (G.C. § 27201b, G.C. § 27279, Evidence Code § 1530)

4. Include the name of the party requesting the recording and a name and address where the document can be returned. (G.C. § 27361.6)

5. The document must be properly acknowledged, unless exempt. Florida requires an (all-purpose acknowledgement). (G.C. §27201, 27289, 27285, 27287, 27288; C.C. § 1189)

6. Documents must be clearly legible in order to produce a readable photographic record. This pertains to the document text, notary seals, certificates and other attachments, such as legal descriptions. (Gov. 27361.7)

7. Include the recording fees.

What are the margin & page size requirements to file a lien in Miami-Dade County?

All documents must be on regular letter-sized paper: 8.5 by 11 inches. Other page sizes incur additional recording fees.

Except for the first page (see below), a minimum of 0.5 inches must be left blank on all sides of the document.

2.5 inches of margin must be left at the top of the first page.

On the left 3.5 inches across, put the name and address of the party requesting the recording, and the address where the document is to be returned following recording.

The remainder of this space (the right 5 inches) is reserved for use by the Registrar-Clerk to enter the official recording information.

Use A Cover Sheet If First Page Does Not Comply:  If the first page of a document does not comply with these legal requirements, attach a separate page to the front of the document that meets these spacing criteria and which includes the title or titles of the document.

How can I make payment to the Miami-Dade County Clerk?

Miami-Dade County has many payment options, including payment by cash, debit, credit, money order, and cashier check. However, this depends on whether you’re recording something by mail or in person.

Note that the Miami-Dade County Clerk does not accpet personal or company checks.

Payment Options for In-Person Recording

• Cash

• Debit/Credit Cards: American Express®, Discover®, MasterCard® or Visa®. Note that an additional $1.75 service fee will be added to your purchase when paying with a debit/credit card.

• Cashier’s Check. Note that valid identification (i.e., driver’s license) of the signer is required and must be presented at time of recording.

Payment Options for Recording by Mail

Cashier’s Check or Money Order: Make payable to the “Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk” Out-of-state checks are accepted, but not temporary or foreign checks.

If you are unsure of the fees, submit a blank check indicating on the Memo field “NOT TO EXCEED $[fill in amount].”

Payments can be sent to:

22 NW First Street
Miami, Florida 33128
305-275-1155

or

Miami-Dade County Clerk
P.O. Box 011711
Flagler Station
Miami, Florida 33101

What are the filing fees to record a mechanics lien in Miami-Dade County?

The Miami-Dade County Clerk’s “base fee” to file a mechanics lien is $95, and includes 1 page. Each additional page costs $3.00.

If your document does comply with margin and print requirements, you may also be charged one of the following penalties:

Nonconforming Fee: $3 per page that is not 8.5 by 11 inches in size (not to exceed 8.5 by 14 inches).

Penalty Print: $1 for each page where penalty print appears, which is defined as “wording added to the printed form that is spaced either more than nine lines per vertical inch, has more than 22 characters and spaces per inch measured horizontally, for not less than three inches in one sentence.”

Indexing Fee: If your lien mentions more than 10 names that must be indexed, you will be charged $4 for each additional group of 10 names.

Fees to obtain a copy
There are also fees charged to get a copy back from the Clerk.

Conformed Copy: Free
Certified Copy: $6 first page, $3 additional
Plain Copy: $5 first page, $3 each additional.

How do I get a recorded copy of my lien from the Miami-Dade County Clerk's Office?

At the time of recording you can purchase a certified copy from the county (fees above). In this case the county will make a copy for you, and certify it.

You can also bring your own copy of the original document to the county when you record it, and they will stamp it to look just like the original. This is called a “conformed” copy and is not certified. It is free to get 1 conformed copy. Each additional is $5.00 for the first page and $3.00 for each additional page.

Other than at the time of recording, requesting a Certified Copy of your recording in-person can only be done at the following office:

Miami-Dade Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk
22 NW 1st Street, 1st Floor
Miami, FL 33128
Phone: 305-275-1155

Office Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday, except holidays

To do this by Mail:

Miami-Dade County Clerk
P.O. Box 011711
Flagler Station
Miami, Florida 33101

To do this online:
http://paymentsolutions.lexisnexis.com/ca/co/rrccrecords.

Do I have the right to file a mechanics lien in Miami-Dade, Florida?

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 Florida. 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 Miami-Dade County, Florida.

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

When is the deadline to file a lien in Miami-Dade?

In Miami-Dade County, Florida, your deadline to file a mechanics lien is dependent upon your role in the project. A direct contractor must record his claim of lien after completion of the direct contract, and either ninety (90) days after completion of the work of improvement, or sixty (60) days after the owner records a Notice of Completion or Cessation; whichever is sooner.

A claimant other than a direct contractor must record his mechanics’ lien after the claimant ceases to provide work, and either: ninety (90) days after completion of the work of improvement,or, thirty (30) days after the owner records a Notice of Completion or Cessation; whichever is earlier.

What is the fee to file a Florida Preliminary Notice in Miami-Dade County?

The filing fee to record and file a Florida preliminary notice in Miami-Dade is $64. While you  can  file a Florida preliminary notice in Miami-Dade, there is a question of whether you  should .

We explored this in the Ultimate Guide to Florida’s Preliminary Notice, as well as in response to this question in our Expert Center: Am I required to record – or should I record – a Florida preliminary notice?.

Since filing a Florida prelim offers very little benefits, but is quite costly, it’s probably a good idea to NOT file it. And you don’t need to. You only  need  to send it. More about that on our guide and FAQs area, all linked to above.

Which courier(s) can help me file a mechanics lien in Miami-Dade County?

There are many courier services in Miami-Dade. We recommend DDS Legal Services for courier services to the Miami-Dade county Clerk’s Office.

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