Guide to filing a mechanics lien in Bexar County

If you’re gearing up to file a mechanics lien with the Bexar County Clerk, you’ll be pleased to know that you most likely have strong lien rights. You may be less pleased to know that Texas‘s lien laws are some of the most complicated and confusing in the country, though. Here are three of the biggest problem areas for first-time filers:

  1. The Texas monthly preliminary notice requirements are the most complex ones in the industry. Since the monthly notice scheme is the most confusing area of Texas lien law, we recommend you visit our Texas Notice Guide, for a complete breakdown of the process.
  2. You need to abide by the homestead rules. Homesteads are treated differently from ordinary residences in Texas. If you aren’t directly contracted with the property owner, your lien rights are dependent on the GC’s ability to meet their qualification requirements. If they fail to meet those requirements, you could lose your lien rights.
  3. The wording for mechanics lien deadlines is confusing. Contractors have a decent window to file a mechanics lien, however, language like “the 15th day of the 4th month after the last month work was performed on the construction project” has the potential to make your head spin.

Getting a handle on Texas lien laws takes some research. Refer to our Texas Lien Law guide and FAQ to learn more.

This page organizes useful information about the Bexar County Clerk to make recording your lien claim easier. It includes FAQs that cover Bexar County’s recording requirements, margin and page size requirements, copy and recording fees, contact info, and information regarding recording your lien by mail and how you can eFile your lien with Levelset.

Refer to our step-by-step guide to Filing A Texas Mechanics Lien if you’d like to take a closer look at the lien filing process in Texas.

Where is the Bexar County Clerk's Office that files mechanics liens?

Bexar County has one location where you can go to record your mechanic’s lien. If you have trouble getting there or with this information, you can call them. Their phone number is (210) 335-2216

Bexar County Clerk
100 Dolorosa, #104
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 335-2216
Hours: M-F: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

If you are mailing your lien documents (versus presenting them in person for filing), you must send them to this location/address:

Bexar County Clerk
100 Dolorosa, #104
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 335-2216
Hours: M-F: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

What is Bexar County's Recording Backlog?

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

The Bexar 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 Bexar.

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

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

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

Bexar 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 Bexar 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. Texas 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 Bexar County?

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

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

First Page:: 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 Bexar County Clerk?

Bexar county has many payment options, including payment by cash, credit, and check. However, this depends on whether you’re recording something by mail or in person.

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.

• Check or 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. Out-of-state checks are accepted, but temporary and foreign checks are not accepted. Checks should be made payable to the _Registrar-Clerk/County Clerk._

Payment Options for Recording by Mail

Check, Cashier’s Check or Money Order: Make payable to the _Registrar-Clerk/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].”

Send documents and payment to:
Bexar County Clerk
100 Dolorosa, #104
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 335-2216
Hours: M-F: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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

The Bexar County Clerk’s “base fee” to file a mechanics lien is $16, and includes 1 page. Each additional page costs $4.

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: $5 first page, $1 additional

How do I get a recorded copy of my lien from Bexar County's Clerks 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 $1.00 for each additional page.

Other than at the time of recording, you can request a Certified Copy of your recording in-person at the following office:

Bexar County Clerk
100 Dolorosa, #104
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 335-2216
Hours: M-F: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

To do this by Mail:
Bexar County Clerk
100 Dolorosa, #104
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 335-2216
Hours: M-F: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

To do this online, visit the State of Texas Official Records Search.

Do I have the right to file a mechanics lien in Bexar, Texas?

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 Texas. 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 Bexar County, Texas.

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

When is the deadline to file a lien in Bexar County, Texas?

In Bexar County, Texas, 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 Texas Preliminary Notice in Bexar County?

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

We explored this in the Ultimate Guide to Texas’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 Texas preliminary notice?.

Since filing a Texas 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.

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