Guide to filing a mechanics lien in Tarrant County

Texas contractors enjoy strong lien rights, protecting them in the event of non-payment after a construction project. On the other hand, they also have to deal with some of the most complicated, convoluted, and confusing lien laws in the country. If you need to record a mechanics lien with the Tarrant County Clerk, here are three of the main issues Texas contractors tend to have when preparing a mechanics lien:

  1. The Texas monthly preliminary notice requirements are a tangled mess. Texas lien laws get their bad reputation from the monthly notice scheme, which accounts for the vast majority of mistakes and confusion for the parties that file them. See our Texas Notice Guide, for a breakdown of the process.
  2. Homesteads have their own unique rules. Project participants on homesteads who aren’t directly contracted with the property owner rely on the general contractor to fulfill their lien prerequisites. If they fail to meet their prerequisites, you lose your lien rights.
  3. Texas mechanics lien deadlines include some confusing language. The deadline for lien claimants in Texas is usually the 15th day of the 4th month after the last month work or materials were provided for the project. However, there are other factors that affect the deadline and the “15th day of the 4th month” rule doesn’t always apply.

As you can see, fully understanding Texas lien law takes a little bit of dedicated research. Refer to our Texas Lien Law guide and FAQ to learn more.

State lien laws aside, each county has its own requirements for recording mechanics lien claims. This page serves as a reference for Tarrant County, providing you with the Tarrant County Clerk‘s recording requirements, page size and margin requirements, recording fees, contact information, and other useful information. You can also find helpful links to other pages regarding Texas mechanics liens to learn more about what you need to do to get your claim right the first time.

Refer to our step-by-step guide to Filing A Texas Mechanics Lien if you’re looking for a deep dive into the lien filing process in Texas, including a rundown of the required lien documents.

Where is the Tarrant County Clerk's Office that files mechanic liens?

Tarrant 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 (817) 884-1195

Tarrant County Clerk
100 W. Weatherford St, Room 130
Fort Worth, TX 76196-0401
(817) 884-1195
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:

Tarrant County Clerk
100 W. Weatherford St, Room 130
Fort Worth, TX 76196-0401
(817) 884-1195
Hours: M-F: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

What is Tarrant County's Recording Backlog?

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

The Tarrant 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 Tarrant.

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

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

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

Tarrant 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 Tarrant 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 Tarrant 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.

How can I make payment to the Tarrant County Clerk?

Tarrant 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:
Tarrant County Clerk
100 W. Weatherford St, Room 130
Fort Worth, TX 76196-0401
(817) 884-1195
Hours: M-F: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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

The Tarrant County Clerk’s “base fee” to file a mechanics lien is $19, 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 Tarrant 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:

Tarrant County Clerk
100 W. Weatherford St, Room 130
Fort Worth, TX 76196-0401
(817) 884-1195
Hours: M-F: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

To do this by Mail:
Tarrant County Clerk
100 W. Weatherford St, Room 130
Fort Worth, TX 76196-0401
(817) 884-1195
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 Tarrant, 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 Tarrant 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 Tarrant County, Texas?

In Tarrant 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 Tarrant County?

The filing fee to record and file a Texas preliminary notice in Tarrant is $64. While you can file a Texas preliminary notice in Tarrant, 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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