If you are buying a vehicle privately, it’s important to ensure you’re aware if there is a lien (money owing) on the vehicle. It’s normal for there to be a lien, it’s important that you know how to ensure the lien has been properly paid off. 

If there is a lien, make sure it's cleared before you take possession of the vehicle or else you could become legally responsible for it.

To remove a lien: 

Go to the bank with the seller to confirm the amount owed to pay off the lien.

Once you get this information, we recommend writing two cheques; one directly to the bank for the remainder of the lien. This will protect you and ensure it is paid off properly. If any money is left to pay to the owner, then make a second cheque out in the owner’s name.

When the lien is cleared from the financial institution, the owner will get a lien discharge form. You can ask the seller for a copy for your records.

It can take 30 to 90 days for the lien to be cleared from the registry where we get our information.