Article 6. Enforcement Of Liens of California Vehicle Code >> Division 3. >> Chapter 6. >> Article 6.
(a) Payments for any of the following, and any interest,
penalties, or service fees added thereto, required to register or
transfer the registration of a vehicle, constitute a lien on the
vehicle on which they are due or which was involved in the offense,
and on any other vehicle owned by the owner of that vehicle:
(1) Registration fees.
(2) Transfer fees.
(3) License fees.
(4) Use taxes.
(5) Penalties for offenses relating to the standing or parking of
a vehicle for which a notice of parking violation has been served on
the owner, and any administrative service fee added to the penalty.
(6) Any court-imposed fine or penalty assessment, and any
administrative service fee added thereto, which is subject to
collection by the department.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), if a person is cited for a
foreign registered auxiliary dolly, semitrailer, or trailer having
been operated without current year registration or valid California
permits or registration, an amount equal to the minimum registration
fees or transfer fees, and any penalty added thereto, from the date
they became due, shall, by election of the power unit operator,
constitute a lien upon the California registered power unit which was
pulling the dolly, semitrailer, or trailer. However, this
subdivision is not applicable if the citation is issued at a scale
operated by the Department of the California Highway Patrol and
registration for the vehicle can be issued there immediately upon
payment of the fees due.
(c) Every lien arising under this section expires three years from
the date the fee, tax, or parking penalty first became due unless
the lien is perfected pursuant to subdivision (d).
(d) A lien is perfected when a notice is mailed to the registered
and legal owners at the addresses shown in the department's records
and the lien is recorded on the electronic vehicle registration
records of the department. A perfected lien shall expire five years
from the date of perfection.
(e) Employees and members of the Department of the California
Highway Patrol assigned to commercial vehicle scale facilities may
possess and sell trip permits approved by the Department of Motor
(a) (1) When the payment required for the registration or
transfer of a vehicle is delinquent pursuant to subdivision (a) of
Section 9800, the department may collect the amount of the lien on
the vehicle plus costs, not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars
($250), by the filing of a certificate requesting judgment pursuant
to Section 9805, or by appropriate civil action and by the seizure
and sale of the vehicle or any other vehicle owned by the owner of
the unregistered vehicle.
(2) In the case of a leased vehicle, the authority provided in
paragraph (1) to seize and sell the vehicle or any other vehicle
owned by the owner of that vehicle shall not apply to a lien for any
delinquency for which only the lessee is liable pursuant to paragraph
(1) of subdivision (a) of Section 10879 of the Revenue and Taxation
(b) At least 10 days before the seizure, notice of the lien and of
the intent to seize and sell the vehicle shall be given by the
department to the registered and legal owners, and to any other
person known to be claiming an interest in the vehicle, by registered
mail addressed to those persons at the last known addresses
appearing on the records of the department.
(c) Any person receiving the notice of the lien and the intent to
seize and sell the vehicle may request a hearing to contest the
existence or amount of the lien. If no hearing is requested, the
vehicle shall be seized and sold.
(d) If a hearing is requested, 10 days' notice shall be given of
the time and place of the hearing, which shall be held within the
county of residence of the person requesting the hearing or of the
registered owner. The hearing shall be conducted by a referee who
shall submit findings and recommendations to the director or his or
her authorized representative, who shall decide the matter. The
decision shall be effective on notice thereof to the interested
parties. However, the director or his or her authorized
representative may rescind the decision and reconsider the matter for
good cause shown at any time within three years after the date the
disputed fee or tax first became due, or within one year from the
hearing, whichever is later.
(e) At any time before seizure or sale, any registered owner,
legal owner, or person claiming an interest in the vehicle may pay
the department the amount of the lien, plus costs. In that event, the
seizure or sale shall not be held and the vehicle, if seized, shall
be returned by the department to the person entitled to its
possession. This payment shall not constitute a waiver of the right
to a hearing.
(f) When the department or an authorized agent has reasonable
cause to believe that the lien may be jeopardized within the 10-day
notice-of-intent period, the vehicle may be seized without prior
notice to the registered or legal owner, upon obtaining authorization
for the seizure from the Registrar of Vehicles or authorized
representative. In all those cases, a notice of the lien and the
intent to sell the vehicle shall be given by the department to the
legal and registered owner, and to any other person known to be
claiming an interest in the vehicle, within 48 hours after seizure
excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays specified in Section 6700
of the Government Code. Any hearing to contest the lien and the
seizure shall be requested within 10 days following transmittal of
(g) When a lien exists against one or more vehicles owned by the
same person or persons, the department may seize and sell a
sufficient number of the vehicles to pay the lien, plus costs, on one
or more of the vehicles in accordance with subdivision (a).
(h) The Department of the California Highway Patrol shall assist
with the seizure and impounding of the vehicle. Any municipality or
county law enforcement agency may assist with the seizure and
impounding of the vehicle.
(i) Any property found by the department in any vehicle seized
under the provisions of this article shall be handled by the
department in the same manner as is provided in Sections 2414 and
(a) The Registrar of Vehicles or authorized representative
shall conduct the sale in the same manner as provided by law for the
seizure and sale of personal property by the assessor for the
collection of taxes due on personal property.
(b) The department may bid for the vehicle an amount equal to the
lien held by the department for registration, transfer, and license
fees, use taxes, parking penalties, and any interest, penalties, and
costs added thereto. In all cases where the vehicle becomes the
property of the department, it shall be reduced to junk and sold.
(c) The proceeds of any sale shall be allocated by the department
for the following purposes and in the following order:
(1) Costs incurred by the department.
(2) Registration and transfer fees and any penalty added thereto.
(3) License fees and any penalty added thereto.
(4) Use taxes and any interest or penalty added thereto.
(5) Perfected mechanics' liens.
(6) Perfected security interests.
(7) Penalties for offenses relating to the standing or parking of
a vehicle and any administrative service fee added thereto. Any other
court-induced liability, and any administrative service fee added
thereto, which is subject to collection by the department.
(8) All other fees due the department.
(9) Any remainder to the person whose claim of interest in the
vehicle is approved by the department.
(d) Notwithstanding Section 42270, the proceeds of a sale
allocated pursuant to paragraphs (4) to (9), inclusive, of
subdivision (c) shall not be transmitted to the Treasurer for deposit
in the Motor Vehicle Account in the State Transportation Fund.
(e) The department shall transmit to the State Board of
Equalization all use taxes, interest, and penalties collected under
this article within 60 days after receipt thereof in the form which
may be prescribed and approved jointly by the department and the
Nothing in this code prevents a review or other action as may
be permitted by the Constitution and laws of this state by a court
of competent jurisdiction of any order of the department to seize and
sell a vehicle.
(a) Any action brought in a court of competent jurisdiction
to review any order of the department to seize and sell a vehicle
shall be commenced within 90 days from the date notice is given of
(b) Upon final completion of all administrative appeals, the
department shall give written notice to the owner of a vehicle
ordered for seizure and sale of his or her right to a review of the
order by a court pursuant to subdivision (a).
(a) The department may file in the office of the Clerk of the
Superior Court of Sacramento County, or any other county, a
certificate specifying the amount of any fee, tax, penalty, and
collection cost due, the name and last known address of the
individual, company, or corporation liable for the amount due, and
the fact that the department has complied with all the provisions of
this division in the computation of the amount due, and a request
that judgment be entered against the individual, company, or
corporation in the amount of the fee, tax, penalty, and collection
cost set forth in the certificate if the fee, tax, penalty, or
collection cost constitutes either of the following:
(1) A lien under this division on the vehicle on which it is due
is not paid when due, and there is evidence that the vehicle has been
operated in violation of this code or any regulations adopted
pursuant to this code.
(2) A lessee liability as provided in Section 10879 of the Revenue
and Taxation Code.
(b) Prior to the filing of the certificate, the department shall,
by mail, notify the individual, company, or corporation of the amount
which is due and of the opportunity for a hearing as provided in
this subdivision. At the request of the individual, company, or
corporation, the department shall conduct a hearing pursuant to
Section 9801, at which it shall be determined whether the claimed
fee, tax, penalty, or collection cost in the amount claimed by the
department is due and constitutes a lien on the vehicle, and whether
the individual, company, or corporation is liable therefor.
(c) If no hearing is requested within 15 days after mailing the
notice required by subdivision (b), the certificate required by
subdivision (b) may be filed.
The clerk of the court, immediately upon the filing of the
certificate specified in Section 9805, shall enter a judgment for the
people of the State of California against the individual, company,
or corporation in the amount of any fee, tax, penalty, and collection
cost set forth in the certificate. The clerk may file the judgment
in a looseleaf book entitled "Department of Motor Vehicles
Execution shall issue upon the judgment specified in Section
9806 upon request of the department in the same manner as execution
may issue upon other judgments, and sales shall be held under the
execution as prescribed in the Code of Civil Procedure, except that
attachment may not issue against any real property.