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Vehicle Lien Sale In New Mexico -- Do not have tenant's registration

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  • Vehicle Lien Sale In New Mexico -- Do not have tenant's registration

    We have a default tenant who has an RV Parked at our facility. We request a copy of each Tenant's vehicle registration, but in this case they promised they would deliver it to the office and continually have excuses about why they can't produce it. I am wondering if I have rights to act consistent with the lien law if I do not have a copy of their registration.

    An excerpt of the lien law reads:

    If the property of this lien is subject to a vehicle, watercraft or trailer, the occupant is in default for a continuous sixty-day period and the owner chose not to sell the vehicle, the owner may have the vehicle towed from the self-storage facility by and independent towing carrier that is licensed by the public regulation commission pursuant to the Motor Carrier Act. Within one day after the day on which a vehicle is towed, the owner shall send verified noticed to the occupant`s last known address or electronic address that states:

    (1) the date the vehicle was towed and;

    (2) the address and telephone number of the person that towed the vehicle.

    I would like to have the vehicle towed and have very little to do with this tenant thereafter. In my understanding the towing company is familiar with the lien process and knows what to do. However i do not know if they will be involved if there is no copy of registration.

  • #2
    In my humble opinion, it is not the registration that is needed.
    It is the TITLE.
    As storage operators, we would want to gather as much information as we can BEFORE we allow a vehicle to be parked on our properties.
    In obtaining a COPY of the vehicles title PRIOR to storing, we can determine who actually owns said vehicle.
    We require all of the names to match the tenant that wishes to park/store.
    Meaning Joe Bob can not store his brother's, Jim Bob's vehicle.
    The tenants name on the account MUST match the name on any vehicles title.

    Okay, that's been established.

    I am in NJ and we are partnered with a local Tow Company.
    We have on our property a metal sign that is required by law to hang and inform any person that enters our property that I have the right to tow vehicles that are not authorized to be on my property.
    This sign is required by law because my lease agreement already says that if you the tenant fails to pay for your storage AND it is a vehicle, I, the storage property will have the vehicle towed and the tow yard will handle the sale and/or disposal.

    I highly recommended that you go and read your state's lien laws and follow the procedure that way.

    Now in thinking of the future, review your lease, do you already have in play when you are going to sell a vehicle?
    Does your state require you to be partnered with a local tow yard?
    Does your state require that you post signage?

    Good luck and please keep us posted!

    Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.


    • #3
      Definitely read your lien law before you do anything.
      "The comeback is always stronger than the setback."
      Mom, Navy Vet, genealogist and voracious reader
      WA state


      • #4
        You can still get the VIN number from the car and take it to local MVD to find out about liens the correct owner etc.. But I am in AZ..... and we do get the registration as you don't get title here till its paid off... I get anything I can get on it while they are filling out paperwork. BUT... I didn't know a Harley was in a unit that went to auction, so I got the Vin and went to MVD and it did have a lien on it, so the finance company paid the lien fee's and the property was returned to them.


        • #5
          At my locations tenants are required to provide copies of
          The title, registration and a current insurance policy to store any vehicle of any kind.
          When a vehicle is financed, that tenant/person is still given a bill of that is another paper that must be provided BEFORE I will write a lease.

          These documents, registration and insurance MUST be current and not expired!
          Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.


          • #6
            I have processed several storage liens (without a towing company) on vehicles through the NMMVD and let me tell you it is a major pain in the neck! If you don't find someone at the MVD that familiar with the process and has common sense you won't get anywhere.

            Your practice of getting a current copy of registration is very good, if you ever have to file a formal storage lien that information will be invaluable as the NMMVD does NOT give out owner information unless you are partner with them. But you need the owner info to send the Notice of Lien, etc. It's a "what comes first, the chicken or the egg" situation. When I executed the liens I didn't have copies of the registration - although I wished that I had.

            Sorry, I know you asked about towing and not storage liens, but I had to vent about storage liens on motor vehicles in New Mexico.

            Regarding your question... (disclaimer I am not a lawyer).

            I would NOT think that the towing company would require a copy of the registration to tow a vehicle, since they also tow "abandoned vehicles" that don't come with a copy of a registration. I THINK legit towing companies have access to the MVD database on some level and can determine the registered owner address, registration status, etc. and execute a towing lien from their end.

            I would go with a properly licensed, well known towing company and ask them what they do or don't need. And then send the notice to the occupant address you have on file per the lien law paragraph you quoted above.

            Here's link to the NM MVD's take on liens (storage and towing), but don't let it confuse you, as sometimes this information is not EXPLICITLY consistent with what the actual New Mexico lien law says AND may have more or less detail:


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