5 Questions about the Oklahoma Mechanic’s Lien

A sailor mechanic refueling a plane at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas (LOC)

Have you ever wondered what someone is talking about when they say “mechanics lien”? This question and several more are answered below.

What is an Oklahoma mechanic’s lien Claim?
Although its called a “mechanic’s and materialmen’s lien” it is most commonly used on construction projects. In Oklahoma, liens filed on private property or on funds relating to a public project are known as Mechanic’s & Materialmen’s Lien. When an Oklahoma mechanics lien is filed for work performed on privately owned property, it attaches to and encumbers the fee simple ownership of property. Oklahoma mechanics liens filed for public projects attach to the funds held by the owner. In addition to commercial, residential and public property, Oklahoma mechanics liens can also be filed against oil wells, gas wells, mining property and railroads.

Who can file an Oklahoma mechanic’s lien Claim?
If you provided work or materials to improve property, you might qualify. Contractors, subcontractors, sub-subcontractors and suppliers have Oklahoma mechanics’ lien rights. As long as the supplier furnishes his materials or the subcontractor furnishes his labor under the original contract with the owner, lien rights will attach. Work must be actually performed on a project or material provided to have an Oklahoma mechanics lien.

Fort Stewart, Georgia. Female Auto Mechanic

What is the deadline for filing an Oklahoma mechanic’s lien claim?
For a general contractor (one who has a contract with the property owner), Oklahoma mechanics’ liens on private property must be filed within four (4) months¬†after the date upon which material or equipment was last furnished or performed under the contract. In the case of a subcontractor or a supplier who does not have a contract with an owner, the Oklahoma mechanics lien must be filed within 90 days after the date upon which material or equipment was used on the land or when labor was last performed.

How does filing an Oklahoma mechanic’s lien Claim help me get my money?
The lien makes it virtually impossible for the property to resell or re-finance the property without first removing the mechanics lien. “Removal” usually means payment.

Posted by Shawn Roberts

On this blog, I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. My focus and most experience is in estate planning and business issues including Oklahoma non-compete law. I make a living as an attorney in the law firm I founded, Shawn J. Roberts, P.C. in Oklahoma City. I live in Edmond with my wife Amy and my two children, Sam (19) and David (11). We live precisely in the path of where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."


What defines 90 days for a subcontractor? Is that 90 business days or actual days?

Cynthia M. Garza

What if a contractor failed to pay a subcontractor for work they completed before we made the purchase of our home? In other words, work was completed by a subcontractor on 5/1/2013. Then we purchased our home on 5/17/2013. We have since received a Prelien Notice stating that, if we or the contractor don’t submit payment, we will get a Mechanic’s Lien on our home, which we purchased free and clear. Can the subcontractor lien our home for work they completed BEFORE we were the actual owners?