Recording a Lien on a Missouri Vehicle

Buying and Selling a Business

In How to Title a Vehicle in Missouri, I provide step-by-step instructions on how to transfer title to a vehicle, obtain a new title, and register the vehicle. In today’s post, I discuss recording a lien on a vehicle.

When you purchase a business via an asset sale, you have to transfer the assets you’re purchasing out of the seller’s company and into your company. Most assets can be transferred by having the seller sign a general bill of sale. But some assets, such as cars and trucks used in the business, have special rules.

Often in the purchase of a business, the business assets are pledged as security for payment of money loaned to facilitate the transaction. For example, if the buyer takes out an SBA loan, the lender will require the buyer to pledge all of the business’s assets as collateral. Similarly, if the seller finances a portion of the purchase price, the seller might require the buyer to pledge the business’s assets as collateral.

When assets pledged in the sale of a business include one or more vehicles, the liens must be recorded on the vehicle titles.

To record a lien on a vehicle, the name and address of the lienholder and the date of the lien must be provided on the back of the certificate of title when the seller signs the title over to the buyer. If the buyer is granting a lien to the seller for seller financing, the seller’s name and address will be provided. If the buyer also financed part of the purchase price through a bank, the bank’s information will be recorded as the first lienholder, and the seller’s information will be provided as the second lienholder. You can also use Form 4809 to record a lien on a vehicle. The lienholder information will also need to be included in the title application. See my post, How to title a Vehicle in Missouri for step-by-step instructions on titling a vehicle.

vehicle title lien informaton

When the Missouri Department of Revenue issues a new vehicle title after the business sale closes, the lien (or liens) will be recorded on the face of the new certificate of title. In most states the lender holds the certificate of title until the lien is released, but in Missouri titles are usually sent back to the owner with the lien noted on the face of the title..

Image credit: Lending Memo via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

This article was first published at on February 17, 2014 and is being republished without updating.]

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