A lien is evidence of a loan against a vehicle that must be fulfilled before the vehicle can be transferred to a new owner.

A lien is a security interest on a piece of property that must be satisfied before the vehicle can be transferred.

A loan against the vehicle is the most common reason for a lien listed on a vehicle's title.  Mechanics or storage facilities may attach liens to a vehicle who's owner has not paid bills owed.

Ownership of a vehicle may not be transferred until a lien listed on the vehicle's title has been satisfied.  A lien release is evidence that a lien against a vehicle has been satisfied.

A valid lien release a) is written on the letterhead of the lien holder listed on the vehicle's title, b) references the vehicle's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), and c) is signed by an authorized representative of the lien holder.