How to Get a Lien Release for a Motorcycle

Whether you drive a Kawasaki or a Harley Davidson, your motorcycle is likely valued at thousands of dollars. If you had to borrow money to purchase your motorcycle, your vehicle has a lien attached to it. That lien serves as your financial institution's way of reminding you that it owns your motorcycle until you pay off the loan. A lien release allows you to free yourself and your motorcycle from your creditor's grip. It also makes the process of selling your motorcycle much simpler than it would be if you still had your bank listed as a lienholder.

Pay off your motorcycle. You cannot obtain a lien release without paying off the debt associated with the lien. A lien represents a creditor's financial interest in the motorcycle. The lien allows the creditor to seize and sell the motorcycle if you fall behind on your payments. Liens can stand in the way of a motorcycle owner's ability to sell the motorcycle because purchasing a motorcycle with a lien on it means accepting the consequences of the original owner's failure to pay off the debt. In other words, if a person purchases a motorcycle with a lien on it, and the original owner subsequently stops paying the loan, then the creditor can potentially take the motorcycle from the purchaser and sell it to pay the seller's debt.

Contact your lienholder and request a lien release. Each state's lien release form is different; however, there are certain commonalities. Lien release forms typically request the title number, vehicle identification number and descriptive information such as the vehicle's year, make and model. The forms also request the date the lien was placed on the vehicle and the date it was paid off. The names and signatures of each lienholder are also required. The signatures certify the lien has been satisfied.

Request a lien release from the Federal Depository Insurance Corporation if your financial institution doesn't give you one. If your creditor was an FDIC-insured institution but no longer exists, you may send a written request to the FDIC to have your lien released. The request must contain the name of your financial institution and proof that you have paid off your financial obligation. The request must also contain your contact information so that FDIC representatives may communicate with you as necessary.