How do you put a lien on a car in Iowa?

I sold a car to my relative but they still haven’t paid me the full price we agreed on. Is it possible to put a lien on a car in Iowa?

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Christelle Agustin · Answered on Jan 17, 2023
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
You may put a lien on a car in Iowa if you win a court case that orders the debtor to pay the remaining cost. This type of lien is called a judgment lien and is usually attached to real property like a house or property but also applies to vehicles.
In Iowa, you will have to file the suit in the county in which the car is located. Be sure to have the proper documentation with you including the vehicle registration and title, statements, and contracts that prove the sale of the car. If you are successful, the court will make sure you are justly paid by the debtor.
Once the payment has been satisfied, the lienholder’s name (you) can remove it from the vehicle title electronically or by visiting a local Iowa DMV location. Here are the following documents you need to bring:
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