General Contractors

Mechanic's Notice and Lien Registry

General Contractor Information

In order to preserve a mechanic's lien rights on a residential construction project, a general contractor must follow the two requirements found in Iowa Code sections 572.13 and 572.13A, that are outlined below.

1. Post a notice of commencement on the Mechanic's Notice and Lien Registry (MNLR)

A notice of commencement of work must be posted to the MNLR within ten days of commencement of work on the property. This notice may be posted electronically, faxed, or sent by United States mail to the Secretary of State.

To post a document on the MNLR you must have a user account. Select the option to "create account" from the menu in the center of the homepage. Your user account will contain a complete listing of all notices that you have posted through your MNLR account.

After you have created a user account or signed in as an existing user, you may post a document electronically by selecting, “Post a document” from either the homepage or the link provided above. Next, select “Notice of Commencement” from the menu page. Once the form has been completed, submit it along with the required posting fee of $7, that may be paid by credit card or Secretary of State charge account. A notice of commencement may also be printed and submitted by fax or United States mail (cost of paper-filing is $10).

2. Provide a written notice to the property owners

General contractors must also provide a written notice to the property owner in either the construction contract or a separate written notice. The following language must be included in either the construction contract or a separate notice in a minimum font size of ten points:

Persons or companies furnishing labor or materials for the improvement of real property may enforce a lien upon the improved property if they are not paid for their contributions, even if the parties have no direct contractual relationship with the owner. The mechanics' notice and lien registry provides a listing of all persons or companies furnishing labor or materials who have posted a lien or who may post a lien upon the improved property. If the person or company has posted its notice or lien to the mechanics' notice and lien registry, you may be required to pay the person or company even if you have paid the general contractor the full amount due. Therefore, check the mechanics' notice and lien registry internet website for information about the property including persons or companies furnishing labor or materials before paying your general contractor. In addition, when making payment to your general contractor, it is important to obtain lien waivers from your general contractor and from persons or companies registered as furnishing labor or materials to your property. The information in the mechanics' notice and lien registry is posted on the internet website of the mechanics' notice and lien registry.

The owner notice shall include the MNLR Internet Web site address (sos.iowa.gov/MNLR) and MNLR toll-free telephone number (1-888-767-8683).

The requirements of Iowa Code chapter 572 which are outlined on this page apply only to residential construction projects. Commercial construction projects file only a lien.

Liability Statement: The office of the Secretary of State is not responsible for the accuracy of documents filed on this Web site by outside persons except as provided by law. Reliance on the information contained on this site, is solely at your own risk or as otherwise provided by law. The content of this website is not legal advice by the office of the Secretary of State. Seek outside legal counsel for specific legal advice.