Child support liens

Learn how delinquent child support payments can impact your vehicles and boats.

We work together with the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Division of Child Support (DCS) to enforce child support and collect delinquent payments. The process works like this:

  1. If someone owes child support, DCS places a lien on the person's vehicle or vessel
  2. We send a Notice of Cancellation to the person and/or the business who holds the title on the vehicle or vessel under the lien
  3. We tell the titleholder to return the cancelled title to us or destroy it
  4. Then we issue a new title that lists DCS as the primary or secondary lien holder

How child support liens affect vehicle and vessel titles

DCS must release the child support lien before you may transfer the title when selling or trading in the vehicle or vessel.

If you are selling a vehicle or vessel that has a child support lien, DCS will work with you or your title company to release the lien as soon as you pay what you owe. If you will receive less than the amount of the debt from the sale, the DCS support enforcement officer may negotiate a partial release based on a reasonable payment agreement.

What to do if a lien is filed on your vehicle or vessel

If you've received a notice that DCS filed a lien on your vehicle or vessel, contact your DCS support enforcement officer right away to make payment arrangements. For more information, visit the DSHS website.

Need additional help? Here's how to contact us:

call Phone: 360-902-3770
(TTY: Call 711)
Was this information helpful?