Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH


  ( Division 3 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 4. Permits to Nonresident Owners [6700 - 8204]

  ( Chapter 4 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

ARTICLE 6. Enforcement of Liens on Apportioned Fleet Vehicles [8200 - 8204]
  ( Article 6 added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 187, Sec. 2. )


“Registrant,” for purposes of this article, means any person issued apportioned fleet registration pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section 8050).

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 124, Sec. 120. Effective January 1, 1997.)


(a) Fees determined to be due, including penalties and service fees, for the operation of a fleet apportionately registered vehicle shall be a lien upon all vehicles operated as part of the fleet and on any other fleet vehicles operated by the registrant. The department may collect the amount of the lien, plus costs, not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250), in an appropriate civil action and by seizure and sale of the vehicle.

(b) Liens arising as the result of an audit expire four years from the date the registration fees first become due unless the lien is perfected pursuant to subdivision (d).

(c) Any lien arising under this section that is not subject to subdivision (b) expires three years from the date the fee or penalty first became due unless the lien is perfected pursuant to subdivision (d).

(d) A lien shall be perfected when a notice is mailed to the registrant at the address shown on the department’s records and the lien is recorded on the electronic vehicle registration records of the department. A perfected lien shall expire five years from the date of perfection.

(e) Prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations, the registrant may consent to a waiver which would allow the assessment of fees and penalties past the statute of limitations.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 758, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2003.)


(a) Within 30 days of the date the notice is mailed pursuant to Section 8201, the registrant may submit documentation not previously available or may request a hearing to contest the existence or the amount of the lien. If no additional documentation is submitted, or if no hearing is requested, the operating privileges of the fleet may be suspended or canceled and a sufficient number of vehicles may be seized and sold to satisfy the lien.

(b) If additional documentation is submitted, the department shall review the documentation and issue its findings to the registrant. Within 30 days of the date the findings are mailed, the registrant may request a hearing.

(c) If a hearing is requested, 10 days’ notice shall be given of the time and place of the hearing, which shall be held within the county of residence of the person requesting the hearing or within the county of the established place of business of the registrant. The hearing shall be conducted by a referee who shall submit findings and recommendations to the director or his or her authorized representative, who shall decide the matter. The decision shall be effective on notice thereof to the interested parties. However, the director, or his or her authorized representative, may rescind the decision and reconsider the matter for good cause shown at any time within three years after the date the disputed fee or penalty first became due, or one year from the hearing whichever is later.

(d) Upon final completion of all administrative appeals, the department shall give written notice to the registrant of the right to a review of the decision by a court of competent jurisdiction. Any action brought in court shall be commenced within 90 days from the date notice of the decision is mailed.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 478, Sec. 10. (AB 2777) Effective January 1, 2011.)


(a) When a lien is perfected pursuant to Section 8200 and the opportunity to submit additional documentation or to request a hearing has passed, the department may suspend or cancel the operating privileges of the fleet. When the suspension takes effect, the department may seize a sufficient number of vehicles to satisfy the lien without further notice, upon obtaining authorization for the seizure and sale from the director or his or her authorized representative.

(b) Members of the California Highway Patrol, and peace officers employed by local authorities, are agents of the department for the purposes of this section.

(c) In all cases, prior to the sale, a notice of the lien and intent to sell the vehicle shall be given by the department to the registrant, the known legal and registered owners, and to any other person known to be claiming an interest in the vehicle. The department shall also give public notice of the lien by placing an advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county in which the registrant’s place of business is located.

(d) At any time before seizure and sale, any person claiming an interest in the vehicle may pay the department the amount of the lien, plus costs. In that event, the seizure and sale shall not be held, and the vehicle, shall be returned by the department to the person entitled to its possession.

(e) Any property found by the department in any vehicle seized under the provisions of this article shall be handled by the department in the manner provided in Sections 2414 and 2415.

(f) The sale shall be conducted and proceeds distributed pursuant to Section 9802.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 187, Sec. 2.)


(a) When a transferee or purchaser of an apportionately registered fleet vehicle applies to the department for transfer of ownership and it is determined by the department that there is an outstanding lien against the fleet in which the vehicle was operated, that fees became due prior to the transfer or purchase of the vehicle, and that the transferee or the purchaser was not cognizant of the fact that a lien existed, the department may waive apportioned registration fees and any penalties that are due.

(b) When fees and penalties are waived pursuant to subdivision (a), the apportioned registration fees and penalties shall become the liability of the registrant who failed to pay the fees and penalties when they became due. The fees and penalties may be collected by the department in an appropriate civil action.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 187, Sec. 2.)

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