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Lien and Bond Claims

The following is organized as a guide to lien and bond claims on IDOT highway construction projects.

Prompt Pay Contract Provisions
Subcontractors and suppliers are expected to be familiar with all contract payment provisions, and the provisions of the Prompt Payment Act, 30 ILCS 540. In particular, IDOT's contract with the prime contractor contains a provision requiring prompt payments be made to all subcontractors. The prompt payment provision does not apply to suppliers.

The subcontractor provision covers progress payments for work partially completed and full payment for satisfactorily completed work. As a subcontractor, you are expected to be aware of all performance requirements in order to assure satisfactory completion of your work. These performance requirements include all physical construction work and the documentation requirements to comply with the satisfactory completion requirement of the prompt payment provision. Regardless of the applicability of the prompt payment provision, all subcontractors and suppliers should review the lien and bond claim procedures described in this brochure. If difficulty is experienced collecting payment from the prime contractor for subcontract work or materials supplied, these procedures are available to aid and govern the collection process.

SUMMARY: The following is prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a legal guide or a substitute for legal advice. If you are owed money by a prime contractor on an IDOT project, review the Lien and Bond Claim Statutes to assure you are fully protected. You should also discuss these problems with your attorney since you may be required to file a lawsuit if you are not paid. Failure to obtain legal advice may place you at a disadvantage.

Lien and Bond Claims

An unpaid subcontractor or supplier may file a claim against the bond or a lien on public funds that become available on the specific contract(s). In some cases it may be necessary to file both a lien and a bond claim. Lien and bond claims require specific steps or actions to be taken by the subcontractor or supplier. It may be in your best interest to consult with an attorney prior to taking any such action.

Choose one of the forms below that applies to your situation.  If you file one of the following forms, it is not necessary to file an individual lien or bond form.

  • Sub-Subcontractor’s Lien and Bond Claim, OCC 2400
  • Subcontractor's Lien and Bond Claim, OCC 2401  

Liens Against Public Funds

Section 23(c) of the Mechanics Lien Act (770 ILCS 60/23) states in part:

"Any person who shall furnish labor, material, services, fixtures, apparatus or machinery, forms or form work to any contractor having a contract for public improvement for the state, may have a lien for the value thereof on the money, bonds or warrants due or about to become due the contractor."

A Notice of Claim for Lien on Public Funds:

  • Must contain a sworn statement and/or be notarized.
  • Must identify the contract and specify the unpaid items and the dollar amount claimed for each.
  • Must be served on the Secretary of Transportation, the prime contractor and subcontractor (if applicable) by hand delivery or certified mail (with return receipt requested, delivery to addressee only).
  • Will cause the withholding of the claimed amount from the prime contractor for 90 days, but does not force IDOT to pay the lien claimant.

Filing a Notice of Lien is not enough to ensure payment. The department can hold funds for only 90 days. It is your responsibility (or your attorney's responsibility) to follow the law, as the department is very limited in what it can do to protect your financial interests.

If the subcontractor or supplier is not paid within 90 days after giving such notice, a complaint (lawsuit) must be filed within that same 90 days. The subcontractor or supplier must, within 10 days after filing suit, notify the department of the commencement of the suit by delivering a copy of the Complaint (file-stamped by the Clerk of the Court) to the Secretary of Transportation. The document should be delivered by certified or registered mail.

Liens against public funds apply only to monies that become due the contractor after the lien is filed. If you wait to file a lien until the contract is almost complete, there may be insufficient funds available to cover all liens. The Act also states:

"There shall be no preference between persons giving such notice, but all shall be paid pro rata in proportion to the amount due under their respective contracts."

Any funds available will be shared among all lien holders.

Choose one of the forms below that applies to your situation.

  • Subcontractor's Notice of Claim for Lien, OCC 2402
  • Sub-Subcontractor's Notice of Claim for Lien, OCC 2404

Bond Claims

The Public Construction Bond Act (30 ILCS 550/0.01 et. seq.) provides in part:

"Every person furnishing materials or performing labor, either as an individual or as a subcontractor for any contractor ... where bond shall be executed as provided in this Act, shall have the right to sue on such bond ... for his use and benefit ... ."

A Bond Claim

  • Does not cause IDOT to withhold payment from the contractor.
  • Preserves claimant's right to sue under bond.
  • Must be filed within 180 days from the last date of furnishing work or materials on the job.
  • Must be served in writing on the Secretary of Transportation, with copies to the prime contractor,
  • subcontractor and the bonding company.
  • May need to be followed up by a lawsuit.

A certified copy of the bond will be required in the bond claim process. A written request to the Bureau of Construction is required. You must include the 5 digit IDOT contract number, the prime contractor's name, county and section number. Incomplete requests cannot be processed. 

Choose one of the forms below that applies to your situation.

  • Subcontractor's Notice of Bond Claim, OCC 2403
  • Sub-Subcontractor's Notice of Bond Claim, OCC 2405

Notification of Final Payment

Effective January 1, 1994, the department no longer required subcontractor releases (form BC 151). Effective May 20, 1998 the department no longer required a contractor's affidavit (form BC 141) prior to final payment on a contract.

Subcontractors or suppliers who wish to receive notification when the department intends to make final payment on a contract should acquire and submit a notification card, Form BC 2246. These cards are available from resident engineers and technicians and from the various district offices.


Secretary of Transportation
2300 South Dirksen Parkway
Room 300
Springfield, Illinois 62764

100 W. Randolph St.
JRTC 6-600
Chicago, IL 60601

Bureau of Claims
2300 South Dirksen Parkway
Room 313
Springfield, Illinois 62764
(217) 782-6263

Bureau of Construction
2300 South Dirksen Parkway
Room 322
Springfield, Illinois 62764
(217) 782-6667