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Conditional Waiver / Release Upon Final Payment – Part 4

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When it’s time to submit the invoice for the final payment you may need to include a “Conditional Waiver and Release Upon Final Payment” form (#3 release).

Usually this release form does not include a “release through date” like the #1 and #2 forms do because it’s your final invoice on the project.

If you have suppliers you’ll probably have to include these same forms from them.

Lien Waiver/Release FormsOnce you’ve received payment and it has cleared the issuing financial institution then typically that Conditional Release becomes an Unconditional Release. That means you’ll never be able to file a lien on the project (which is okay as long as you’re paid in full).

State Requirements For Waiver / Release Forms

Each state has its own requirements for release forms.  Although many are similar it’s still important to make sure the forms you are using meet the state’s requirements where the project is located.

Usually a #3 release requires information such as:

  • The claimant’s name
  • The customer’s name
  • The location of the project and the owner’s name

It may also require info from the forthcoming check such as:

  • The maker
  • The amount
  • The payee

Some states allow exceptions in the release forms but when it comes to the final release forms the exceptions can be minimal (or even nonexistent).  Read and understand what you’re signing before you sign it.

Don’t Lose Your Lien Rights

It’s very easy to lose your lien rights.  Important points to help reduce that risk:

  • Don’t use the Conditional Upon Final release form unless it truly is the final payment you are invoicing for
  • Don’t forget to list any disputed claims that might exist (if allowed)
  • Make sure the form meets the state’s requirements

A Couple Tips

– Although the Conditional Waiver and Release Upon Final Payment form usually “becomes” an Unconditional (#4) upon successful payment your customer will probably still require the #4 release from you once that payment has cleared.

– If your customer wants you to do more work after you’ve submitted this form to them chances are you’ll need to treat it as a new job and do everything you had to do originally (e.g. new contract; new preliminary notice; etc.).

And Finally…

After the form is filled out and the claimant has signed and dated it make a copy of it for your job files and send the original along with the invoice to your customer.

Be sure to include releases from any suppliers you have (make a copy for your files first).

I hope that you find this series of articles on lien waiver/release forms to be helpful.  In our next article, the fifth and final in this series, we’ll discuss the #4 Unconditional Waiver and Release Upon Final Payment form.

Previous articles in this series:

  • Part 1 – Conditional and Unconditional Lien Waiver/Release Forms for Progress and Final Payments
  • Part 2 – Conditional Waiver/Release From Upon Progress/Partial Payment
  • Part 3 – Unconditional Waiver/Release Form Upon Progress/Partial Payment

This article is an overview of waiver/release forms and is not legal advice.  Please contact an attorney in your state with any questions you might have.


About the Author:  Diane Dennis – In 1999, after realizing there were so many contractors who were struggling with the day-to-day of their businesses, Diane Dennis – founder of – quit contracting (suspended ceilings) so that she could focus on serving contractors.

She now has four construction-related websites and she is rapidly becoming a top advocate for contractors in the United States.

With close to 20 years of experience in the world of construction contracting Diane continues to provide information that contractors need when they need it.  Find out more and claim your free gift here:


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Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
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I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.

QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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