Q:

What should you do about abandoned vehicles on private property?

A:

The laws concerning abandoned vehicles vary somewhat by state, but in most cases, the owner of the private property needs to get in touch with law enforcement to remove an abandoned vehicle. If the private property owner contacts a towing company, the towing company must then contact law enforcement. Another option is for the property owner to obtain the title of the abandoned vehicle and then decide what to do with it.

A vehicle is usually considered abandoned if it is left on public or private property in conflict with warning signs or without the property owner's consent. The amount of time it must be there varies, but is usually at least 24 hours. In order to have a vehicle towed and the car's owner billed, warning signs must be displayed stating that this action could be taken. If there are no warnings, in most cases, the owner's only recourse is to contact law enforcement. At that point, police will come out and tag the vehicle as abandoned. They will usually attempt to contact the owner of the vehicle, but if there is no response after 48 hours, the vehicle may be removed. Vehicles may be removed immediately if they present a hazardous condition.


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