Q:

How do I obtain a title to an abandoned car?

A:

Quick Answer

Though the process varies by state, the process of claiming and titling an abandoned vehicle usually requires cooperation between the DMV and local law enforcement. This is to ensure that the vehicle is genuinely abandoned, rather than lost or stolen.

  Know More

Full Answer

  1. Contact law enforcement

    The first step in claiming an abandoned vehicle is to check with a local law enforcement agency to ensure the vehicle is not stolen. The police are able to search for theft reports using the car's license plate number or vehicle identification number. For a vehicle to be claimed by a third party, it must not have been stolen.

  2. Post a public notice of intent

    Once theft is ruled out, it is usually necessary to take out an advertisement in a print publication announcing intent to claim the vehicle. This gives the previous owner 30 or 60 days, depending on state laws, to reclaim the vehicle. If nobody claims the vehicle by the end of the waiting period, law enforcement usually issues a notice of abandoned property.

  3. Request a new title from the DMV

    Take the declaration of abandoned property to the DMV and ask for the forms to request a new title. It is usually necessary to pay a filing fee, which varies by state. Once the forms are accepted, the DMV issues a new title.

Learn more about Buying & Selling

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How can you look up a license plate number?

    A:

    Finding an individual or business entity based on a license plate number requires a subscription to an information database or a formal request to the DMV in the state where the vehicle is registered. License plate numbers are considered public record based on the Freedom of Information Act, which means they are available to U.S. citizens.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What forms do I need to sell my car?

    A:

    The title to the car is the only form required in all states to complete the sale of a used car. Some states may also require a bill of sale and/or a vehicle history report before the car can be sold.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do you need to do before buying a car?

    A:

    Before buying a car, a buyer should arrange for financing, understand the value of their trade-in and test drive the desired vehicle. It is also important to get price quotes on prospective vehicles and the necessary insurance, as well as review the purchase contract before signing any paperwork. Having a complete understanding of the total costs associated with owning a car is critical before making a purchase.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Can you buy a car without a license?

    A:

    A car can be purchased by someone who does not have a driver's license, and its title can be transferred to that person. However, some states may require the individual to have a license in order to register the car.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore