Here’s How to Get a Title For an Abandoned Vehicle in 2023

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How to Get a Title For an Abandoned Vehicle

Has a car been left unattended on your property? Or have you ever seen one quietly waiting somewhere? Do you want to keep the abandoned car you found? 

It is possible but more difficult than you might think to obtain an abandoned vehicle title if you did not initially own the vehicle. Detecting whether the car has genuinely been abandoned is the first stage. This can be tricky, as some vehicle owners may try to hide their vehicles in hopes that they will not be noticed. 

Once you have determined that the vehicle is indeed abandoned, you will need to take some steps to get a title for the vehicle. 

In this article, we will discuss how to get a title for an abandoned vehicle. In the end, we will also share the easiest way to get a title for an abandoned vehicle that can save both your time and money.

What exactly is an abandoned vehicle?

An abandoned vehicle is a car, truck, motorcycle, or another vehicle that has been left unclaimed by its owner. In most cases, an abandoned vehicle has been left on private or public property, such as a street or sidewalk. 

Abandoned vehicles are often in poor condition and may be missing parts. They may also have flat tires or be covered in graffiti. Abandoned vehicles can be a nuisance and can cause problems for a property owner and the community. 

If you came across an abandoned car, what would you do?

You should report any abandoned vehicles you come across to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or your local authorities. You should not try to move or remove an abandoned vehicle yourself. 

Additionally, you can try to identify the car’s owner by looking up the VIN or license plate number. You can call a towing firm to have the car removed if you are unable to locate the owner.

How to Get a Title for an Abandoned Vehicle: 9 Best Ways 

If you have any abandoned vehicles on your private property, you might want to get a title. Several effective techniques exist for it. Here are some ways to get a title for an abandoned vehicle. 

1. Find the difference between abandonment and a dead battery

Understanding the distinction between abandonment and a dead battery is crucial. If you’re not sure, use the key in the lock test. To determine if your car is abandoned, there are a few qualifications you need to meet.

When a motor vehicle is left unattended on the property without the owner’s permission for an extended period, it is regarded as abandoned. 

By contacting your local Department of Motor Vehicles or exploring their website, you can learn more about the requirements in your state.

2. Look at the laws in your state

If you find an abandoned vehicle and want to know the process for obtaining its title, make sure you look at the laws in your state. Depending on the state in which you reside, your rights may vary.

If the motor vehicle is not claimed after a certain amount of time (the timeline varies by state) and its value is less than a certain dollar amount, it will be considered unclaimed.

Your state’s DMV website will be able to tell you whether or not your area allows for the transfer of an abandoned vehicle’s title.

3. Try to approach the owner 

A car whose owner has left it unattended is not likely to be patiently awaiting its return. Therefore, if you are serious about claiming ownership of it, you must attempt to find and contact the owner.

4. Locate the VIN number

  • Usually, the lower left corner of the dashboard, to the left of the steering wheel, is where you may find the VIN number.
  • If you can’t, feel free to use your smartphone or ask somebody else for help locating it.
  • The front of the engine compartment is where the VIN is found. Open the hood and search underneath the engine to locate it.
  • Additionally, it would be placed on the front of the car, below a bottle for windshield fluid.
  • Check the area beneath the mirror on the driver’s side door, or near where the latch is when the door is shut.

5. Visit the DMV 

Once you have the VIN number, you can contact local authorities or DMV. They can help you track down the owner by searching the title and registration records in their system. Additionally, the sheriff of the area where the car was abandoned will be informed. 

You might need to apply for a sales tax exemption certificate transfer declaration in this situation. Talk to the Department of Motor Vehicles in your area to find out what steps to take if the previous owner wants to hand over the title to you. 

6. You should be familiar with some paperwork

Paperwork varies depending on where you live. In some states, there might be a form to fill out that details what the abandoned vehicle was like when you found it and where it was located. 

If you have any questions about the documentation and fees required for the abandoned vehicle paperwork, visit your local DMV or call them during business hours.

7. If the former owner cannot be traced, learn how to obtain the title.

Locating the former owner of the vehicle might be challenging at times. Check with a lawyer to see if you can try a silent title. This legal action enables you to seek a decision that would provide you with ownership of the car.

8. Get ready to take the former vehicle owner to court 

If the owner won’t transfer the title to you, it can be tricky to prove your ownership. The most common reason for this is that the original owner hopes you will pay more money. 

In this case, you’ll need to take them to small claims court so that there’s no confusion about who finally owns the car. 

Find the small claims court in your area and talk to someone about the process of filing a claim. They should be able to walk you through the steps.

If your case in small claims court falls through, you can get the county clerk to issue a writ of execution. To do that, you would provide them with the DMV record of the car and a letter indicating that you have the right to seize it. You should also bring along a copy of your complaint. 

9. Try to obtain the title by entering a credit bid

Next, you could try to obtain the title by entering a credit bid with the state. If you are found guilty of small claims, your vehicle will be repossessed. 

Sometimes, it can be hard to find the car’s previous owner. This is a court-driven process that awards the ownership of a disputed car to one party.

Here’s How 5 Star Registration Can Help You to Get a Title For an Abandoned Vehicle

If you find it difficult to get a title for an abandoned vehicle and don’t want to do it yourself. Let the experts at 5 Star Registration do it for you.  

All vehicle title issues, no matter how complicated, can be handled by the professionals at 5 Star Registration. You can get a vehicle title without wasting time, money, and energy by taking advantage of the extensive working experience of 5 Star Registration with DMVs. 

Click here to contact 5 Star Registration and start the process of titling your vehicle.

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