How Do You Obtain the Title to an Abandoned Car?


Quick Answer

Obtaining the title of an abandoned car is done through contacting the DMV in order to make contact with the current owner of the vehicle. In the event that the owner cannot be located, the car is impounded and put up for auction, where its title is then legally purchased.

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How Do You Obtain the Title to an Abandoned Car?
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Full Answer

Contact a DMV officer with the vehicle's license plate and VIN number to report the vehicle. Once reported, the DMV will attempt to contact the owner. The DMV may not give away the owner's contact information, but it is possible to ask the DMV to inquire about purchasing the vehicle in your place. Once contact is made with the vehicle's current owner, a proper purchase agreement can be made to hand over ownership of the vehicle title.

Some abandoned cars are stolen vehicles. Abandoned cars must be reported to local authorities and the DMV in order to ensure the legality of obtaining the title for using them. Attempting to take a car before legal ownership has been established is theft and results in fines and jail time.

Motor vehicle laws vary from state to state. Consult the DMV for information on local laws when attempting to gain the title for an abandoned vehicle.

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