How Do You Title an Abandoned Vehicle in Florida?

To title an abandoned vehicle in Florida, contact the local police department, and make a reasonable attempt to find the owner. After 90 days, if the vehicle is unclaimed, the finder of the property is able to assert ownership. Sections 705.103, 713.78 and 320.01 of the Florida statutes lay out the process to declare a vehicle abandoned and to title it in a finder’s name.

Florida law requires a finder to report the abandoned vehicle to a law enforcement agency. If the owners are not located, the authorities often take possession of abandoned vehicles.

The law states that 90 days must pass before declaring a vehicle officially abandoned. During this time, a finder must make reasonable efforts to contact the true owner. This includes publishing a notice that describes the property in a newspaper which regularly circulates in the county where the claimant found the vehicle.

Although there are sometimes fees involved, it is possible for the finder to contact the DMV for information regarding the registered address of the vehicle’s legal owner. If the vehicle is unclaimed by the legal owner after 90 days, a finder declares ownership by going to the police station and paying any storage and transport costs the authorities incurred.